Mein haus in Germany: Badezimmer

Bathrooms in Germany are an experience, especially public restrooms, but that is a whole ‘nother post. This one is about the bathroom in my apartment. We have a three bedroom apartment, but there is only one bathroom with a shower and tub. It is located on the opposite side of the apartment from the master bedroom, which means a long, cold walk in the middle of the night. We also have a half bath, which is hardly worth writing about. It is about four feet away from the main bathroom and doesn’t even have hot water hooked up to the tap.

Our main bathroom is actually very nice and easily the largest bathroom I’ve ever had in any of the apartments or houses I’ve lived in. The first major difference between a German bathroom and an American bathroom are the vanities.

The bathroom on the left is mine and the bathroom on the right is a guest bathroom in Mary Claire’s house in Texas. There are never, ever vanities in a German bathroom. The sinks usually just hang on the wall and you are left to wonder where you are suppose to put anything. We had to buy the two IKEA cabinets hanging on the walls because there is absolutely no storage in our bathroom. We also had to buy the mirrors and install the light fixtures. German bathrooms don’t come with storage, mirrors or light fixtures. I really miss counter space and cabinets!

My toilet hangs on the wall, which made me nervous at first. I don’t know why because I don’t weigh THAT much. Now I think it is so awesome that the toilet is not sitting on the floor. When I actually do clean the floors, it is so much easier to get around the toilet area. You might wonder how to flush the toilet since there isn’t a visible tank and lever. The buttons to flush are a little ways up the wall. The small button is for . . . small deposits and the large button is for large deposits. Our water meter is also displayed on this wall, which includes a radio transmitter to inform our landlords of our water usage.

I love my German bathtub. This bathroom is so nice, I can hardly believe it’s in an apartment. I’ve never lived in an apartment where the tile goes about 6 feet up each wall and there is nice glass mosaic tile. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever lived in an apartment that actually had tile on the floor, walls and tub surround. This bathroom is built to last. However, we did have to buy and install the towel rack. The bathroom in my South Carolina house is more like Mary Claire’s, which is pictured on the right. The good old shower/tub combo. Although it looks like Mary Claire’s is actually tiled, mine in SC is a giant acrylic form (I’d love to replace it if we ever move back into our house).

I really like our shower too, mostly because of the nice decorative tile. However, my hubby had to negotiate with the landlord to have the shower doors installed. I guess we were expected to shower in the open or somehow string up a makeshift curtain. Glad you fought for this one, babe! I would have taken a closer picture of the shower, but then you’d see how bad I am at cleaning. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I say there is no shelf or way to store bottles and soap in the shower.

Storage, or lack thereof, is a repeating theme when it comes to discussing German apartments. Since I don’t have cabinets in my bathroom, I had to set up everything in my linen closet.

Yup, that is my “linen closet”, a dresser in the hallway next to our bathroom. That dresser is a vintage Ethan Allen piece Jeromy purchased from my mom. I think it is the only piece of furniture that has been with us for our entire marriage. It has made the trek from Iowa to Alaska, up and down the East Coast and all the way to Germany.

Well, that was my German bathroom and Mary Claire’s Texan guest bathroom. It makes me thankful for American cabinets and vanities, but when I get back to the States, I’d definitely like to upgrade the bathroom in my house. Anything less than tile just won’t do. Has anyone else had interesting bathroom experiences in foreign countries? I’ve heard Japanese bathrooms are an adventure.

6 thoughts on “Mein haus in Germany: Badezimmer

  1. I never told you my Japanese bathroom story? I think THAT is a whole ‘nother post! It’s weird all the things you just assume will be in a bathroom- like shower doors….or light fixtures…crazy Americans!!!

  2. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to share some toilet pictures with you from my travels through SE Asia!!!! Not sure how to do that? Share photos?

    But on a different note, can you take a moment to give me some advice? I am an Aussie about to move to Frankfurt for 1 year.

    We had planned on leasing a car. Only to find out you cannot be in country for >185 days in the year and cannot be taking on any type of employment. So no car lease. We will arrive early July 2012. Travel through Italy & France for 1 month, then settle in Frankfurt for my husband’s work.

    Can we buy a car without a German residence permit (German: Aufenthaltstitel)? Cause I imagine we cannot be issued with one til we “settle” from our month of travel in early August with a fixed address. So cannot buy a car to travel with.

    Also, there is the option of a longer term lease, I THINK?? For people who are staying >185 days. But once again, I think we need a German residence permit (German: Aufenthaltstitel), which I assume it takes a while to obtain? And I assume we won’t be able to get one til after August — hence again ruling out the lease for the month of July & our travels to Italy & France.

    There is the option of hiring a car for a month of course, but that will be close to $2000AUD.

    Any ideas?

    – Angela

    • Hi Angela,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. This is going to sound crazy, but I bet non-Western style toilets are very interesting!

      As for advice regarding vehicles in Germany, my family is here in association with the US military, so we fall under different rules regarding use of vehicles. I’m going to refer you to . It is an English language website for German news. The site also has a forum where you can look for answers to your questions, or post your question. I think you’ll find these websites helpful. They have some forums specific to Frankfurt.

      In general, it is nice to have a car in Germany, but I think you’ll find the public transportation affordable, reliable and very accessible. I know a number of people who get through the normal day and work week without a car. If you live and work close to a U-bahn or S-bahn stop, it is very doable.

      Good luck with your move. I hope you’ll enjoy Germany as much as we do.

      -Jennifer

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