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Bathrooms Feb 14, 2023

Victorian Bathrooms: A Look At The Basin Through The Ages

The modern basin is essential in the design of any bathroom, but have you ever stopped to consider its roots and how this humble utility first started? Let’s explore the basin with a look through the ages…

The history of the bathroom basin can be traced back to ancient civilizations where basic versions were actually used for practical purposes such as washing hands and face, as well as for performing religious rituals.

The word basin comes from the Latin word baccinum, meaning a wide bowl. However, it’s believed that the old French word of bacin was preferred in Middle English. During this period it was then changed slightly to basyn.



In ancient Greece and Rome, basins were initially made of marble or bronze. They were placed near a source of water for easy access. During the Middle Ages, wash basins were typically made of earthenware and were used for both personal hygiene and for washing clothing.

In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution brought about new innovations in plumbing. Wash basins became more widespread in homes at this time. Cast iron and porcelain became popular materials for basin production and were often embellished with decorative designs. In the late 1800s, basin taps were introduced, allowing for better control of water flow and temperature.

As plumbing technology improved, so did the design and style of bathroom basins. In the early 20th century, pedestal sinks became popular, adding a touch of elegance to bathroom design. In the 1950s and 60s, a more minimalist style emerged, with simple, rectangular basin shapes.

In the late 20th century, the development of plastic materials brought about new possibilities in bathroom basin design. Today, bathroom basins are made from a wide variety of materials including ceramic, glass, stone, and stainless steel, and come in an array of shapes, sizes and styles to suit every bathroom decor.

In conclusion, the bathroom basin has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a basic wash basin in ancient civilizations. Today, it is an essential component of modern bathroom design, offering both practicality and style to the space.

Shop a full range of modern basins and bathroom essentials at Victorian Bathrooms.

1 Comment

  1. Emily McGeorge

    September 20, 2023

    Kudos!! When I renovated my home I went for a Victorian basin and haven’t looked back since (https://www.schots.com.au/bathrooms/basins/ceramic-basins/victorian.html). I’m confident that you inspired the other readers to consider the timeless beauty of Victorian design too.


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