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Glossary

The anatomy of a bathroom

JAN 9, 2017 | By Team ELLE DECOR India
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
Also read: The anatomy of surfaces