Technology is putting a modern twist on a fixture that’s been key to bathrooms around the world for decades. Everywhere except North America, that is, until recently.
Bidet toilets and bidet seats – common in bathrooms throughout Europe, Asia and elsewhere for years – spray a small stream of water for personal cleansing, rather than relying on toilet paper. While they haven’t seen significant acceptance in Canada and the US, that’s starting to change.
“With modern design, and a range of features and price points, bidets toilets and bidet seats have definitely been integrating more into North American homes over the last few years,” says Michelle Braden, Marketing & Communications Manager for Splashes Bath & Kitchen.
Buoyed by influencers like the Kardashians, that upward trend got another nudge this past spring, when people grew concerned about the availability of toilet paper during the initial wave of COVID.
Proponents like that it leaves them feeling fresher and cleaner, but other factors make them appealing too.
While bidet seats do use water to cleanse, it’s far less than the amount of water used in the creation of toilet paper, so the environmental benefits can be significant. It also prevents people from flushing personal wipes and other items that can cause expensive-to-clear blockages.
Many also find it makes personal hygiene easier to manage, especially for those with dexterity challenges due to any number of reasons.
Japanese company Toto was the early champion of the bidet, and while they remain an industry leader, others like American Standard and Duravit have added their own models, providing consumers with an array of options and prices.
“Every brand definitely has its own features and unique selling points,” Braden says, pointing to options ranging from a $250 seat that adapts an existing toilet, to a bidet toilet from Toto that includes such comfort features as a heated seat, warm air dryer and illumination for those nighttime visits.
The result is that there’s a bidet or bidet seat to suit just about every budget (especially considering how much we spend on toilet paper!).
While most of today’s seats do require an electrical hookup that powers the different features, for circumstances where that’s a challenge, a manual pump version of the American Standard SpaLet is also available – popular with those who are renting their home, for example, and can’t add an electrical hookup.
To learn more about the possibilities for your bathroom, visit your Splashes showroom today: in Abbotsford at 2045 Paramount Cres.; in Chilliwack at 44129 Yale Rd.; in Langley / Surrey border at 19558 56th Ave.; and in Surrey at 13325 Comber Way.