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Chacham's Journal: The bathtub 20

Journal by Chacham

The bathtub, what a wonderful place. Soaking in a nice hot tub with boiling hot water and bubbles is something I like to do. It's one of life's simple pleasures.

However, the tub brings up many questions:

  • Why are tubs so small?
  • Why isn't there a decent bath pillow?
  • Why isn't there a decent way to control water flow?
  • Why are there holes on the thingy which controls the drain?
  • Which is more comfortable in submergence, head, torso, or legs?
  • What is the easiest way to read there?
  • What is the easiest way to write down thoughts?

Why are tubs so small?

How many people actually fit into those things? Most tubs I've seen are to short, too narrow. and too shallow.

Definitely too short. The average tub seems to be less than five feet long. I believe that is smaller then the average person. Complete submergence is comfortable, so why can't I do it?

Narrowness isn't a major problem, but it could be more comfortable if I had wiggling room.

Too shallow. Not for everyone. But, for those times when our stomachs are a bit too big, the height of the average tub is too small.

Why isn't there a decent bath pillow?

Pillows are there to comfort the head which won't fit in the tub, and to help support the head when the person wants to do something which requires sitting, such as reading.

I have gone through many bath pillows. First they stop sticking to the tub itself and just slide all over the place. Instead of supporting my head, they cover it and just get in the way. They work at first but then die. Why is this such a problem? And why isn't there a better pillow?

They get holes. They just do. Eventually, you start hearing the seeping of air from the pillow. It takes a minute to realize what it is, even though it happens often enough. Is there a reason these things aren't durable?

Finally, they get dirty. The cloth ones look icky after a while. Makes me wonder, since the tub is filled with soap and water.

Why isn't there a decent way to control water flow?

When taking a shower, the faucet and the knobs are at the same end. That's good. However, when taking a bath, the head is at the other end of the tub. This makes it difficult to control the water flow without good control of your feet. And then turning off the water with your feet leaves it on slightly enough to let the drops drive you crazy. Why aren't there knobs at the other end?

Why are there holes on the thingy which controls the drain?

Sinks have a hole besides the drain. Ostensibly, it is to let off excess water before it overflows. The hole is usually large enough to accomidate a good flow, and there is little reason to let the sink go higher than the hole which is near the top, so I think that is a good thing.

However, in the tub, the hole is not good enough. Unless the tub is filling drop by drop, the holes will do nothing about overflow. Further, the holes are so low (closer to the middle of the tub), that it is annoying. I always plug up the holes with tissues (and change them when they get dirty). What exactly is the reason for those holes, and is there an easier way to plug them up?

Which is more comfortable in submergence, head, torso, or legs?

I find that submergence of the torso is the most comfortable. Second, is the head. I like to submerge my feet, but there just isn't enough room when when my head is submerged. So, I end up submerging my torso and legs when I read, and then my torso and head near the end.

What do other people do?

What is the easiest way to read there?

I have a towel nearby to dry my hands as they get wet. It basically does the job. However, it isn't perfect, and the steam seems to saturate the pages.

My hands get tired from holding the book up. I'd like a good way to raise the book without having to use my hands.

Also, my glasses steam up after a bit. I don't know if that is avoidable.

What is the easiest way to write down thoughts?

I find myself with time to think in the tub. Writing is nearly impossible due to my position. So I figured that I'd use a keyboard. I tried a membrane keyboard, but it isn't hard, so the keys are not all flat. That meass all keys are not accesible all the time. Also, the keys sometimes need a good push to register. That inhibits quick typing. A regular keyboard requires a platform to raise it above water, but I haven't found a good platform, or a good way to keep it so it is still easy to type from my position.

Any thoughts?

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The bathtub

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  • Indeed, I find most run-of-the-mill tubs to be entirely too short. I look forward to the day I own my own home, either one that comes with a full-sized luxurious setup, or at least with room for "home improvements".

    Actually, what I'd really like is this one Japanese design I heard about from a friend: Designed specifically for soaking and relaxing at the end of the day. Sitting up as if in a chair, with water almost up to the neck. The tub itself is heated. And there's a cover that fits over the top to keep the heat and water in while you read your book/newspaper and sip your drink of choice.
  • * Why are tubs so small?
    * Why isn't there a decent bath pillow?
    * Why isn't there a decent way to control water flow?
    * Why are there holes on the thingy which controls the drain?
    * Which is more comfortable in submergence, head, torso, or legs?
    * What is the easiest way to read there?
    * What is the easiest way to write down thoughts?


