Archive for american standard toilet

Do you know how much water you consume on a daily basis? Every drop of water you use can have a deep impact on the water supply of your community and region! This week, Professor Toilet will be quizzing our fans on the impact of water (and the lack thereof) locally, regionally and statewide.  Do you have what it takes to earn a Ph. D. in water savings? Join the conversation on the American Standard Facebook page. See the cheatsheet infographic below to quickly find out how you and your family can make a significant difference in water usage through WaterSense Certified faucets and toilets!

Saving Water with Watersense Faucets and Toilets with Professor Toilet

As the weather begins to warm, the Professor’s mind turns to happy thoughts of a favorite season: springtime bathroom remodeling season, of course. For those who are ready to change things up, the Professor is pleased to offer a few pointers regarding current bath design trends for inspiration.

The American Institute of Architects reported that through the end of 2011, homeowners continued to view the integration of water saving faucets, toilets, and showerheads as important components of their bathrooms. Water saving toilets and showerheads in particular used to get a bad rap for providing poor performance, but thanks to recent technological advances, saving water doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. American Standard’s H2Option, featuring powerful siphonic dual flushing action, and turbine technology-powered FloWise collection of showerheads are two notable examples of high performance, low flow products.

The transitional style is predicted to be the most popular look for bathroom fixtures according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2012 Style Report. This style, which walks the line between traditional and contemporary to create a modern yet classic look, is beautifully expressed by the elegant, sculptural Pyke collection of bath faucets by JADO.

Aging in place is also a top priority for many Americans, and incorporating universal design features into the home – especially in the bathroom – is a growing trend. And with luxury options like whirlpool, air bath, and combo massage features now available, installing a walk-in bath can feel like an indulgence rather than just preparing for old age.

White continues to be the most popular bathroom color scheme, and it’s a look the Professor finds especially attractive when complemented by wood furnishings with dark finishes like the espresso-colored hues available in the Porcher Solutions collection of modular bath furnishings.

Whether you’re just swapping in a new faucet or getting bold with colors and fixtures: go forth and remodel!

When the Professor talks water-saving toilets, the focus tends to be on whether or not it has the flushing power to effectively clean the bowl and avoid household clogs. But every now and then there is a reminder that all that waste has to GO somewhere. A toilet flush not only needs to clear the bowl, but also keep waste moving through the sewer system.

Older 3.5 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets used plenty of (you might even say too much) water to move waste through drainlines down to the sewer system, but as 1.6 and even 1.28 gpf toilets become the norm, some reports emerged questioning whether the reduced amount of water was enough to power waste effectively through the pipes underground.

Studies to date have found that the reduced water flow is not to blame. A drainline carry study performed in Australia at locations deemed to be of “above average” difficulty in terms of drainline length and slope (or lack there of) found that water saving toilets caused no blockages. Other studies have demonstrated that poor drainline installation is the main cause of sewer back-ups, including rough joints, debris from construction being left in the pipe, and even lengths of pipe that slope the wrong way.

A new study by the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition is scheduled to begin early this year, thanks in part to a generous donation of test apparatus by American Standard Brands. With water shortages critical in many parts of the world, and drought forecast for the entire southern tier of the US in 2012, any study that helps build end-user confidence in high-efficiency plumbing will enable this significant water savings to continue, rather than literally sending technical advances in flushing performance “down the drain.”

Smart commercial restroom innovations are, in the Professor’s experience, few and far between. The status quo is so readily accepted that many manufacturers of plumbing fixtures have little incentive to invest in attractive designs and technological innovations. That’s why the Professor is so impressed by the latest commercial offerings from American Standard. From smart, water-saving technology to sleek, unexpected shapes, here are a few of the commercial toilets, sinks, and urinals that are transforming modern restrooms.

  • If you’ll pardon the pun, the Professor’s hands-down favorite innovation is American Standard’s hands-free dual flush toilet valve. The way it works is that the Selectronic dual flush toilet valve releases a light flush of 1.1 gallons when motion is detected for less than 60 seconds. A standard 1.6 gpf volume is used when motion is detected for 60 seconds or longer.
  • The Lucia Lavatory Sink from American Standard

    The Lucia wall-hung lavatory sink is a great solution
    for commercial spaces in need of extra storage areas for soaps, toiletries, and accessories but have little space to spare in the restroom. The sink has a graceful, upscale appearance and offers a surprising amount of usable storage surface for such a small fixture.

  • The strikingly modern Decorum high-efficiency urinalwould not be out of place in spaces like an art museum or a luxury resort. Decorum only uses 0.5 gallons of water per flush (gpf) and also features the EverClean permanent finish that inhibits the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface – making it ideal for commercial, institutional and other high-use, public installations.
  • The surprisingly smart Ceratronic proximity faucet that allows users to control water temperature in addition to the on/off function, all without touching the faucet. Ideal for hospitals and other settings where spreading germs is a concern, the faucet’s detection range and time variables can be customized with the touch of a button from an optional remote control.

