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Planning A Big Bathroom Remodel? Don’t Forget The Toilet!

There are plenty of things to get excited about if you’re doing a big bathroom remodel, but I’m willing to bet that getting a new toilet isn’t at the top of your list. After all, most people don’t think of their toilets as pretty, assuming they think about their toilets at all. As a nation, we don’t even like to say the word toilet. In fact, we tend to think of the word (and everything associated with it) as vaguely vulgar. But, as the children’s book says, Everyone Poops (incidentally written in Japan, the land of high-tech toilets!), and choosing a new toilet is every bit as important to the aesthetics and comfort of your bathroom as just about any other decision you’ll make. Why?

New Toilets Save Water

Dover Dual Flush Ultra Low-Flow Toilet From INAX
Dover Dual Flush Ultra Low-Flow Toilet From INAX

If you haven’t replaced your toilet any time in the last several years, or if you did, but you didn’t opt for a low-flow toilet¬†or even a dual-flush because you were afraid it wouldn’t work well, you’re wasting water, and wasting money on water, period. Toilets are among the biggest wasters of water in any home, but newer models are dramatically more efficient and more effective. Now, even with toilets that use less than the mandated maximum amount of water per flush, one flush will do the trick. In fact, switching to this ultra low flow Dover Dual Flush from even a standard 1.6gpf low flow toilet can reduce your water consumption by up to 40% per year.

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New Toilets Are Better Designed (On The Inside)

Saint Clair Dual Flush With Double Vortex Flush From INAX
Saint Clair Dual Flush With Double Vortex Flush From INAX

If you’re thinking that when low-flow toilets came out in the early 90s, they didn’t work so well, you’re not wrong, but the problem wasn’t the amount of water used per flush, it was the design of the toilets themselves. Over the last two decades or so, even pretty basic toilets have seen big technological advancements. From smooth, glazed interiors that reduce friction to whole new bowl designs, like the one on this Saint Clair Eco-X Toilet, new toilets are carefully designed to maximize the force of the smallest amount of water. That means you actually end up with a much more powerful flush while using less water than the wimpy “low flow” toilets you’re probably remembering.

New Toilets Are Better Designed (On The Outside)

City Skirted Toilet From GSI
City Skirted Toilet From GSI

I’ll admit, it’s easy to say that a toilet is a toilet is a toilet. For the last hundred years or so, toilet design really hasn’t changed all that much. You’ve got a tank, a seat, and a bowl, and other than a few minor cosmetic variations, they all look more or less the same. But that’s really starting to change, with companies like GSI re-imagining the shape of the toilet and its component parts to make them an elegant and integral part of your bathroom rather than another generic fixture. That said, I think the most revolutionary change to the outside of toilets is the shift to toilets like this City Toilet that have a skirt-style base. That means that instead of seeing all the bends of the trapway at the base of the toilet you get a smooth, easy-to clean clean surface that won’t collect grime.

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New Toilets Look Cooler

Washdown Water Sense Wall Hung Toilet From Laufen
Washdown Water Sense Wall Hung Toilet From Laufen

Many manufacturers are even going beyond simply redesigning the way the basic parts of a toilet look, and redesigning the way toilets actually work. From high tech toilets with a whole host of features (more on these in a moment) to wall mounted toilets, these sleek, modern re-imaginings of toilets are anything but average, turning “just a toilet” into something that can actually enhance the style of your bathroom. Especially if you’re going for a modern aesthetic (or if you have a smaller bathroom), wall toilets like this Washdown Toilet from Laufen are a great way to add totally unique style without taking up much space.

High Tech Toilets Can Improve Your Magazine Reading Time

Regio Luxury High Tech Toilet From INAX
Regio Luxury High Tech Toilet From INAX

In addition to a whole slew of new toilets that are cool looking, there’s also been a recent surge in toilets that are just plain cool. High tech toilets, like this Regio Toilet from INAX, have sleek, simplified exteriors but are jam-packed with technological gadgets. From self raising and closing lids to night lights, heated seats, and built-in sound systems, high tech toilets add the kind of luxury functionality you can usually only get from much larger fixtures, like steam showers, but without taking up the same footprint.

High Tech Toilets Can Improve Your Hygiene

Neorest 500 High Tech Toilet From Toto
Neorest 500 High Tech Toilet From Toto

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Many high tech toilets also include built in bidets. Bidets have been slow to catch on in the US – perhaps because of our aforementioned discomfort with the discussion of all things bathroom related – but are considered basic hygiene in many other parts of the world. Most such toilets have settings for both men and women, and use heated water sprayers and warm air driers designed to thoroughly rinse and dry you after you’ve used the toilet. If you’re feeling adventurous enough to try it, this is a great way to improve your personal hygiene. If you’re intrigued, but not quite enough to justify the full price tag of something like this Neorest 500 from Toto, high tech toilet seats offer much of the same functionality and can easily be paired with a (less expensive) low flow or dual flush toilet.

When you’re planning your next bathroom remodel, don’t discount your toilet as a necessary evil. Choosing the right toilet can save water, save cleaning time and effort, enhance the appearance of your bathroom, and even improve your personal hygiene! What are you looking for in a new toilet? Do you think you’d try a high tech toilet with an integrated bidet?

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