Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Things I Don't Understand: This Bathtub

So I walk in my hotel room this week at a largely uneventful hotel, and the bathroom is the size of a closet and sports a shower-tub. Tubs with shower attachments are not by themselves remarkable things. But what was weird about this one was where the shower attachment was placed--not at the one of the short ends of the tub, but almost in the middle of the long wall.

To put this in perspective, here's the straight-on shot of the long wall. Note that the shower attachment is about 75% of the way across the long wall. (And I'm hopeful that you can't pull one of those plays like the scene in Taken and catch a reflection of naked Steve Sax somehow. But who knows, maybe you've got software like they had in No Way Out and you can enhance the image somehow to your liking? And speaking of "No Way Out," is there an exit strategy for Ned Colletti over Manny Ramirez? But I digress.)

This positioning of the showerhead is ridiculous, forcing one to either shoot water across the short width of the bathtub, requiring the showerer to basically stand in place. Or, if you're lucky, you can try and angle the showerhead sort of toward the long end of the bathtub, but it's less effective than just if the showerhead was just positioned at the short end in the first place, like every other bathtub.

What's more, this positioning isn't random; in fact, the whole tub drainage system is designed in kind, as the floor drain is also at 3/4 of the length of the tub. Who took the time to design this unorthodox bathtub mold, and why? If you were bathing, would you rather have the drain popping up from the tub bottom here and prodding you in the ass, rather than having the drain located unobtrusively down at the end of the tub?

I don't understand this strangely designed bathtub and its obvious shortcomings in both utility and comfort. But to be fair, I never took all the courses necessary to get a degree in bathtub engineering, so I figured I would see if any of our intrepid readers had a better explanation.

23 comments:

Mike said...

Wow. You just used an entire blog-post to discuss the merits of a hotel bathtub. There's not much fun in your life these days, is there?

Orel said...

New to the site, Mike?

Orel said...

Was this a large hotel chain? Maybe it was cheaper for them to mass-order unconventional tub molds than to extend the plumbing to the short wall in every room.

Steve Sax said...

Mike: If we keep signing people the caliber of Jeff Weaver and Shawn Estes, I'm blogging about hotel bathtubs.

Steve Sax said...

Orel: Interesting argument. I forgot to check where the access panel was--you're right, maybe the panel was on the other side of the bathtub's long wall (which would be accessible through the hotel bedroom, rather than through the adjoining suite's wall). Nice sleuthing.

Justin said...

Unfortunately, I can't shed any light as to the reasoning behind this hair-brained engineering. However, I can tell you that this style of tub/shower arrangement is used widely in Europe. Which perhaps explains why Europeans prefer not to shower...

QuadSevens said...

I guess the only way this set up could be worse would be to have the bathtub faucet on the long wall, and the shower faucet on the short wall. This way you can smash your knee or shin into the bathtub facuet while taking a shower.

Orel said...

Like a contraption from the Saw movies.

Steve Sax said...

Justin: Nice sleuthing, Holmes. This hotel room is indeed in Europe.

Steve Sax said...

It's still ridiculous, though.

Julie Hibbard said...

Personally, I LOVE any tub that sports a hand-held shower head...

Alex Cora said...

I think you should have jacked up the shower head and stood in the middle of the bathroom soaking the floor. If they are lazy enough to put a shower head on the long wall, then you should be lazy enough not to step into the bathtub. You didn't use the "2nd" toilet for face washing a la Borat, did you?

Mike said...

My comment was more in jest than it appeared, so I apologize.

I don't know, normally when I go to hotels I don't notice the bathtub. Then again, the past few times I've been in a hotel occurred when I was on a college trip, so my hotel room was less a place to rest and get a shower than a place for binge-drinking. So the enjoyment of our hotel hinged on the proximity of the nearest liquor store than the proximity of the shower head to the ceiling.

Orel said...

No worries, Mike. Just remember we're plain-spoken, straight-talking folk here at SoSG.

Orel said...

Not!

Mike said...

I've actually been viewing this blog for a long time; I was one of the people that emailed the pics of Jake Peavy's "dirty hand." It's just that just two weeks ago Sax was posting info about the Marlins' cheerleaders, and now he's posting about... hotel shower-heads. Kind of a drop-off if you ask me.

Steve Sax said...

AC: To answer your question, no I didn't.

But did I tell you how I used the first sink?

Steve Sax said...

Mike: All I have to say is, the two posts are related.

If you catch my drift.

Mr. Customer said...

Orel (and Sax, by extension),

You're right about the "Eurotub" configuration. They're typically done that way to keep the plumbing for multiple rooms in the same plane.

Was the tub against the corridor side or the room side of the bathroom?

I digress...

There are a couple of reasons that this abomination is used widely in Europe.

First, many European homes and hotels are older buildings that were not originally designed to have a combination tub/shower, and were later retrofitted. Hence, the tight grouping of fixtures on the single wall.

Second, the stud-and-drywall system that accounts for 99% of US construction is much less common abroad. Whatever your views on deforestation, it's certainly easier to put a copper pipe through a 2x4 than a brick or a concrete block.

That is all.

Orel said...

We have smart readers!

Steve Sax said...

Mr. Customer! We have a winner!

And yes, the tub was on the room side of the bathroom, not the corridor side of the bathroom.

Wow, I may have to move this to the Things I Do Understand label.

Justin said...

Thing I still don't understand (even after living in Europe for a couple of years) is how one is supposed to use the contraption without completely soaking the rest of the bathroom. They could at least break the bank and provide the room with a shower curtain.

TitansFan said...

That's a nice shower. In fact that is what I was going for when I was looking for bathtub wall panels. However, while shopping I found a really cool Steam Shower. It works very well in my revamped master bathroom.