Problems with a single bathroom which includes the toilet:
If you have kids, everyone is fighting over a scarce resource in the morning. Showering/shaving/etc all takes time and you're all leaving in a narrow window.
If you don't have kids the people buying the house may, and they will care. It makes selling the house so much harder.
The bathroom _must_ be cleaned to be guest ready, and they get to accidentally snoop through everything. I love my ensuite for this reason. (and if you don't care about it being clean, your partner probably does)
If you have the room, why not have an extra bathroom? So much easier to build in new construction than add later.
When I lived in Australia the toilet was in a separate room, so the 4 bedroom house worked ok with only 2 bathrooms. The toilet wasn't blocked/held hostage by someone taking a shower. (washing your hands on the other hand...) But this also helped sell the place, since with 2 full bathrooms you can have kids/house mates/etc.
My current house has 3 baths with 4 bedrooms. One is in the in-law suite, which I airbnb, so we have 2 on the main floor. It makes 2 baths for 3 bedrooms. This feels like a nice "adult" house. We have a spare rooms for house guests, and they have a full bathroom they can use. This means we can host friends/family for days/weeks and we can be annoyed by their personality, instead of annoyed fighting over a bathroom. ;)
Of all the weird things in the US, a house having "too many" bathrooms really doesn't seem like a problem.
My current house has 3 full bathrooms which is really too many for just my wife and I. But, the extra bathroom has come in handy as we have remodeled over time.
Heck, I shared a house with 8 people in college that only had one bathroom... That was more of a challenge, but it was rare that we were all there at the same time, so it mostly worked.
"I have to pee outside" is going to count as a problem in most people's book.
I am not familiar with what this phrase means nor does a quick Google help. Is it to be read literally - "it got so cold during the winter that ice formed in the bathtub and had to be chipped away before use"? Or is it an idiom for an unspecified location.
My parent's house was old and not heated terribly well - which I didn't notice until I went to university and stayed in a centrally heated halls of residence and returned.
I don't remember it being too bad, probably because only two people in the house had to leave in the mornings, and we left at different times. Also because I didn't know anybody who had more than one bathroom. Our extended neighborhood was all 1940s construction.
"I" is used when it is in subject position. Occasionally, the rule is a little bit obscure ("He does it better than I", where the subject position is implicit ("better than I do it")).
This grammar error is becoming very common even among well-educated writers and speakers, in the US at least. It must be stopped!
I always say "me and my wife", because in the town where I grew up, to say "my wife and I" would be pretentious. But when people say "for my wife and I" it goes through me. It's double reverse grammar pretention.
Edit: Wait, "for my wife and I" was a grammatical error?! The fuck? Fuck the rules! That's a stupid rule.
Thank you for the feedback. Rest assured, I am not a well educated writer, but always trying to improve. This is one I normally catch using the trick to remove the other person and think about what sounds right.
- bathrooms are a scarce resource
- usage is not evenly distributed, greatest usage is 1. in the morning and 2. when you are running late :-)
- queues form at critical moments and hold up the entire pipeline (e.g., getting ready for work, school, etc.)
The best way for you, or your potential buyer to resolve this bottleneck is to have more of the bottle-necked resource.
Going the other way round seems a bit strange, IMHO.
I think a decent rule of thumb is one bathroom per floor, plus one. It really sucks having to wait for a bathroom when you need it, and they take up so little space (especially if it doesn't have a bath/shower) that it makes no sense to skimp. We've used all the bathrooms simultaneously, so it's hard for me to consider having fewer.
I don’t think having multiple “full bathrooms” is so important, but “half bath” ie. a toilet and sink takes up very little space, and it’s the kind of thing that, when you need it, you NEED it. So it’s worth it.
A typical Dutch house has a toilet + sink downstairs for guests or for convenience of the owners. Upstairs there is a bathroom with a toilet, shower, sink and shower for the owners of the home to use.
But when we started building some without bathing accommodations, the customary terminology didn't go away. Everyone already understood that 'going to the bathroom' really meant using the toilet. So, the term 'bathroom' stuck.
Calling the room a toilet just sounds odd to me, because the toilet is in the room, but I understand why it's used like that.
I've also heard "I'm going to use the [toilet] facilities".
What do you call a room with a toilet, sink, and stand-up shower? That's what one of the full bathrooms in my house is.
