Why buy a shower toilet?
In the 1980’s and before most bathrooms did not have a shower and that was considered normal as people did not want or see a need for a shower. Now if a bathroom is not big enough for both a bath and a shower or the customer does not want both then a shower if much more often chosen than a bath except for homes that only have one bathroom and then a shower is often fitted over a bath but it is very rare for a bathroom to have no shower. We and many others consider that it will not be long before the same happens with shower toilets with almost every bathroom having one fitted.
Most British people think the idea is strange but in japan 85% of homes have a shower toilet and they are fitted in most hotels. If British people spend some time in Japan staying in a place with a shower toilet fitted most of them soon find a shower toilet an essential everyday item and on their return to UK want one fitted urgently and this is the reason many of our customers buy them.
We find that shower toilets outsell bidets by about 50 to 1 and people that have had a bidet and did not use it say that they much prefer a shower toilet and use it often saying it is more convenient than a bidet as they do not have to move to the bidet and do not have to run the water for hot water to get to the tap.
Another reason people buy shower toilets is because of health problems such as arthritis, or shoulder problems that leave them unable to put their arm behind their back.
If you or a member of your family living in your home have a medical problem that can be classified as chronic (a long-term problem) and a shower toilet might assist, then it is likely that the toilet can be supplied and fitted without you having to pay Vat and this is not means tested.
Shower toilets save space compared to having a toilet and a bidet.
Misconceptions about shower toilets
Shower toilets are unhygienic. Different manufacturers have different ways that they either clean sterilise or protect the spray nozzles but all of them are hygienic.
Shower toilets are ugly. This was true some years ago but there are now some good looking models on the market.
You might get scalded with hot water. All the models we sell have safety devices built in to stop this happening but if you buy an unknown Chinese brand on the internet it is possible this could happen.
Wall hung pans are not safe and cannot be fitted against stud partition walls. Wall hung pans and the frames that support them are generally made the German DIN standard and to comply with this they must be capable of supporting 400Kg (63 stones). Basically, if a person could get in the door the toilet will support them.
Shower toilets need a lot of maintenance. This is not true. We have been selling shower toilets since 2002 and to the date of writing we have not had a problem reported.
Shower toilets are not expensive. Compared to the cost of a separate toilet and bidet to a similar standard the shower toilet is usually less expensive.
Features to consider
Types of pan. Toto pioneered the rimless pan with a new type of flush which is much more effective at removing solids especially floating solids than previous designs. The other benefits of this type of flush is the toilet it much more hygienic as bacteria cannot build up under the rim and some hospitals will now only allow rimless pans to be fitted. The whole of the bowl is rinsed with this flush so there ae no urine stains in the bowl. There is no splashing. The flush is much quieter. Other manufacturers are now making similar pans with a flush nearly as effective as the Toto system. We are convinced that the new type of flush is very worthwhile and although it makes the pan a little more expensive it is well worth the extra money.
- Various methods of protecting, cleaning and sterilising the spray arms and nozzles.
- Nozzles that are removable for cleaning
- Separate nozzle for lady wash
- Night lights
- Automatic seat lift and close
- Automatic lid close
- Automatic flush
- Heated seat
- Odour extractor (a fan that extracts air from the pan and filters it to remove odours).
- Air dryer
- Actilight ultraviolet sterilisation of pan (Toto)
- Ewater sterilising water (Toto)
- Pre-rinse of pan (Toto)
As with most things spending more for a good recognised brand will usually save money over the life of the product.
Make sure that the manufacturer has a service network in the UK
As with most people’s washing machines and dishwashers there are many programs but only a few (often one) are used so decide if you need all the features. Geberit do a model called the Sela which has a wash function only and this is a big seller due to the simplicity.
There are retro fit items available to fit to existing toilets replacing the seat. We do not like these as they tend to be ugly but if you are on a budget, need something quickly or if this is to be fitted for an elderly person that might not need it for long then this could be a good solution.
Supplies required for a shower toilet
All shower toilets require a high pressure cold water supply and the incoming water main is usually sufficient for this. Some models will work on a tank fed cold supply if the tank is sufficiently high (more than 1 storey above the toilet) but if the pressure is not high enough then a pump can be installed to provide the correct pressure.
A hot water connection is not required as the water is electrically heated by the shower mechanism built into the toilet.
All shower toilets require an electrical supply. The power required varies depending on the water heating method. The maximum required by any shower toilet is a 13 Amp supply which can be taken from the ring main that supplies the sockets in the adjacent rooms.
What if you do not think you want a shower toilet now but may want one sometime in the future.
All Geberit frames are designed to have a Geberit shower toilet fitted with inbuilt ducting for the fitting of services at a later date. Some TECE frames are designed to take a variety of shower toilets with ducting for the fitting of services at a later date. Grohe make a frame to accept the fitting of a shower toilet. It is not essential to have a special frame fitted but it might make the fitting easier and there should not be a need to remove tiles that may need to be removed if a standard frame is fitted. If you are fitting a new bathroom we recommend one of the above-mentioned frames is fitted. We also suggest you instruct your electrician to provision an electrical supply for future use even if you make no other provision.
We display full working models of shower toilets from the 3 leading brands in a room where customers can lock the door and try them out.
Geberit is a Swiss company committed to quality and the first manufacturer of shower toilets producing them since 1978 Geberit Aquaclean
Grohe is a German company famous for high quality products. They were bought by a Japanese bathroom company Lixil in 2013 and since the take over they have started using their Japanese expertise to produce shower toilets Grohe Shower Toilets
Toto is a Japanese company famous for the toilet technology. They were the first in Asia to produce the shower toilet and are by far the biggest player in the Asian market with shower toilets in Asia often known as “Totos” Toto Washlet