For Americans who travel to other countries of the world, some of the most common activities can be confusing – even using the toilet. Toilets and the facilities are similar, but there are distinct differences. One of those differences can be the presence of a bidet.
Bidets are used by a person to wash after using the toilet. In many parts of the world, people do not use toilet paper, instead they clean themselves by using a bidet. In fact, some expect that using bidets could reduce the consumption of toilet paper, and the environmental impact of toilet paper use, by 75% or more. But the difference bidets can make for the environment is a more recent benefit to the use of the bidet. The primary reason is that washing is, according to Bidets Plus, “cleaner, more comfortable and more hygienic.” In other words, better for the person than using dry toilet paper.
As Americans travel the world and avail themselves of bidets in the facilities, bidets are beginning to appear in American restrooms more and more, especially with the more spacious bathrooms in homes today. Even in bathrooms that cannot physically accommodate another fixture in limited space can install either a toilet with a built-in bidet or an add-on bidet attachment to the existing toilet. All three options are readily available from department stores, home improvement and plumbing supply companies.
There are a few things that must be considered when deliberating about the installation and use of a bidet:

  • The bidet to be installed. Depending on the space and structural options in an existing bathroom, a homeowner has many options if they want to install a bidet in their home.
    • A separate fixture that is a simple plumbed mechanism that works much like a sink with a single faucet or hot and cold taps.
    • A separate fixture with water supply and a drying mechanism.
    • A separate fixture that is electronically controlled with water, temperature, and drying controls.
    • A seat fixture that can be installed to a standard toilet that dispenses water.
    • An attachment that can be installed to a standard toilet or seat that will dispense a water stream.
  • Instruction on how to use a bidet. It might seem like a simple task, but there will be questions and some confusion for members of the family, not to mention from visitors who might be unfamiliar. A bidet is never to be used as a toilet. The fixture is not designed to dispose of solid waste and will become clogged. Another question arises when a visitor confronts the lack of toilet paper and the presence of a bidet. That’s when a little information goes a long way. Not to mention the uncertainty that arises when someone is confronted with the sight a bathroom fixture with a control panel. I’m not going to explain the step-by-step suggested process, but I will tell you that you can find detailed information on bidet use online.
  • Common courtesy systems. Not only are there questions about how to actually use the bidet, the after-use courtesies can vary, too. For instance, it is common courtesy to rinse the bidet after use. Some people provide a towel on a rack to wipe the bidet after use as well. Others provide a towel to dry the body after use. Knowing which towel is to be used for which purpose is one question, but what if there is only one towel provided? Who wants to be responsible for cross-contamination? Some homeowners might also provide a hook for clothing that is removed during use. The problems will endure from facility to facility, unless specifically noted, because different families might adopt different courtesy systems. This is one consideration that might help homeowners make the decision to install bidets in private bathrooms only.
  • Building and utility accommodation. It will be important to talk with a professional plumber, like Fite Plumbing. Installing another bathroom fixture means new water lines and pipes. A separate bidet fixture will require water source lines as well as drain lines. A professional, and experienced, plumber will be able to tell you what needs to be done to provide those lines and service. Remember that homes built on slabs with today’s codes will have to be approached differently from homes built on a crawl space or with a basement.

Generally, plumbing works the same way around the world, and Fite Plumbing knows plumbing. They are experts at getting water into the places you want it in your home. They are also experts at helping you when you find water in places you don’t want it to be – even in emergency situations. Don’t create problems for yourself by trying to install a new fixture, like a bidet, in your home. Work with pros who do it right and make sure everything will flow the way it should. They can even help you find the perfect bidet fixture for your home.
For sure traveling the world broadens the understanding of travelers. Traveling the world also brings changes when you return to your homes and customs. When you travel and want to bring an experience home and into your daily life, you share your experiences and knowledge with others. It could be something like foods, drinks, clothing, music, or even a bidet!