Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Find the Best Toilet for Your Bathroom - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Image of a white toilet

Shopping for a toilet isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. They all look basically the same, and that doesn’t make it easy to compare models. Not to worry. Consumer Reports just completed its latest toilet tests and can tell you which toilets do the best job, which are the quietest, and which are the easiest to keep clean.

Federal standards limited residential toilets to 1.6 gallons per flush more than 20 years ago, replacing toilets that typically used 4 to 5 gallons. That water-saving move was an adjustment for those consumers who would associate an abundance of water with flushing power. But as we discovered in our tests, the amount of water doesn’t always correlate with flushing performance.
In fact, we found that single-flush toilets, many of which use 1.28 gallons per flush, outperformed dual-flush models, which use 1.6 gallons for a full flush (and 1.1 or less for a partial flush). Improvements to the flushing mechanism have reduced water volume without sacrificing performance.
Here are the best toilets from our tests and tips on the bathrooms for which they're best suited.

Best Overall

The St. Thomas Creations Richmond ECO, $350, does everything well. It's powerful, uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush, and operates quietly, making it a perfect choice for a master bath. The ECO performed well in our a drain-line carry test, which measures how far flushed water and simulated waste move in one, two, and three flushes. That's important if you've experienced clogged pipes in the past. Consider this model if you need a toilet for bathroom on a high floor or in the back of the house farther from the sewer hookup.  

Most Powerful

The Kohler Highline Classic K-3493, $425, uses compressed air to boost its flushing performance—a feature you'll both see and hear. It's the most powerful model in our ratings, as measured by its ability to remove solid waste, and that power helps it self-clean the inside of the bowl nicely. But the compressor also makes the Kohler Highline the noisiest model in our ratings—hardly a feature you want near rooms where your family gathers or entertains. Still, this model is a perfect choice for bathrooms where noise isn't your primary concern.

Top One-Piece

Most toilets are made of two pieces, which means there's a seam between the bowl and the tank that can collect grime. One-piece toilets like the Delta Turner C43908-WH, $170, are easier to keep clean and some homeowners prefer them for that reason. The inside of the Delta Turner was also a cinch to keep clean between uses, earning an excellent score on the bowl-cleaning test in which we observe how clear incoming water leaves the bowl. It flushes quietly and is very good at solid waste removal.


The whoosh of water in a toilet is always going to make some noise, but you want one that's as quiet as possible. That's especially true for first-floor powder rooms, or any bathroom near the kitchen, dining room or other gathering spots. The American Standard Acticlean, $400, takes top honors in our noise test, and is a solid all-around performer. It excelled at self-cleaning and even has a built-in dispenser for liquid toilet bowl cleaner.  

Best Value

While you don't have to spend top dollar to get a great toilet, our testing does reveal the best performance typically comes from models costing $250–$425. One exception? The Aquasource  Henshaw LO2EC08W, $100, from Lowe's. It dispensed with waste easily, did its business quietly, and kept the bowl clean, for less than half the cost of most models in our ratings. It's not bad looking, either, and is a reliable choice that'll save you a few hundred dollars. 
by Paul Hope

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - San Francisco Has an Experimental Toilet Showroom by AT&T Park - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

I’m visiting Jupiter while sitting on the toilet.
Images of its banded clouds are visible on three walls of this restroom, only I’m not technically using this toilet. As a highly capable publicist for Japanese loo manufacturer TOTO demonstrates its features without even an iota of self-consciousness in his demeanor, I marvel at the video that displays a reasonably high-quality fly-by of the largest planet in the solar system. I think of the International Space Station and the astronauts who get to stare at entire hurricanes and illuminated megalopolises as they poop in zero-gravity.
Granted, this is a little more pedestrian, but it’s still a very high-concept toilet, and it’s found on King Street in South Beach at TOTO’s new Concept 190 showroom.

