Watch 500 Years of Bathroom Styles in 2 Minutes

published May 6, 2021
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It’s easy to assume that the concept of a bathroom, with soothing warm showers and flushing toilets, is old. But the current configuration of this necessary room is more recent than you might think.

UK bathroom supply store QS Supplies has released a 90-second video that shows how bathrooms have evolved over 500 years. The principles of why loos exist — such as having a place to bathe and relieve yourself — are the same, but with changes in technology and lifestyles, the bathrooms of then and now are different. 

For instance, in 1520, bath tubs were made of wood and situated beside a fireplace for warmth. The toilet, then called a garderobe or a pottie, was placed above a chute that dumped the waste out onto the street. Watch out below!

In 1620, public baths became less popular due to fears of catching diseases, that’s why more families installed private bathrooms with chamber pots for toilets.

A hundred years later, toilets had evolved. Marie Antoinette, for example, used a commode, a box with a seat and a lid covering the chamber pot. Also notice from the clip how bathrooms had become more ornate than their predecessors.

In the 19th century, the invention of the first flush toilet started a sanitation revolution, laying down the foundations for the bathrooms we know them today. Other technologies — such as gas water heaters, lightbulbs, and plain old electricity — also changed the way people design and use the loo.

These days, it doesn’t take decades or centuries to change the look of a bathroom; new and old trends cycle seemingly every year. It’s also so comforting to know that human innovation has allowed us to have hot showers, flush toilets, and proper sanitation systems.