Today’s modern bathrooms are a vast change from those of times gone by.
For instance, in the good old days, Grandma and Grandad were lucky to even have an external toilet out in their yard and a tin bath hung up in the scullery, to be brought out only on special occasions or once a week, usually of a Friday evening.
Things did eventually get better though. Bathrooms and toilets slowly made their way indoors and have now become a permanent fixture of many houses even though they were still serviced by bulky and unsightly lead and cast iron pipe-work.
It wasn’t till the 60’s and early 70’s that the ‘modern’ bathroom started making inroads, with the birth of the en-suite bathroom complete with plastic (acrylic) bath, streamlined copper tubing and close-coupled toilet cisterns. Those were also the days we all went multi-coloured. Hell, at one point during this history, the ubiquitous avocado coloured suite was to be found in over 50% of the houses of all the land. Even Willaston Hall, as featured in an earlier post had one.
These days, things are finally looking up. The coloured suite has given way to plain whites with an emphasis more on styling. The smaller of Britain’s bathrooms are now usually converted into shower rooms. And the rapid changes in showering technology, has essentially killed the need for a bath in many modern homes. This has also given birth to what we now call the wet room…
Many homes are opting in on the biggest three changes of the decade. These are; Wet rooms (a walk in shower area with no tray), Natural stone surfaces where once there was tile, and Funky fixtures and fittings throughout. This now means that the modern day product installer has to sufficiently know his way around and work within all of these mediums.
This bathroom / wet room for example, was installed in Milnrow, Lancashire. It has all of the modern day’s requirements all wrapped up in one, with travertine (stone) wall and floor tiling, minimalist fittings, fancy taps and radiator, cabinets, granite cills and worktops, and check out this next photo for something extra special…
Check out that panel on the ceiling over the bath. If you look hard enough, you might make out the 1000 fibre-optic light strands, that all flash on and off intermittently in a totally random order. Imagine settling down under that for an hour after a long and stressful day. It’s just like relaxing under the stars.
Or, you could go for this metallised slate look. Again with the fancy taps and radiator (yes, that stainless steel square thing over the head of the bath is a radiator). This was another wet room I did at a farmhouse in Bacup. The toilet alone cost nearly £2,500.
Like the modern toilets in Japan, the seat lid lifts when it sees you coming, the seat itself is heated, it has hot water flushes along with a bidet facility, and it also has a drier unit, doing away with the need for toilet paper. To flush it, you simply walk away from it.
Of course, no wet room is complete without its shower area and here you can see how the tiled floor drains the surface water away. But this room has even more to offer, a lot more. Wait till you see the sink. It’s a glass bowl on a granite surface supported by high gloss white cupboards. Take a look and see…
Yes, believe it or not, that red thing is the sink and tap. Don’t worry if you can’t quite make them out as this next photo set of another wet room I did in Chester (yes I got around a bit) has a close-up of the same type of sink. And believe it or not, the most integral part of this next room was the 2.1m by 2.4m by 15mm solid glass shower screen.
Apologies for the focus, but hey I’m a handyman not a photographer. But at least now you can see that sink in action. The lever at the top of the smaller disc is the on/off/temperature thingy. In layman’s terms, the tap or faucet.
Once again we have all the staples going on in this bathroom, the granite worktops, solid stone tiling etc, but then we have the shower area…
If only it were just that little bit bigger, we could have had ourselves a car wash. But what about the rest of the fixtures and fittings? What other surprises could this room have to offer us?
Well apart from the two sinks (pretty much a standard these days), toilet with concealed cistern, cabinetry and granite, this bathroom also gives us a taste of home cinema too, with its specially developed wet room television set recessed into the wall. Admittedly, being a bloke, I would have preferred to have the loo facing the screen, but the customer wanted to watch it from within the shower. And with bathrooms like these, it is obvious to see, that the customer is usually king.
This next one from the heart of Cheshire shows just how overboard you can go, should you so desire…
Imagine having that to look at while you’re in the bath. It’s all solid stone, marble in fact and as the next photo displays, even the bath has its own stone surround too. I have to add that the darker squares were later fitted with self de-misting, bronzed, bevelled-edged mirrors too. All the fittings in this room are also solid gold plated; the taps, the radiators and even the shower fittings and screen. Oh and there’s even a bidet too. Enjoy….
Naturally, some of these bathrooms carry lots of extremes. This last one, for example, came in at a cool £90,000 nearly ten years ago. But I suppose that’s what it costs these folks to be original. That statue above alone, would have probably cost the same as a bathroom that our everyday Joe would consider installing.
And this is why I love my job. It’s my little corner of the world where I get to play with the rich and famous elite.