This tends to be more or less valid for any resource in the house (extra room, closet, etc.). And as it stands bathrooms are on the important side. If you had one bathroom per resident they'd still all be used simply because the people would thoroughly enjoy not having their stuff moved around or bothered by anyone else, or ever risk having to wait for someone to get out first. So you'd just have "assigned" bathrooms.
You could even have an extra one that can come in handy when you are remodeling or simply experiencing technical issues in one of the others.
But as a friend from Canada put it - they had gaps between houses in his country compared to over here, they would build a small housing estate in those gaps.
But then, it's fascinating to compare buildings and code over the years, country by country. Things like legacy infrastructure, climate and history all come into play and darn interesting.
[EDIT ADD] Note was house of 4 (2x adults 2x children] and outside toilet sure does cut out any morning queues - based upon my experience. Though 2 bedroom - was late teens when I left home that I got a room to myself.
You might find out how common from this article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21698533
Were you born in 1800?
Joking aside, what decade was this? And is this common?
I suppose this is all hip now with off-grid living and van dwelling. Back then it was called poverty.
How times have changed - not all for the better.
[edit add] Oh and we had no central heating until my teens, and frozen ice inside the single window pains during winter(double glazing - luxury item then).
As you mention, an en suite master bathroom would be incredibly nice, and if we remodel, it's _the_ #1 non-negotiable item on the list. Private bathroom for us, 'clean'/separate bathroom for guests/visitors.
My sister lived in a 4/1 with an odd feature: a toilet on a wooden pedestal in the (full-size) basement. No wall around it, not even a curtain. Just sitting there in a corner.
As she put it "you only need it every once in awhile, but when you need that second toilet, you're REALLY GLAD you have it!
I don't find the proliferation of bathrooms/toilets in large houses surprising at all. If I lived in a 4000-5000sqft mansion, I might not mind a 2-3 minute walk to get to my bedroom at night, but I sure as hell don't want to have to do so every time I have to use the facilities. It simply makes sense to have a toilet and sink, at least, near the rooms you use regularly.
The "Pittsburgh toilet" is a relatively common basement feature in older homes of steel and coal industry Appalachia. Often there would be a showerhead nearby as well, and the room was intended for the worker to come home through the basement, clean off the day's grime and 'do their business' rather than dirtying the proper upstairs house. The showers are removed pretty easily but the toilets are not.
"Problem" is a bit dramatic, but it is annoying to me when a house I'm looking at has, say, "3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms." Who the heck needs that many bathrooms, and ultimately you're paying for all those toilets, and they're taking up square feet from living areas.
Also, hot take: en suites suck. I don't need to be _that_ close to where I take a crap. Feels like a prison-cell layout.
We always had one bathroom for a family of five (5) growing up and, honestly, there was never an issue with it. Since it was always that way we learned from birth (practically) that you can't hog the bathroom, so everyone learned not to, so nobody ever did. I always toweled off, dressed, and did my hair in my bedroom. There was certainly no reading on the toilet or other activities going on in the bathroom. Plus, it was normal, I can't think of a single person I knew growing up that had multiple bathrooms (grew up poor, everyone lived in older construction, mostly smaller apartments). My dad actually grew up in a family of ten (10) with only 1.5 bathrooms.
Even now friends comment on how little time I spend in the bathroom.
Nowadays I have 1.5 baths, which is usual for this area (old construction). The half bath it totally unnecessary (just myself and my spouse here) but it's sometimes nice not having to go upstairs to pee. And of course the half bath isn't original to the house.
Optimally, I'd say a house should have one toilet on each floor, and at least two toilets and bathrooms.
The main thing for me is that I feel like all the "kids" bedrooms having to share 1 bath is a good thing - learning to share is a valuable thing IMO.
Barring the specifics of rich people's house, you'll generally see this set up in places where the "kid's rooms" are not, in fact, intended for kids. Where I've seen it in urban homes, it was designed so there was definitively a master suite, but then every other bedroom came paired with it's own en-suite. From my understanding talking to builders, it's done this way since a large chunk of owners in that area are young professionals that rely on renting out other rooms in the house (whether to other young professionals or AirBNB-style short term rentals) to afford the home. In college areas, you get similar rational, but because every room tends to be rented out to a student, there's usually not a definite "master suite" and all of them tend to be similarly sized and equipped with amenities.
Satisfies the "kids bathroom" and "sharing" all at once!
