By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
The United Nations bestowed Nov. 19 as “World Toilet Day 2013.” Sure, toilets get their own special day too. After all, believe it or not, you’ll spend around three years of your life on the loo, according to Klo & So, the museum for historical sanitary equipment in Gmunden, Austria. They have an entire exhibit to honor the toilet, what they call “an underestimated item” in homes.
In a bathroom remodel, should you be paying more attention to the toilet? There’ve been plenty of upgrades to toilets in recent years. Consider:
- “Green” eco-friendly toilets: They conserve water so that after each flush, you use less water and energy, thereby lowering your utility bills.
- Self-cleaning toilets: Toilets that are being made with suds that rinse the toilet bowls clean after each use. No more scrubbing the toilet on a frequent basis may seem appealing!
- Heated toilets: Those of you who live in cold weather climates may appreciate this one. For example, if you’re looking for a hot seat, here’s one: Inax Regio Smart Toilet keeps the seat warm. It even allows you to play some tunes while on the commode too.
- Health monitoring toilets: For example, the “Intelligence Toilet” system by Toto, a major manufacturer of commodes worldwide, can measure your sugar levels in urine, blood pressure, body fat, and even your weight. You can send the information directly to your doctor.
- “Smart technology” toilets: You knew it was only a matter of time until more technology entered the toilet-realm. For example, Toto has a toilet that has hands-free flushing, automatic toilet seat lifting, automatic air purifier, and they even threw in a massage feature too.
The Japanese firm Lixil introduced a toilet that can even be controlled from your smartphone, from the flushing to lifting the toilet seat to sprays. You can take charge of your commode from your phone – just be careful when a house-guest is in there!
And here’s possibly one of the smartest toilets on the market: Kohler Numi “smart” toilet, retailing at about $6,000. It lights up in dark rooms, has vents to heat your feet, an automatic lid and seat height adjustment, and a retractable bidet.
But here’s where it really goes high-tech: It has built-in rear speakers, FM radio, MP3 player connection, a Bluetooth receiver to stream audio from your smartphone or tablet, a USB port to allow for additional future upgrades, and even a personalized welcome greeting when sitting down. Just think, your toilet could say: “Good morning, John” every time you have a seat.
Now, that’s quite a throne.