What I’m sitting on is a WASHLET, which has automatic seat covers that use sensors to know when you’ve arrived and when you stand up again (at which point it stops projecting images of outer space on the walls and turns the light back on). It uses a “pre-mist” to wet the porcelain and flushes automatically about 20 seconds after you get up. (No lever or flush button here.) It cleans itself via front and rear jets whose oscillation you can control. Naturally, WASHLET’s seats are heated — but it also deploys a whoosh of warm, dry air to keep you smiley and free of any grown-up diaper rash. The whole thing is Tim-the-Toolman-Taylor Mancave-y, sure, but a little too sleek and polite to elicit much grunting. Apparently, it’s found in something like 80 percent of homes in Japan and continues to gain traction.
I’m no germaphobe, but I think of all the times I’ve exited a toilet with a feeling of horror and disgust: Porta-Potties at Bonnaroo, no-name gas stations on rural highways, the many times I’ve been convinced I have stage IV colon cancer only to remember I ate a beet salad. The WASHLET is the kind of thing a person could get used to.
Just as you should never push or strain to hurry things along, you also shouldn’t read magazines or play Words With Friends while on the toilet. (Get in and get out!) But the next toilet, the NEOREST 750H — which looks like a small sensory-deprivation tank — plays an even more captivating video that just might keep your tuchas on the throne in spite of any medical prohibition against sitting for too long.
NEOREST has images of San Francisco that would make even a body-shaming puritan want to linger. It starts out going over the Golden Gate Bridge at high-speed before becoming something similar to those mesmerizing Apple TV drone shots of Central London at sunset. We go over the Ferry Building and up Market Street, then down Market from Twin Peaks, swinging by the Transamerica Pyramid before passing near AT&T Park, right across the street from where I’m faux-pooping.
This toilet also sanitizes itself with UV light and electrolyzed water.
“Everything is hydrophilic,” the publicist says, pointing out “a certain glaze on the bowl that allows you to not clean for a couple months.” And the machine breaks down “all organic material” so that nothing sticks to the porcelain.
Concept 190 has four toilets altogether, but isn’t all about johns. The space hosts events such as the escape game “Spellbound Supper,” which involves outwitting a witch at a magical dinner party — although there is no food — and something called “Escape from the Mysterious Bathroom.” (It only lasts for 15 minutes; no need to panic.)
In other words, they’re working hard to make the venue accessible to the public, although I would be wary of scheduling anything right after Giants home games.
Elsewhere, TOTO is quite thorough about letting you know where you can experience WASHLETS in the six U.S. states in which they’re available. I doubt many people select dinner options on the basis of toilet tech, but here in S.F., they’re found at places like Onsen, Izakaya Roku, Kusakabe — and KitTea. Rest easy if you go to the Hayes Valley cat cafe during Happy Meowr and overindulge on bottomless cups of green tea.
by Peter Lawrence Kane

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Loo with a view: rare Victorian outdoor toilet restored to former glory - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Little brick pavilion toilet
The little brick pavilion housing the earth closet toilet has been returned to its former glory at Brodsworth Hall. Photograph: Anthony Chappel-Ross/English Her/PA

A historic view with a loo has been recreated, with the rescue and restoration of a Victorian outdoor toilet in the gardens of Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire. The toilet, described as “a rare surviving example of a gentrified decorate garden privy”, is a far rarer survival than the listed mansion itself.
The little brick pavilion housing the earth closet toilet – which had disappeared under a mound of ivy – has been restored by English Heritage, complete with its discreet screens of yew hedges and surround of tactfully strongly scented plants, including orange blossom, scented geranium and roses.
The mansion was built in 1861, and was opulently plumbed, with nine flushing toilets for the family and staff. The garden toilet was strictly for the family and visitors, not the small army of staff working in the 8 hectares (20 acres) of gardens.
As there was no running water to the building, servants had the daily task of emptying the bucket below a wooden bench and using the “night soil” as fertiliser in the surrounding beds and lawns. 
Daniel Hale, its current head gardner, said: “Interesting buildings come in all shapes and sizes. Toilets may not be glamorous, but they can be a fascinating source of social history. This privy sheds a light on the Victorians’ love of gardens. Lost for years under ivy, we’re delighted to have rescued this lovely loo and share its story with visitors – although we’d ask them not to get too familiar with it.”

by Maev Kennedy

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Welcome to Texas — Three Toilet Seats That Could Change Your Life - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Lighted smart toilet

