Toilet and Bidet Options
Although not something people discuss frequently, modern toilets are offered in such a large variety of choices that one must be aware of the features, in order to make an informed decision. There are many options now, including height, flush valve size, flush gallons per flush (GPF), bowl shape, heated and bidet seats as well as computerized models with music, automatic seats and more. Here are the basics you should know in order to make the right decisions when updating your bathroom.
Height: Comfort height toilets are taller than the standard 14 inch toilets, these are offered at 17-19 inches tall. This was brought about by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to provide a toilet that is more comfortable to use. This is a good choice for taller individuals as well, and is becoming more of a standard in adult households. The standard height toilets are a better choice for shorter individuals or families who have children. Bowl: Toilet bowls come in a round and elongated bowl design. If you have a smaller bathroom, the standard round bowl will save more space. The elongated design is typically more comfortable but averages a length of 31 inches from the wall, versus 28 inches for a round bowl toilet.
Toilet Flush Options
There are numerous options and factors when it comes to an efficient toilet flush. Since 1994, when toilets were mandated to flush 1.6 gallons per flush versus the old 3.5 gallons, the technology has come a long way. The initial toilets gained a bad reputation for not completing the job. Since then the technology has increased greatly and these toilets out-perform their predecessors. Look for the following features for higher performance: Larger Flush Valves: The standard valve size is 2 inches, while some of the manufacturers offer a 3 inch valve for increased performance. Larger Trap Ways: A larger opening allows easier clearing of the trap and operational efficiency. Look for trap ways with a width of 2.125 or larger for the best performance. There are several flush options available today. There are several flush options available today. 1.6 GPF: This is the standard in the industry and delivers 1.6 gallons per flush for liquid disbursement. For solid waste, just hold the handle down and the toilet will release more water until the waste is cleared, then release. 1.28 GPF: For people interested in even more efficiency, this new option delivers more savings in water use. Like the 1.6 model, simply holding down the handle will clear the solid waste efficiently as well. Dual Flush: This technology delivers two efficient modes for even greater efficiency removing liquid waste. The plunger button is typically split, pushing one half uses .08 GPF and pushing both sides down releases the typical 1.6 GPF. As with the others, a prolonged hold of the plunger will disperse enough water to remove the solid waste.
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American households are now embracing the European tradition of using a bidet in the bathroom to reduce waste paper and improve hygiene. The units deliver a gentle focused stream of water to provide cleaning, thus reducing paper consumption. This is very beneficial for older people with sensitivity as well as individuals with mobility issues. Realtors in the US are reporting that the units are actually adding resale value to homes as they have become more fashionable. Bidet Seats for Standard Toilets For bathrooms where the extra space is not available for a separate bidet, there are now bidet seat kits available to retrofit existing toilets. These come in many models with various features, but can be very inexpensive and provide great health and environmental benefits.
Toilet Design Options
There are several primary toilet design types. Two Piece: The traditional toilet style, which uses a rear-mounted tank and a lower bowl. Although priced more economically, cleaning is a little harder with these units. One Piece: These units integrate both tank and bowl into a one piece construction with no seams. These are much easier to clean but are a more expensive option. Wall Mount: A very sleek design, this unit’s tank is concealed in the wall. This requires more planning and cost, but can provide a stunning look as well as easy cleaning.