    I don't take baths, but my wife is an afficianado.

    Tubs are way too small. 6'1", 350 lbs doesn't fit in a standard tub. Somehow, it's a lot easier to fit in the tub with company, but that fits in with 'where there's a will, there's a way'. My parents remodelled their bathroom several years ago. While the tub is only about a foot longer than standard, the real benefit is that it's about a foot deeper than standard. I'm honestly amazed that the support walls are strong enough when that thing is filled with water. There's no chance in hell it will fit in a normal bathroom slot. The bathroom is roughly the size of my 'master' bedroom.

    Wife had a bath pillow she liked. It's dead. She tries to force it to soldier on:) It gets dirty because, unless you shower before your bath, you are putting your filthy body in that clean soapy water.

    Don't have drain holes on the tub. I don't think. I'll have to check. Or not.

    I have to submerge my legs. Nothing else goes under.

    Read? Write? Not for me.

    BTW, in the background, I'm listening to Eddie Murphey's Delirious. Specifically, the scene where he says "and then the big brown shark came".
    • Somehow, it's a lot easier to fit in the tub with company, but that fits in with 'where there's a will, there's a way'.

      Ain't that the truth!

      BTW, in the background, I'm listening to Eddie Murphey's Delirious. Specifically, the scene where he says "and then the big brown shark came".

      LOL. Wayyyyy too much information, gm. :)
  • We are in the process of designing our next house. The land is purchased, but my bride and I have a long way to go before we engage a builder. One thing is settled, however. She will have a claw-foot soaking tub. A good old fashion tub is hard to find - the whirlpool things are everywhere, but that is one thing that just does not need a 'gadget'. Most are just too noisy, if not uncomfortable...
  • This is quite an interesting topic and I never would have thought about something like this in such a detailed philisophical sense.

    I'm 5' 8" and 155, I can't even get completely submerged, knees bend up and get cold from the air. Why do they keep designing them like this then?
  • They come in a variety of colors, prices... and shapes.

    How about Oval [arpbathtubs.com], Premier [premierbathrooms.co.uk], Fancy [neomediam.fr] or other...

    Or perhaps what you really want is a jacuzzi, and use it as bathtub ?

  • My wife and I aren't giants. I'm 5'6", she's 5'1"
    of average build.

    When we were dating in college I lived in an off-campus university owned apartment (can you say T1 access? Really, my ONLY reason for moving in!) which had a shower/tub combo. Great!

    However the tub was sooooooooo small, that my wife(then-girlfriend) gave up- she couldn't FIT in the tub!

    In the next house we will have the whirlpool fancy schmancy tub.
  • ...one of the major things that sold me on the place was the big claw-footed bathtub in the bathroom. There is no shower, but I am putting that in hopefully some evening this week (a stainless steel bars dealy that goes above the tub). I luckily, fit in my tub just fine and don't have to worry about any of these other things I am hearing about.

    Douglas Adams wrote a piece on a little palm computer with a thumb keyboard in the bathtub once... it's recorded in _The_Salmon_of_Doubt_. Usually though, I am not interested in that... I just like to sit and read.
    • You sound like my wife. When moving into our (now current) apartment, we had a choice between the 'nicer' one, and the 'more efficient' one. There was a significant price difference but not a significant size difference... We're saving for a house, so I was stubborn at going the price efficient apartment.

      When touring the nicer one, my wife, unfortunately, saw the master bathroom. Complete with a soaking tub (hot tub sized, without any jets). That was it. We got the nicer apartment, and she has a soak about once every other day on average...
  • Why are tubs so small?

    Because our society is more about the shower, than the bath. Just another example of how screwed up we are. Baths rock!

    Why isn't there a decent bath pillow?

    This one [comforthouse.com] is pretty good. Please watch out for the scary, joker look-a-like woman.

    Why isn't there a decent way to control water flow?

    You need to install a "waterfall" type like in this tub [worldhomecenter.com].

