So, you're planning your new bathroom, yet one question remains: Which way should the toilet face? We examine some of the more ancient and traditional principles that can help guide the layout of your home.
Called Feng Shui by the Chinese, and Vastu Shastra by the Indians, many people believe in ancient, traditional practices, said to affect the energy of a home and even a person's outlook in life.
According to these principles, a person can use energy forces to harmonise themselves with their surrounding environment, and this even extends to the bathroom. And if you were to place the toilet in the wrong location or position, this could even affect your fortunes. Since toilets are a source of negative energy, they cannot be treated in the same way you would a desk or sofa in a study or living room, for example. It is said that by rebuilding a bathroom according to the Vastu guidelines, there are many rewards to be reaped.
Founder and Owner of Enlightening Lifestyle, Ashna Ddhannak, who is also a Vastu expert, states that there are specific mentions of rules relating to maintaining the cleanliness of each part of the home in the ancient Vastu Shastra scriptures.
Whether you're a believer or a sceptic, we decided to find out more about these tips and how they relate to bathrooms and toilets.
Bathrooms should be located in the northwest corner of the home
According to Vastu Shastra principles, waste should be ejected in the northwest corner of your home. So, wherever possible, ensure that the bathroom is located in this part of your home. This helps to ensure that negative energies will be eliminated, and space made for positive ones.
As to the direction of your toilet seat, unsurprisingly, there is no specific mention of this in Vastu scriptures, as it is more concerned with waste flow, rather than how your toilet is positioned. Many believe the toilet seat is equally at home facing north, south or even west.
Avoid these directions
Conversely, you should avoid locating toilets in the eastern or northeastern corners of your home. These directions are meant for religious affairs and are best suited for an altar to be set up in. Should you place a toilet in that part of your home or should you fit an east-facing toilet, it is said that your family's fortunes may be affected.
Take care of women's health
In times past, there used to be separate toilets for male and female members of the family. It was believed that women should not defecate in the south of the home, nor should they do so in the southwest or southeast parts of the home as these were directions detrimental to their health.
Windows bring light and fortune
It is beneficial to place a window above the toilet seat and face the east or northeast direction. Scientifically, this also makes sense as it allows natural air to ventilate the room, eliminating the growth of mould or bacteria.
Toilets should be designed to be higher than the home
The Vastu texts suggest that it is ideal for bathrooms to be on a higher level than the main surface area of the house. This could be tricky when it comes to designing, but a good compromise is to create a split-level bathroom (coincidentally, a huge bathroom trend in recent times), thus abiding by this Vastu requirement.
Wastes should be expelled in the correct direction
Earlier, it was mentioned that the western direction is the side for waste to be expelled in. When doing up the drainage for toilets, showers, baths or wash basins, be sure to have them on the western side of the home. Where possible, all drainage pipes should also flow towards the west.
Wooden doors are the way to go
Where possible, use a good quality wooden door as the entrance to your bathroom. With metal, energy from the bathroom will enter the bedrooms or living areas and exert dominance over positive energies from these places. A wooden door is said to reduce the amount of negative energy being emitted.
Vastu Shastra also advises keeping the bathroom door closed throughout the day, so that negative energy from the bathroom doesn't lead to complications in your career, health or relationships. Of course, keeping your bathroom door closed can have other benefits, not least containing some of the less pleasant odours, however, if you have an issue with ventilation (for example, if you don't have an extractor fan fitted), it may lead to damp and mould forming.
Be mindful of the Puja corner
When planning your bathroom, it is ideal to have it open up to the north or the east. However, you should keep in mind that since the east is also the ideal direction for religious offerings, be careful to ensure that the bathroom does not open up to face the puja room (the most sacred room in your home).
Mirror mirror on the wall
In Vastu principles, mirrors hold a large significance as they can reflect all types of energies. By having a bathroom mirror facing the west direction on the east side of your bathroom, the negative energies will be reflected into the bathroom. The same also applies if a mirror is hung on the wall to the south of the bathroom that faces north.
Never let the bathroom take centre stage
The centre of any house will have the highest levels of energy, known as Brahmasthan. This is Vastu principles caution against placing a toilet seat or bathroom in general in the middle of the home. This exposes the home and its members to great danger as a result of the large amounts of negative energy generated. Likewise, this is also the reason why toilets in malls or other commercial properties, based on Vastu Shastra, are usually found on corners.
Have separate spaces for the bath and the toilet
In Vastu, it is ideal for the toilet and bathroom to be separated. Whilst this may be hard to do these days, especially with the rising cost of property prices and home footprints shrinking in size, it can certainly provide food for thought. It may make more practical sense, given that 2 users can be using the bath and toilet simultaneously when compared to both items being in the same space.
The drainage slope in a bathroom should not be overlooked
Some bathrooms (usually wet rooms) adopt a sloped design to allow for drainage to occur. In this case, it is best to have the slope inclined down to face the north. If this is not the case, then water may not drain correctly out of the bathroom.
Whether you believe in energy flows and the effect it can have on your life, or don't feel there is any connection between the layout of your home and your prosperity, understanding traditions such as Vastu Shastra can help you appreciate bathroom design in different cultures. And, who knows... Maybe you'll want to apply these principles to your own bathroom?
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