Bathroom Basics

Bathroom Basics

A typical bathroom (sometimes called a shower room, washroom, bathroom or lavatory) is the place where many people go for personal hygiene functions. This may include use of the bathroom, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, take a bath or just take a shower. Sometimes the room may also have a sink, often described as a “wash sink”, bath tub or vanity unit, hair basin or “shower basin” (at least in parts of the US), a toilet and/or separate lavatory. The room can also have a door to allow access to the rest of the house.

The word “bather” comes from the word bathers, used in Roman times to refer to citizens who used public baths. The first public bath known to the Roman people was probably one in the Colosseum at Trajan’s Palace. These earliest public baths often had a separate bathtub, much like our own bathroom, with running water. Roman baths often had separate doors, called an “armoire,” to allow access to the showers, and often had a bench in the center of the bathtub for the use of both bathers and toilet-users. A well-appointed Roman bathroom often had a bench over a window so that one could view the sights beyond the bathing area.

In the Renaissance period, a typical Renaissance bathroom had a separate faucet for the washing machine and a separate basin for the toilet. These faucets were designed so that water could be turned on either by hand or by an attached lever, called a faucet. The toiletry sink was a small easy to clean basin on a countertop, sometimes called a “pew.” The vanity contained the typical amenities of a modern toilet – a bowl for washing hair, a seat, a towel, etc. And, in the vanity, was the sink itself, typically supported by two pedestals or walls of solid block and glass.

Aeenth-century bathrooms, commonly referred to as “baths,” often had a single basin and single lavatory with a urinal. The lavatory was almost always located by the door and had a bench within it. Some early bathrooms even had a fireplace attached to the roof of the restroom.

Another type of early bathroom was the “dry room,” which was a separate area just for bathing. It was separated from the rest of the house by a door leading into it, or by a small wall surrounding the bathing area. A “warm room” was another type of early bathroom that was heated; it had a separate room for soaking and a separate room for drying. Steam baths became very popular in the Victorian era, and these featured a tub or shower, with jets of hot water. The average age for someone undergoing a steam bath to lose weight was 48.

One fixture that has remained almost unchanged throughout the ages is the vanity – which is, after all, just a hole for your face to stand in and a toilet for your waste. Today, however, there are several options for bathroom vanities. Some features open shelves where a toothbrush can be kept, an essential item in a bathroom. Other vanities have a built-in bookcase on the side. The choice is yours.