The article misses a major point here which explains much (though not all) of the trend: household sizes have decreased dramatically in the last 50 years, and the number of single-person households has increased dramatically. Single-person households can generally be expected to have at least one bathroom per person, and small households will generally have higher ratios than large households.
In 1960 single-person households were about 13% of all households; they have more than doubled, to about 28% in 2019 . In 1960 the average household size was about 3.3; in 2019 it was 2.5 .
It was booming, and it was richer than it ever had been, but it was very poor by today's standards.
GDP per person in 1950 was 27% of the 2019 level.
And since this always has to be pointed out: That is adjusted for inflation.
Relative: 1950s USA was easily the richest country in the world, and in history.
Absolute: In today's world, that affluence is only average for the world. Other countries around there are Brazil, China, and Algeria.
Both those things are true.
There are people in the US today living in abject poverty. Name the cause, fine, but that doesn't make it less true.
The poverty level 70 years ago would have been even more desperate.
I must point out a concern about your out point.
Is this using CPI? PPI? Currency supply? Something else?
Education, housing, and many other expenses have outpaced "inflation" for decades.
These reports provide reliable information about median weekly earnings for full-time workers, are available online going back to 1996, and include more specific data about different age groups. Let's compare the age range of 25-34 in Q1 1996 (non millennials) to the same range in Q4 2019 (millennials) while adjusting for increases in cost of living using CPI-U. Here are the major spending categories assessed in CPI calculations https://www.bls.gov/cpi/questions-and-answers.htm#Question_1...
For ages 25-34:
Q1 1996 weekly earnings: $419
% change in CPI-U over duration: + ~66%
Q1 1996 weekly earnings in Q4 2019 dollars: $695.54
Q4 2019 weekly earnings: $815
% Increase in real weekly earnings: ~17%
At least from that sentence and a cursory glance at categories collected, it doesn’t appear they’re specifically factoring in mortgages / home ownership aside from rents nor medical insurance aside from one-off clinic visits (which, given CPI is a snapshot of purchasing power at a given time and not a measure of lifetime household wealth, why would they?).
I don’t doubt purchasing power has gone up — private car ride hailing, specialty juices and cleanses, avocado toasts, food delivery, organic foods, wellness products, travel, hotels, all the once-expensive things people love to criticize millenials for buying are truly more accessible than ever.
That doesn’t definitely say anything about how much the cost of long-term financial obligations such as education, insurance, and home ownership costs, however.
As for medical costs, it's more complicated but as an overview:
The CE (consumer expenditures survey) tracks consumer out-of-pocket spending on medical care, which is used to weight the medical care indexes. CE defines out-of-pocket medical spending as:
patient payments made directly to retail establishments for medical goods and services;
health insurance premiums paid for by the consumer, including Medicare Part B; and
health insurance premiums deducted from employee paychecks.
But you're right, there are still plenty of problems. Like I said in my original comment, the problems faced by millennial are different than those faced by previous generations. Often these new problems can be considered more stress inducing due to a higher degree of initial commitments required to even enter many new fields (i.e. student debt) and uncertainty about the future. Whether these new problems are worse than the problems which they largely replaced depends on your definition of "worse".
The huffpo anecdata-based story is "just so", but comparing a single quarter, for a single age-group, based on a single metric known to have short comings, and presenting it without context as "the reality", tickles my "just so" meter, from the other side of the spectrum.
If I'm trying to assess if a typical 25-34 year old is better off now than in 1996 why on Earth would I use a measure which only assesses a specific section of the population which constitutes less than 30% of the U.S. population? CPI-U covers about 90%. Barely anyone uses CPI-W.
>Why not C-CPI-U
I would love to. Unfortunately C-CPI-U figures only go back to December 1999, bit of a problem if I'm trying to work from Q1 1996. Also, C-CPI-U tends to be a bit lower than normal CPI-U meaning that 17% increase would actually be slightly larger if assessed with C-CPI-U.
>How many hours/wk are those people working to get that purchasing power?
Since we're using median earnings I'd need median hours worked for the same age range at the same times in history which is not something I could find. That said, weekly hours worked by employed individuals have been decreasing for decades. That trend shows no signs of reversing. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PRS85006023
A lot of the rest of the questions are harder to answer given available data but most are also of pretty questionable usefulness when trying to assess the financial well-being of a "typical" millennial relative to the previous generation. If your question is specifically "Does the typical working millennial have a worse material standard of living than their parents?" the answer is no.