Bidets? Warming? Music players? You only think you know about the future of the humble toilet seat.
Few household implements have changed less in the last century than the reliable old toilet. Specifics may have improved, but the basic principles of tank, toilet seat, flush, follow up with dry paper have remained largely intact.
And of all components, the humble toilet seat has changed the least, even in an era of advanced toilets. You might have a choice between circular or elongated, padded or solid, but it’s still a fixture to keep your buns away from the ickiness while you do your business.
And yet, you may find toilet seats soon have less in common with outhouses and more in common with a smartphone or wearable tech. Heated toilet seats, bidet toilet seats, electric toilet seats and, yes, even smart toilet seats have arrived and changed EVERYTHING.
“People who have experienced these kinds of toilets or seats, mostly who travel in Europe or Asia, they love them without regard for price,” says Robert Lay, general manager of The Plumbing Haus in St. Louis. “Once you’ve used them, you have the thought of not having your own to go to the restroom, and they end up coming here to buy them.”
Ready to learn about three toilet seats that could change your life!

Heated toilet seats

This is pretty much exactly what it says on the label. Starting at $80 and moving up depending on quality and features, heated toilet seats take away that cold shock to your bottom when you head to the bathroom in the middle of the night and the bathroom isn’t quite as warm as the rest of the house. The most basic models warm at just one setting, but the more expensive ones can be fine-tuned to your preference.
As an added bonus, they provide a warm glow to act as a night light or just add a cool sci-fi effect to your bathroom. Nothing improves that midnight run more than feeling like your darkened bathroom is a spaceship!
Although heated toilet seats install with ease and you can do it yourself in minutes, you need a power outlet near the toilet to provide electricity.
Bidet toilet seat
The Kohler Veil intelligent toilet seat includes a bidet function with multiple settings. (Photo courtesy of Kohler)
And indeed, the logic holds up – you wouldn’t use dry paper to clean yourself for a shower, so why for bathroom usage? Bidet users say they’ll never go back once they’ve learned how effective it can be. “I’ve never had someone come back and say they were sorry they installed one,” Lay says.
Bidet toilet seats install that function directly into the toilet (meaning they require a water source, so a certain amount of plumbing skill is needed to install them.) They start at around $250, 
“I’ve never had someone come back and say they were sorry they installed [a bidet.]” — Robert Lay, general manager, The Plumbing Haus

Smart toilet seats

The most advanced form of electric toilet seats are where this stuff gets REAL. A smart toilet seat combines several functions into one unit, packed with as much tech as your phone and probably costing as much, if not more. Smart toilet seats start at $600 and the price can go to infinity and beyond for the really advanced stuff.
But is a smart electric toilet seat worth it? Absolutely, according to Lay. “This technology is going to keep catching on and eventually will be used more and more in the U.S.,” he says. “As the world has gotten smaller and it’s easier to travel, it’s been increasing in popularity across the board. And as people install them in their homes, their friends find out about them and spread the word.”
Smart toilet
The Kohler C3-200 smart toilet seat includes integrated controls. (Photo courtesy of Kohler)
The main things that differentiate a smart toilet are programmability and multiple functions. A smart toilet seat usually includes a bidet and a heated seat element, along with the ability to customize each to your preferences — even the ability to program multiple users. Some spray cleaner into the toilet bowl before and after each use, raise and lower at the touch of a button, and spray warm air to comfort your bottom and air freshener to comfort your nostrils.
Smart toilet seats vary by brand, but many include additional functions you’re probably already using your phone for in the bathroom anyway. (Yes, I’m talking to you. You know who you are.) We’re talking music playing, environmental control (if you have a smart home), the works. And some have features you probably never even thought of, such as white noise generation to cancel out certain biological noises.
Will a smart toilet seat change your life? That’s up to you to decide, but it will certainly make a big difference in one of the necessities of your life.
“This technology hasn’t changed since the 19th century, but I think what we’re seeing is the next step up and making it more modern,” Lay says.

by Paul F.P. Pogue

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Welcome to Texas — A Woman With Her Hand Stuck in a Toilet Has to Get Rescued By Firefighters - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

A woman from our great state of Texas got her HAND stuck in a toilet recently.  Apparently it got clogged and she didn’t have a plunger . . . so she tried to BAREHAND it.  But she put her arm too far down, her watch got caught, and she had to call the fire department.  (Firefighters had to break the toilet off the floor, carry it out to the yard, and break the toilet into pieces with a sledgehammer so she could pull her hand out.)

