Oh, indoor plumbing, how we love thee! According to a quick browse of Google, we spend an hour and forty-two minutes on the toilet each week. Since we do spend so much time in the loo, what is out there to make life with on the toilet more enjoyable? I think you may be surprised, there is a toilet feature for everyone!

Let’s begin by looking at the part of the toilet that is closest to us, the seat. You may think a toilet seat is a toilet seat, but, wait until you find out what your toilet seat can do for you!
Maybe you are someone who likes to be warm and not sit on that cold toilet seat, then you’ll love the availability of heated seats. Heated seats are available with adjustable levels so your seat is just the right temperature for you. But, you will need an outlet handy to plug this seat in, so keep that in mind if you are considering this type of seat.

If you are someone who doesn’t want to turn on the lights in the middle of the night, but still want to hit the target, then you need a toilet seat with a built in nightlight that will illuminate the bowl. This feature can also be found on the heated toilet seats, so you can have the best of both worlds.

As a parent, I want a toilet seat with a self-closing lid. No slamming down of lids and yet when I walk in the bathroom, the lid is closed. If the lid was meant to be left open, toilets wouldn’t have lids, in my way of thinking. Soft-closing or slow-closing lids are readily available through many toilet accessory suppliers.

There’s toilet seats with two sizes built-in, one adult-sized seat and one child-sized seat, making the toilet easy for those potty-training years. No lifting off the kiddie seat or fishing your little one out of the bowl.

There are toilet seats that will raise the user up, adding height to a toilet that might be too low for some. This feature will make it easier for those with mobility issues to lower and raise themselves off the seat.

As far as the outward appearance of the toilet, there are so many neat looking toilets on the market. High seats, round seats, elongated seats, low backs, no backs, and my personal favourite – concealed traps.

Concealed traps are the dream of anyone who has scrubbed the outside a toilet before. All those curves and awkward spots are now one easy surface to clean. And besides being easier to clean, they look so much better without the visible trap.

The low back toilets are a more contemporary look, they can add so much style to a bathroom. The toilet no longer needs to be a big, heavy hunk of porcelain in the bathroom. It can be a sleek, stylish feature now.

I asked Heather Gates, Showroom Consultant, of the Eddy Group in Truro to share some of her favourite features and this one struck home, extra smooth glazing. Why, you might ask? A smoother finish means a cleaner toilet. And to top it off, these American Standard toilets also have anti-microbial properties. A perfect feature, really.

With keeping water conservation in mind, most tanks are also now a smaller size, less water needed means the tanks don’t have to be as bulky as in the past. There is also the two flush options available, meaning you can decide the amount of water used in a single flush.

One thing to watch for, if a sweaty toilet turns you into a sweaty, frustrated mess, is whether or not your toilet tank is lined. If sweating is an issue, then be sure to get a lined tank. This may mean that your toilet tank is larger but if it saves you the frustration, so be it.

The last feature I want to share is the hidden tank with a wall-hung toilet. This has got to be the most stylish way to set up a bathroom. Having a wall mounted toilet would allow a full view of a stunning floor, plus easy cleaning. The hidden tank means just a sleek panel on the wall for the actual flushing of the toilet. Less exposed surfaces means a tidier look and more stylish space.

So, when it comes to your next toilet purchase, don’t just run out and buy the first one you see. There will be the toilet and toilet seat that will suit all your potty needs perfectly. Once you uncover all the various features that are out there to purchase, you’ll be able to make your decision based on the function, form and the style of your toilet….not just on how bad you need to use it. Long gone are the days of the only choices being the pot under the bed or running to the outhouse in the cold! And, boy, that’s something to be thankful for!

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Lori Byrne
Lori Byrne is an Interior Decorator and a country-girl at heart. Fall is a personal favourite – rich colours, warm layers and a good reason to snuggle in! Exploring the Stewiacke Valley Barn Quilt tour has already been a highlight of my Fall since learning more about the history of barn quilts. If you need me, I’ll be planning decorating projects or painting more barn quilts in the studio! You can find me over at www.farmfreshstyle.ca