Bidets

Use a bidet after the toilet

Bidets have traditionally been popular in Europe and other countries, but the American bidet is gaining ground in recent bathroom additions and remodels in the United States. Although many people are intimidated by a bidet, it is actually very hygienic and simple to use. It can be easy to confuse toilets and bidets, but think of it this way: bidets are used as a sink for the cleansing of private parts.

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The Basics of Bidets and Bidet Seats

A bidet is a standalone bathroom fixture which is used for washing (and often drying) after elimination. Bidet seats are installed on top of existing toilets to create bidet toilets, which are especially useful in smaller bathrooms. When choosing a bidet seat, be sure to match it to the existing toilet's type (one-piece or two-piece) and shape (round bowl or elongated bowl).

Bidet features vary, and a bidet with more bells and whistles will be more expensive than a basic no-frills model. The cost can vary considerably, from around $30 for a portable bidet to several thousand dollars for the fanciest standalone models. Many bidets and bidet seats include options such as:

  • Adjustable water temperature
  • Variable water pressure
  • Warm air dryer
  • Heated seat
  • Hydraulic lid and seat
  • Deodorizing capability
  • Massage functions
  • Remote control

Bidet Installation Considerations

Bidet faucets come in two varieties: over the rim and vertical spray. It is basically a matter of personal preference as to which style is best. If choosing a vertical spray bidet faucet, be aware that a vacuum breaker may be required. Be sure to match bidet hardware to the chosen faucet style.

Consider the bathroom layout when determining where to install a standalone bidet. Most bidets are placed near the toilet, and the plumbing installation will be less expensive if there is a water source nearby.

Some high-end bidets such as Toto bidets may be complicated to install due to advanced special features. Ensure that your contractor has experience with installing your chosen manufacturer's bidets; ask for references, if necessary.

For bathrooms where space is at a premium but a bidet seat is not an option, consider using a portable bidet. Portable bidets are also much appreciated by travelers and those on-the-go who appreciate the ability to freshen up in any restroom.