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Bathroom Customs Around the World

No matter where we are in the world, one thing unites us; our mutual need to visit the bathroom. From Japan to Timbuktu, each culture the World over has its own specific bathroom customs and rituals, and getting them wrong can land you in the merde (as the French would say).

We’ve picked out some of the most unusual bathroom customs around the world to help avoid just this, so check out what to do when you visit the loo when you’re next on your travels..


We start our bathroom tour of the World in France, which cannot be ignored for its dedication to everyone’s favourite hotel room addition- the bidet. Although known for their popularity in France, bidets appear in bathrooms all over Southern Europe, and essentially allow the user to wash their bits. Users are required to sit on the bidet facing the taps and splash their desired wash areas with water, leaving themselves squeaky clean ‘down there’ to go about their business.

Those unfamiliar with bidets need to be careful not to confuse them with a toilet- they may look the same, but if you use them for the same things you may have a bit of a mess on your hands.


Toilets in Japan can leave a Westerner baffled; some looking like they’re straight out of the future, and others essentially a fancy hole in the floor (complete with foot placements). There are two types of toilets in Japan, each with their very own tricks to master:

Squat Toilet
The squat toilet is the traditional toilet of Japan, and is described as a ‘sort of urinal on the floor.’ Although most modern squat toilets look rather swish (porcelain and all), do not be fooled: they are, at the most basic level, a hole in the floor in which to do your business. Strong thighs are a must to be able to hold your own in one of these loos, requiring you to squat artfully above the loo whilst you do your business. To avoid embarrassing aim errors, stripping from the waist down is recommended- as is holding on to the ‘grunt pipe’ attached to the loo for balance.

Japanese Squat Toilet

Image courtesy of

Bidet Toilet
Taking things to the other extreme is the bidet toilet, now extremely popular all over Japan. The Japanese have taken the French’s love for a squeaky clean derrière here to the next level, creating a loo with more knobs and whistles than Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Many a tale can be heard from perplexed Westerners faced with one of these contraptions, but the most important function to get to grips with is the in-built bidet function. That’s right- these loos squirt your bottom with a fierce jet of water once you’ve done your business; many with adjustable settings according to sex and, erm, desired wash area.

Other features of the most modern bidet toilets include heated seats, blow dryer and massage functions. This isn’t just any loo- it’s your personal masseuse (and soon to be best friend). The future has arrived friends- and it’s in a toilet in Japan!

Geberit AquaClean 8000 Bidet Toilet


The important thing to know when visiting Greece is that paper down the loo is a big no-no, so think before you flush! Due to old sewage systems, many areas of Greece and the Greek islands can’t cope with toilet paper being flushed down the loo; so toilet-users are required to wipe it, and bin it. Nothing too horrendous or out of the ordinary, but be sure to empty the bin in your bathroom regularly to avoid a build up of unpleasant pongs.

Image courtesy of Lemon Tree.


The Indians like to take a ‘hands on’ approach to bathroom duties, quite literally. Most commonly using traditional ‘squat’ toilets, as in Japan, the customary way to do your business in India (and around many places in Asia) is to get stuck in and wipe yourself. Usually, a tap is available to your left with which you can fill a bucket with water. You then use this water to wet your hand and wipe yourself clean- then washing said hand afterwards. Whilst this may seem unhygienic, many around Asia see the use of loo roll as unclean, so is a perfect example of different cultures’ approaches to loo-time customs. Just be sure not to offer up your ‘wiping hand’ for a handshake!


Image courtesy of UCL.


Borneo is home to a group of people called the Tidong, who take the phrase ‘holding it in’ to a whole new level. The Tidong traditionally require a newly wed bride and groom to refrain from going to the loo for a whole 3 days and nights following the wedding- and are closely monitored by their families to ensure that they don’t cave. The tradition is said to encourage a long and healthy married life together- and you know what they say, a couple that doesn’t wee together, stays together…

Caught Short

Image courtesy of Tardis Hire

Why glass protection for your shower?

We firmly believe that having glass protection for a new shower enclosure is well worth

it, but there is one area that we would recommend to you when buying a new shower enclosure and that is buy one from a top manufacturer that includes glass protection, do not consider one of the many aftermarket products that can be applied to the glass panels. Naturally it is not something that is essential, but if you are in the process of upgrading your current bathroom or en-suite area, why not have to optional surface upgrade, after all you will be hoping it will not need replacing for many years. When the manufacturers of the shower enclosure treat the new glass it is done as part of

the manufacturing process and you can be sure that it will not wash off after use. The glass is treated in a way that aids the water to simply run off the surface and you are not likely to get a build up of limescale, this not only keeps the glass looking smart and clean, but it hygienic as well, cleaning the glass is easy. We have a wide range of enclosures which we can recommend to you and these include: Kudos Matki, Roman, Simpson, Impey, and Showerlux amongst many others and all with offer the choice of glass protection.

