Baltimore is infamous for its neighborhoods of rowhouses. Most of those houses have just one bathroom shared by multiple family members. The overly busy bathroom isn’t a modern problem, but families and roommates still find themselves in a pinch working out the logistics. Try out a few simple tips to make mornings manageable.
Stick to a schedule.
Timing is essential. Knowing everyone’s schedule is key to avoiding time conflicts. Staggering wake up and shower times may give easy access to the bathroom. Hair drying and make-up application take up precious bathroom time and don’t really need to happen in the bathroom. Invest in a vanity set. If you can, a shower at night guarantees all of the time and hot water you could want, and cuts down on morning prep time. Knowing who’s a morning person and who’s a night owl also helps keep the peace. “Our mom took a long hot bath every evening between 9 p.m. and 10:30 every night. You either go in before her or you had a long wait to go to the bathroom,” said Suzanne Schultz, youngest of the Schultz family who shared one bathroom with eight people.
Give a heads up when it’s throne time.
No matter the shower schedule, that bathroom still holds the key to a lot of fights: the toilet. Try not to steal the throne for a half an hour during shower power hour in the mornings. It’s hard to schedule those things, so if it has to happen, give your housemates a chance to slip in for those five-minute tasks they’ll be furious if they have to wait for. “Growing up, my dad had throne time between 5:15 and 6:00 every day. Everyone knew if you have to go to the bathroom during that time, you had to visit a friend’s house,” said Greg Schultz.
Take the toilet out of the fight.
One bathroom worked for most families as far back as the days of outhouses. Today, with modern bathrooms, one option to relieve the problem is installing a half bath. Perhaps there is space under the staircase or there is a closet that won’t be missed if converted to a powder room.
Below are some local businesses that may be able to help you get started.
Northeastern Plumbing Supply
8323 Pulaski Hwy.
Rosedale, Md. 21237
The Northeastern Plumbing Supply, owned and operated by Steve Cook (son of the original owner), now has 300 employees in 33 locations throughout six states. It provides design, steam, solar, radiant and hydronic power along with faucets, shower doors, lighting, pump and sewer systems.
Albright’s Mechanical Services
11 S. Maryln Ave.
Essex, Md. 21221
Albright’s provides sales, installation and service for drains, sinks, faucets, toilets and sewers with tankless and solar options as well. Radio dispatched trucks available, and it offers free estimates.
Fitz Mechanical Heating and Plumbing
6311 Harford Rd.
Baltimore, Md. 21234
Providing plumbing service to Baltimore for more than 50 years, Fitz offers a full line of plumbing, air conditioning and heating needs. Employees are well-trained to professionally install anything you need for a comfortable home and a manageable morning routine.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSBaltimore.com/YourHome.
Anna Renault is a life-long resident of Baltimore County. After a 31 year career, Renault has re-careered into the world of journalism. She writes a weekly column for The Avenue News, her local paper. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.