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Researcher Seeking Info on Bathrooms in Singapore.

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Re: Researcher Seeking Info on Bathrooms in Singapore.

Postby curiousgeorge » Sat, 25 Oct 2014 5:00 am

Anna_BRG wrote:
1. What are people most likely to install in Singapore: A bathtub, a shower tray, or a walk-in shower (with tiled floor and maybe a curtain)?

2. What types of taps and mixers (faucets) are people most likely to install (one head mixers, two head mixers, thermostatic taps, pillar taps, other...?) and does this answer change whether we are talking about bathrooms vs. kitchens?



1) Walk-in shower with the ubiquitous "shower curb" and glass wall seems to be most popular across HBD and condos. I've rarely seen shower trays. Bathtubs mostly in condos rather than HBDs which are usually so small that they become wet rooms. Soak tubs (little sit-in Japanese tubs) seem to be having a renaissance if the local renovation websites are anything to go by.

2) Lately in kitchens, people seems to love those massively tall taps that loop over the sink and have a switch to change from spray to jet. Sometimes with a pull-out hose (again, if the local reno blogs are to be believed). In bathrooms its mostly single-head mixers whether hot water is present or not. (you can buy kits here to split cold water pipe into two, specifically for the purpose of using hot/cold taps with cold water only).

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Re: Researcher Seeking Info on Bathrooms in Singapore.

Postby Anna_BRG » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 4:55 pm

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to answer my questions! I sincerely appreciate your insight, which will be very helpful to my research.

x9200 wrote:If your question is really about statistics then you should probably ask people leaving long enough in HDB (please google this out) or HDB itself. This is where the majority of the population lives and hot water may not be even there available. This is an expat forum with many people living in condos and from my experience all sort of solution are present in the condos depending on the condo itself and if this is a master bathroom or a different one etc etc.


Please rest assured that I realize this is an expat forum, and therefore not representative of the entire Singaporean market. This is not statistical research however, and even anecdotal discussions amongst expats are absolutely still relevant! While expats do not generally belong to the same demographic or cultural background as the local population, your insights, experiences, and preferences are all still entirely relevant, even if it is not the majority narrative, so I sincerely appreciate your contribution. Thank you! :D

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Postby Anna_BRG » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 5:18 pm

So... In light of how this conversation has moved from 'types of taps and baths' to the existence (or not!) of hot water, I have to use this opportunity to ask you about water heaters. From my understanding, water heaters are absolutely part of the market in Singapore, so I am a little surprised to hear that so few of you have hot water in the kitchen and that hot showers are rare. For those of you who HAVE seen hot water in the country, what kind of water heaters have you found to be the most commonly used?

I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that they are likely to be one of the following:

Gas Storage
Gas Instantaneous
Electric Storage
Electric Instantaneous
Dedicated Solar Thermal

This discussion is really interesting, thank you so much for your help. :D

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Postby Addadude » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 5:37 pm

Hot showers are far from rare. I've yet to stay in any apartment (condo or HDB) that did not have a water heater for the showers. I think the point some of the posters were making was that, with Singapore's climate, 'cold' water isn't all that cold and is actually quite pleasant to shower with on a typically hot day. IME, most water heaters are the 'instantaneous electrical' type.

However, hot water in kitchens is rare in Singapore and if you use the search fuunction here, I'm sure you'll come across threads that discuss this issue. The washing machines you'll find in most Singaporean homes are top loaders that are only intended for use with cold water. Even the washing powder and liquid detergents sold here are usually formulated for cold washes.
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Postby beppi » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 6:19 pm

I have seen these two types of water heaters in Singapore bathrooms:
Electric Storage (usually older buildings, non-HDB)
Electric Instantaneous (more commonly used)
Gas is never used to heat water, and solar is rare because in a nation of high-risers few people have their own roof space.
For the exact reason Addadude mentions above, I haven't used our water heater in years.

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Postby bgd » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 6:42 pm

Electric storage in all the condos I've lived or visited.
One instance of electric instantaneous in a secondary shower, looked like a later addition.

