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bry911

Explain...Gas Chamber.

bry911
5 years ago

For quite some time I have been seeing the derogatory comments about "gas chambers." I really don't understand the comments. I assume you are referring toilets in their own separated space, which I find an absolute requirement. Are you saying that a toilet should not be separated or are you saying there needs to be a window in the space?


While the latter is arguably a good idea, the former seems terrible to me. I grew up with my vanity separated from the other plumbing fixtures, and I have always felt that a toilet in the same area used to freshen up and brush your teeth was disgusting. Do people really want to make ploppies in the same area they are going to be brushing their teeth in five minutes later?


As for a window, I doubt I would open it.


One thing I will condone is adding a small hand sink to your toilet room, because, well the reason is rather obvious...

Comments (103)

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    "Going"???

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    Another alternative would be to provide a blindfold and gas mask storage shelf at the entrance to the master bathroom.

  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Am I the only one who's bothered by this expression in this context?

  • One Devoted Dame
    5 years ago

    Am I the only one who's bothered by this expression in this context?

    Oh my gosh, I didn't even think of that.... :-(

  • Fori
    5 years ago

    Which expression? "Gas chamber"? As featured in death camps? Yeah, not what I was expecting.

  • Fori
    5 years ago

    On a lighter note, please be assured that you can't get sick from germs from your own poop because they are already in you.

  • bry911
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Just to be clear, I am not a germaphobe. Just because I don't take a sandwich with me to poo, doesn't mean I believe I am going to die if I do. I just don't find it all that appetizing.

    That is pretty close to how I find the idea of brushing my teeth and hair in their too. I am OK with your being OK with that, but I choose to separate those activities.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago

    How about only one person using the bathroom at a time, and having a good vent fan and some attractive bathroom spray handy?

    Amazing how we all managed without these separate rooms for the decades since the bathroom moved from the out house into the house...

  • sprink1es
    5 years ago

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, same reason why there is no "perfect house" for everyone since people have different wants.


    Personally I think the "gas chamber" is stupid silly in a smaller bathroom, but they're great in a larger/master setting. I guess if you want privacy to use the WC for a while, you can do so while your partner can utilize the shower or their sink. It kind of feels silly to lock the door in a huge master bathroom just for you to sit on the can


    I also think it's a bad idea to put swinging doors into them if space is right. Like you have to jump up and stand on the toilet to shut the door once you're in there lol


    TL;DR - I put a gas chamber in my own large master bath, with a pocket door that I'll probably never close because the toilet is hidden around the corner

  • bry911
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Amazing how we all managed without these separate rooms for the decades since the bathroom moved from the out house into the house...

    We also managed to survive without farming for many thousands of years, however, I still submit that life got better when someone said, "how about we just plant some seeds?"

  • robin0919
    5 years ago

    In our area, 'near Charlotte, NC' a window is 'only' required if the bathroom is on a exterior wall. IMO......ALL bathrooms should have a vented toilet.....period!!!

  • enduring
    5 years ago

    I didn't read many of the above threads. I totally agree with a sink next to a toilet. I wouldn't like having it otherwise, rather in a toilet room or the main bathroom. In addition an advanced toilet seat.

  • adkbml
    5 years ago

    @cpartist - After I use a public restroom, I use my hand to open the door. Then I WASH my hands with soap and water and turn off the faucet (if it's not an automatic one) by using my elbows or a paper towel. I then open the door to the main room either using a paper towel, or if none is available, the sleeve of my jacket or shirt or the bottom of my shirt.

    What do you do?


    Similar routine, that is why I was asking why some have an issue with a door knob to a toilet room if the next stop is washing one's hands at a sink before leaving the bathroom.


  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Picture yourself in a standard public toilet stall. Now wall off all voids in the partitions. You are now in a space approximately three feet by five feet if you are lucky. Add the aroma of digested food. Why would anyone design a space like this into their home??

  • Butternut
    5 years ago

    Picture yourself in a standard public toilet stall. Now wall off all voids in the partitions. You are now in a space approximately three feet by five feet if you are lucky. Add the aroma of digested food. Why would anyone design a space like this into their home??

    Because some of us don't spend a lot of time on this activity...seriously, how much time are you spending that you need this type of space to be beautiful? It's like the people who need a magazine?? Concentrate on what you're doing and get it over with! :)

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    5 years ago

    To water closet or not to water closet: that is the question...


