Why jazz up the bathroom?
Good daylight and air flow, skid-free flooring, ease of maintenance, and proper lighting in a bathroom can be achieved without spending much money.
If we count the number of pages with advertisements in any design journal today, which product range hogs the limelight? For those who have not counted such pages, here is the answer – it is possibly for the products needed in bathrooms, toilets, and wash rooms.
We are discussing something private and personal — the bathrooms.
It feels strange to discuss it in a public forum, but the new trend of spending or to say it more bluntly, wasting resources on the bathroom and toilet has assumed such proportions that it needs to be relooked at.
There are many projects where cost-effective and ecologically sensitive ideas have saved money and resources, only to be drained out through luxurious bathrooms.
The manufacturers and the market together have created such a glorious image for the bathroom, which is also a room of course, that most of us are caught in this trap of spending on it without realising the implications.
Once there was a time when the costliest western commode, also called as the water closet, could be bought at Rs. 5,000, but today we can easily shell out more than Rs. 50,000 for it. Water taps could be bought at Rs. 10,000, glazed tiles for wall dado can be picked up at Rs. 500 per sq. ft and this list can go on.
The tragedy is that most of these high-end products costing 10 times more than the low price range items are really not 10 times more superior or more comfortable or more durable.
If so, how did this trend of resource consumption evolve? Why do people proudly say that the bathroom is their space and would spare anything to get it their way? How did the habit of conspicuous consumption move from a publicly visible part of the house to a privately usable area?
The answers could lie in some sociological analysis, but from the construction industry perspective, part answer lies in consumerism and affordability.
It is believed that a fancy idea sells faster than a common sense one, thanks to the glorified image of the former.
The idea of luxury in bathroom can be achieved without taxing nature — by creating space and letting nature in. While the up- market fixtures may help in certain quality issues, the primary criteria of a bathroom lies in hygiene. To that end, good daylight and frequent air flow to ensure quick drying of the space are necessary.
While the market is selling costlier ideas to impact the looks of an attached toilet, let us realise that the experience of a toilet does not depend only on fixtures and tiles. Skid-free flooring, ease of maintenance, proper lighting even at night and all such issues are imminent for a comfortable bathroom.
Most of these can be achieved without much money and materials.