Drying clothes that have been washed, either in the bathroom or elsewhere, must sometimes take place in the bathroom. Several patents pull out washing line devices are available and can be incorporated neatly over the bath if thought is taken over the fixing arrangements. As far as drying the body is concerned, the old-fashioned chromium plated heated towel rail takes a lot of beating as a way of keeping bath mat and towels dry and warm. Drying washing might entail the fitting of a drying machine near the bathroom suite, either a spin dryer or a tumble dryer (see Laundries).
These machines, do, however, produce a lot of vapour and condensation, and mechanical ventilation should be considered, and may well prove essential. Many machines now have a special venting kit available as an accessory, which can be led through an open window or a special hole in an outside wall.
The choice of floor finishes suitable for bathroom use is extensive; carpets are a possible option. Alternatives to carpet include linoleum, in either sheet or tile form; vinyl sheet or tiles; glazed or unglazed clay tiles; and cork, which may be in sheets, tiles or especially vinyl coated.
lf fitted carpeting is rejected, the most attractive finish in many ways is natural cork, which not only provides a warm- coloured floor but is also warm to the touch. Traditional linoleum is also quite warm to the feet, as it is made from cork; some more modern materials such as vinyl or vinyl asbestos in sheet or tile form tend to feel rather colder. A wide variety of attractive mosaic and ceramic tile designs are available in different sizes, shapes and patterns. Ceramic tiles have a quality that is lacking in other bathroom flooring materials and in warm climates, they come into their own. In this country, however, their attractive appearance is offset by their coldness and in any case, they need to be laid on a strong, stable floor.
They are excellent though where an under-floor heating system is installed. Prices vary enormously, but most bathroom floors are not very large so that a difference of, say, £22 per square metre between cheap tiles and expensive ones will only add about £20 to the bill in material costs. Bearing in mind the amount of use the bathroom floor gets, this can usually be found by economising on some of the fittings. It is generally accepted that cutting costs on Hoor finishes is a false economy.