top of page

The Evolution of Bathrooms

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Bathing has been an integral part of life since the beginning of human history. However, over time bathing styles kept changing from bathing in the open to showers. Discoveries reveal that plumbing systems have been around for about 6000 years, and bathrooms can be traced around 3000 years back. For over fifteen centuries now, bathtubs have been an epitome of luxury. But when was the concept of the bathtub first put to use? And how it changed over time. Here we will discuss the evolution of Bathtub Designs.

From Then to Now

It all started with the roman empire, and then went on through the European era, and then took many centuries for America to invent the first bathtub in the late nineteenth century. Given below is a brief history of how bathtubs changed over the course of 1500 years to what we see now.

The Roman Empire- Somewhere around 500 AD, when the Roman Empire was flourishing, it brought a great deal of sanitation and health care. The plumbing and sewage system was developed using lead and bronze pipes. Public baths were common in large cities that looked like the swimming pools of today. The Romans were pretty big on bathing. They had divided their bathing routine into three steps, warm bath, cold bath, and cooling bodies in a large pool. Those of high stature had private baths too, which were not as large as the public ones but were way more luxurious.

Europe and Indoor Plumbing- Along with the end of the Roman empire, plumbing and personal hygiene saw their downfall and thus started the outbreak of bubonic plague, aka Black Death. Since then, intellectuals have started to work on methods to improve sanitation across Europe. And it was Sir John Harrington who invented the first model of the toilet in 1599 and laid the foundations of plumbing in Europe. However, it was not until the early 19th century that bathrooms and clawfoot bathtubs came into existence.

Bathtub in America- In the 1800s, America started using cast iron pipes to uplift the plumbing in America, and it was in 1883 when John Michael Kohler, a resident of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, invented the bathtub. He used a horse trough made out of cast iron and covered it in an enamel finish, and added decorative feet to it. He was an industrialist, and since then, he turned his industries to produce these cast iron bathtubs. Near to world war 2, America started manufacturing bathtubs made of acrylic and fiberglass. These bathtubs were easy to install and use. Today bathtubs are available in free shapes and sizes following the modern and classical designs and have become a household commodity rather than a luxury.

Evolution Summarized

Over the years, bathtubs have changed and brought change to the way people bath. And we can assume that the evolution from public baths and open streams to personal bathtubs confined in a bathroom will continue to something more aesthetic. Let’s see what the future has in store for us and our future generations.

67 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page