The term "water closet" in a real estate listing often perplexes homebuyers, as it can have many different meanings. While Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines a water closet as a compartment or room with a toilet, some people use the term water closet to refer to a bathroom, and in the United Kingdom, water closet is used to describe the toilet itself.
So, what exactly is a water closet when it comes to real estate, and why are they so popular in home design? Keep reading as we explore the history of the water closet and why you may want one in your home.
What is a Water Closet?
So what exactly is a water closet? A water closet (WC for short) is essentially a room within a bathroom that separates the toilet from the rest of the room, which can help provide extra privacy while you are doing your business.
While water closets were traditionally separated from the rest of the bathroom by a door and often included a sink, water closet designs have changed in recent years. To save space, modern water closets often have a sliding door entrance, a half-wall, or a shelving unit that creates separation between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom.
The History of The Water Closet
Water closets are a classic example of old trends becoming popular again, as they were once common in bathroom design. In the late 1890s, as it became more common for people to have toilets inside the home (instead of in outhouses), they would be added in small rooms known as water closets. This was often a completely separate room from the bathroom where the sink, tub, and/or shower would be located.
It wasn't until the mid-20th century that it became common for home builders to merge bathrooms and water closets into one bathroom space. However, many homes still had a version of a water closet called a "half-bath" for guests, which is a bathroom that only has a toilet and a sink. Recent years have seen builders start to incorporate water closets into their designs once again, as many people prefer to have a space for their toilet that is separate from the rest of the bathroom.
The Benefits of a Water Closet
Water closets have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as there are many advantages to having a separate room within the bathroom for the toilet. A few benefits water closets provide include:
Perhaps the biggest advantage of having a water closet is that it can give you a little extra privacy while you're doing your business. You will have a separate space further removed from the rest of the house where you can take care of things without having to worry about exposing anyone to any unpleasant sounds (or smells).
Water closets are also useful for hygienic reasons, as they keep germs isolated to one area, leaving tubs, showers, and sinks germ-free. While many people underestimate how unhygienic their bathroom can be, the fact is that germs can be spread throughout the room when a toilet is flushed. Having a door separating your toilet from the rest of the restroom can help keep the rest of your bathroom clean.
Adds Function to a Bathroom
Water closets are particularly advantageous in households where multiple people share a single bathroom, as they allow multiple people to get ready at the same time. While one person uses the toilet, someone else can be brushing their teeth or doing their hair. Having a water closet can then make your bathroom more functional by reducing morning traffic jams.
If you are considering remodeling your bathroom, adding a water closet could be a great way to add more privacy and functionality to the room. Feel free to contact us to learn more about ways that you can make the most of the space in your bathroom during a remodel.