There is one product in everyone’s home that is used quite a bit but spoken about very little – except by people like us. We are talking about toilets. That’s right – the one product in your bathroom that is a silent sentry; when it works well, no one pays it any attention but when it doesn’t – look out! Here at the Ultimate Bath Store, we think of ourselves as the champions of this much-maligned product. So with that in mind, let’s see what’s new in the world of contemporary toilets.
What should you look for in a toilet? Though most toilets look the same, there are some things that we recommend you look for; not the least being a toilet that is WaterSense approved. WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products. It was launched in June 2006. Most manufacturers adhere to the standards set forth by the EPA but you should definitely look for the WaterSense label when shopping. By using water efficient products and practices, consumers save natural resources, reduce water consumption, and save money. Here is where the rubber meets the road, as far as what WaterSense means to you:
Are 20 percent more water efficient than average products in that category.
Realize water savings on a national level.
Provide measurable water savings results.
Achieve water efficiency through several technology options.
Are effectively differentiated by the WaterSense label.
Obtain independent, third-party certification.
Moving on from water-saving, the other differences in toilet design come down to whether or not you want a one-piece toilet or two-piece.
Here is a bit of information on the difference, from the Kohler website:
One-piece toilets integrate tank and bowl into a seamless, space-saving design that is easy to clean. Some low-profile models can be installed under a vanity extension when space is at a premium.
The toilet above is Kohler’s Reve one-piece, WaterSense approved toilet.
Two-piece toilets feature the traditional design of a separate tank and bowl. Two- and three-bolt installation systems provide a sturdy, level connection between the tank and bowl, making installation easy.
The toilet above, Kohler’s Cimarron (also WaterSense approved) has a number of cool features: it’s a touchless toilet with the no-touch flush for your home. Just hold your hand over the tank sensor to activate the flush. No handle to touch means fewer germs to pick up or leave behind. This Cimarron toilet features innovative AquaPiston technology, a patented flush engine that delivers a fast, powerful, and virtually plug-free flush. A 1.28-gallon flush provides significant water savings of up to 16,500 gallons per year, compared to a 3.5-gallon toilet, without sacrificing performance.
Okay, so you’ve decided on whether you’d like a one-piece or two-piece (sort of like choosing a bathing suit right?) – but here is one other design element to keep in mind and it’s called ‘Easy Height.’
Look, we are all aging, it can’t be helped but what can be helped is making it easier for our older leg muscles. Easy Height toilets, as the name implies, are taller – not noticeably so but enough that when you sit down you do not need to lower yourself into a crouch. Trust us – you’ll appreciate this as you age.
Comfort Height toilets, approximately 2 inches taller than traditional toilets, make sitting down and standing up easier. Toilets that measure between 17 and 19 inches in height from the floor to the top of the seat are considered Comfort Height toilets, whereas traditional toilets measure below 17 inches in height. Many Comfort Height toilets are also ADA-compliant when installed per the applicable guidelines.
The Cimarron toilet above is an Easy Height toilet. Here is one other from Kohler, their San Souci Touchless Comfort Height toilet:
The San Souci one-piece toilet offers a sleek, contemporary design combined with KOHLER touchless flush. Just hold your hand over the tank sensor to activate the flush. No handle to touch means fewer germs to pick up or leave behind. This toilet features innovative AquaPiston technology, a patented flush engine that delivers a fast, powerful, and virtually plug-free flush. A 1.28-gallon flush provides significant water savings of up to 16,500 gallons per year, compared to a 3.5-gallon toilet, without sacrificing performance.
The top of the line toilet (shown at the beginning of this post), is Kohler’s Veil series, which has all the bells and whistles….including a heated seat (ahhhh) and an automatic deodorization system. Right? Everything!
It seems as though toilet technology has thought of everything – you don’t even need to TOUCH the toilet to get it to flush! If only they had built-in night lights — if only – but WAIT! Of course they do!! Kohler (and other manufacturers) now have night lights, using LEDs built right into the toilet seat covers! Brilliant (pun intended).
Nightlight runs automatically on a seven-hour cycle so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on during the day or turning it on every night. With just the push of a button, you program the first cycle, and the Nightlight will activate at the same time every night. The slim, low-profile toilet seat runs on four “AA” batteries for up to six months, so you don’t have to deal with messy cords or wires that add clutter in your bathroom.
Except for perhaps bringing you reading material, we proclaim toilets to no longer be plain and boring!