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - High-tech toilets - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Image description
This photo from TOTO shows a NEOREST 750H high-tech toilet. 
Toto’s top-of-the-line toilet, a tankless wonder with all the gizmos,
 comes out this fall priced at around $10,000.

NEW YORK – Every so often a revolution transforms something truly basic, rendering the
 status quo somewhat, well, primitive.

First came covered sewers, then indoor plumbing and flush toilets. Now, one bathroom
 at a time, another major shift in toilet hygiene is quietly underway. A new generation of
 toilets may one day make toilet paper – and the need to put one’s hands anywhere
 near the unspeakable – seem like chamber pots and outhouses: outdated and
 somewhat messy throwbacks reserved for camping trips.

Unlike traditional toilets, the high-tech version washes from behind and – if desired –
 in front with water. Better models allow for temperature, direction and pressure control, 
and have retractable spritzing wands and automatic driers as well. The best feature
 warm seats, automatic motion sensors to raise the lid, buttons to raise the seat, 
nightlights, self-cleaning mechanisms, music to mask unpleasant sounds, deodorizer
 spritzers and other conveniences.

“Paper just distributes the problem,” said Lenora Campos, a spokeswoman for 
Georgia-based Toto USA. Toto, the Japanese company that pioneered the modern
 electronic toilet seat, has sold 34 million of them globally. “We wash most things with 
water and wouldn’t dream of wiping a dish or anything else with a piece of paper and
 calling it clean. So why should personal hygiene be any different?”

Toto began marketing the Washlet in Japan in 1980. Now 74 percent of Japanese 
households have toilets of the high-tech persuasion, making them more common 
there than home computers.

The concept of electronic toilets that cleanse with water – widely known as bidet 
toilets or Washlets – has spread internationally over time, and dozens of companies
 around the world, including Inax, Brondell and Kohler, are producing them.
Although most popular in Asia, basic versions are becoming standard in much
 of the Middle East and South America, where cleansing with water has long been 
preferred to paper. They are finally becoming more popular in Europe, where
 “boudoir paper” was introduced in the 19th century, and in equally
 paper-centric North America. They have been a long time coming.

In the United States, “bidets were always seen as European, and an oddity 
of the French,” said Rose George, author of “The Big Necessity: The
 Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters” (Metropolitan Books, 2008).

In addition to general squeamishness about discussing the way we clean

 ourselves, some in the U.S. worried about the high-tech toilets’ requirement
 that a grounded electrical outlet be nearby, or thought the early control panels
 made the toilets look clumsy.

That said, the predecessor to modern high-tech toilets was actually invented 
in the United States, by Arnold Cohen

by Katherine Ross


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - It Was Once Someone’s Job to Chat With the King While He Used the Toilet - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

"Groom of the Stool” could be a crappy role, but it came with great benefits.

In the 1500s, the King of England’s toilet was luxurious: a velvet-cushioned, portable seat called a close-stool, below which sat a pewter chamber pot enclosed in a wooden box. Even the king had one duty that needed attending to every day, of course, but you can bet he wasn’t going to do it on his own. From the 1500s into the 1700s, British kings appointed lucky nobles the strangely prestigious chance to perform the king’s most private task of the day, as the Groom of the Stool.
This is not the glamorous job you normally would imagine in a palace, but being Groom of the Stool—named for the close stool, the king’s 16th-century toilet—was actually a highly coveted position in the royal house. Every day, as the king sat on his padded, velvet-covered close stool, he revealed secrets. He asked for counsel, and could even hear of the personal and political woes of his personal groom, and offer to help.

Believed to be a portrait of Sir Anthony Denny, Groom of the Stool to Henry VIII.
Believed to be a portrait of Sir Anthony Denny, Groom of the Stool to Henry VIII. ARTIST UNKNOWN (IN THE COLLECTION OF TUDORPLACE)

The job likely began as a rather less prestigious position. In The Private Lives of the Tudors, Tracy Borman quoted the earliest mentions of the job: a written order from 1497 for Hugh Denys, “our Groom of the Stool,” which included “black velvet and fringed with silk, two pewter basins and four broad yards of tawny cloth” for him to construct a close stool. Borman also points to instructions from 1452 in the Book of Nurture for “The office off a chamburlayne,” which included a little rhyme to help new grooms to the task:

