At a minimum, a public toilet can be a single unit featuring a toilet and hand basin for hand washing. Public toilets can also be larger facilities, which may include bathing facilities or showers, changing rooms and baby facilities.
Public toilets may be stand alone buildings or installations, or be contained within buildings such as railway stations, schools, bars, restaurants, nightclubs or filling stations. Public toilets can also be found on some public transport vehicles, for use by passengers.
Public toilets are usually fixed facilities, but can also refer to smaller public portable toilets, or larger public portable toilets constructed as portable buildings.
Public toilets are commonly separated by gender into male and female facilities, although some can be unisex, particularly the smaller or single occupancy types.
Both male and female toilets may incorporate toilet cubicles, while many male toilets also feature urinals. Increasingly, public toilets incorporate accessible toilets and features to cater for people with disabilities.
Public toilets may be unattended or be staffed by a janitor (possibly with a separate room), or attendant, provided by the local authority or the owner of the larger building.
In many cultures it is customary to tip the attendant, while other public toilets may charge a small fee for entrance, sometimes through use of a coin operated turnstile.
Some venues such as nightclubs may feature a grooming service provided by an attendant in the toilet.