Saturday, November 29, 2008

Open bath? Yes or no.



Our upstairs bathroom is supertiny and my better half thinks we should try this arrangement... kind of open. I worry everything will always be wet and I will spend my life attacking the walls/sink/toilet with a squeege just to dry the damn place off.

What is this arrangement called, anyway? Is there some interior designer term for it? And what does everything think of it? Sound off, if you would please.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that it would be always wet. I've stayed in hotels in Europe with this arrangement and always find it annoying.

mortimersmom said...

I would look into a half-wall in glass, or putting a circular rod around the shower head, with a curtain that you would fold to one side when not in use. The floow would still get wet, but in both cases you would limit how much water escapes the shower area.

David said...

I've always heard it referred to as a wet room, no idea if that's correct or not.

I like it from a purely visual standpoint. Functionally I think I'd end up tracking water all over every morning as I'm back and forth.

On a tour of a renovated loft here in town a couple years ago the master bath was a modification of this. Two side-by-side shower heads were on the wall opposite a long trough sink with side-by-side wall-mount faucets. The floor drain was evenly between the shower heads, but closer to the shower than the sink, draining water away from the sink area. To further keep things dry, a ceiling-mount shower curtain exactly like those curtains in hospital rooms pulled around to enclose the shower area. I liked it a lot.

K.Line said...

My neighbour has one and she calls it a Greek bathroom. She really likes it. Me, not so much. It creeps me out a bit. For what it's worth, I have the smallest bathroom ever (recently and painfully renovated) and we went with a frameless glass shower and it makes the room so much larger-seeming. And it's dry! Pics are on my blog...

lucitebox said...

These suggestions of the half-wall and rod and curtain makes sense. I think you'd absolutely want something to frame the shower area.

I have a friend who has this type of open bathroom. This guy had nothing in the room to separate the shower. Shower, toilet, sink in one space--ICK!

I lived in his house for two months and I never felt like I had a chance to get ready in the bathroom. It's too much like a locker room. I was always annoyed because I got cold after the shower. Sure, I dried off, but everything around me was still wet. I couldn't go in there if I needed to use the bathroom until I squeegeed or dried it out. (Um...can't wear shoes in there until it's totally wet or you've dirtied the tile.)

This constantly wet issue didn't seem to have much to do with the draining system, but rather, that the water pressure was amazingly good. The room was very small so water landed on everything in there. To this guy's credit, it was beautifully designed with a stainless sink and toilet which is very cool if you have a minimalist prison chic sensibility.

Maya said...

I like the idea, because it's simplistic and much cheaper than anything that requires a bathtub. Most people's baths in China are open in this way, it's standard. You have flip flops that are worn only in the bathroom to deal with the problem of tracking water outside.
Strangely, in my grandparents' homes, surfaces did dry just fine, although I can't imagine how they did so easily when their bathrooms didn't have windows or very good ventilation sysems. It's prob better to have this arrangement when your bathroom has a window to let the humidity escape and fresh air circulate every so ofen, so you don't end up with mold/mildew problems. I can appreciate the idea of a circular shower curtain to contain splashes of water.

cybill said...

These only work if you get the 'fall' in the floor right and the drain in exactly the right spot. If you go for this option choose your tiler carefully and pay them anything they want! Oh and use mega non-slip tiles too.

Bev said...

I vote no, only because I think it would be cold taking a shower with all that open-ness. Plus, that whole issue of the floor always being wet.

Anonymous said...

like the first poster, I used one in Europe, and it really sucks. everything is always wet, and every inch of the floor is slippery. by using a frameless glass surround or even just a panel and a slight setp up to contain the water in the shower pan, you can keep an open look without the mess.

Stephanie said...

Looks really fun, but it is probably one of those designs that is better in theory than in reality. You'll just end up with water everywhere :(

Alternatively, you could have the shower surrounded by clear glass with a little step surrounding it, and nix that water issue.

ArchitectDesign said...

these are called 'wet rooms' - david was correct. I don't advise this either - i think they only work in europe, japan, and trailer parks (and it's never by choice but by neccesity). try the same room with a single frameless sheet of glass alongside the showerhead to keep the spray from reaching the entire room. It will leave the open spaciousness without enclosing anything visually.

Anonymous said...

God no. Save yourself from the problems that this arrangement creates. Things would never be dry and it works in Europe because they take half-assed showers. Think about it, their showers are worthless and consist of a lot of well-aimed shower head action that helps cut down on splash. That, and the crappy water pressure.

Kathryn said...

I lived in a house in India for 6 months with one of these. I hated it. Everything was always damp and if you went in with shoes on dirty marks would be left everywhere. If you don't wear shoes you're stepping on icky shower water residue when you go to the toilet. You don't want to be messing around with indoor flip flops especially for your bathroom. Its annoying having a wet floor when you go back in to wash your teeth or do your make-up.

