In a world that values technology and advancements to improve the quality of life, most people probably don’t think of toilets as a huge leap forward for humankind. Chances are you would think differently if you had to leave the comfort of your home and run to an outhouse every time you needed to go.
Americans experienced indoor toilets when troops serving in England and France during World War I saw and used Thomas Crapper’s flushing toilet for the first time in their lives, reports historybits.com. Until then, virtually all Americans relied on backyard latrines.
It’s a little ironic that in the past century, we’ve seen huge advancements in cars, planes, appliances, phones, etc., but most people are using toilets that changed little in that time. People who are choosy about having the latest refrigerator, television or mattress often accept whatever toilet happens to be in their homes even if it is 40 years old and doesn’t work properly.
That’s too bad because today’s toilets are significantly better than those U.S. soldiers discovered while serving in the Great War.
Choose your seat
People vary greatly in height and weight. Despite that, most toilets are less than 17 inches high. For people who are taller or heavier than average, or for people with back issues, or for many elderly people, a standard-height toilet is simply too low to be comfortable. As a result, toilet manufacturers offer taller and larger units often called “comfort” models.
Choosing an elongated seat versus the more round option is another way to make your toilet much more comfortable.
An example is the Kohler Santa Rosa comfort height elongated toilet. Its seat height is 19 inches, which is about the same as most chairs, so getting on and off is easier for many. It also comes in non-white colors like almond, biscuit, black, dune, white, ice gray and sandbar.
Pro Tip: Bidet seats, also referred to as cleansing seats are the best-kept secrets in toilets right now. They are the best option for many health needs, raising children, and those that want just a true cleanness each time they go to the bathroom. Once people use them, they never go back to a regular seat again. We’ve seen people move from house to house and take their toilet seats with them. It’s true toilet love.
A smarter option
People who want something a little different should consider trying an intelligent toilet. These toilets offer features like a dual-flush option that allows you to choose a lighter flush with less water volume or a heavier flush for solids. Other features include heated seats, warm-water cleansing, warm-air drying, automatic deodorizing, LED lighting, motion sensor hands-free opening and closing and a touchscreen remote.
Most intelligent toilets also have a self-cleaning function. Of course, these options don’t come without a cost. Prices range from $3,800 to nearly $7,000. But considering the amount of use toilets receive, many people will find it worthwhile to pay the extra — just like our great grandparents were eager to reconfigure their homes to make the switch to an indoor facility.
If you aren’t quite ready to go all-in on a high-tech loo, you can opt for a one-piece touchless toilet like the Kohler San Souci. Instead of pressing a lever to flush, you simply wave your hand over a motion sensor, which minimizes the spread of germs. The one-piece design integrates the tank and bowl and is more efficient and less prone to leaks. It also has a more streamlined, modern appearance. This model uses just 1.28 gallons per flush but a unique design creates more force so you don’t end up needing multiple flushes to clean the bowl. Over a year, this model will save thousands of gallons of water.
If you are like many who have an older toilet that is stained, uses too much water, is noisy, doesn’t flush properly or even leaks, instead of trying to repair it again, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Call a trusted, experienced local plumbing expert to explain the available options and help you select a model that allows you and your family upgrade to a 21st-century toilet.
About Linda Stanfield
Linda Stanfield has been offering plumbing services across the Valley for 31 years. She is the only plumber in the state to have won the BBB Ethics Award three times. As a plumbing leader in the valley, she can also be found on TV and YouTube sharing and helping consumers with their plumbing needs.
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