Why don't the French use shower curtains

Old Oct 15th, 2014, 07:08 AM
  #41  
 
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I have visited Paris numerous times and did not realize it was in the middle of a swamp>>

well, actually IMDonehere, that's closer than you might think. I read a book recently about the history of the building of Paris and most of it has very little underneath it at all having been built on huge quarries which though they were largely filled in in the C18 & C19, still occasionally open up.

The book in question is "Parisians - An adventure history of Paris" by Graham Robb - a very good read for those with any interest at all in the history of Paris and parisians.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 07:31 AM
  #42  
 
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We were in France a few weeks ago, and stayed in four very different hotels, all outside Paris. One had a conventional shower cubicle, while the other three all had walk-in showers, open on one side. One of these showers had obviously been installed in place of a bath, while another was suitable for the disabled, and even had a plastic patio chair you could use to sit and shower.

We have seen hand-held showers and no curtains in French hotels in years gone by, and actually have one (not of our choosing) in our own flat in England as did my parents in their house built in 1938. We also have a three-sided (two tiled and one glass) shower in our flat, and much prefer that arrangement. There is no problem with water splashing other surfaces, and the whole room has an even temperature.

An American friend recently commented on the height of European baths, which made it difficult to climb into them. Some U.S. baths are about 15" (38 cm) high, while European baths are 18" (45 cm) high. The low height is fine for showering, but is it possible to bathe without the water overflowing as you climb in or out?

If you want to see good French public plumbing, go to the Leclerc shopping centre in Saumur. The toilets are spacious, fully tiled, with wide cubicles. The Dyson airblade dryers are situated right next to the wash basins, so you don't have to walk across the room with dripping hands.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 07:34 AM
  #43  
 
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New York City's Central Park was described as swampy before it was transformed.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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I think the people complaining about the height of European bathtubs are mostly taking showers in them. If you are taking a bath, the added depth is welcome. But for me, with problem knees and ankles, climbing over the high side of a tub to take a shower is a pain.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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One difference is that building code on this side of the pond requires that each bathroom has an exhaust fan, which aids in removing humidity (as well as odors) from the shower. Many older European buildings, IME, cannot easily retrofit a fan to remove the moisture, which leads to the rapid growth of mold on surfaces.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 10:02 AM
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Well, since out bathrooms tend to have windows (all 3 of ours do) - or at least vents - mold is not a problem. And one uses a plastic liner for the decorative cloth shower curtain - which is never supposed to get work. And the liners seem to last months (when rinsed down after the shower) before they need to be replaces - at a cost of about $4 each.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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"Marais" means swamp, so yes, Paris is quite damp.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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Here is some interesting weather data regarding major European cities.

http://web2.airmail.net/danb1/european.htm
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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nytraveler - that's all well and good for where you live, but things are different in Paris.

The water here is chock-full of calcium carbonate, which sticks to every surface and is difficult to remove. We are constantly cleaning little pebbles and other crud from the shower heads and taps. Shower curtain liners are not very easy to find - probably because it's a foreign concept, and nobody buys shower curtains anyway - and cost at least double the price that you mentioned. The plastic is brittle and degrades quickly.

Mopping up a few splashes of water is a lot easier to deal with.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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"nobody buys shower curtains anyway"
Probably the reason why castorama has 127 different shower curtains on sale http://www.castorama.fr/store/Rideau...at_id_3353.htm
They are even cheaper at Tati :
http://www.tati.fr/salle-de-bain-wc/...cessoires.html
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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I bookmarked that link you gave us, IMDonehere. Most interesting. Thanks!
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 02:39 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out why sugarmaple didn't use the bathroom when he/she needed to.
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Old Oct 15th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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"...why sugarmaple didn't use the bathroom..."

It was the terrorist squat toilet.
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 01:35 AM
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nobody buys shower porcelain anyway
Probably the reason why Desenvolmente has 127 types of granite tiles:

http://www.desenvolmente.com/fr/carr...-portugal.html
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Old Dec 27th, 2014, 04:04 PM
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I find this thread funny but also confusing.

Why is it so complicated? In Europe they usually have handheld shower heads. When you shower, turn your back to the wall and hold the showerhead so that the water sprays behind you. (obviously turn around when washing your back)

Yes, you turn the water on and off between lathering your body or hair. No, it's not that big of a hassle. I have a lot of hair, and I found it fine.

Showering this way definitely uses less water. It's also less harsh on your skin. I guess that Europeans, who have been doing it most of their lives, are probably pretty neat about it. When I do it, I sometimes splash a bit of water around, but not much.

As for the Asian wet rooms, usually the toilets are in a separate room, like a w.c.
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Old Dec 28th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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Why is it so complicated? In Europe they usually have handheld shower heads. When you shower, turn your back to the wall and hold the showerhead so that the water sprays behind you. (obviously turn around when washing your back)>>

au contraire, our homes [as opposed to rental apartments and gites] are equipped with showers which are plumbed into pipes in the wall or at least have the facility to attach them to a bracket so that you can shower without having to hold the shower attachment.

When we converted a barn to a holiday home, I insisted that we install a proper shower [instantaneous, with a fixed head and a glass shower screen] that we would be happy to use ourselves. There was no way I was inflicting a shower curtain or any of the other monstrosities i've seen whilst on holiday on our guests.
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Old Dec 29th, 2014, 11:23 AM
  #57  
 
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Ah, well, that's not what I'd seen at my or my friends' homes when I lived in France and Spain as a child.

I saw mostly handheld showerheads which, yes, could sometimes also be attached to a bracket. But I rarely saw either shower curtains or glass doors. As I said, I think people just learn not to be messy about it, and it's not THAT hard.

I have to say that I find glass doors much more difficult to keep clean than curtains, but to each their own!
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Old Dec 29th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Frankly, I hate the glass doors because I am always bumping into them. (Since they are in hotels, I really don't worry about keeping them clean.)
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Old Dec 29th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Frankly, I hate the glass doors because I am always bumping into them. (Since they are in hotels, I really don't worry about keeping them clean.)>>

hopefully, only if the shower cubicle and bathroom aren't big enough in the first place!
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Old Dec 29th, 2014, 12:10 PM
  #60  
 
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and I can't imagine why anyone would prefer a shower curtain that never gets cleaned and sticks to you, to a glass screen!
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