    If the size of the space can be adjusted to eliminate that objection, then the problem (microbiological objections notwithstanding) is the need to effectively ventilate the space. While common practice is to ventilate the entire volume of the W.C. utilizing a ceiling-mounted bath vent fan or window, folks with easily odor-offended olfactories (EOOO, for short) might want to consider installing a toilet with an integral venting system. Here's one:

    http://www.betterlifestylesinc.com/tbeshowitworks.html

  • Pinebaron
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Apartments and hotels aside where space can be a limitation, in a custom home, bathrooms with highly efficient but quiet exhaust fans each with its own shortest exhaust vent to the roof works great. Add to that an efficient HVAC system that feeds air into the bathroom. What’s wrong with that, smells/odors don’t stand a chance; it’s all about how one moves the air, where your sink, soap dispensers or automatic soap dispensers, type of faucets and other surfaces are located make a huge difference in what anyone touches. Hate gas chambers in general however even the smallest 5’x5’ 1-2 bath in my shop does a good job of remaining odor free; sure it has a 12’ ceiling, exhaust fan and hvac air feed.

  • bry911
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Picture yourself in a standard public toilet stall. Now wall off all voids in the partitions. You are now in a space approximately three feet by five feet if you are lucky. Add the aroma of digested food. Why would anyone design a space like this into their home??

    Disgust has long been known to be a physiological response to things like rotting meat and excrement. Your idea of a small space being a problem is predicated on the idea that our disgust (one of the 6 basic emotions) is directly proportional to the strength of the odor. It really isn't, and there is a "crap-ton" of research out there to support that.

    You are going to have largely similar responses to an eight by five room as you will a three by five room, even a ten by twenty room will largely evoke the same response. As a backpacker, I have had more than my fair share of outdoor and open air bathroom activities and my reaction was largely the same as in any other bathroom.

    ---

    I submit, the only way to relieve that disgust is to remove yourself from the area, or conversely remove the area from yourself.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    5 years ago

    This is truly a first-world issue. For those of us who have visited and lived in various third-world countries, in peace and war, this is a laughable thread...

  • Pinebaron
    5 years ago

    Been there, seen it all in third-world countries and the most modern and up-to-date ones too however this thread has certainly opened up a can of ........

  • bry911
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "For those of us who have visited and lived in various third-world countries, in peace and war, this is a laughable thread..."

    Have you actually owned a home in one of those places? Because I have spent almost half of my adult life in either Africa or Asia and I started the thread. Oddly enough I am just as comfortable on a squat toilet.

    This is just a dressed up version of relative privation. We could just as easily make that same observation about almost anything and it would be just as fallacious. Given the living conditions of much of the world, discussions on architecture or accounting might seem silly, as would those who make their career in those areas.

    Whether or not you find the issue laughable, doesn't change the fact that it is a design choice that some are willing to spend money on, and others criticize them for. Were it not of some importance then why is it consistently pointed out in a derogatory fashion?

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    In coining the phrase, there is no disrespect intended, but there is a critical intent. There are negative connotation in the term "gas chamber", intentionally NOT historical, but descriptive as in: Gas = unpleasant aroma, and Chamber = confined space.

    My theory of the origins of a small space to house a watercloset comes from a builder's house designer (a connoisseur of Mexican food) that had a tattoo of his first girlfriend's name somewhere on his anatomy and thought it to be better to hide it from his wife rather than have it painfully removed.

  • Pinebaron
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    bry911: Have you actually owned a home in one of those places? I know exactly what you mean and agree. In my case, Yes sir!

    Though I was born and raised in London UK, I have lived and owned properties in India, although rented properties in HongKong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan to name just a few and visited, stayed and travelled through literally dozens of countries in the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps a very small number of countries I may have not visited, experienced living and culture first hand (with sanitary conditions and experiences literally across the spectrum) ; it gives you a completely different perspective about people, their culture and life in general.

    Talking about peace and war, back in 1978 my wife and I drove from London UK to New Delhi India; yes I physically drove my Ford Fairmont station wagon 8973 miles door to door from London to New Delhi after crossing the English channel from Felixstowe in England to Ostend Belgium, Frankfurt, Liechtenstein, Zurch, Saltzsburg, then down to Copacabana (then Yoguslavia and now Croatia), all along the Yoguslavian coast on to Sofia In Bulgaria, Istanbul and the entire length of Turkey, Iran; the Shah of Iran had just been overthrown, Afghanistan; Russia had just started attacking Afghanistan and we drove though the very new war zone, narrowly missed the battle and bullets by just 30 minutes, that was really close, through the Khyber Pass in the Frontier area and then through all of Pakistan, then on to New Delhi, India. 21 days driving over a 30 day period. Just one of several chapters and adventures in our lives.

