Smart appliances seem to be pushing the envelope on when you might be finding them. From refrigerators that can notify you when you’re low on groceries, to bathroom mirrors that automatically demist themselves, homes are gaining more functionality almost every day. Bathroom remodels are even focusing on these kinds of upgrades.
These smart devices are making lives easier there’s no denying it. However, there is a question about how much control we’re giving up in our own bathrooms. Are these new appliances too much or are you flushing opportunity away by not using them?
What Makes Them So Smart?
Smart toilets generally refer to the added functionality provided by the seats, although some models actually offer more features. Because seats can be interchanged, it’s possible to upgrade your toilet for the cost of a seat. However, some commodes are the complete package.
When they say something is “smart” this usually means they add a layer of convenience. In the case of smart toilets, some offer automatically lifting lids, auto-flushing, and bidet wands all offer hygiene benefits on top of convenience. Let’s break down some features.
Normal toilets typically use between 1.6 and 2.0 gallons per flush. Over the course of a day, with a family all using it at various times, this can add up (an average of about 18 gallons per person per day). Modern toilets are reducing their water usage, but some smart toilets are boasting as little as .6 gallons per flush. Not only is this saving wasted water, but also saving on your water bill.
Temperature Controlled Seats
A cold seat at any time of day is an unwelcome experience, and everyone who has ever had to answer nature’s call in the middle of the night knows this even more acutely. When your seat is already warmed and ready for your seated repose, it’s easier to be comfortable and return to bed without any serious disruption.
Bidet Wands & Air Dryers
Toilet paper is common in everyday use, but have you ever stopped to think if it’s actually sanitary? If you had the same kind of cleaning to do anywhere else, you wouldn’t just use a few squares of paper and find that acceptable.
In order to get that completely clean feeling, some smart toilets are including wash wands and air dryers. Cutting out the necessity of paper products (or at least most of the products) means lower costs and less environmental impact.
Think about everything you touch when you use a toilet. Go ahead, think about it. Every surface you touch has the potential to spread more germs, so doesn’t it make sense to touch as little as possible? Toilet seats and flush levers or buttons all serve as transfer points for these germs.
Luckily smart toilets are working to automatically take care of these for you. Seats that lift themselves and toilets that flush without touching a thing means you’re keeping your hands as clean as possible.
Are These Worth It?
There’s no denying that these advanced features can greatly improve the bathroom experience. Cleaner hands, a cleaner feel, and the knowledge that you’ll be saving money and the environment are all fantastic bonuses when going with a smart toilet.
However, you can definitely expect to see a higher cost up front. Seat upgrades run between $200 and $400, and some full toilets can go into the thousands of dollars.
Over a long enough period of time, you can be sure to recoup that cost, and the peace of mind that comes from a more hygienic bathroom cannot be beat.
Can You Install Your Own Smart Toilet?
As you can imagine, installing the toilet seats is a much easier endeavor than removing a whole toilet and installing an entirely new and much more complicated appliance. Although it is possible to make a go of it yourself, consider the potential ramifications if it doesn’t go quite right. Leaks of unpleasantness, in your bathroom and along your pipes, will result in a far less sanitary situation than you had hoped for.
So unless you have firsthand professional experience installing these kinds of complicated toilets, you may want to call in the professionals. Also consider how expensive this piece of equipment is. Having the security of the professional touch ensures your investment will be handled with care.
Are There Local Experts?
Luckily, the professional team at The Plumbing Works are trained and ready to handle any potential installation you might be looking for in a bathroom remodel. By including a smart toilet in the plans and design for you new bathroom, you can make sure the whole layout and look for your private sanctum is perfectly in line with your vision.
So the next time you want a professional opinion and helping hand with your bathroom, give The Plumbing Works a call and see what they can do.