We take our toilets for granted, but we’re quite lucky. We average 2 toilets per person in the U.S., while India averages one toilet for every three people. An estimated 2.6 billion people around the world don’t have any access to indoor toilet facilities.
For those of us who are lucky enough to live where toilets are commonplace, toilet technology hasn’t changed a whole lot in the past 100 years. In fact, it hasn’t changed all that dramatically since it was invented in 1596 for Queen Elizabeth I of England. But that is slowly changing; new features and accessibility options have been introduced in the past few years that give homeowners more options. When it’s time to upgrade your toilet, keep in mind the latest technology for convenience and reduced water usage.
Most of us remember several years ago when the new “low-flow” toilets came out with the goal of reducing the gallons used per flush from seven down to 1.6. The law seemed like a good idea, but the technology simply wasn’t up to the task. It wasn’t pretty. Homeowners quickly learned to simply repair the older toilets that used more water or to wait to replace toilets if possible.
That’s behind us now. Toilet manufacturers worked quickly to upgrade the technology so that the toilets worked; people bought them, and the 1.6 gallons per flush law is actually making a difference in water usage. The average family of four can save around 10,000 gallons of water and $100 per year on water bills with low-flow toilets.
When you’re ready to install a new toilet, whether it’s part of a whole-bathroom remodel or simply to replace a broken or leaking fixture, consider some options:
You may opt for a dual-flush toilet that lets you decide how much flushing power you need based upon what type of waste you are flushing.
- You can choose toilets that are taller, called comfort height, so it’s not as difficult to sit down and stand up for those who have difficulties.
- Bowl shape is also an option; standard round bowls or elongated.
- There is a vast array of colors available to match or enhance your bathroom’s décor.
- Some toilets feature power flushing, speakers, heated seats, or are self-sanitizing.