If you want a more complete and accurate answer then use the data from primary sources to figure it out yourself. Every person that data has to be filtered through before it gets to you adds an extra layer of bullshit because when dealing with economic stuff you should assume that everyone has an agenda. That's true for Huffington Post articles and for random internet comments, like this one.
Adjusted for inflation that's about a $35,000 median family income compared to an average of about $55,000 today. Still not great, but other items like homes were cheaper (and smaller), cars, etc. So not quite as bad as the GDP per person, but it does make me think about how that monumental rise of GDP isn't reflected more closely in how much money is being made by the average working person
If I marry you, our family income has doubled, but none of us is any richer.
> If I marry you, our family income has doubled, but none of us is any richer.
I don't disagree with your core point, but I have to nitpick a bit the last part.
Expenses don't grow linearly with the number of people in a family, especially with the number of wage-earning adults. You will be richer in a couple, and I don't only mean emotionally :-) Rent won't double, all sorts of other living expenses can be shared, etc. Disposable income should definitely be higher than for 2 single people.
I feel that a decent chunk of the issues in modern societies is that many people are single for long periods of time. That makes things really hard financially, plus there's less support in case of issues...
I'd also be interested to know the trend in the percentage of floor space given over to bathrooms, which would fuzz both the number of bathrooms and the increased bathroom size. It seems to me like a lot of space wasted, personally, although I admit it does feel nice to walk into a (rare) beautiful full-sized master bathroom.
We live in a 3-bedroom 2.5-bath home and I wouldn't want to give any of the bathrooms up. Not having two full bathrooms would be seriously annoying when either my or my wife's parents are in town, which is about 6 weeks a year, and not having the half bath on the ground floor would be mildly annoying all the time (and slightly more annoying when friends are over).
You'd expect that wealth to show up in new construction more than in retrofitting every existing home, so bathrooms as a lagging indicator makes sense to me.
American dwellings are larger than European Union ones for several reasons:
- Most US homes are new: All over Europe, people live in much older housing and apartment stock. Go back to 1940, and the US only had a 130 million population, which typically lived in large families in shared houses. In 1940, the European population (excluding Russia) was already 420 million. Thus, whereas the US population has more than doubled since then, the European population has only increased some 50 percent. This meant construction of far more dwellings in the US in the large 80 years.
- Eastern Europe: Eastern Europe has been much poorer than the US during the last 80 years with people largely living in apartments.
- Space: The US simply has more space per capita. We are 500 million in the European Union (for a few days more) in an area half the size of the US.
- Sprawl: The great US population expansion coincided with the automobile revolution allowing for people to live in suburbs far from city centers, which in turn allowed for larger houses.
- White flight: Europe never had an exodus from city centers comparable to the US.
- Materials: Europeans live in brick and mortar houses or concrete buildings. American houses are made of wood and are cheaper to construct allowing for larger homes.
Umm, not sure where you got your info but white flight is present in any major Western European city, they just have much better PR about it.
After the 2015 influx of migrants I noticed the segregation even more through some neighborhoods. Once the migrants were settled in one neighborhood, the natives with means quickly moved out to greener pastures making more room for the new guests and the cycle repeated itself.
Whenever I was renting in the expensive districts in Germany I mostly heard German/English spoken on the streets vs. when I was renting in the cheap districts I mostly heard Turkish/Arabic/various Eastern European languages on the streets/shops/doctor's offices and my German friends would ask why I chose to live in a "bad" neighborhood. Answer: because I don't care about the nationality of my neighbors, I live where it suits me the best.
But I get their way of thinking, we are social creatures and we are still driven by tribalism so most people don't want to live/socialize with strangers from vastly different cultures regardless of what lengths someone goes to convince them otherwise. This is universal for humans and not something country specific.
The postwar flight to more distant suburbs was due to WW2 veterans suddenly having way more wealth than they had pre-WW2 (i.e. during the Great Depression) and deciding they wanted an upgrade from living in a cramped, dirty, noisy city, with the meteoric rise of the automobile and marketing campaigns by developers helping out a lot as well. This flight was almost exclusively white, but it wasn't motivated by a desire to get away from black people, andd the only reason black people didn't join them was because of systematic racism gatekeeping them out of the new developments. Restrictive deed covenants imposed by developers, banks refusing to do businesses with people whose addresses are in black communities (most commonly known as redlining), and just plain old institutional poverty kept black people out of something that all Americans wanted to participate in.
