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The one thing I don’t like about the U.K.

Is the bathtubs....... more specifically the fact that the bottom of the tub is higher than the floor. It makes getting out hazardous. 3 times now I have had the back foot slide as I was getting out and I almost fell.

So weird. I have never seen tuba like this in North America. I wonder why they are like this.

My mom has told me in her rooms she takes the room chair in to hold onto the back as she gets out.

As things go, not horrible but annoying.

Thoughts?

Posted by
4737 posts

It's not something that I have ever considered.

I haven't noticed that British baths are any different to those in the rest of Europe. They usually only sit an inch or two off the floor as the pipe work and plumbing needs to be accommodated underneath and many buildings are too old to cut holes in the floor to sink the bath.

Most hotels have grab rails on baths for getting in and out. Many places these days just have a shower.

Posted by
80 posts

I remember the first few times I stepped out of a North American bathtub, my foot crashed on the floor, until I realised there was a difference. When watching my house being built in Canada, I noticed that the bathtubs were installed along with the floor. British bathtubs, and in at least some other countries, have little legs that rest on the floor.
On returning to the UK ten years ago, I kept falling out of the tub because of the height difference. And it still annoys me. But I prefer a shower stall anyway.

Posted by
1063 posts

The only time I've fell getting out of a bath (bruised ribs) was in Canada (a motel just north of Toronto), I found that a lot of hotels/motels supplied a rubber suction mat that sticks to the base of the bath but unfortunately not this one.

Posted by
754 posts

A few have been up to 4 inches higher than the floor with no rubber mats ( we checked cause we own a motel in Canada and they are required) and no handles to hold onto.

We are resorted to asking for a disabled access room if some are available at check in so we can use a shower.

Posted by
754 posts

We have stayed at a Hampton, a travelodge, a few Holiday Inn Express, 2 Apartment hotels, a local run hotel in Skye and several Premier Inns.

Posted by
4362 posts

Many houses in the UK were built before baths were commonplace. The majority of British housing stock is of Victorian age when baths consisted of a tin bath placed in front of the fire in the lounge. There were no dedicated bathrooms, toilets were outside. Consequently when rooms were adapted to bathrooms it was not an option to remove flooring to sink a bath in and fit all the pipework, that is why baths are placed on top of the flooring.

I've never had any issues getting in and out of the bath, foot slippage occurs in any bath simply because of the nature of the slippery surface. I've slipped in American baths too. Personally I prefer a shower and we've removed our bath and replaced it with a large shower enclosure simply because the bath was rarely used once the kids got older. I also don't like showering in a bath, I find it too restrictive so I much prefer a dedicated shower enclosure.

Posted by
11613 posts

I figured it out after the first time. Not much of an issue after that, and most places I stay at have a shower rather than a tub.

Posted by
8889 posts

If the bath is sunk to floor level, surely that means it must protrude though the ceiling of the room below? Unless the bathroom has a raised false floor, in which case there would be steps to get into the bathroom from the adjoining room, and reduced ceiling height?

Everywhere I have ever lived or stayed, new houses or old, in many countries, the bath rests on the floor, with a small clearance to allow for the outflow from the plughole.
Easy to climb in and out, as when you are standing in the bath you are (nearly) at the same level as the bathroom floor, otherwise it is a big step up or down.

Posted by
1847 posts

Premier Inn have bath tubs that aren’t particularly easy to get in or out of – high sided tub and no hand rail.

Posted by
366 posts

Europe has not cornered the market on strange tubs. I stayed at a hotel in the US where the shower/tub had slanted sides. So it was about three inches between the bottom of the tub and the floor. I also stayed at a hotel where the bottom of the tub was rough to keep you from slipping. No bath there. I just hope it was clean. Also triangular tubs???

I also find the tubs in Europe to be a challenge because it is something I am not used to. The only one I really had a problem with was in Italy where there was a small step you had to go up to get into the tub. That one tripped me up several times. Otherwise I just make sure I am holding onto something when I step out.

Posted by
853 posts

I agree with JC. I have slipped in many baths in hotels in the US and beyond. We have a deep tub in our bathroom and a walk in shower. The shower gets used all the time. The tub rarely.

Posted by
25722 posts

Where did you go that the Holiday Inn Express has bathtubs?

Posted by
3523 posts

Be aware as you travel that you can encounter those kinds of tubs in many countries. My non-favorites are very deep, high off the floor and so narrow and curved at the bottom that my feet barely fit side by side. I never take a bath, so having a tub is a negative option for me.