What’s most exciting to the Professor about all these creative, problem-solving products is the knowledge that even more transformative innovations are still to come. Here’s to a future of cleaner, smarter, more beautiful restrooms for us all.

Note: This post is part of the 2011 Bathroom Blogfest, now in its sixth year. The Professor is thrilled to participate in the blogfest for a third year this year. For more information about the blogfest, visit Bathroom Blogfest. Look for the tag “#BathroomEXP” on flickr,, Technorati, Twitter and Google, or ‘Like’ on Facebook.  A list of participants is below.



Name Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott Customer Experience Crossroads
Paul Anater Kitchen and Residential Design
Shannon Bilby From the Floors Up
Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing
Laurence Borel Blog Till You Drop
Bill Buyok Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington The Importance of Earnest Service
Becky Carroll Customers Rock!
Katie Clark Practical Katie
Nora DePalma O’Reilly DePalma: The Blog
Paul Friederichsen The BrandBiz Blog
Tish Grier The Constant Observer
Elizabeth Hise Flooring The Consumer
Emily Hooper Floor Covering News Blog
Diane Kazan Urban Design Renovation http//
Joseph Michelli Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika Miller Modenus Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Tile Magazine Editors’ Blog
David Polinchock Polinchock’s Ponderings
Professor Toilet American Standard’s Professor
David Reich my 2 cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw Purple Wren
Bethany Richmond Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce D. Sanders RIMtailing
Paige Smith Neuse Tile Service blog
Stephanie Weaver Experienceology
Christine B. Whittemore Content Talks Business
Christine B. Whittemore Smoke Rise & Kinnelon
Christine B. Whittemore Simple Marketing Blog
Ted Whittemore Working Computers
Chris Woelfel Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile
Patty Woodland Broken Teepee
Denise Lee Yohn brand as business bites

Design bloggers tour the American Standard Design Center. To see more photos of the trip, click the photo.

Earlier this month, the Professor was fortunate enough to spend a day at the American Standard Design Center in Piscataway, NJ with a select group of the movers and shakers of the design blogger world. It is a pleasure to share their insights, reflections, humor, and excellent photographs of the trip:

Paul Anater, who blogs at Kitchen and Bath Residential Design, was especially impressed with some of the company’s unique and functional designs and the fashionable digs the bloggers enjoyed in New York.

For J.B. Bartkowiak of Building Moxie, the trip offered opportunities to reflect on design, innovation, performance, and the impact that brands can have when they build intimacy with customers.

Meanwhile, the engineering department’s space age 3-D copier was a big hit with Laurie Burke of Kitchen Design Notes. (The Professor also appreciated the occasional plumbing pun she threw in for good measure, naturally.)

Andie Day (and her photographer’s eye) especially loved the great views and fashionable setting of the rooftop of the Standard Hotel, where the bloggers gathered the night before their Design Center tour.

American Standard’s many green initiatives, including the eco-friendly Design Center and strong emphasis on water conservation, were particularly appreciated by Saxon Henry of Roaming By Design.

Saxon and her business partner Rich Holschuh also wrote about the company’s fixture fixation, the “stylish verve” of the American Standard design team, and shared a video of a portion of the tour on the site for their social media consultancy, Adroyt.

Great shot of everyone: Laurie Burke, Rich Holschuh, Saxon Henry, Andie Day, Paul Anatar, J.B. Bartkowiak. To see more photos from the trip, click the photo.

Many thanks to everyone who attended! The Professor had a marvelous time getting to talk plumbing with everyone and truly appreciates everyone’s thoughtful commentary.

The new Selectronic Hands-Free Dual Flush Toilet from American StandardThere is no question that dual flush toilets are a simple and increasingly popular way to reduce water use at home. Now, thanks to a recent innovation from American Standard, a new line of hands-free, dual flush toilet valves are bringing the same water-saving technology to commercial applications.

How does it work? The new Selectronic dual flush toilet valve releases a light flush, or 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf), when motion is detected for less than 60 seconds. A standard 1.6 gpf volume is used when motion is detected for 60 seconds or longer.

All in all, the Professor is impressed by the ingenuity of this new line of commercial flush valves, which require 20 percent less water than standard toilets. The valves were designed to work perfectly as a retrofit for use with existing plumbing, so it’s easy for commercial facilities to make this water conservation-friendly upgrade. Here’s to an eco-friendly and very high tech future!

The Professor was proud to see that fellow toilet fan John-Michael Gigliotti was recently recognized for his community spirit and extensive toilet knowledge by Sid Michaels Kavulich, his representative in the Pennsylvania State Assembly. Representative Kavulich begins to tell John-Michael’s story at minute 1:22 in the video below.