Also keep in mind that suburbs weren't nonexistent pre-WW2 either; these old suburbs were transit-oriented and are now referred to as "streetcar suburbs". Pretty much every city in the US has a number of inner suburbs, just outside the central business district, that consist of single-family homes on an oblong grid of streets with alleyways and the occasional arterial (which originally contained a streetcar line) dividing the neighborhood (if anyone reading this has no idea what I'm talking about, let me know and I'll post Google Maps links). What was different about postwar suburbs is that they were much farther away from the city center and were car-centric in their design.
White flight was a later phenomenon that resulted from the civil rights movement dismantling a lot of racist institutions, causing white people to freak out and leave the suburbs they moved to following WW2 for other suburbs. Restrictive deed covenants and redlining were banned, black people finally being able to both move into any neighborhood and access mortgages, so of course they moved out to the suburbs. And then the white people fled. This is why much of the original postwar suburbs are now considered "the ghetto" (for example, Wynnewood was built as Dallas's version of Levittown, the whitest postwar suburb you could imagine, but is now majority black and Hispanic, and the name of the larger part of town it's located in, Oak Cliff, is almost used as a slur by racist white people). Black people moved in, racist white people moved out. Exploitative race-baiting real-estate agents even deliberately encouraged this phenomenon to buy low and sell high, a practice known as "block busting", which is now also banned. The agents would buy up a house in a white neighborhood and both sell it to a black person and send agents provocateur to talk to all the existing residents and stoke fears of black people moving in en masse. They would even hire black people to push baby carriages throughout the neighborhood! And so all the white people would sell their houses and move away ASAP, and because they decided they wanted to get out right now, they sold cheap. And the block busters bought up the houses and turned around and sold them at exorbitant prices to black people wanting to move to the suburbs for the first time. In Chicago, for example, block busting was so widespread that which suburbs were considered "white" and which suburbs were considered "black" would change every few months, as people would play racial musical chairs to a beat set by unethical salesmen.
Interestingly enough, many cities are now at a point where things have settled into a new mix: inner-ring suburbs are often very diverse, while the exurbs are extremely white. As PoC move farther out, white people build entirely new neighborhoods even farther out. My own experience in Dallas is that as the exurbs grow even farther and farther away from the city, more and more neighborhoods in the inner suburbs are becoming Chinatowns and Koreatowns (and as someone who lives in the inner suburbs and has diverse taste in food, I welcome this phenomenon).
Only thing I'd add is "white flight" is still commonly used to describe both periods of large mostly white exoduses, and you'll often see it used in that manner.
Its just a large number of historians think the term is a bad misnomer because of how it implies the movements were directly motivated by racism even in cases like you documented where the causes were much more complicated.
Well, this depends on _where_ the house is built. Building codes vary wildly across the US. You won't find a new house in South Florida built out of wood.
In Texas you will find a lot of new houses with internal wooden frames, but the outside walls are made of solid brick, I think this is called "brick veneer".
Interesting, what do they build them from?
> In Texas you will find a lot of new houses with internal wooden frames, but the outside walls are made of solid brick, I think this is called "brick veneer".
Brick veneer is just a decoration. It’s not structural in any way. There is usually an inch wide gap between the veneer and the actual wall for drying purposes.
Interesting note on the brick veneer. Even if they are not structural I think they are more durable than other types of siding.
As for brick veneer, I dunno really about its durability. It definitely is less susceptible to decay than traditional wood siding, but I don’t think it’s any better than cement fiber cladding, or other modern non-wood materials. Additionally, if anything goes wrong with it, I think it’s much harder to fix it in a seamless way, unlike other most types of siding, where you can just repaint them after repair. I have it on half of my house, and I can’t say I’m a huge fan.
In Europe (at least in the UK) it's common for houses/apartments to be shared by many flatmates regardless of the number of bathrooms. 4 seems to be roughly the upper limit on 1 bathroom. 5 bedroom places almost always have 2. And many houses with only 1 bathroom will have a second small toilet-only room.
Wooden "stick-built" structures are also highly resilient in earthquakes and are, generally speaking, the best and most cost-effective way to build seismically safe buildings in earthquake zones.
