Bathroom

A bathroom is a toilet.

History

Although, it was not with hygiene in mind, the first records for the use of baths date back as far as 3000 B.C. At this time water had a strong religious value, being seen as a purifying element for both body and soul, and so it was not uncommon for people to be required to cleanse themselves before entering a sacred area. Baths are recorded as part of a village or town life throughout this period, with a split between steam baths in Europe and America and cold baths in Asia. Communal baths were erected in a distinctly separate area to the living quarters of the village, with a view to preventing evil spirits from entering the domestic quarters of a commune.

According to Teresi et al. (2002):[1]

The third millennium B.C. was the “Age of Cleanliness.” Toilets and sewers were invented in several parts of the world, and archaeology in India from 1944 to 1948, wrote, “The high quality of the sanitary arrangements could well be envied in many parts of the world today.”

Nearly all of the hundreds of houses excavated had their own bathing rooms. Generally located on the ground floor, the bath was made of brick, sometimes with a surrounding curb to sit on. The water drained away through a hole in the floor, down chutes or pottery pipes in the walls, into the municipal drainage system. Even the fastidious Egyptians rarely had special bathrooms.

Not all ancient baths were in the style of the large pools that often come to mind when one imagines the Latinized as balneum, a “balneary”).

The Roman attitudes towards bathing are well documented; they built large purpose-built thermal baths, marking not only an important social development, but also providing a public source of relaxation and rejuvenation. Here was a place where people could meet to discuss the matters of the day and enjoy entertainment. During this period there was a distinction between private and public baths, with many wealthy families having their own thermal baths in their houses. Despite this they still made use of the public baths, showing the value that they had as a public institution. The strength of the Roman Empire was telling in this respect; imports from throughout the world allowed the Roman citizens to enjoy mirrors.

Although some sources suggest that bathing declined following the collapse of the Roman Empire, this is not completely accurate. It was actually the Renaissance that bathing declined; water was feared as a carrier of disease, and thus sweat baths and heavy perfumes were preferred.

In fact throughout the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the use of public baths declined gradually in the west, and private spaces were favoured, thus laying the foundations for the bathroom, as it was to become, in the 20th century. However in spas) still exists; the latter being very popular.

Variations

Powder Room

A Powder room also called “1/2 bath” or “guest bath” usually refers to a room with a toilet and a sink and commonly used by guests[where?].

Shower room

A shower room or shower-room is a room that contains a bathtub. In the United States, this would be called a 3/4 bathroom.

Ensuite

An ensuite bathroom or ensuite shower room (also en suite, ensuite and other variations) is a bathroom or shower room attached to and only accessible from a bedroom.

Family bathroom

A family bathroom, in British estate agent terminology, is a full bathroom in a house.

Jack and Jill bathroom

A Jack and Jill bathroom is a bathroom with two doors, accessible from two bedrooms.

Wet Room

A Wet Room is a waterproof room usually equipped with a shower. It is designed to eliminate moisture damage that is caused to a home and is also compatible with the heating systems beneath the floor.

Regional differences

Australia and New Zealand

In toilet’ next door (a very small room with only a toilet and perhaps a tiny hand washbasin).

 Terminology in the United States

In the United States, bathrooms are generally categorized as master bathroom, containing a shower and a tub that is adjoining to a master bedroom, a “full bathroom” (or “full bath”), containing four plumbing fixtures: bathtub, shower, toilet, and sink; “half (1/2) bath” (or “powder room”) containing just a toilet and sink; and “3/4 bath” containing toilet, sink, and shower, although the terms vary from market to market. In some U.S. markets, a toilet, sink, and shower are considered a “full bath”. This lack of a single, universal definition commonly results in discrepancies between advertised and actual number of baths in real estate listings. An additional complication is that there are currently two ways of notating the number of bathrooms in a dwelling. One method is to count a half bathroom as “.5″ and then add this to the number of full bathrooms (e.g., “2.5” baths would mean 2 full baths and 1 half bath). The other, newer method is to put the number of full bathrooms to the left side of the decimal point and to put the number of half bathrooms to the right of the decimal point (e.g., “2.1” would mean 2 full baths and 1 half bath; “3.2” would mean 3 full baths and 2 half baths).

Design considerations

The design of a bathroom must account for the use of both hot and cold water, in significant quantities, for cleaning carpets may be used on the floor to make the room more comfortable. Alternatively, the floor may be heated, possibly by strategically placing heater conduits close to the surface.

Electrical appliances, such as lights, United Kingdom, only special sockets suitable for electric shavers are permitted in bathrooms, and are labelled as such. UK Building Regulations also define what type of electrical light fittings (i.e. how water-/splash-proof) may be installed in the areas (zones) around and above baths, sinks and showers.

Bathroom lighting should be uniform, bright and must minimize glare. For all the activities like shaving, showering, grooming etc. one must ensure equitable lighting across the entire bathroom space. The mirror area should definitely have at least two sources of light at least 1 feet apart to eliminate any shadows on the face. Skin tones and hair color are highlighted with a tinge of yellow light.[2]

References

  1. ^ Teresi et al. 2002
  2. ^ “Lighting research center – Bathroom lighting”. Article from lighting research center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY 12180 USA). Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/lightHealth/AARP/designers/lightingRooms/bathroom.asp.
  • Dirk Hebel & Jörg Stollmann (eds.) (2005) Bathroom Unplugged: Architecture and Intimacy (German/English dual language edition) Bad ohne Zimmer: Architektur und Intimität – Birkhäuser, Basel ISBN 3-7643-7232-X
  • Teresi, Dick; et al. (2002). Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science–from the Babylonians to the Maya. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 351–352. ISBN 0-684-83718-8.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Bathroom, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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