Comfortable, Private, Luxurious, Refreshing. However your bathroom makes you feel, what we associate with this room has dramatically altered over the years with development of design, society and engineering. From a steady hot water supply to the design aspect of bathroom, people didn’t always have many of the wonderful features we have in our bathroom today. It took centuries for our culture to get all the wonderful aspects into one room.
Where did it all Begin?
In the beginning, bathrooms were invented without the major factor of hygiene, with the first records of the use of baths dating back to 3000 B.C. They weren’t for relaxing and soaking in a bubble bath, but were for more of a religious reason and was a purification of the mind and soul.
It wasn’t unusual for people to wash before entering any sacred area, with communal baths being built to prevent any evil spirits or sins. These baths were never in the home, or in fact anywhere near; but in a separate part of the village or town.
The first recorded personal bathtub records back to 1700 B.C from Crete, and interestingly, the similarities are uncanny to the baths of today.
Many resources suggest that bathing declined after the collapse of the Roman Empire, when in fact this age saw the invention and development of soap; proving that baths were still avidly in use. However, after the renaissance, bathing did decline, as societies feared that lathering in water was a disease carrier. Instead people had sweat baths and used heavy perfumes.
From this, in the 14th Century, Edward installed the first bathroom in the Palace of Westminster, while other people made do with large wooden bowls in their homes, where they would bathe.
16th Century Onwards
Through the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, the use of public bath houses declined and became almost obsolete. This was because in 1546 King Henry VII shut down public bathhouses, blaming the sickness and the plague on them. The plague hit England 7 times in 200 years and had an enormous impact on bathing, hygiene and general cleanliness.
During the 18th Century, bathing was still not the daily norm, but as London progressed, the wealthy could then pay for taps and running water to be installed in their homes. This was the great breakthrough of more private bathing in the home. Many of the things we do in our bathrooms today were originally done in the bedroom, with basins holding water a stand in a designated area of the bedroom.
As time progressed, the house became more and more organised around how useful a room was, therefore the bathroom became one of the most important rooms. Especially with concerns of hygiene. Meanwhile, mass showers were still supplied in areas for the poor. With development of science and discovery of germs and disease, this changed the way people thought about cleanliness, and taking a soak in the bath with soap was thought as a health positive.
From the Industrial Revolution, came a mechanical aspect to a bathroom. Hot water was produced for the home and the introduction of gas water heaters helped the ease of personal bathing. As more homes were gifted with the miracle of plumbing, they became easily available, and even the middle class began to experience bathing. Lower class, at this point were still living in less luxury, and still sharing public toilets and bathtubs.
By the end of this century, the room was more than simple functionality. Trends of wooden elements and tiled patterns were introduced, and was now an elegant room that could be used by all members of the family. From 1900 and into 1920’s, working class houses began to have bathrooms built, even though still seen as a luxury and still into the 1960’s some still did not have a bathroom.
The Modern Bathroom
Today, we have combined all the progressions of previous elements into the epitome of style and functionality. The bathroom is a hub of relaxation, with us no longer bathing just for hygiene, but because a bubble bath can cure a multitude of worries and stresses. We have created a space for ourselves to unwind and feel ultimate comfort. With even more technological and engineering progression, we are at a point where we can have underfloor heating, televisions and other digital aspects in our bathrooms.
The bathroom of today can be whatever you desire. With a range of styles, interior design and contemporary fashions, you can create the ultimate space for yourself.
Here at Rockform, we understand how important your bathroom is; from the style to the functionality. We have a range of bathroom tiles, and bath basins and tubs tailored to your preference. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team on 01995 643455, and we will be happy to answer any questions or queries.