The Bathroom Fittings Chart, otherwise known as the Barometer of public opinion, depicts a long-term trend of public acceptance and usage of specific fixture/ item. The chart displays the number of times the word bathroom fixtures occurs in printed sources over the last 500 years. Its application is based upon analysing how frequently the phrase urn bathroom fixtures appears in electronicised printed sources from the year 1500 to the present day. The chart was created by Sir Richard Sweeting, DPhil (arts) in correspondence with Sir Philip Sidney, then editor-in-chief of The Times.
Sir Richard Sweeting correctly pointed out that public acceptance of “bathroom fittings” had fallen over the centuries, owing largely to the decline in hygiene. Public lavatories were regarded as unclean places where disease could spread rapidly. The Domesday Laws of 13th Century required all dwellings and public baths to be surrounded by an outer wall or curtain, to act as an example. This has had the effect of making modern bathrooms look much cleaner, smaller and more hygienic than those of the past.
Historically, bathroom fittings were fitted to the ground level to allow easy access for members of the community who were disabled or unable to climb upstairs. In those days basin taps could be installed within the outer wall of the lavatory to save space for others. Today, most taps are located within the inner circle of the room to allow easy access for the disabled. Bathroom fittings such as sink taps are often incorporated within the outer wall of the lavatory, or within the wall of adjoining bathrooms. In some instances, such as with low flow shower heads, basin taps are positioned within the shower cubicle within the lavatory.
Bathroom fixtures and fittings have evolved over the centuries to become much more complex. Some of these changes have been driven by necessity. Such examples are the requirement to accommodate bigger and more frequent loads. At one time a small wash basin, such as the ‘hams’ could be accommodated within a corner or behind a sink. Over the last century the range of bathroom accessories and fixtures has increased dramatically, providing an excellent choice of styles, materials and finishes.
An important role in bathroom fitting is the toilet roll holder. In the earlier days of single-piece toilet roll holders, which often came with a handle, two or three rollers would hang below the rim of the toilet bowl. These accessories would often have no decoration and were made from a dull whitish colour to reduce eye irritation when they were in use. However, modern toilet roll holders can be highly decorative and will often incorporate an option to add a seat.
One of the major improvements in recent years is the introduction of tile floor grates, giving a clean, modern look to bathrooms. Bathroom floor tiles are available in a wide range of colours and styles. Bathroom tiles are also very durable and do not easily chip or become damaged. If you are planning a redesign, you should consider the addition of a modern bathroom fitting. Some very good suppliers of bathroom fittings are: Bestar, intimates, Sherborne, Wedgewood, Claddagh, Kingsley-Bate and Jones.