    A funny excerpt: During our travels above, on a very late night, we were were just twenty miles west of Kabul in Afghanistan, we decided to park the car off the highway and go to sleep since we did not want to start looking for hotels that late at night particularly in Kabul; a few minutes later a police jeep arrived and forced us to move due to unsafe conditions and took us to an nearby summer resort site, yes they had a resort in the middle of the desert however closed for the season; they opened up a very nice bedroom for us though with no attached bathroom or toilet. I asked the guy where the toilet was and he waved his arm 270 degrees toward the desert saying "Toilet!". No way I exclaimed, I'm not taking chances with scorpions or other deadly creatures on the desert floor, close to my bare bottom! Reluctantly he obtained the keys to the toilets and showers area next to the pool and we were ok.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    That makes building a house seem like a walk in the park.

  • Pinebaron
    5 years ago

    Mark: Not kidding.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    5 years ago

    Were you able to wash your hands after...?


    There are folks here who really want to know.

  • Lindsey_CA
    5 years ago

    "Chiming in to say the OP's use of 'plopping' made me spit out my drink. Truly a great choice of words!"

    Heard a comedian say once that he was "going to drop the kids off in the pool" -- referring, of course, to "going to plop."

  • Pinebaron
    5 years ago

    Yes, there was a regular toilet and sink with running water in the bathroom; the resort was primarily used by foreigners.

  • Jazz Lover
    5 years ago
    I too like the idea of a gas ⛽️ chamber and would not have a house without one. I do like @cpartist idea of a push plate door but with two dachshunds in the house they would REALLY love that!! They've already figured out how to open the stupid pocket doors in this rental condo and not too much defers them from being at their loyal owners feet..... even ploppies!
  • Robin Morris
    5 years ago

    Interesting topic! My reason for hating gas chambers hasn't been mentioned yet....

    Sometimes due to illness, food poisoning, nerves, etc, things in the bathroom can get um.... uh... messy and tp just isn't enough. During these sometimes, access to water is really nice and sometime necessary.

    Also for us women, sometimes close access to feminine hygiene products is also necessary.

    These issues can be addressed with a washlet and a small cabinet, but most people with gas chambers do not have either.

  • worthy
    5 years ago

    Our upcoming gas chamber includes a bidet. So a small sink is necessary too?



  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    A small window wouldn't hurt.

  • Robin Morris
    5 years ago


    worthy, are you going to have doors between your bedroom and bathroom sinks? I stayed at a hotel with a layout like the one you are planning. It was horrible. Every time my husband or I used the bathroom, it would wake the other up with the bathroom light and the sound of the sink. If one of you gets food poisoning and spends all night in and out of the bathroom, neither of you will get any sleep.


    I would remove the entrance on the right, add a door to the left entrance, and change the orientation of the bed so that the foot of the bed is by all 3 doors (entrance, closet, and bathroom) to minimize sleep disturbance.

  • C Marlin
    5 years ago

    I agree with Robin, I had a home like that (for a short time) and the light and water noise drove me crazy. This is why I only lived with it for a short time.


    Worthy, have you considered a washlet on the toilet instead of the separate bidet? I know its always a personal choice.

  • worthy
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Architect designed, so style trumps function!

    The original didn't include a door on the "gas chamber" either.

    But since the worthies haven't shared a bedroom since 1995, it's fine by us. (Not a night together that I didn't wake with nightmares of being hanged, lassoed, or anchored to a large ship--she was in her Rasta braid style then.) And we can point out to buyers the ease of putting doors on those openings.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    "Architect designed, so style trumps function!"

    NOT with all architects.

  • worthy
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    There's always an exception that proves the longstanding rule, according to Dr. Lstiburek.


    One with Nature The Glass House, 1949. New Canaan, Connecticut. arch. Philip Johnson

    At least, the architects doing my latest project agreed to reduce the glazing to merely 25%.

    Waking up tomorrow morning to 3˚ F., perfect for life in a glass house. But, heck that's what's popular again with leading edge luxe homebuyers. (Or so I sincerely hope!)

  • Robin Morris
    5 years ago

    "And we can point out to buyers the ease of putting doors on those openings."

    Not with the window placement you have currently.

    I am guessing your architect doesn't share a bed with anyone either... To think that they put no door between the toilet and bed originally! Madness!