Electric Instantaneous in all the HDBs I've visited.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 8:07 pm

We have two instantaneous electrics in two bathrooms (HDB) but my daughter's has a storage in the master bath and an instantaneous in the common bathroom. (also HDB) In fact, I'm seriously thinking about an electric storage unit for my master bath as well as on cool monsoon mornings at 6 am the instantaneous types still don't heat up the water enough for me (especially if the common bath is being used at the same time then it causes the heating element to shut off due to low pressure.

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Postby singapore eagle » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:22 pm

When we renovated our house four years ago, the contractor installed electric storage heaters. Individual storage units for each individual shower/bathroom, that is.

Ever since we moved in, it's struck me that this is odd. I don't believe I was taken for a ride; this just seems to be the practice here. But why not one unit for the whole house?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:38 pm

Double the exposed piping? Thick insulation to keep it hot adding to the already ugly exposed piping?

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Postby beppi » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:41 pm

The last apartment I rented had one storage-type water heater above a false ceiling in the living area, which supplied two bathrooms and kitchen (Yay - European owner!). This was fine until the (aged) tank burst and we had rain (hot) in the living room!

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:53 pm

beppi wrote:Gas is never used to heat water

Beppi, in 3 out of 4 condos I lived so far gas was used to heat water. The other one was electric storage type (mid 80s).

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Postby Anna_BRG » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:56 pm

x9200 wrote:
beppi wrote:Gas is never used to heat water

Beppi, in 3 out of 4 condos I lived so far gas was used to heat water. The other one was electric storage type (mid 80s).


Oh man, why does this have to be so complicated. :lol:

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:48 pm

Anna_BRG wrote:
x9200 wrote:
beppi wrote:Gas is never used to heat water

Beppi, in 3 out of 4 condos I lived so far gas was used to heat water. The other one was electric storage type (mid 80s).


Oh man, why does this have to be so complicated. :lol:


Gas vs Electricity comes down to whether the apartment has piped (town) gas. If so heating water is MUCH cheaper via gas.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:04 am

Anna_BRG wrote:
x9200 wrote:
beppi wrote:Gas is never used to heat water

Beppi, in 3 out of 4 condos I lived so far gas was used to heat water. The other one was electric storage type (mid 80s).


Oh man, why does this have to be so complicated. :lol:


Why not? :)

One of the semi-D's I lived in had a small 5 liter tank heater in the kitchen, and used a shared 30 liter tank for both bathrooms. But, this was for the tun and shower only... the sinks had only cold faucets.

In the second semi-D, the maids bathroom had a 30 liter tank (no maid though) which I used to run piping to the kitchen sink for hot water, installing a single handle mixer in place of the former cold faucet.

The bedrooms had instant on electric heaters... ancient British units that were truly crappy. I replaced them with newer electronic control units.

One house had a tub in one bath, a shower in the other, while the other had two showers. All showers were of the curbed type.

I stayed at a hotel in Little India one night. It had instant on gas heaters... almost instant on as it took several seconds for the gas to ignite.

Really, bathroom and kitchen facilities will depend upon the age of the building. In the oldest of buildings there was only a wet room... shower, sink and commode, all in one room, no curtain, no nothing. There was only cold water, and only later were instant on heaters added. These kinds of bathrooms are very common all over Asia.

As buildings become newer, they tend to become more westernized with showers, tubs and hot water plumbed in. Far too many older sinks have twin faucets for hot and cold, making it impossible to get a lukewarm stream. Newer units and remodels look at lot like modern American bathrooms with single handle faucets for tub, shower, and sink, and plumbed hot water.

If you actually go buy faucets, you can go to the plumbing areas in Little India and buy everything from single cold faucet with 90 turn degree ceramic washers to single handle goosenecks for the kitchen, all at reasonable prices. Or, you can go to a place like the high end hardware store at Plaza Singapura and pay a bomb for really fancy stuff.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:22 am

Don't forget the trend backwards towards "Kamar Mandi" style baths. You have a build in water cistern (200 L capacity) with a small handled bucked. You stand in the wet area and splash it all over you. Sounds horrible but actually is a highly conservative way to use water and is extremely refreshing in hot climates, (the water cools in the cistern).


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