A bathroom is one of the most essential areas of a home. This is where we make ourselves clean by washing, scrubbing, shampooing and relieving ourselves. Basically, most of us cannot even imagine getting ourselves hygienic without a modern bathroom.
Some bathrooms have also been modified in order to become places to relax and rewind as well. However, this modern convenience also has a long and rich history behind it. If you’d like to know more about how we got here concerning that important room in our house, read on to find out some of the more interesting facts of the bathroom till date!
Ancient Societies and Public Bathing
During ancient times, the in-home bathroom was practically non-existent. Instead, people bathed away from home by going to the public baths. There, they shared the same space with complete strangers in order to bathe and get themselves clean.
In many societies and cultures, bathing had certain religious or political connotations. This was also the place where people used to discuss important topics, with some conversations leading to major decisions. To the ancient Romans, bathing was a ritual, an opportunity to socialize and to hobnob with the elite, in addition to washing their bodies.
If a place was known for having particularly ‘healthy’ waters, perhaps due to some beneficial mineral in the natural resources, the baths would become tourist havens. People would come from all over the country or even the world in order to soak in the local baths and try to cure their illnesses in this fashion.
Technology, the Bathroom, and a Green Approach
The plain, white bathtub that most of us are familiar with has undergone several variations, colors, and designs. These range from a walk-in bathtub to a standing shower. Technology has also enabled the manufacturer of bathrooms to offer a wide variety of materials like fiberglass and acrylic, which are definitely more cost-effective to produce than ceramic. They’re also more durable, which is necessary in a room which is used several times a day by the whole family.
However, one thing that has remained in this high-tech day and age is the concept of conservation. As concerns about water wastage and global warming grow, a lot of people are going back to the natural ways of bathing in order to save on resources. Some people even take advantage of natural light and natural water heating in their bathrooms, just like the Romans did. Others might choose to skip a long soak in the tub or even a shower in favor of using a bucket for the sake of conserving water.
The Bathrooms of Today
The bathrooms of today are bigger and have more high-tech features. They also come in a range of different styles, ranging from the old, rustic or grand bathrooms (think of bathtubs with clawed feet, antique details, copper tubs) to the sleek and ultra-modern bathrooms. The latter feature high-tech installations like steam-free mirrors, television, large shower heads with programmable temperatures, and infinity bathtubs with Jacuzzis.
Invention of the Flush Toilet
The flush toilet was invented in 1596, and is certainly an invention we’re all grateful for! Flushing toilets weren’t an Industrial Revolution invention as many may think. It was actually first introduced during the Elizabethan era. The poet Sir John Harrington, who was also Queen Elizabeth I’s godson, was the inventor of the world’s first flushing toilet.
A Toilet in the Home
Before 1850, it wasn’t considered proper to even think about having a flush toilet in the home. Bathrooms themselves were considered dirty places where one only goes to relieve themselves. There were chamber pots kept under the beds for nighttime emergencies, but the outhouse was the main area where one went during the day.
Before, the word “toilet” was used as a euphemism for rooms where people defecated and urinated. Eventually, that meaning of the word “toilet” was changed to denote a plumbing fixture. This meaning has remained the same up until now.
Water-Bourne Toilets in India
India is known for many things, both positive and negative. While the plumbing systems in most of that country might need a lot of improvement, you may be surprised to know that way back in 2500 BC, India had water borne toilets in each house. These were connected to drains covered with clay bricks. There might be some similar structures now, but the art of these toilets seems to have died out for the most part.
Roman Baths in Different Places
The ruins of the ancient Roman baths are found in many parts of Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. You can also see an ancient Roman bath in Algeria, which is a hotspot for tourists.
A “hammam” is also called a “Turkish bath,” which is a variation of the Roman bath. This can be most accurately describes as resembling a steam bath or sauna. You can view ancient hammam today as well, with one famous location being in Granada, Spain.
Even in wealthy countries, rural areas are still often equipped with latrines or outhouses. You can even find something like a pit latrine in Herøy, Norway.
At the end of the day, what a person needs is just to relieve themselves and clean up a bit. This is why those who can’t afford it have to make do with the bare necessities. As there are homeless and poor people in every corner of the globe, you’ll also find all kinds of toilets even in the most developed countries.
Bathroom Fixtures, Decor, and Comfort
The Romans were among the first ones to develop drainage and sanitation, but their idea of luxury was obviously different from the luxury we have in modern bathrooms. Now, we have multiple shower heads with programmable temperatures, spa jets, and walk-in bathrooms. As a result, the marble baths and gold or silver fixtures of the Romans might be impressive, but we probably won’t find them too convenient.
Cast-iron bathtubs began to be sold during the 1880s. These are durable and usually coated with enamel or porcelain. This coating enhances the look of the bathtub and also prevents it from rusting in the damp and humid atmosphere of most bathrooms.
If you want a sturdy bathtub that can last for years and even decades, you can never go wrong with a cast-iron bathtub. They can be installed at an alcove or stand freely in the middle of the bathroom.
In the 1930s to the 80s, toilets begin to appear with different types of seats and different shapes. Companies saw the market for different sizes of toilets, as some people have small bathrooms, large bodies, or children to think about when purchasing a toilet. With this demand, it was only a matter of time before some business-minded folks started making toilets to meets everyone’s needs.
There are also several shapes of toilets now, which one might prefer for aesthetic or practical purposes. For instance, someone might like a square-shaped toilet instead of a rounded or oval one. There are even some customized toilets with patterned ceramic, which can lift up the look of the whole room.
The 20th century also saw the introduction of the bidet, which is a sink specifically designed for cleaning the anus or genitalia after defecation or urination. The bidet shower is another option which serves the same purpose. This is a hand-held nozzle sprayer, usually attached near the toilet.
A modern bathroom isn’t just about the toilet, sink, and other main features. Your bathroom experience can be turned around by the accessories you get for it. Your choices here could set the tone for the whole room. Choose wisely, as you want to have a relaxing and convenient time in this room as well as impress any visitors. The Kes 4-Piece Bathroom Accessory Set is a brushed chrome option that will modernize any bathroom. Check it out here:
The bathroom has definitely changed throughout history in terms of technology as well as our wants and needs. However, the basics of comfort, style, conservation, and cleanliness have remained the same. It’s these basic things that people are looking for when they’re in need of a bathroom, so some aspects have to remain more or less stable throughout the ages.