    Why are there holes on the thingy which controls the drain?

    Hmmm, don't know. Always wondered myself.

    Which is more comfortable in submergence, head, torso, or legs?

    Torso and legs.

    What is the easiest way to read there?
    What is the easiest way to write down thoughts?

    You need one of the cool trays that sits across the tub.
    • >Why isn't there a decent bath pillow?

      This one [comforthouse.com] is pretty good.


      You have that one? I didn't see a good picture of it. Though, if you'll attest to it, I'll go snatch one right now.

      Please watch out for the scary, joker look-a-like woman.

      :-)

      You need one of the cool trays that sits across the tub.

      They have ones where there is an incline? I thought they were all flat. But where do you get these from. Hmm. I ought to search for it.

      • I do not have one of the pillows, but thought that it looked really comfy.

        They have ones where there is an incline? I thought they were all flat. But where do you get these from. Hmm. I ought to search for it.
        Bathtub caddy [comforthouse.com] is pretty cool.
        • Bathtub caddy [comforthouse.com] is pretty cool.

          Yes, it is. But at fifty dollars, it's also pretty expensive.
  • [k12.il.us]
    This is NOT a 'traditional' japanese tub, but more their version of a western style tub -- and pretty common. Note the controls are to the side so you can put your head above the drain. Here's a bigger pic [att.ne.jp] of a similar one.

    The more traditional looks something like this [matsuronet.ne.jp], but I can't find many good pictures. This example is set deeper than the floor, but they might instead be floor-level and require a step or two to enter. They've got less length, but are deep. You'd sit in them instead of laying down. I've seen some built with submerged seats/shelves. This assumes you have a huge budget to pay for costs & shipping and the ability to redesign your living space.

    I believe modern tubs are small and crappy because of water conservation efforts. All the old tubs I see are MUCH bigger than modern ones. I especially like the old claw-foot tubs. The aren't good at distributing weight across the floor, but they are often very deep, wide, and at least as long as average.
  • oh this could be a LONG Rant...
    Personally I am not very tall.. 5'10" on a tall day =), but I have yet to see a tub that I could fit into comfortably...well I saw one once in a $1,000,000 home in England...but it was a custom job built for 4 =)...more like a wading pool for kids!

    Anyway...I've decided that when I build/buy my first home, that I will remodel the bathrooms entirely to provide a cozy tub large enough for 2 and deep enough to submerse in...I wanna SOAK...then if I want to do other things while in the tub...read/mud/play games/etc...I can have a custom drop-down adjustable platform to rest things upon...

    --Huck
  • I agree there are some problems with tubs. Especially with older homes like our's is.. The size isn't too bad, but the problem is our tub is OLD and the the spigot has issues. #1- it seems to leave a little rust behind here and there, and #2- it is IN THE TUB (about 8-10" from the bottom of the tub). I don't know why they put it there, but you could actually send tub water into fresh water with the way our tub is. However, that isn't going to be an issue since our drain doesn't have a plug (hence, we can't really take a bath). Since my wife and I are both shower people, that isn't a big deal but still.. With our kid on the way, I'm sure it will eventually want to take a bath so we'll probably have to replace it.
  • I currently have a "large" bathtub which is deeper than a normal bathtub, but only about 6" longer. *grr*

    Sometimes, you just have to take a bath; it's quite relaxing. Sometimes we can fit two into the tub, but it's not easily accomplished (goes with the will-way argument) and we're usually sitting almost straight up. Fun for those pointless discussions every now and again, but not for every day washing.

    Like the rest in this thread, plans for a house later include a large bathtub and a LARGE shower. We currently have one of those 9-foot-square jobbies that seems almost an afterthought, and it's not enough for 2-- I always end up knocking the shower door open with my elbow while shampooing my hair (and trying not to stab my otherperson in the head with my other elbow).

  • I symphatize entirely. as far as plugging holes, I use a ball of putty of the sort that's sold for attaching things to walls. I suppose Play-Doh might also work.

    Only one addition to the list: having a roommate who gets impatient when you're luxuriating in the water...

    • I use a ball of putty of the sort that's sold for attaching things to walls. I suppose Play-Doh might also work.

      Kewl idea! Thanx!

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