Over the years bathrooms have changed dramatically. These days we take plumbing, toilet paper, and running water for granted, but for past generations, their bathrooms weren’t quite as sophisticated.

While we are grateful to be living in an age where hygiene is a priority, some of the older designs are unique and fascinating to look at. In the following article we explore bathrooms through the years, from Medieval times…to now:

Medieval Bathrooms

In medieval times people used chamber pots. A chamber pot was a type of bucket that was used to collect toilet waste and emptied over a balcony for disposal.

For castles that were surrounded by moats, the only place for this waste to go was in the water around the perimeter of the structure. There was no toilet paper and leaves were used instead. For wealthy folks, sheep’s wool was a luxury alternative that not many people could afford.


chamber pot toilet

Example of a chamber pot toilet. Image credit: www.pinterest.com

Often people would bathe together, but washing was not done daily as it is now, and handwashing was rare. Men had the first opportunity to use the bath water, with the youngest female washing last.

Urine had a number of uses, as it was believed to be an efficient laundry stain remover and antiseptic.

The First Flushing Toilets

During the 16th century, the first flushing toilets were invented in Europe by Sir John Harrington. However, they didn’t become mainstream until hundreds of years later. Elizabeth I was his godmother and when she saw the water closet in action she had to have one for herself.

The bowl was waterproof due to resin, pitch, and wax and the cistern was located above.

Bathrooms in the 1900s

Before the 1900s most people didn’t have a dedicated bathroom, but instead had toiletry items such as a chamber pot in a bedroom commode. As our ancestors become more conscious of germs in the new century, the once a week shared baths were becoming a thing of the past.

New home builds started to feature an indoor bathroom and outhouse.

Bathrooms in the 1900s

Image credit: www.pinterest.com

By the 1950s the demand for plumbing had increased by 350%, and older homes were renovated to take advantage of this new feature.

Bathrooms with Personality

In the 1970s everything was bold and bright, and this didn’t stop with fashion. Home interiors saw the full force of retro culture and bathrooms became artwork.

Instead of the crisp whites and neutrals we see today, it wasn’t uncommon to spot a bright yellow sink, fluffy toilet seat cover, or red floor tiles.

Bathrooms with Personality

Image Credit: www.pinterest.com

Bathrooms Today

Fortunately, bathrooms today are equipped with plumbing, running water, and modern features. If you are stuck with an older, unattractive design, a bathroom renovation from WA Assett could completely transform the space.

Neutral tones are timeless and elegant, making them a popular request.

Bathrooms Today

Image Credit: www.waassett.com.au

Toilets may have once been a pot in the corner of a room, and baths a communal area but times have changed. Spacious, private, and water friendly bathrooms are now a must have in both new homes and renovations.

After writing this article, we will never take running water and toilet paper for granted again!