Bidets have been a standard fixture in European and Asian homes for hundreds of years. Now, thanks to globalization, bidets are in high demand in the US, particularly in luxury houses. If you are thinking of adding a bidet to your home, this guide will walk you through the considerations that need to be made before you select and purchase a fixture.
Bidets consist of porcelain bowls that look like petite toilet bowls, complete with faucets. Bidets are typically placed beside toilets for convenience. Used for post-toilet hygiene, bidets are an alternative for toilet paper (About.com has an in-depth guide on exactly how bidets are used). Because toilet paper is saved, bidets are eco-friendly and save you the agony of running out of toilet paper during a critical moment. Bidets vary in cost, from slightly more than $100 on the low-end to over $1,000 for luxury models.
Just like toilets, bidets can be mounted two ways. Most commonly, bidets are floor-mount. Floor-mount bidets are the easiest to install if there is already plumbing in place for a bidet. Wall-mount bidets, on the other hand, are safe and secure if mounted correctly, but do require additional plumbing in the wall for water removal. Wall-mount bidets are also a smart option for small bathrooms, and make cleaning the bathroom floor much easier. However you mount your bidet, you want to be sure it is close to the toilet and not across the room.
Installing the Bidet
The average American home is not plumbed for a bidet. Bidets require water lines, water drainage, and air ventilation. That is why adding a bidet is easiest during new construction and complete bathroom renovations. Wall-mount bidets require even further reinforcement, and adding water lines and drainage behind a bathroom wall. Plumbing and building professionals are needed to outfit a bathroom for a bidet.
If you would like all of the qualities of a bidet without the construction, we recommend a bidet seat. These seats attach to your toilet the way a regular toilet seat would, but include water wands, dryers, deodorizers, and heated seats. TOTO’s Washlet series and Duravit’s SensoWash seats are the best bidet seats on the market.
Similar to a sink, each bidet needs a faucet to guide the water into the bidet bowl. A quality bidet faucet will allow you to control both the water flow and the water temperature. Hansgrohe manufactures a large selection of bidet faucets in a wide variety of styles, allowing you to choose a faucet that will match the décor of your bathroom. Bidet faucets attach to the side of the bidet that is closest to the wall, reducing the need for a large water line.
Bidets are available in many styles and designs, similar to toilets, and they are hugely practical in terms of cleanliness. For those looking for an upgrade, we recommend bidets from Duravit. They have one of the largest selections of bidets in the US, including rounded, conical, and rectangular bidets. Duravit bidets are right at home in modern and contemporary bathrooms; however, homeowners interested in a more traditional bidet should look into fixtures from TOTO and Danze.