Perfectly Disgraceful said...

Like others, the constantly wet floors in European bathrooms drove me berserk. I'd want to run into the bathroom for one last thing before we left the hotel room and I track dirty wet footprints everywhere. Yuck.

soodie :: said...

Initially I thought great idea when I stayed at a hotel in Italy that had one. But once you soap up long hair -- suds everywhere. On the walls, on the sink, all over the toilet. Then, as another reader commented, little trail of wet footprints all over the room.

Anonymous said...

It's too...boundary-less.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least these posts solve this issue for me.

Anonymous said...

This would annoy me to no end. I would imagine that everything would be wet and I would constantly feel like I'm still in the shower. When would you be able to enjoy that huge, comfy towel ritual that comes after a shower? I would prefer warmth, dry floors/walls and separation of space. Plus, these days glass showers are hardly noticable when they are done well (and are floor to celing)

Jules said...

I'm going to be practical and say no. Although it's timeless in certain parts of the world, in the US I think it would come off as trendy.

And, not to be superficial, but don't you have curly hair? I know for me, someone with wavy/frizzy/not curly enough to be beautiful but still requires frizz-ease hair, I can't straighten or style my hair in a room with the slightest bit of humidity.

Anonymous said...

Don't do it.

Decorno said...

Jules - yes(ish). It's bad curl that I fight. I won't use this upstairs bathroom to get ready. But point well taken. It just sounds like a wet, humid mess this whole arrangement.

Allison said...

UGHHH don't do it! I lived in a place for 6 months that had an arrangement like this and it was horrible. The worst part, however, was that I had to take my toilet paper out of the bathroom when i showered- seriously. Everything gets wet! I would even have to leave my towel outside the door and grab it when I was done. Good thing I lived alone!

J. Lange said...

I lived in a dorm like that was like this (it had been a hospital at one point, haha) and we called it a sholiet. It's super easy to keep clean and I loved it. Of course, I had a single, so I didn't have to deal with a roommate.

alis said...

Oh God, I hate this arrangement so much. Especially using the toilet after someone has showered is such a pain. Do you really want to wash the whole room with yourself?

ps: We had a neighbour with this arrangement and she said she sat on the toilet while she showered and claimed it was very comfortable. I still think it's gross.

Auntydeco said...

Have done it and it's great. The trick is to install heated flooring first. Leave it on all the time and your floor will be dry within 20 minutes. Absolutely anything is better than a glass shower screen.

hello gorgeous said...

I just saw a house that had a bathroom like this for its handicapped occupant. So...

I think my high school had one, too, with multiple shower heads.

hallie said...

I love this idea but I have to say I've been in one of these and it is always wet. Soggy toilet paper was just one of the perks.
On the other hand I can see this working if you incorporate tons of built ins.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this is called "locker room" or maybe "decontamination room". Hmm. How slippery would that floor be?

wren said...

don't do it! the tp would be wet... and the towels and the garbage... and your make up brushed would fall and be wet. It would just generally suck. the, all in one bathroom, is only marketable in nyc when it is hard to afford a "real" bathroom.

pve design said...

Can't decide if it is "spa" like, "locker" gym like or "prison-cell" like.
I would so be cleaning all that tile.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much THE bathroom design for all of Asia. My whole family hates it. My parents recently bought a new flat in India. Everyone else is right. Everything gets wet. And not to be graphic, but if your husband, or a guest, or whoever, goes in to, you know, use the toilet right after you've showered, the toilet seat will be wet. It gets gross. And the person who talked about shoe prints and wet feet was dead on. I would at the very least put a curtain around the showering area. My parents took 2 different strategies for the 2 bathrroms in their flat. For one bathroom, they just put a rubber "lip" on the floor and hung a curtain. FYI - shower curtains are not common in India. Lip keeps water from being all over the bathrooom floor. Curtain keeps shower from everything else. In the more spacious bathroom, they elevated the toilet and sink about 2 in above the shower floor, along with hanging a shower curtain. Shower water stays in shower and goes down shower drain. Again, curtain keeps rest of bathroom dry.

Trust me, NOTHING is worse than a wet toilet. No matter how clean you know it is, it feels gross.

Anonymous said...

one word:
resale

Iheartfashion said...

I don't know what it's called, but that's what I always end up with in European apartments. It does get messy.

Anonymous said...

I had this as my bath in Italy, I liked it.

One you keep your paper necessities out of the room - and it's great for shaving your legs. :)

Here in the states–I think you would have a less expensive option to install a good venting system that also has a heating element.

You also need to remember all the different types of toilets where these wet rooms exist, they can be much worse.

The ones I have seen/used the sink is never in this room, but always outside in the sleeping area or what room is closest.

I think it's a matter of space, as for cleaning, my European friends - always "squeegee" their floors and find mops distasteful for keeping germs anyway.