The Irish – of which ancestry I can claim – are and always were good for a good-naturedly cutting remark. One of the prime exponents of this was playwright George Bernard Shaw, who once said that the United States and Great Britain were two countries separated by a common language. Like the best witticisms, it contains a grain of truth, with the differentiation between certain things in English and American English the source of some contention.
One of the main ones that my editors used to wince at was the American habit of ordering coffee. While English speakers would say ‘Can I have…?’ American speakers’ diction rendered it ‘Can I get…?’ Only severe pedants (guilty) would take much umbrage with this.
Another thing that tends to differ I became aware of since working in the bathroom market. We would go to the bathroom to bathe or shower, while we’d go to the toilet to, well, you know. Americans call it the ‘bathroom’ whatever, and wouldn’t be caught dead using an antique phrase such as ‘loo’, which is almost Dickensian to them.
Either way, it’s called a bathroom for a reason, as the main item in there will be more likely be your bath. Personally – and I don’t think I’m in a minority here – I prefer showers, and it is almost unthinkable now to fit a modern bathroom suite with both of these utilities, budget and space permitting, of course.
Below then I thought I’d walk through some of the salient points regarding the central units of your bathroom suite: your bath and your shower.
This is the main debate dragged in when people have to decide between a bath or a shower. Now, let’s be frank, both definitely have their plus points. A thermostatic shower is the ultimate in convenience. The best example I can give to illustrate this is the morning routine. Mine is planned with a rigour that would put the military to shame, with every second accounted for so I can have longer in bed. A shower is there, ready and waiting – it really wouldn’t do for me to stand over a bath, urgently tapping my watch, waiting for a bath to fill!
That said, a bath is the ultimate in unwinding relaxation isn’t it? From purely subjective experience, women particularly seem to love the after-work soak, and my girlfriend is often seen plodding off up the stairs with a glass of wine to a bathroom which, so stuffed with candles, looks from through the transom as if a bonfire is raging inside.
Styles & Utility
Whether your bathroom is set up to evoke classic lines or modern minimalism, there is a huge range of baths and showers out there – trust me, you’ll have never spent so long looking at shower heads!
With regards to baths, it’s fairly evident that – styles apart – the functionality aspect is pretty straightforward. What I mean is, it either will or won’t hold water! Style is important of course, with freestanding taps and teamed with a smooth bath great for contemporary bathing, while roll top units are perfect for the vintage essence.
Showers come in thermostatic and standard modes, the former offering much more functionality due to the fact it maintains your temperature for you. Yep, with a thermostatic valve you do away with the endless, frustrating dance of balancing the taps up to get a stream that would freeze your hair or lava your legs!
For the sake of brevity, this has to be curtailed here. But do take the time to research the materials, functionality and installation of any bath or shower – remember, prior planning prevents poor performance!