Monday, March 17, 2008

Bathrooms in Old Houses

Racist (or is it culturalist?) that I am, I'd never dreamt that I'd find ever pleasure in things that come out of Morrocan bathhouses. Well, I was wrong.

But let me digress first.

I always found the goal to create a "period" bathroom in a historic house, with the possible exception of Victorian houses, futile. After all, they simply DID NOT HAVE bathrooms in the sense we have today. Roman luxuries don't count. And even if one would be hell-bent on creating a period bathroom older than the Victorian period, I doubt they'd want to carry tubs and hot and cold water to the kitchen every time they feel like bathing, let alone empty nonflushing water closets and dispose of the content.

But I have found something that might create at least the FEEL of a bathroom in a Renaissance house, and here, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Tadelakt. Tadelakt is a waterproof or nearly waterproof lime plaster, the traditional application of which includes being polished with a semi-precious stone and treatment with a special soap to acquire its final smooth, even shining, finish and water resistance and it stems, well, from the bathhouses of Morocco.

Here are some pictures from the Tierrafino website.

There are two minor throwbacks: Tadelakt is prohibitively expensive and incredibly difficult to apply. I am looking for alternatives, but they will be hard to find, or so I fear.

By the way, did you know that an Englishman who went by the eminently apt name Thomas Crapper (1836 - 1910) is credited for inventing the flushing toilet, or having at least added considerably to its development? Blogging is SO educational!

3 Comment(s):

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Wouldn't sealed cement work? It can be tinted in some amazing colours and patterns.

Evil Style Queen said...

THoBaC, thanks for the tip! Isn't it sad that I couldn't even find a German translation for "sealed cement"? As I said, interior decoration means are terribly limited here out of lack of interest in the extraordinary.

However, by mere chance I found this while browsing through a DIY place. It seems to come close to the sealed cement idea. It is, as far as I understand it, a resin-based artificial sort of cement.

What I gathered is that the application is infinitely more simple, the look is fine (although not quite as spectacular as the Tadelakt stuff) and although I haven't done my figures yet, it CAN NOT possibly be as expensive as Tadelakt.

But anyway, I will try to find out about sealed cement as another possible alternative. I'd prefer a natural solution over a synthetic one, not so much for a "Green" purpose, but because natural material tends to look better.

Moshea bat Abraham said...