  • HKO HKO
    5 years ago
    Who cares if there are germs on the inside door knob, if you’re going to (one hopes) wash your hands as soon as you exit anyway? Besides, remember all those studies where they take cultures all over the house....the kitchen sink and the computer keyboard are usually much more germ laden than the toilet area.
  • User
    5 years ago
    "Architect designed, so style trumps function! "

    interesting. my first thought seeing the layout was - it looks "architectural"


    regarding gas Chambers, I've only ever seen one in a private residence. it was a really nice house and had a huge master bath, and a dark,small, sad, gas chamber.
  • User
    5 years ago
    "One with Nature The Glass House, 1949. New Canaan, Connecticut. arch. Philip Johnson "


    every time I see that house, or the other one built around the same time, it any other mostly glass house, I am reminded of the famous quote:

    "And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."
  • jmm1837
    5 years ago

    "Gas chambers" are pretty common here in Australia, and also in the UK. Not sure about elsewhere. Mine is deep, high, has clerestory windows and a ceiling fan so I don't see odor as a bigger issue than in any other bathroom.


    I admit, I didn't think about aging in place when we were building, or I might have put in a wider door and definitely grab bars - but I managed perfectly well without either for a couple of weeks recently when I was on crutches from a hip operation. (I am looking into retrofitting grab bars, though).


    And for the reasons HKO points out, the danger of the contaminated doorknob is not keeping me awake at nights. There are only so many things I can be paranoid about at one time ;)

  • weedyacres
    5 years ago

    If we're sharing travel toilet stories, on a trip through China maybe 20 years ago, a public restroom (may have been on a boat) had a bank of partitioned squat toilets with a trough and running water carrying the collective waste downstream. Downstream meaning left to right, through all the stalls. The trough was continuous, so to squat you had to rotate 90 degrees from the door to face the side wall and straddle the trough.

    Getting the picture yet? Yeah, I learned quickly to always use the "upstream-most" stall.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    To be sure, this thread has taken some twists and turns. If it ever did, I think the title no longer gives potential readers a true flavor for the content and at least one reader was offended by it. As such, it risks sinking to the bottom of Houzz.com's archival abyss.

    Might I suggest, with future searchability in mind, renaming the thread "Toilet Travelogue: potties (and ploppies) from Punjab to Pittsburgh"?

  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    5 years ago
    been an interesting read here.
    in the "no gas chamber " side here.
  • suedonim75
    5 years ago

    We've never lived in a house that had more than 1 bathroom, so after 20+ years very few things gross you out. Whoever invented Poo-pourri is a godsend, lol.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    5 years ago

    WOW!! Now I know what to give this year for Christmas presents.

  • dsnine
    5 years ago

    This thread has made me laugh and laugh. Because I’m married I need a separate toilet. I love my husband but can’t abide him needing to using the same space as me while I put on makeup or take a bath or however else I have ended up trapped for much longer than him in a stinky bathroom.


    Even in renovating our temporary house, while we wait to build, excellent venting and the most powerfmil bathroom fan we could buy were absolute musts and I don’t regret a cent. But a separate room WITH those fans would make me happier, still.


    The injury/aging in place issue is interesting. I am just recently out of a wheelchair from a broken ankle and in fact could NOT use our front bathroom, which had the toilet and shower separated from the sink by a door. Not enough distance between doors to get in and get it closed or turn around. I could use our narrow-but-open master bath toilet though. The gas chamber issue in this house could have been rectified with proper space planning or even pocket doors though, and as we are designing an accessible home with our architect I am very sensitive to allowing proper turning radius space in bathrooms and appropriate distance between doors.


    And honestly, the suite area for our special needs son and older relatives will likely not have a door on that toilet, but just be around a corner with a half wall or something similar. Because while doors can be navigated, for someone permanently walker/wheelchair bound (like him) it’s a frustrating impediment. I’m weirdly glad for that aspect of breaking my ankle, because it gave me some very different perspectives on how spaces actually function from a chair when you CAN’T get up or hop around. So while the whole house design of our place will be universal/accessible to some degree, for actual day to day living activities the suite will be MUCH moreso.


    Water closets make me happy, I love them, but they do have limitations and need special design consideration when one is disabled or aging in place.

  • runnem
    5 years ago
    Canadians must not have issues with somewhat public plops because I’ve only encountered them in the US. The ones I’ve used have made me feel claustrophobic. We always put the seat down since we have small animals (of the human variety as well) who rush to the open bowl if given a chance.

    I’ve never had one and will never design a house with one. Now if only I could get my husband to realize that my being in the bath is the wrong time to have a toilet conversation with me...
  • artemis_ma
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    One of the few times I've been a guest somewhere that there was a guest bathroom gas chamber: It was tiny, and there was no sink in it, nor anything else I could use to hoist myself back up to upright (BAD knees.) So I had to use the toilet seat. Disgusting.

    If you cannot make a properly sized "gas chamber", and include something someone can grab onto (besides the dirty seat)... don't make one at all.