The Siamese Enigma of Uneven Floors


Trip. Stub your toe. Almost fall, as you place your foot where you think the floor is (or should be) but isn’t. The culprit is a Thai uneven floor.

At first you’ll think the uneven floor is an anomaly. An architectural faux pas. But they’re far too common for that easy explanation. Uneven floors are everywhere in Thailand, from humble homes to the finest hotels. And they can be found in almost any room, especially bathrooms. These abrupt floor variances can range from a half inch to several inches. Some hotels and commercial stores may even have a sign (that you never notice until after you nearly fall) warning you of the uneven floor.

There is no outward logic to a Thai uneven floor. Even newly built, modern homes and buildings have an uneven floor here and there.

There was no reason when the structure was designed and built that all the floors couldn’t be even. So why does a modern Thai building or home have an inch or two difference in floor height between the bathroom and hallway; or the kitchen and living room? If it were just old teak houses, I would easily understand the uneveness. But with modern buildings where millions were spent on design and blueprints?

Uneven floors are just another enigma of the Siamese puzzle box. Find the answer and you will have discovered a secret passageway into the foggy mystery of Thai logic. Kneel before Lord Buddha and seek enlightenment about uneven floors…and then tell me why.


    • To this day uneven floors remain a Siamese enigma. I just finished having a new kitchen/bathroom/laundry room built for our old house in Lamphun Province. I insisted that all the floors be even. The contractor obeyed, but he thought it was a very strange request, especially for the bathroom.


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