Good plumbing: Only the best bathroom fixtures now tolerated
It is demanded by up-to-date house builders
W W Sykes discusses some interesting phases of modern plumbing progress
There is no part of a building which makes more for the health and comfort of the occupants than the plumbing. The bathtub was once a luxury; now it is a necessity.
Poor plumbing may be a constant annoyance and menace, and in this year of 1902, there is no excuse for its going into a house. One need only look into the showrooms of a good plumber to see that the modern plumbing ideas are practical, cleanly, sanitary and artistic; one need only to consult the building regulations or the specifications drawn by any good architect to find that unsanitary plumbing is positively inexcusable these days.
These things are becoming so well-understood that good plumbing is the rule nowadays, and only gross negligence in the choice of a plumber will make possible unsatisfactory results.
Bathroom fixtures of the Edwardian era
Speaking of some of the conditions of the plumbing business at the present time, W W Sykes said:
“There has been a remarkable evolution in plumbing matters in recent years, and it may be said to be still going on. It is not so long ago that open plumbing was a novelty. Now no one thinks of boxing away fixtures and pipes where they are hidden from view.
“The tendency is towards simplicity in construction. This tendency has been greatly hastened by the introduction of solid porcelain and enameled iron fixtures which are now superseding marble in many buildings. The enameled iron has the advantage of being lighter than marble and without joints, more cleanly or more easily kept clean and absolutely impervious.
“But the greatest advance in the manufacture of fixtures has been in the solid porcelain baths and lavatories. Almost any kind of a basin or bath can be found of this make. Lavatories are made small enough for a corner in an office, and elaborate enough for the finest bathroom. Baths are made plain and elaborate, but all for utility and sanitation.
“Plenty of luxurious attachments can be added to suit the finest taste. The porcelain lavatories are really the proper thing for a house and bathroom — no attached basin, no joints, no basin to be broken — and easily cleansed.
Porcelain, marble and enamel top materials for bathroom fixtures
“The enameled goods, as well as the porcelain and marble fittings, are made in more artistic designs every year, and we find that people want to make their bathrooms and all plumbing accessories just as attractive as possible. They demand the best and we are satisfied with only first-class goods and superior workmanship.
“To bathe in a tub is not in the last analysis the best bath. Such great improvements have been reached in shower baths that today a first class bathroom is not complete without an overhead shower either in conjunction with the tub or in a separate watertight compartment. The variety is large. Needle, spray and rain baths are mostly used. The rain or spray baths are easily put in over an ordinary bath. The rain bath is a splendid arrangement for any who cannot endure strong spray, and are arranged so that the head may be left dry if desired.
“Water closets [toilets] without tanks, or with low down tanks placed just back of the seat, are fast replacing the prevailing closet with the tank on the wall with connecting pipes. All the improvements generally tend toward better service from the different fixtures, simplicity in construction and more self-cleaning. This with greater convenience for the users and added luxury without additional expense recommend them to all.
“As far as the present year is concerned, we, like everybody else, have a greatly increased trade in view. The amount of building in Minneapolis will be larger than ever before. This is especially true of residences. Outside of the city, there will be an immense amount of building, including many public buildings, which will be plumbed in the most modern way. It will be a busy season all through.”