I've found that regardless of the type of lodging I'm seeking, I have to look at the pictures online to find out what kind of "shower" the room has. It seems to be impossible to search for a walk-in shower, or for a shower head, hand-held or fixed, that is high up on a wall. Sometimes the only way to see the shower head is as a reflection in a mirror.

And it's often impossible to see the base of a walk-in shower to determine how high it is to accomodate the modern plumbing. I've had some that were as high as 8" off the bathroom floor!

Posted by
9767 posts

Most hotels have grab rails on baths for getting in and out.

Have seldom seen a grab bar outside of the U.S., but we stay in apartments and small B&Bs/hotels usually older. Have encountered Sam's problem many times.

I wish I had done a photo essay of weird bathrooms from our recent trip. Like the Paris apartment with a passage to the toilet so narrow I had to navigate it sideways (and I am not that big). Upon arrival at the throne, anyone over 200 pounds might have trouble actually using the toilet! Conversational fodder, anyway.

Posted by
3134 posts

After I took a really hard fall on the slippery tile in a shower in an apartment in Vienna, I started traveling with my own improvised mat. There is a kind of shelf lining material, sold at places like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Container Store, that comes in rolls, is made of rubbery plastic, and is like coarse netting. I cut off an appropriate size piece, fold it up, and tuck it in my suitcase. It weighs almost nothing and takes up almost no space. At the end of my trip, I usually leave it. Most recently it kept me from slipping in a walk-in shower in a Greek hotel with a slippery tile floor. To give due credit, I think I read idea on this forum.

Posted by
1838 posts

Surely, having a rubber mat would mean one extra thing to clean - and it may not be easy to clean.

What is it about North Americans & British hotel bathrooms? If it’s not our showers it’s our lack of washcloths and now the height of our baths.

Things are different here!

Posted by
2514 posts

I am surprised you only came up with on thing you don't like about the UK,I am sure you can do better, please let rip.

Posted by
1063 posts

"What is it about North Americans & British hotel bathrooms? If it’s not our showers it’s our lack of washcloths and now the height of our baths."

Also, don't forget about water pressure in the shower and separate taps. :-)

"What is it about North Americans & British hotel bathrooms? If it’s
not our showers it’s our lack of washcloths and now the height of our
baths." Also, don't forget about water pressure in the shower and
separate taps

Oh yes, and our lack of hairdryers in bathrooms...

Posted by
1139 posts

I'm not fussed about the Geordie accent. The only Geordies I can understand are Rafael Benitez and Ayoze Perez.

I still have no clue what the original post refers to.

Posted by
6497 posts

My mother simply can no longer step up into (or back down out of) these types of tubs -- including the one in my apartment. It is becoming something that is essential for me to figure out as we travel - I did about 60/40 last trip of having a walk-in shower, but it's now clear it needs to be 100% (what she can do when we're still chez moi at the beginning or end of a trip, i'm not sure . . .)

Posted by
181 posts

We definitely noticed that at a Premier Inn in London last month.....took a few days to get used to. The one thing that I didn't like - and this goes for France as well - is the lack of ice for beverages, including water. It seemed as if there were ration limits on it......

Posted by
2624 posts

Just embrace the differences of the country you visit. I love everything about the UK. I feel if things bother you that much, then maybe you shouldn’t visit that country again.

Posted by
1217 posts

At least we've had good luck with the taps and other bathroom fixtures in the UK being easy to figure out how to work. Unlike some US hotels where you need a graduate engineering degree to figure out how to turn the shower on. Or a little laminated card explaining how to get the tub/shower diverter valve to work like we saw in a Colorado Hyatt a few years back.

Posted by
440 posts

Something I have never thought about until now. Not much to do about it really unless they put doors on the bath and you sit in it whilst it fills up and empties.

Posted by
4362 posts

Something I have never thought about until now. Not much to do about it really unless they put doors on the bath and you sit in it whilst it fills up and empties.

My nan has one of them, she loves it.

Posted by
3173 posts

Just embrace the differences of the country you visit. I love
everything about the UK. I feel if things bother you that much, then
maybe you shouldn’t visit that country again.

My point of view about travel too.

Posted by
754 posts

Chris F. Nope no raised floors. We just accommodate the plumbing into the floor as we build. Easy but I know not possible here because if age of some buildings it just confused me in brand new hotels in some places.

Never thought about the height of a bathtub in Canada. I have not taken a bath since college. Never realized people would think they are shallow at home.

To the person commenting about premier inns, so right. No grab bars. No bath mats. Very dangerous.

Really not a huge deal but hard for my hubby who has mobility issues but I was surprised how hard I found it too.

