Photograph courtesy Hansgrohe India Pinterest
Photograph courtesy Hansgrohe India
Photograph courtesy Roca Pinterest
Photograph courtesy Roca
Photograph courtesy Sternhagen Pinterest
Photograph courtesy Sternhagen

The anatomy of a bathroom

by Team ELLE DECOR India Jan 09, 2017

Can’t recall the right expression to use when buying washroom fittings? Do not worry – help is at hand. This list of useful terms will sort you out when liasing with your contractor.

Access Panel
An opening in the wall near fixtures for plumbing convenience. Paint these spots to match your decor 

Aerator
Attach this device to the end of your faucet for a sweet stream of water without spritzing yourself when you turn on the tap 

Apron
Panelling that goes around the bathtub – it provides a clean and consistent look

Backsplash
Tile, stone, marble or granite applied behind the vanity case or adjacent to the bath to prevent damage to the paint due to inadvertent splatter 

Bath screen
Partition affixed to the side of the tub to deflect water, thereby creating a separate enclosure. Great for bathroom divas who do not like to be interrupted

Bibb
Typically, a fixture with a nozzle that’s bent downwards. Made for the attachment of a washing machine or a garden hose, it has a threading on the spout – often referred to as spigot or bibcock

Bidet
Looking deceptively like a commode without a lid, it differs vastly in function. Installed adjoining the WC, it is used for personal hygiene purposes

Check Valve
Additions to pipes, it allows the flow of liquid in a direction but closes when the course is reversed. Made of plastic or metal and available in several sizes, once fitted it works on auto pilot mode

Clawfoot
Animal feet shaped supporters fused to free standing tubs. These are larger than the standard baths

Flapper
Mechanism in the flush tank which moves up and down depending on whether water needs to be let out or the flow cut off

Mixer
Separate controls on the fixture that allow hot and cold water to flow simultaneously. Help is at hand to get the right mix for a perfect soak

Privy
Another term for the lavatory used in the bygone era, it refers to a hole in the ground, in an outhouse which worked as a makeshift bathroom. A different way of answering nature’s call

Quarter turn
An internal ceramic component which lets water pass even when the valve is turned at 90 degrees

Shower panel
Comprising a series of wall mounted water jets to target different areas of the body. Components include valve, overhead hand showers and body sprays

Sink trap
A contraption that prevents loose valuables from going down the drain. The U-bend in the pipe under the washbasin retains heavy objects that can be disassembled for retrieving them

Tee
This fitting gets its moniker from its resemblance to the alphabet “T”– used to connect three sections of a pipe

Turkish bath
Also known as a hammam, a steam wash, massage and shower combine to rejuvenate all your senses post a hectic week

Vessel bowl
A standalone sink that rests above the countertop. Faucets cannot be attached to its edges and are positioned on their own on a platform called highrise

Vitreous china
Used as the chief material for fabricating basins, it is made of porcelain or ceramic rendered non-porous by glazing over with a coating of glass or silica based solution

Walk in
Simply, a tub with a door that has air tight seals in  the hatch to prevent water from  spilling out 

Local Lingo

Chilamchi
Basin or washbowl

Hauz
Refers to the shower

Ispaat
Steel, commonly used to make pipes

Jal taapak
Water heater

Mori
Sink or basin

Nalsaaj
Refers to a plumber

Null
Simply, a tap

Snaan ghar
Simply, bathroom