I, personally, was always aesthetically offended by "American" 2x4 stick-built construction, as we generally understand it, but it is indeed the case that wooden studs properly sheathed with plywood "shear panels" (and tied to the foundation, etc.) are tremendously strong at a relatively very low cost.
I believe this scales up to at least 4 story mutli-unit structures ...
A steel roof, concrete ("hardi") siding, and "WUI" vents with relatively fine pores, when employed properly, can make the building exterior quite fire resistant, regardless of the flammability of the interior framing.
That being said, I do have steel sprinkler lines running onto the roof ...
The 'wood' used in tall buildings is a heavily processed product that is indeed pretty fire-resistant.
Like a 5-8 storey streetwall of wooden multi-unit homes (whether apartments or stacked townhomes or whatever), dense-enough that it can be serviced with higher-order transit but no so dense that concrete construction is required for the buildings.
Is that so? Europe seems to have slightly more than 10 million square kilometers in area and the US slightly less than that. Europe is certainly more fragmented, but looking at thetruesize.com, one can use a better area preserving map projection and it seems that Europe has more space.
(I still agree with your points in general though.)
I can still remember pointing this out to someone on HN who stated that Europe would fit inside Texas.
This is a minor statement within the article but one which hints at shallow research in some sections. This makes me less confident in the rest of the conclusions.
Bathing was very common and encouraged during the “Dark Ages”. A few articles which do a better job than I can covering the hows and whys:
Relevant quotes are toward the end:
"Well, until the mid-19th century, bathrooms were a rarity. Indeed, for 600 years most people didn't wash, or even get wet, if they could help it.
'Wash your hands often, your feet seldom, and your head never' was a common English proverb. In 1653, John Evelyn, the diarist, noted a tentative decision to wash his hair annually.
Robert Hooke, the scientist, washed his feet often (because he found it soothing), but appears not to have spent much time damp above the ankles. So most people fought dirt and odour by either covering it with cosmetics and perfumes or by just ignoring it.
Where everyone stinks, no one stinks. But, then, in the 18th century, suddenly water became fashionable, though only in a medicinal sense. Spa towns cropped up all over the country, and people started adjusting to the idea that they might now safely get wet from time to time.
Washing for the sake merely of being clean was remarkably slow in coming, however. When John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, coined the phrase 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness' in 1778, he meant clean clothes. With respect to bodily cleanliness, he recommended only 'frequent shaving and foot washing'.
What really got the Victorians to turn to bathing, however, was the realisation that it could be gloriously punishing.
Many diaries record how people had to break the ice in their washbasins in order to ablute in the morning. Rev Francis Kilvert noted with pleasure how jagged ice clung to the side of his bath and pricked his skin as he merrily bathed on Christmas morning in 1870.
Showers, too, offered great scope for punishment, and were often designed to be as powerful as possible. One early type was so ferocious that users had to don protective headgear before stepping in lest they be beaten senseless by their own plumbing.
Increasingly, bathrooms - albeit shared and down the corridor - became standard in hotels, and hoteliers who failed to heed this trend paid a hefty price. Nowhere was that more memorably demonstrated than at the vast Midland Hotel at St Pancras Station in London. Designed by the great George Gilbert Scott, the Midland cost the equivalent of £300 million when it opened in 1873, and was a wonder in almost every way.
Unfortunately, Scott provided just four bathrooms to be shared among 600 bedrooms. Almost from the day of its opening, the hotel was a failure.
In private homes the provision of bathrooms was hit and miss. The rich proved unexpectedly reluctant to bring them into their lives.
' Bathrooms are for servants,' sniffed one English aristocrat. In existing houses, bathrooms usually took the place of a bedroom, but sometimes were jemmied into alcoves or corners. Baths tended to be of exceedingly variable sizes.
A bath at Lanhydrock House in Cornwall was so big that a stepladder was needed to climb into it. Others, with showers built in, looked as if they were designed to wash a horse. Moreover, baths were still extremely expensive. A bath alone could easily cost more than £100 in 1910 - a price well beyond most households.
The British journalist, Katharine Whitehorn, recalled that, as recently as the late 1950s, she and her colleagues on the magazine Woman's Own were not allowed to do features on bathrooms. Why? Because not enough British homes had them - and such articles, it was felt, would only promote envy."
Downside though is I end up spending more time in the bathroom since no one else is waiting to use it and it’s a bit of a quiet space.
And as you say, when we have guests staying we do share and let them have free reign of one bathroom. Makes things much easier to handle. We'd easily sacrifice bedroom space for an en-suite.
