As plumbers in Melbourne, we know that most people cherish their bathroom in a way that’s different to the other rooms in a home. The modern bathroom is a brilliant addition to any home and can be configured to radiate waves of luxury and comfort – but this wasn’t always the case. Join our plumbing experts as we go back in time and take a look at the history of the bathroom and how we got to the modern iteration today.


Early Public bathhouses

From as early as the ancient Greeks to as late as the 1970s – public bathhouses were popular and, in most cases, the only way people were able to wash. In the days of ancient Greece, bathing was a ritual with cold water being used first and then hot water (ancient Romans supposedly did this the other way around) – with various oils being applied to the skin to finish off. These were communal spots that were often placed near gymnasiums and areas where games and exercise were conducted.

Around the 7th century – the Ottoman Empire adopted its own type of bathhouse which is known as a hammam. Hammam’s concentrated on delivering relaxation through steam, massages and skin exfoliation as well as hot and cold-water baths. It was also a place where significant life events were celebrated. Other cultures also developed their own bathhouses – each with their own rituals and beliefs driving them (Russian banya, Japanese onsen, Korean jimjilbang etc.).


The Victorian Era

In an unhygienic turn of events, bathing was not a very widespread custom during the Victorian era as people would generally only wash the parts of their bodies that were exposed such as their face, arms and hands. Of course, for the wealthy at the time, decorative basins were used and generally placed in one’s bedroom.

By the 19th century, the rich would make use of elaborate and grandiose bathrooms even if they didn’t have running water. House servants would fill the baths up using ornate jugs. For the less wealthy – bathhouses made a return with sex segregation as well as areas for people to wash their clothing. This incarnation provided a lot more and is an early adaptation of what the bathhouses in the 1900s were like.


20th century

Public bathhouses were still prominently used up until the late 1900s but by the mid-1900s bathrooms started to become a common occurrence in homes and even a large part of the marketing associated with selling the homes. Toilets were often separate structures on the outside of a house in the past but slowly began to be integrated into a home’s bathroom and shaped what we know today as the modern bathroom – bath, shower and toilet all in one.

By the 1980s, bathrooms were starting to become more luxurious (for those who could afford it) – think of the bathroom in the movie Scarface where there’s carpet surrounding the large in-ground bath. Pastel colours that were popular in the ‘60s made a comeback with hues like peach and teal.


21st century – the modern bathroom

Over the next couple of decades, more vanity mirrors and cabinets were brought into the mix – giving people room for storage. Ensuites became very popular with more and more people wanting a bathroom connected to their bedroom for convenience. Luscious and ornate hotel bathrooms also have a lot to answer for in terms of inspiration for modern bathrooms.

Putting greenery in your bathroom to improve the atmosphere and mood is an increasingly popular practice as well as having large open bathrooms with plenty of space. With explorative architecture coming into the mix over the last few years we’ve also seen a lot of alternatively styled bathrooms – a lot of black marble and black PVC coated hardware.

The other latest innovation for bathrooms is the introduction of smart appliances like toilet seats with heating capabilities – amongst other luxurious features. Aesthetically pleasing light fixtures is another hot item that our Melbourne plumbers have seen in many modern bathrooms and is a feature that can really improve the room’s dynamic.


Are you looking for plumbers in Melbourne?

Bathrooms have come a long way and we’re glad that the modern bathroom is an oasis where we’re able to express ourselves and feel comfortable. If you’re looking to renovate or build a new bathroom in Melbourne, then you’re going to want the help of experienced plumbers – and that’s where JPG Plumbing step in. We’re capable of delivering premium plumbing services all over Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs.

If you’d like to know more about what our plumbers in Melbourne can offer you – then please fill out the contact form on our website or call 0400 978 442.