Yes, there really is a contest to pick the best public restroom in the United States. Let that sink in. Now, let’s flush out the details.
Cintas is running the contest for the 20th consecutive year and has narrowed the list down to 10 finalists. The public has until August 20 to choose their favorite.
“We’ve got a diverse list of facilities from across the county vying for the title of America’s Best Restroom,” Sean Mulcahey, marketing manager for Cintas, said in a statement. “The public is expecting a higher hygiene standard in public restrooms, and we’re proud to spotlight these unique restrooms that are well-maintained without sacrificing aesthetic quality.”
The 10 finalists were selected based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements. The winner will earn a place in America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame and receive a restroom cleaning service and $2,500 in facility services or restroom cleaning from Cintas.
Multiple pictures of each of the finalists can be found on the website, along with descriptions of what makes them special. Some are located inside businesses, while others are standalone facilities for public use.
The finalists include:
Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the gym features a women’s restroom where selfies — yes bathroom selfies — can be taken against a spray-painted mural backdrop or a large floral wall. The room gives off a street culture vibe.
This portable toilet on wheels can be found all over Santa Rosa, California. It is designed to look like a cottage with boxwood hedges and wrought iron door handles. Inside, the two roomy restrooms feature touchless faucets, ambient lighting, and air conditioning, among other features.
JFK Airport Terminal 4
Yes, most airport restrooms can be disgusting, but not this New York facility. It features teal back-painted glass, white terrazzo flooring, marbleized walls, wood laminate partitions between stalls, and more.
Nan Thai Fine Dining
There is a feel of Asian luxury inside this Atlanta restaurant’s restrooms. Designed in red and gold and featuring the glow of candles, the modern design is both luxurious and peaceful.
This Washington museum is dedicated to the written word, and the bathrooms are no exception. Words are all over the restroom, including phrases in multiple languages, and euphemisms for waste and other bathroom humor.
Designed as a place to rest in the middle of downtown Kannapolis, North Carolina, this public restroom is surrounded by water fountains, art sculptures, entertainment stages, and outdoor seating. Restaurants and other businesses are just steps away.
This Colorado ski town finally has a public restroom downtown, and it was designed for visual appeal to match the town’s recreational vibe. And given the weather, it’s nice to have a heated facility.
The Fed Community
This restaurant is located in a former bank building is located in Clarkston, Michigan. The restrooms mix a variety of colors, textures, and affirmations on the walls to create a feel-good experience.
Two Cities Pizza
This restaurant may be located in Cincinnati, Ohio, but it gives off a Chicago and New York vibe with its ivy wall tribute to Wrigley Field and its mock subway station. There’s graffiti on the bathroom walls and piped-in subway stops on the speakers.
William S. Craycraft Park
This large public restroom in Mission Viejo, California, has 10 toilets, six sinks, and exterior walls with high-end finishes. It uses tile, wood, stucco, brick, and other materials to give it a modern, eclectic look.