Another reason might be the accessibility of traveling. More people are used to staying in a hotel compared to 50 years ago, so when you have a guest you would want to offer them a comparable experience. That includes a private bathroom as you said.
Both of these trends are common to most parts of the developed world, but people in other countries don't have as much space to actually go ahead and build more bathrooms.
Why three toilets:
The "half bathroom" is by the kitchen, living room, ect. It's just a sink and toilet. This is the one that, by courtesy, guests use. Because there's no bath, guests don't see our towels, toothbrushes, and other mess that accumulates. (No toothpaste stuck in the sink!) We also put prettier fixtures in there, because it's the one we go in most often.
Then there's a normal bathroom (toilet, sink, and tub) that the kids and overnight guests can use.
Then we have our master bathroom, attached to the master bedroom, which has a toilet, shower, and two sinks. (Useful when my wife and I brush our teeth at the same time.) The point of keeping it attached to the master bedroom is basically so we don't have to walk around the house in "bedclothes" when we have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Another thing that this article misses: A lot of people like to loose track of time reading on the toilet. There's nothing wrong with that when you have extra toilets in your house.
"If it's urgent, and all the bathrooms are occupied, turn off the wifi"
I’ve heard that might not be so good for hemorrhoids or hernias or whatever else could be caused by excessive strain placed in that region. I kind of want a raised South or East Asian style squatting toilet since I feel like squatting is better for the body.
The first result for 'anal fissure toilet' appears to back this up
>The following are tips for preventing an anal fissure:
>Straining - avoid straining and sitting on the toilet for a long time.
We're probably just city folks who don't know what we're missing, but my wife and I rather like being shoulder-to-shoulder at one sink...
That being said, the "guest room" is really because we're not done having kids.
Eyeballing the "bathrooms" file, the "bedrooms" file, and the "bathrooms by bedrooms" file, it looks to me like most of the growth in bathrooms matches the growth in bedrooms, so maybe the question should be "why do American houses have so many bedrooms?".
One reason number of bathrooms per person may have gone up on average is because people have children later. Over the past 50 years average maternal age at first birth has risen from the low 20s to the high 20s.
So 50 years ago, a young couple would buy a house, and quickly start a family, lowering the bathrooms per person ratio. Now that couple might by a house, sized for the family they plan to start, but not start that family for almost 10 years. So for 10 years they are living with a higher bathroom per person ratio, helping bring up the average.
The only thing that took long to fix, was when it loaded the water slowly. But that only meant longer waiting between flushing; merely an inconvenience.
Cross section : https://www.maven.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/toilets-00.j...
This is because they use a siphon mechanism, which also results in a narrow diameter pipe. Old style ones use an enormous 14L of water per flush and still jam.
Other countries use gravity flush which has lower water usage and less blockages, but forces you to periodically clean the toilet bowl. Personally I would rather clean than plunge.
This article has a rather biased overview:
Personally I find US toilets need to be flushed repeatedly because you don't want to risk a blockage.
These SinkShroom's have greatly improved my life. I put one each in my SO's tub and sink. They catch an impressive amount of hair.
But the best thing about a bidet attachment is one or more toilet users can choose to not use it and it's not any different from a bidet-less toilet. It doesn't get in the way or anything, so it's there if you want it but not any inconvenience if you don't. My husband didn't use ours for the first year we owned it but after he eventually gave it a try he's now a regular user.
Plus it's so ridiculously cheap ($40) that it's worth trying out.
You forget how advanced we've become with disposable toliet paper.
I never really appreciated how advanced we are at plumbing. Perhaps it's a product of having to take water management more seriously.
The acceptable amount of time for a toilet in a 1 bath rental to be useless is zero, at least from the perspective of the tenant. It is true that toilets are pretty reliable, though. I've had one problem with a toilet, but that was somewhat of a freak accident.
I’ve also seen my kids managed to do amazing things to the innards of the flush mechanism- break the chain, tangle the chain, move the plug out of position, and in one notable instance get the toilet to start “auto-flushing." All fairly easy fixes, but you have to be willing to get in the (clean water!) reservoir and jiggle parts around.
Older houses, especially those on septic, have additional issues with the plumbing becoming overloaded (my dad TWICE backed up our entire house by trying to send an half a fridges worth of food down the garbage disposal) but that will often take out multiple bathrooms.