The up side ........... all our rooms have been incredibly clean and great staff.

Incredible country with incredible people. So beautiful. Enjoying it so much.

Posted by
754 posts

Robyn Z

Harsh.

I think you can embrace a country and enjoy your travel there but still not like something.

Are you really implying that because I don’t like the tubs I shouldn’t have traveled here ?

Just a little harsh. I’m sure some people come to my country, province or town like or love 95% of it. I don’t think they should have stayed home !?

Posted by
754 posts

Basically we a third world bathing country, but least the doors on our toilet cubicles reach the sides......

That I have appreciated greatly.

Posted by
3895 posts

I'm sure everyone has found something they didn't like about a country - we have had some 'funny' tubs as well - including one at a couchsurfer we stayed with in Genoa - the tub was a bit narrow and curved in noticeably towards the bottom - I almost toppled over. Also not fond of the wet room of one we stayed at in Atrani...but it didn't mean I didn't enjoy my time there.

I'm also not fond of the people on the streets trying to sell you cheap stuff, the scammers or all the smokers when I'm trying to enjoy eating outside - doesn't mean I'm going to stop going to these countries. I agree the comment was a bit harsh. I'm sure those commenters found something they disliked about places they've been, whether it's traffic, no kettles in their room, lack of public transportation, or - say - something as weird as shallow bathtubs or bathroom stalls that have gaps (yeah, I don't like that here either). Should I say that you shouldn't travel to North America because you don't like the gaps in the bathroom stalls?

As for New Brunswick - photobearsam - we ALL know NB is just somewhere you drive thru to get to the much more interesting Nova Scotia or on your way to Maine or Quebec (oh yeah - I said it!!) It's a long held tradition that NS doesn't like NB, just as it's a long held tradition that anyone west of Ontario thinks Canada stops existing at Quebec.

Tongue firmly planted in cheek. ;)

Posted by
3895 posts

JC - my aunt got one of those walk in tubs because of health problems - she likes it - except for the fact that she has to sit and wait for it to fill up and empty - which can take more than a few minutes - I can't imagine sitting there shivering waiting for the tub to fill/empty. Not something I thought about until she mentioned it.

Posted by
4539 posts

Just embrace the differences of the country you visit. I love everything about the UK. I feel if things bother you that much, then maybe you shouldn’t visit that country again.

Really? Everything? I love visiting the UK, but I don’t love everything.

Posted by
8293 posts

The final thing my compatriot from NB said about the baths in the original post was that the problem was “not horrible, just annoying”. I haven’t read another of her posts that in any way expresses annoyance, displeasure, disappointment, or criticism of the UK. It would, of course, be her right to do so if she had a gripe. I took the bath complaint as a passing comment and am surprised it caused such a fuss. She is traveling with her mother, let’s not forget, who probably finds the baths really difficult to use, and not just an annoyance. Photobearsam is such an enthusiastic traveller and anglophile. She just does not admire the bath tubs.

Posted by
2624 posts

@Laura.....yes I love everything about England!!! There isn’t one thing the bothers me.

Posted by
8293 posts

"There isn't one thing that bothers me" about England. So, not the strikes, not the high prices, not the inclement weather, and obviously not the bath tubs? The Queen will be pleased.

I had one of those showers that you guys all moan about last week!

A London hotel, around £100-£120, old characterful property but tired around the edges. Although the shower should have been hands-free, the attachment was loose so the shower head kept swinging around and the shower doors didn’t quite meet...

So I wondered if all our North Americans who moan about British showers just happen to stay at older properties that are also quite cheap...

As I stood there I thought: THIS IS WHY I LOVE PREMIER INNS.

Posted by
11613 posts

As a previous poster noted, my annoyance threshold is related to my mood.

Usually, I am so happy to be wherever I am that I get over things like bathtub height or shower size as soon as the "event" is over.

Posted by
2121 posts

Regarding loving everything about England... I suspect it’s a case of loving the country so much you just don’t notice the negatives. If there are any! That’s how it is for me. Spent three weeks there in September and was totally enthralled the whole time.

Posted by
2624 posts

Carroll, glad you had a great trip. I notice and know the differences, prices, weather, etc., it just doesn’t bother me.

Posted by
3091 posts

I must also defend photobearsam's comments about the tubs , While not a deal breaker , we have also been aware of the elevated height in the tubs in the Premier Inns . I find that I need to be more alert to the height difference ( about two inches ) over North American models . In all fairness , Hampton Inns in The US used to have tubs like this , and have gradually been retrofitted with the lower ones in recent years .

