We are doing up the toilets in our home and giving it a contemporary look. We have a few queries. First,after a hot water shower often the bathroom mirror becomes foggy due to the steam,especially since we intend having a very large mirror wall in the master toilet. Is there a way to solve this problem? Second,one of the smaller toilets will have relatively less storage space,so we may need to club the mirror over the basin with a cabinet,is there a smarter way of doing the cabinet. Third,we want to have a panel comprising of an overhead shower,hand shower,water spout and massage jets. What should we keep in mind for the efficient functioning of the panel? And lastly,what kind of lights do we use in the new toilets? In the past we used either bulbs or tubelights.
Tripta Shukla,New Delhi
Let me start with addressing your first query. The problem of a foggy mirror can be solved by a very simple device known as a mirror defogger. This is a thin electric heating pad mounted behind the mirror to prevent it from fogging up. The defogger can be triggered to come on automatically when the bathroom light is switched on or when the shower comes on. The simplest way of activating is however an off and on switch.
The second query is about clubbing the mirror over the washbasin with a cabinet. You are looking for a smart way to do this,one neednt compromise on style or aesthetics to do so. There are many very smart cabinets available with hidden hinges,fixtures and metal edges. Some mirrored cabinets have mirrors inside as well and have very high quality glass shelving or cabinets with rust proof anodized aluminium interiors. So you need to basically explore the market and go in for a nice looking and useful mirrored cabinet to suit your requirement and budget.
Thirdly,for the efficient functioning of a panel comprising of an overhead shower,hand shower,water spout and massage jets,first and foremost you would need a pressure pump so that you can bathe in water which comes with comes with a good pressure. When you buy a pressure pump you must keep in mind your exact requirement in terms of how many toilets are being fed by the pressure pump. This would enable the relevant agency to recommend the right pressure pump to suit your requirement. Lastly regarding the lighting in a toilet let me tell you the difference between the basic kinds of lights,since you have raised the query bulbs or tubelights. The normal light bulbs you have referred to are incandescent lights. These give out a warm yellow light and are reasonably priced. Their wattage is in the range of 25,40,60,100 and 200. Tube lights are known as fluorescent lights. These are 3-4 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Their wattage is in the range of 18,20,36 and 40. The most commonly used ones give out a whitish light,although tube lights giving a yellowish light are also available in the market.
The third kind of light about which you have not talked about are the energy saver lights also known as compact fluorescent lights (CFL). Now we can address the issue of power saving and efficiency as mentioned by you. CFL are available in wattages ranging from 5,8,11,14,15,20,23 and 26. A CFL can save about 75 per cent energy since it gives brightness of upto 4 times its wattage. E.g. a 15W CFL can yield as much light as a 75W incandescent bulb. This feature is extremely valuable during power cuts,frequent in modern day living. It enables an inverter to run longer,since the limited battery life is conserved. CFLs can have a much longer life span of upto almost 10 years.
Depending on the requirement based on the layout of the toilets,the colours of tiles and stone used,other natural light sources etc. you would have to take a decision regarding the light fixtures in the toilet. However I would definitely recommend usage of energy saver light bulbs wherever possible,in the fixtures of your choice,as even a small step towards saving power goes a long way. l
The author is an architect
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