We have named the essentials for use in a bathroom. But there are other features that add much to its convenience and attractiveness. Some of these need not be purchased at once; in fact, it is better here, as elsewhere in the house, to let many things wait upon a demonstration of their need.
A bathroom without plenty of hot water accessible is not, as we have previously hinted, likely to become a popular resort. When the wash boiler and the tea kettle have to be heated on the range and brought up in a precarious progress that threatens a scalding for fingers, feet, and floors, to even hint the possibility of the entire household's insisting upon a daily hot bath suggests lunacy. But if the hot-water tank is dependent upon the furnace or other house-heating arrangement, summer is likely to find it out of commission, with the chief element of a good bath obtainable only with much ado. Then some special means of heating water is required.
There are many devices, most of them using gas, and disposed to be cantankerous late at night when all but the would-be bather have retired. The gas heaters are placed either in connection with the water tank in kitchen or basement, or above the tub, the water running in coils over the heater. These arrangements are speedy and comparatively economical. They are slightly dangerous, however; not that they are likely to explode, but from the fact that the gas, particularly if of a poor quality - which is usually the case - rapidly vitiates the air of the room, and may cause fainting or even suffocation. If the apparatus is properly adjusted, and one makes sure of the ventilation, heating the water and admitting fresh air before entering the tub, no distress need be anticipated. There are also gasolene and kerosene heaters, and an electric coil placed in the water is the safest and cleanest but not the quickest or cheapest scheme of all. Its cost is from $5 to $20.
None of these heating attachments is sure to prove fully satisfactory, but any one of them is likely to add a great deal to the serviceableness of the bathroom. To many wholesome people one ideal of living is to be able to take a dip whenever one wants it, not merely when one can get it.
A seat of wood, in natural finish or white enamel, is a handy appurtenance to the tub. It will cost us 50 or 75 cents at a department store, or we can pay four or five times as much for a fancier quality at the supply house.