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Do you bidet?

February 9, 2016Green Building, Healthy Homes

Bidets increasingly popular in master bath remodels

Master bathroom remodels have been a Meadowlark specialty since the economy started an upswing a couple years ago. Homeowners’ master bathroom requests tend to incorporate elaborate spa-like experiences as part of their master suite integration. The master bath spa experience dictates color hues that resemble the ocean. After all, this is Michigan, and the thought of bringing the sandy beach and sunny sky to our Midwestern state is enticing to everyone. Showers with features like a rain shower and separate body sprays are a luxury for those who enjoy spending time decompressing in their light and airy tiled showers. However, there’s an increasingly popular bathroom feature that is no longer reserved for your beauty spa, a most efficient accessory that has been used for centuries and is still used in many other countries where plumbing fixtures and drain lines have restricted capacities: the bidet. I first encountered a bidet on my travels to Egypt while in high school. We stayed with my best friend’s grandparents, who lovingly welcomed us into their home. They carefully described the function of the stainless steel Allen wrench type piece protruding out from the toilet bowl. Amongst the creation of the Pyramids and Sphinx, I was in awe of this simple gadget that seemed so brilliant, simple and revolutionary to my Midwestern mind. This single simple water spray function drastically reduces the use of toilet paper and has a major effect on the tolls of disposal on a densely packed urban city.

In the U.S, there’s been a growing movement to popularize bidets, especially by environmentalists. When you consider how much the energy the toilet paper industry uses in the U.S. alone each year, the numbers are staggering. According to Justin Thomas, editor of metaefficient.com, each year 36.5 billion rolls of t.p. are produced, or the equivalent of 15 million trees, which in turn requires 473 billion gallons of water and 17.3 terawatts of energy. Bidets use significantly less energy, water and of course trees compared to t.p. Despite what you’d think, you don’t have to spend tons of money to install a bidet.

Bidets can be separate units that sit alongside of a toilet:

bidet with toilet

Bidet alongside toilet

 

 

 

 

 

 
However, an alternative solution is a washlet, a unit that integrates the bidet with the toilet seat.

Washlet bidet

Washlet by Toto

The bidets can be as simple as a sprayer, but fancier bidets from Toto or Kohler come equipped with seat warmers and adjustable spray temperatures. They can even be synched with your phone, play music or provide a nightlight in a variety of colors. I would encourage you to consider adding this accessory piece to your master bathroom suite remodels. As a functionally “green” artifact, the bidet will leave you pleasantly surprised by its benefits. Of course, if you have questions about incorporating a bidet into your remodel, don’t hesitate to call us!

By Melissa Kennedy

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