I had one guy who kept putting kitty litter down the toilet, even after I started charging him to get it snaked out.
Another one that I have seen too often is people dumping paint down the drains...
Source: Moved into a house that was once owned by wealthy people. The upstairs toilet was clearly top of the line circa 1940s and is awesome. The downstairs toilet was clearly subject to some serious compromises for packaging reasons and is nothing special.
edit: any explanation for downvotes?
My pre-whole food plant based diet bowel movements would also leave considerable residue, often requiring 4-5 different wads of toilet paper AND 2-3 wet wipes to wipe clear. Now 1-2 wads of toilet paper leave me rarely even needing a wet wipe.
Honestly it's the biggest difference I've noticed since switching to whole food plant based. Frequency of bowel movements and just how easy/clean they are, I used to regularly have to clean part of the toilet bowl where clay-poo would stick and I've not had to do it once since switching my diet. Then mu grocery bill as the bulk of my kcals come from oats/bananas/potatoes now.
Top loaders were popular in the US for a long time, and they generally fill all the way up.
I have a top loader (a Whirlpool from 2011) and it most definitely doesn't fill "all the way up". It uses as little water as a modern front loader and also adjusts the water level based on fill level.
I am afraid that is physically impossible, unless you are washing a single pair of socks.
This also typically allows for a larger drum.
* Top loader - 4.4 cubic feet, IWF 6-1/100
* Front loader - 5.0 cubic feet, IWF 3-1/5
Not knowing what those meant, I looked it up. The "water factor" represents how much water a machine uses, in gallons per cubic foot of capacity. In other words, the front loader uses about half the water that the top loader uses.
As another commenter said, top loaders are different in the EU - in North America, the whole drum is turned on its side and water must fill as far up as the clothes go - there's no tumbling action to shift clothes in and out of the water at the bottom of the sideways drum in a front loader (and a European style top loader)
Now the modern washers don't trust you to make the proper selection, and often don't get your clothes completely wet.
I've never had an issue with modern front loaders not getting my clothes wet. They are much better at spinning them dry at the end, though.
I think the big thing that is different in the current top loaders, vs the old ones, are some don't have an agitator -- instead they use a low profile impeller at the bottom to force water vertically. And the ones with an agitator have the impeller shape at the bottom, so there is still vertical water movement.
The front loaders started to go out of style, partly because people complain about an oder build up in them. Not sure what that is about. And worries about the seal in the door leaking (if the float gets stuck and it puts too much water in it -- my brother has that issue periodically).
I would think that a good top-loader design would be something that has a pump at the bottom (under the basket), and circulates water to the top and sprays it down on the clothes. But I haven't seen any like that though.
Your source does not call this the average, but the upper limit. Washing machines have a range of sizes you can set them at ranging from small to "super-max". Also a range of durations depending on how many cycles and how much washing is needed.
You'd need to relate it to how much laundry gets washed per gallon.
Also, some parts of the US are semi-tropical and even swamp. Not every state is as worried about conserving water.
Or it could be use of liquid detergents, which seem to be more common in the US. My washing machine's manual specifically warns not to use liquid or pod detergents, and they lead to internal buildup.
Washing machines are in a weird place where they are expensive to replace, but parts and labor to fix them when they break is almost, if not more expensive.
As soon as you have >1 persons, you are going to find the bathroom to be a bottleneck at some point.
I don't want to shower and brush my teeth just a meter away from the toilets.
Dual toilets have rescued us twice now from inevitable accidents.
No one wants to hold it while the other person is having a nice relaxing poop.
Toilets are a bit trickier, but if you're spending enough time on the toilet for it to be a bottleneck in your hosuehold, you may want to consider adding more fibre to your diet.
Need in the sense that, it improves the quality of life, and it's a worthy expense.
Additionally in the very large houses the bed/bath ration doesn't capture the setting of the bathrooms. There is a house not to far from me that has a connected indoor pool and that has 3 bathrooms for changing/shower.
These aren't small houses.
I have a very wealthy relative who lives in the USA, and I visited when my younger brother was just 6 years old. It took him several complete tries of running round the house to count all the bathrooms (and not lose count).
There was one per bedroom, then one on the ground floor, one by the garage and one which was easy to get to from the beach.
The neighbour's house's guest room's bathroom was also the general bathroom; it had two doors with appropriate locks. This seemed like an efficient design.