See the privy-house for easement be fair, sweet, and clean;
And that the boards thereupon be covered with cloth fair in green;
And the hole himself, look there no board be seen;
Thereon a fair cushion, the ordure no man to vex.
Look there be blanket, cotton, or linen to wipe the nether end,
And ever he calls, wait ready and prompt,
Basin and ewer, and on your shoulder a towel.
During the reign of Henry VIII in the 1500s, the king’s closest men of court were given the title, often as a group. Prestigious gentry and noblemen hung out with the monarch in his privy room, acting as his personal secretaries with his undivided attention while he sat on his close stool. Later kings, including Henry VIII, appointed one person to the task, who would travel with the king and his portable stool if he went on a journey. Only monarchs in exile were denied a Groom of the Stool, though they did get grooms who helped with the general bedchamber.

The Groom of the Stool was in charge of all the activities and affairs of the king’s bedchamber and other private rooms; making sure the king was well-dressed and bathed, his bed was made, and even that his personal finances were in order. Borman wrote that sometimes the grooms had control to spend cash. Before private rooms and privacy became associated with actually being alone, monarchs were surrounded by servants and attendants at all hours of the day, often sleeping in the same room as attendants. Some kings kept their close stool in “more private” rooms than others, but even private rooms would allow a handful of people, with the Groom of the Stool always among them.

At the deathbed of Henry VIII, with his Groom of the Stool Hugh Denys (circled) one of the chosen attendees.
At the deathbed of Henry VIII, with his Groom of the Stool Hugh Denys (circled) one of the chosen attendees. DRAWN BY SIR THOMAS WRIOTHESLEY, GARTER KING OF ARMS/BRITISH LIBRARY

Grooms of the Stool were often feared by other members of court; they held highly confidential knowledge about political and personal affairs and, importantly, the king’s ear. Sir Anthony Denny, groom to Henry VIII*, was even given the responsibility of Henry VIII’s stamp, which acted as his signature for documents. Lucy Worsley wrote in If Walls Could Talk that the Groom of the Stool got a special golden key attached to a blue ribbon to handle, of which no other copies could be made, just for the king’s personal rooms. Personal attendants in general were proud about their status symbols as such, she added, and often bragged about it—but to be the king’s groom was most coveted of all.
In the early 17th century, Sir Thomas Erskine was King James I’s captain of the yeoman of the guard, and eagerly combined this job with being Groom of the Stool, which, as Keith Brown wrote in his book on noble power in Scotland, gave him “crucial influence over the king.” Grooms were sometimes embroiled in other areas of political power, too—Henry VIII’s groom Sir Henry Norris was politically involved with the queen, Anne Boleyn, and was executed along with her after she fell from her husband’s favor. According to Worsley, both James I and his successor King Charles I were so swayed by their grooms’ counsel that in some respects, political discussions of the king’s privy helped fuel the 17th-century English Civil War.
In Sovereign Ladies, Maureen Waller noted that queens tended not to employ this royal particular service, though they could marry into a powerful position through a Groom of the Stool. A woman named Katherine Ashley held the position for Queen Elizabeth I in the 1500s, though she was actually Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber, and attended to the queen in her private day room, helping her bathe and wash her hair. In modern times and as of 2006, the queen often has her own private bathroom, Waller added.

There have been three female Grooms of the Stool, Elizabeth Boyle (not pictured) to Queen Dowager Henrietta Maria, and to Queen Anne: Sarah Churchill (left) and Elizabeth Seymour (right).
There have been three female Grooms of the Stool, Elizabeth Boyle (not pictured) to Queen Dowager Henrietta Maria, and to Queen Anne: Sarah Churchill (left) and Elizabeth Seymour (right). SARAH CHURCHILL BY CHARLES JERVAS; LADY ELIZABETH PERCY BY SIR GODFREY KNELLER/PUBLIC DOMAIN

During the mid 1700s, using a Groom of the Stool at the close stool itself began to fell out of favor. Sir Michael Stanhope for Edward VI was the last to perform the full job; the last Groom of the Stool was technically James Hamilton for the Prince of Wales in the 1800s, though by then the position had shifted to dressing duties, and was renamed “Groom of the Stole” referring to the latin word for clothing, stola. Victorians, it seems, were a little more interested in true privacy.
by Natalie Zarrelli