Shower-toilets, which combine the bidet and toilet into one consolidated product, were first available in Japan. The Washlet, an electric toilet seat with an integrated bidet that has rear cleansing, a dryer and a heated seat, was first presented by Toto in Japan in 1980. For Japanese and Europeans, shower-toilets and bidets have long been a mainstay in their cultural ideals surrounding hygiene and bathroom habits. Toto brought these shower-toilets to the United States in 1990.
In more recent years other manufacturers have added shower-toilets to their bathroom lines. All of these units are quite attractive: some of the units are wall hanging, while others are just slim line and unobtrusive.
In North America, the United States, in particular, shower-toilets are gaining traction in luxury bathrooms, with several leading manufacturers currently offering them. And while people are becoming more aware of them, this is still a relatively new product—it is takes time for consumers to adapt to a completely different hygiene product, which calls for habit changes. These shower-toilets afford a superior hygienic design and the most natural form of hygiene.
Duravit entered the shower-toilet space in 2011, with the brand’s first SensoWash i designed by Philippe Starck. Duravit’s newest shower-toilet is designed with the bidet system integrated within the body of the toilet. Driven by technology and the best in hygienic design, SensoWash i incorporates Rear, Lady and Comfort wash in its shower-toilet functionality, utilizing warm water for a more gentle and more hygienic experience than toilet paper.
The toilets also include a heated seat, odor extraction, individual adjustments for water, air dryer and seat temperature. Water is sprayed from an interior wand made of microbial stainless steel that automatically self cleans before and after each use. Units are equipped with a remote control that allows users to alter water pressure, water temperature, spray angle, air drying temperature and seat temperature. A dedicated smartphone app also connects with the toilet via bluetooth. The app allows the user to individually configure the toilet settings based on their personal preferences.
Duravit USA’s President, Tim Schroeder, has said: “We always begin by asking “How would you clean your dirty hands?” Dry paper or water? It’s the same thing when you think of a shower toilet. Cleaning is done in a comfortable, relaxed position.”
Kohler also offers shower-toilets with many new features such as night lights that illuminate the bowl, minimizing the need for the overhead light, a soothing drying system, temperature control, self cleaning features, heated seat, customizable cleansing, hands-free opening/closing, automatic flush, plus a touchscreen remote and dual-flush technology. Their sleek tankless and skirted design combines with a back-to-wall installation allowing for concealed connections to make the toilet an attractive part of the bathroom.
These toilets are more expensive than the average ones but are in line with other luxury bathroom units. Duravit offers shower-toilets that range in price from roughly $2,500 to $8,300. It is Duravit’s stance that shower-toilets are gaining traction in the marketplace today because conceptions of the benefits, sustainability components and enhanced lifestyle these toilets provide have altered. That is, with more consumers understanding the product, a heightened level of comfort with the product is occurring, leading to a trend of shower-toilets being a staple in luxury bathroom renovations across the country.