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Ask a plumber: Bidet toilet seats help save space

The C3-230 toilet seat with bidet functionality and touchscreen remote control from Kohler.
The C3-230 toilet seat with bidet functionality and touchscreen remote control from Kohler. Kohler

Q: Do you know anywhere in my area where bidet toilet seats are available for a demo and/or inspection? Also, what would be the advantages and disadvantages of installing a bidet toilet seat over a separate bidet plumbing fixture for new bathroom construction?

Peter, Rhode Island

A: Lately I have been getting good feedback whenever we discuss bidet plumbing fixtures. While commonplace in Europe, bidet plumbing fixtures have been for the most part a curiosity here in America. However, since the introduction of bidet-style toilet seats that can be installed on most elongated toilet bowls, the bidet category is now getting some attention in the U.S.

If you want to see some of the new bidet toilet seats in action, I recommend you visit a plumbing supply house with a dedicated showroom. At plumbing showrooms you can usually find working displays of bidet seats and toilets. Even though you may not be able to take them for a true test ride, you can see how they perform and the quality of the fixture.

As far as why go with a bidet seat over a dedicated bidet plumbing fixture, the big advantage is saving space. You can basically have two fixtures in the same space, so you might say a bidet seat allows your toilet to do double duty.

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com

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