ClearGreen Verde Double Ended Bath

A double ended bath is a really useful bath, particularly when you have a couple of kids that you want to get into the bath at the same time, who wants to sit at the tap end anyway, so why not have one with two ends than everyone is happy.

The Cleargreen Verde double ended bath is provided without predrilled tap holes which mean that you can put them where it suits you the best. No panels are provided with the bath so you can install it as a built in feature as shown, or if you prefer, a front panel is available for you to buy as an extra.

Manufactured from Lucite acrylic and with an eco friendly encapsulated and recycled baseboard, far stronger than chipboard, the bath features a 25year guarantee against manufacturing defects. ClearGreen baths offer a whole new dimension when it comes to bath time, as the ClearGreen collection adds a different level of comfort and sustainability, the water will stay longer warmer for the kids as well.

The Best of the Worst Bathroom Suites

Here at, we believe that your bathroom suite says a lot about you. The style and colour of the suite you choose can say a lot about your personality; whether you be chic minimalist, or more of a romantic, with floral motifs plastered around the room.

And then there are the types of bathrooms that make neat, modern suites cower in fear.

We thought we’d take a look at the latter, to show you guys just how bad a bathroom can be. We’re not interested in clean, modern suites here; but their grotty, dated and down-right filthy other halves, that would laugh at any bleach that dared come their way. So sit back and enjoy our 30 best of the worst bathroom suites (viewer discretion advised).

Click to enlarge (if you dare)

Not even that much pink could hide the level of grime that’s set up camp here

Say what you want about this suite, at least it has clean toilet paper.

Interesting choice of decor in here

Who needs an in-tact toilet anyway?

It’s advised to tread carefully when entering this suite

Who needs a clean shower when your bathroom floor is sparkling?

This one looks like they’ve attempted to upgrade their suite. And failed. Rather badly.

The perfect addition to any suite: a fly infestation!

A quick sweep wouldn’t go amiss.

Only Stretch Armstrong himself could use this loo.

Everyone’s favourite bathroom colour- avocado!

We’re pretty sure this one could do with a clean. Not that we’re judging.

MISSING- TAPS. Please return to bathroom suite if found.

Perhaps that loose change should be put towards a new bathroom suite.

Who needs a loo seat? Or floorboards, for that matter?

Brown is both modern AND practical in a bathroom

This urinal has seen better days (but then, most urinals have)

Pink toilet with tiles the 70s would be proud of. Excellent choice.

We can see how the newspaper would stop your feet from getting dirty in this bathroom. Ahem.

Alcatraz’s finest suite, complete with centuries of sewage.

Not entirely sure this toilet is even fixed to a wall.

Mr Muscle would have a field day in here.

The pink loo seat makes a fine reappearance in this suite.

Again, some bleach wouldn’t go amiss in this suite.

We’re unsure as to the function of the towel, but can only imagine the horrors underneath.

Either a rugby team had a bath in here, or we’re looking at YEARS of dirt.


Bidets are an excellent addition to any suite. Particularly when not blocked with sewage.

And last, but by no means least, the dirtiest bathroom we have EVER seen:

How this happened is anyone’s guess, but it certainly takes the biscuit as the best of the dirtiest suites we’ve ever seen!

Get Blinds For Your Bathroom

There is a huge advantage to using blinds in your bathroom.  One of the best reasons is that, with a set of blackout blinds you can completely block out any light, preventing anyone from being able to see into the bathroom.

The second reason is that many types of bathroom blinds are waterproof, thus preventing the blinds from rotting over time.

Tuiss are a made to measure blinds company based in the UK, you really can’t get better than custom made blinds for your bathroom.

Matki Radiance Original Curved Corner Shower Surround

With a massive range of showers at the UK Bathrooms web pages you will find one that is perfect for your bathroom or en-suite area but which one would you choose? To help you make a decision, the team at UK Bathrooms have put together a collection of their best selling enclosures which gives a choice of 17 different ones, all from the top manufacturers of showering equipment. One example is the Matki Radiance which is currently being offered at a price discounted by a generous £189.85, a price that it is thought will be hard to better. The single sliding Curved Door in clear toughened safety glass glides effortlessly to reveal a generous opening or closes for a watertight seal and that includes those installing a power shower.  Matki Glass Guard is included in the price and the package also includes the specially designed shower tray including Matki Fastflow Shower Waste.