The bidet is a European bathroom fixture that has perplexed many an American over the years; however, it’s an installation commonly used in many countries around the globe, and is slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. as more people discover the simple use and great benefits it offers.
Before we dig into the details, let’s start with the basics: What is a bidet, anyway? A bidet is a bathroom fixture that offers an alternative or addition to standard toilet tissue. Upon installation, bidets provide a gentle spray of warm water for a quicker, cleaner and more hygienic bathroom experience.
Bidets can also offer other benefits in addition to a fresh, clean feeling. Depending on your use, a bidet can reduce the need for toilet paper. Less toilet paper is better for your body, your plumbing and your wallet. Plus, it also helps the environment by saving the trees and water that are used in the production of toilet paper.
If you’re considering buying a bidet, first decide on which type you might like. The two main options are a separate fixture roughly the size and shape of a toilet, or an integrated bidet that’s part of a toilet or toilet seat.
Detached bidets come in variations that are freestanding or wall-mounted. These feature an adjustable faucet over a basin and, depending on the model, can include a vertical spray as well. Either of these installation types will require adequate space for setup as well as separate plumbing lines, so they can be a bit difficult to install if your home isn’t already plumbed for one.
The integrated models consist of an extendable wand mounted under the back of the toilet seat. This is controlled by either a mounted control panel or separate remote control. Integrated bidets allow anyone to incorporate a bidet into their routine (even in a smaller bathroom) because they don’t require a separate fixture. The all-in-one arrangement can also make the bidet more convenient, as the user doesn’t have to move to a separate fixture to use it.
As with most bathroom installations, there are a variety of bidet models available, many of which include special features. As mentioned above, remote controls are one of the most common extras, allowing you to adjust the angle, temperature and water flow of the bidet. Other common additions include an integrated dryer or a heated seat.