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What's this trough by the tub for?


AHI in AR
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Here's a new one for me. This was in a home built probably 1958-1960. It sported the deeeeluxxxx sunken tub that was becoming all the rage then. (At least around here!)

What's throwing me is the odd trough constructed adjacent to the tub. I can't guess the purpose for this since the interior width wasn't even 8 inches. This was a shower also, and the tile went all the way to the ceiling, so someone went to some trouble and expense to do this.

Any guesses as to what it was for?

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Originally posted by sepefrio

I've actually seen very simular setups in Europe. It's most often used both to hold shampoo bottles etc, but also as a platform to wash your feet. Was the shower head on a hose or hard installed?

I could see building a ledge with a slight cant to it for either of those uses. We all see it all the time, in fact. But why the separate drain and the trough design? That wouldn't be needed if this was effectively a long, skinny footrest. It obviously took more time and money to do it this way.

The shower head was a conventional fixed mount. Did they even have hand-held showers available 50 years ago? If so, I've never seen any of them still in use, although there are plenty of conventional 50 year old shower heads in use.

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I'll bet it is for bathing the family pet (maybe they had a show dog?).

It's hard enough on the knees and back when Fifi is in a regular tub and you are kneeling on the floor outside of it. Put her in the bottom of a sunken tub and the only way you'll get the job done is if you crawl in there with her. Even then you are kneeling down in a tub and there is not a lot of room for the two of you in there.

Climb in the tub, put Fifi on the shelf, pull the shower curtain closed, tilt the shower head toward the shelf and wall (or maybe they used one of those hand-held shower heads that you can quickly attach to the faucet), and you and Fifi will be squeaky clean and ready for a night on the town in no time flat.

(I'm just guessing)

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Well, the little trough is interesting. However, I'm more interested in this sunken, tiled tub. I can't recall having every seen anything like that before.

How did they build those things? Is this a slab on grade, or is there a basement or crawlspace under there?

It's hard enough to build a shower pan that doesn't leak, how the heck did they do it with a tub that was intended to hold so much water?

If these are common in your area, how often do they leak?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Jim,

believe it or not, I've seen a couple of sunken tubs. One was in a daylight basement about 2 months ago. On this recent one, they had built the Master bath up a few feet off of the slab grade level. They also sloped part of the tiled bathroom flooring back into the tub which was pretty cool. I wish I could remember whether they had poured concrete or framed in the raised area.

I can't tell you how they built it, because there was not access to this area. I was curious as well. I think it was a 1960's home, and I couldn't find any signs of problems. It looked like it had been well done.

The other one was a couple of years ago at least, and I can't remember the details.

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I've seen a few. They were formed up into the basement or crawl, then extremely high compressive strength concrete placed, shaped, and finished.

There's never been a moisture barrier, and I don't know why it didn't leak. I suspect they are relying on the known property of thick high quality masonry to deal with moisture via the sheer mass of the assembly; a little soaks in, and then equalizes back out.

Good quality concrete installed impeccably is remarkable in its performance characteristics. We forget this stuff 'cuz all we get to see is turds squeezed out the back of the truck by hillbillies.

The trough is a mystery. My guess it's an impeccably engineered trough for storing stuff. Someone was thinking.

Or, someone's peeling a grape for Fabry while he blows chunks into the trough.........

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Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Uhhhh.... could be to urinate in while keeping it off of your feet? [:-graduat

Apparently y'all haven't been to rodeo's where the men's restroom's have trough's instead of urinals where all the men just line up...

That is really funny, especially since I had my 6 year old son in a restroom at a very old drive in theater this summer, and the cast iron and pocelain urinal very closely resembled the 20's vintage kitchen sink we recycled in our laundry room. He was pretty grossed out about peeing in what he thought was a sink.

Tom

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Originally posted by Tom Raymond

Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Uhhhh.... could be to urinate in while keeping it off of your feet? [:-graduat

Apparently y'all haven't been to rodeo's where the men's restroom's have trough's instead of urinals where all the men just line up...

That is really funny, especially since I had my 6 year old son in a restroom at a very old drive in theater this summer, and the cast iron and pocelain urinal very closely resembled the 20's vintage kitchen sink we recycled in our laundry room. He was pretty grossed out about peeing in what he thought was a sink.

Tom

Aw, come on, Tom...

Surely you don't expect us to believe that a 6 year old boy gets grossed out over peeing in what resembles a sink. Or about anywhere else, for that matter. Based on my observations, at that stage (and frequently for some time afterward) they are not too discriminating about where they answer nature's call.

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