The Professor previously shared a detailed account of John-Michael’s toilet interest. It’s a great story – featuring a great photo of the toilet guru posing with the Cadet 3 FloWise toilet that American Standard donated to his family – that is always worth another look.


Toilet Performance: The Latest and Greatest Hotel Perk

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The Professor always has toilet performance on the brain, but acknowledges that this concern might not always be at the forefront of the average person’s mind when making a simple decision like, for instance, which hotel to stay at on a trip. Most travelers – and most hotels, for that matter – would prefer to be focused on aspects like location, continental breakfast quality, or Egyptian cotton sheets. However, the Loews and Hyatt hotel chains have both been in the news recently for investing in high performance Champion 4 toilets from American Standard as a service to their guests. The Professor was pleased to be able to speak with Richard Senechal from Loews Hotels and Ron McGill from Hyatt Hotels about their sudden interest in flushability.

When it comes to hotel perks, one usually thinks of something like high quality bedding or premium cable channels. How did your hotels come to be so interested in toilet performance?

Richard Senechal: “For us, clogged toilets became a huge problem about 15 years ago, when building codes began requiring toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush – about half of what they’d been using. These new toilets technically should’ve saved us money on reduced water bills, but we quickly began to see a significant uptick in the number of service calls we received regarding clogged toilets. Until we upgraded our toilets we were receiving as many as 12 calls per day in our three Orlando-area hotels alone, which took up a great deal of staff time.”

Aside from the amount of time your staff had to spend fixing these clogs, did your hotels experience any other problems related to toilet clogs?

Ron McGill: “Oftentimes, we would have a guest cause a toilet overflow, which was quite embarrassing and inconvenient for them. It was even worse when they would flush the toilet and then leave the room without knowing that there was a problem –  the overflow could go on for an hour or two sometimes. By that then a lot of damage would have occurred, including leaks down into the rooms below.

How did you come to choose American Standard’s Champion 4 toilet for your plumbing upgrade?

Richard Senechal: “Our Orlando engineering director, Tony Rodrigues, had tested the Champion 4 toilet and told us it was ‘a quantum leap’ over our existing toilets. He eventually convinced the company that it made good business sense to replace the toilets throughout all 18 Loews hotels. Today, about a third of our hotels have the Champion 4.”

And how are the new toilets working out for your guests?

Richard Senechal: “We have seen an 80% drop in service calls at the hotels where we have installed the Champion 4. That translates into a lot of saved man-hours and we couldn’t be happier with the change.”

Ron McGill: “We no longer need to keep toilet plungers on every floor – the new toilets have virtually eliminated clog-related service calls at our hotel. We’re also really pleased with the savings we’re experiencing on our water bills thanks to the Champion 4. The cost of utilities on Long Island is outrageous, so any chance to cut expenses in that area is extremely important.”

Thank you so much for your time, gentlemen. The Professor enjoys nothing more than a good toilet chat with fellow professionals.


How to Install Toilets: The Champion 4 Toilet

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Did you know that there is a special socket wrench which provided with every Champion 4 toilet?  It is a whole lot easier to install the toilet that Loews Hotels engineering director described as “a quantum leap” over their existing toilets to the USA Today travel editor.

With this wrench you don’t need to put your hands into the tight area between the toilet and the wall, and you can get enough torque to tighten down the tank to the bowl properly.

The socket wrench is included in the bag with the nuts and the gasket. It looks like a long metal tube and one end of the “tube” has a hexagonal shape to fit the nuts.  The other end has a hole through it. The washers are attached to the nuts, so there is only one part instead of two.

Professor Toilet fun fact: That’s how they change tires so quickly in the pits at NASCAR—the bolt ends on the wheels are “blinded” so that the nuts get started on them more easily. The Professor appreciates good toilet learnings from NASCAR.

Simply put the nut into the hexagonal end of the socket wrench, stick it into the blind end of the bolt, and start turning.  Twist the socket wrench (it’s very easy to hold) until the nut is finger tight. Do the same on the other side of the tank.

Once the nuts are finger-tight on both sides, use a standard Phillips head screwdriver through the hole at the other end of the socket wrench and use the screwdriver to get torque to tighten the nut down all the way. For best results, don’t rush through the process. Tighten partly on one side, then the other, and so forth, so as to tighten the tank down equally on both sides.  This tightens down the tank without difficulty. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy your new Champion 4 toilet.

The Professor’s enthusiasm for the dual flush H2Option toilet from American Standard and the power of its siphonic action flushes has never been a secret. Finding other experts who share this opinion is always icing on the cake.

H2Option dual flush toilet from American Standard

The most recent example is, which recently honored the H2Option as a “Product of the Week.” As the editors note, the H2Option was the first truly siphonic dual flush toilet to be introduced – and of course it remains the best, in the Professor’s opinion.