The past one hundred years have seen a remarkable revolution in bathing and bathrooms. A century ago, the once-weekly familial bath, taken in a tub laboriously filled by hand in front of the living-room fire, was gradually being superseded for the lucky few by the first Victorian and Edwardian bathrooms, complete with vast baths and substantial plumbing.
As technology improved and demand increased, so bathroom cabinets began to be mass-produced on a scale more suitable for the average-sized home. Today, thanks to sophisticated modern plumbing and design, most of us can enjoy a piping-hot bath simply at the turn of the tap, at any time of day or night. These advances in design and technology mean that the modern bathroom is a much more flexible and personal room than ever before. At its most minimal, it can occupy remarkably little space, carved, for example, out of an existing bedroom or a redundant attic. At the opposite extreme, it can be one of the most luxurious rooms in the house, wholly dedicated to the comfort and wellbeing of the user.
While single-room apartments require ingenuity to incorporate even the basic minimum of fittings, most houses today offer the option of one bathroom and an extra toilet and many have the extra space for an en-suite bathroom, a separate shower room or a downstairs cloakroom. Whether installing a brand-new bathroom or revamping an old one, initial planning is of vital importance. There has been a huge expansion in the range and variety of bathroom cabinets available, all designed with maximum hygiene, comfort, practicality and convenience in mind.
No longer is the bathroom seen as the poor relation in terms of design, and manufacturers are vying with one another to produce the most elegant, as well as the most comfortable and economical, bathroom suites on the market. For the purchaser, this excess of choice can be more than a little confusing and it is essential to know exactly what sort of fittings you require and whether they will be suitable for the intended location. Taking time to plan ahead, armed with a tape measure and graph paper, can help to translate ideas into reality and to ensure that you really do end up with your perfect bathroom.