Posted by
9774 posts

Forty Nine responses about bathtubs. I guess there isn't much on TV. :)

Posted by
3091 posts

" I guess there isn't much on TV. :) " Not for the last fifty years , at least .

Posted by
21192 posts

London/UK is safe if the only complaint is about a bathtub height. Personally think many Americans (and maybe a Canadian or two) have difficulty adjusting to anything different. Just back from Peru and Ecuador where 98% of the toilet paper had to be put into a little trash can next to the toilet. Only in one airport did we find one big sign in each bathroom stall advising that the toilet paper had to be put in the toilet. Now that is a pain in the butt.

Posted by
571 posts

Having used American bath tubs, and heard comments from U.S. visitors about the height of British baths, we decided to look for a lower height bath when we refitted our bathrooms last year. We couldn't find a bath that was as low as American ones, so had to accept the best we could find. There were short ones, long ones, round ones, ones with sloping sides and ones with vertical sides. There were steel ones and acrylic ones. But no low baths.

Posted by
21192 posts

Laurel -- I really did not need to know that or see that!!!!

Posted by
1063 posts

"Just back from Peru and Ecuador where 98% of the toilet paper had to be put into a little trash can next to the toilet."

The same as some of the Spanish Islands (Ibiza, Majorca and Lanzarote) up until the early 90's.

Posted by
4362 posts

Ah, the old toilet in a waste bin scenario! Reminds me of a trip to Bodrum from Kos that I took with a friend. We both got up early to catch a decrepit ferry to Bodrum only to find that the previous evenings drinking session was playing havoc with our bellies. Halfway through the journey I decided that I could hold on no longer and ventured into the sole toilet on the ship, it was a retching sight, a completely overflowing bin full of toilet paper, every imaginable bodily excretion on the floors and swarms of flies. Topped with sweltering heat and a choppy sea it was my worst toilet experience to date. My friend who had decided to hold on was overcome with smugness when we docked and we found a McDonalds in the town however he quickly returned looking quite pale and told me that he was unable to go because the toilet was blocked and was full to the absolute brim. We then spent the next hour or so in a frantic search for somewhere more pleasant. It makes me value decent plumbing and a clean hotel toilet so much more.

Posted by
2619 posts

Thank you, JC, for your story. I am on a diet, and now have no desire to eat dinner.

Posted by
8293 posts

OK. Enough with the toilet talk. I’m begging you.

Posted by
991 posts

The first time I used a bathtub in England I admit, I was struck by the depth or lack thereof. I just put it on my list of differences to love. And the mysteries of every single shower head.

Rosalyn: We had the same sort of problem in Canterbury with a slippery shower pan. We went to Poundland for a plastic mat. Easy peasy and binned it when we left.

Norma: We know from the start that prices are high here and thanks to this forum we know about impending strikes. So I neither like nor dislike them. They just "are". I live in the PNW where we are not afraid of weather.

The only trifling complaint I have is postage from the UK to the US. I paid three different prices 1.17, 1.20 and 1.40. Ouchie. Every postal agent assured me that what they were charging me was the correct price.

Posted by
503 posts

"The one thing I don't like about the U.K.............................leaving it

Posted by
2624 posts

Lisa, that is the only thing I don’t like........leaving the U.K.

Posted by
260 posts

I stumbled on this thread which I find fascinating as I can't decipher whether this is a hotbed of passive-aggressive exchanges over a bath tub dispute or a lot of really good tongue-in-cheek fun. Or both?

Posted by
11450 posts

I don't use a hotel bathtub if I can help it.. sorry but I think the maids likely use the same rag they washed the toilet or floor with to wipe down the tub.. ugh. I prefer to take baths at my home only. However I do have a tub with feet so it does stand off the floor a good 3 -4 inches and I still dont have trouble getting in and out of it.. but can see someone with mobility issues would.. but I love that the water can be so much deeper than in the more modern floor level tubs.

What I don't like about the UK.. hmm.. well nothing really , no wait there is one thing.

I hated that when we were driving through the country side in some( actually it seemed a great many ) areas that you cant actually SEE the countryside as the roads have sunk so low and the hedges that line the roads grow so high.. I used to be excited when we went up a hill because at least then you might catch a glimpse of the surrounding country side below.

Posted by
18862 posts

Pat, along the southwestern coast of England some of the intra-city buses are double-deckers. Great view from the top deck!

Posted by
11450 posts

Here we call any form of shrub that forms a row a hedge.. it isn't one particular type of shrub.

I totally agree with the "travelling in historic footsteps" thought and do enjoy that .. but it just can feel claustrophobic to me .. and I love the look of the land off into the distance..