Archive for toilet
Are you up for this PRO sized challenge?
Since its introduction, The PRO™ Series has received a tremendous response from homeowners that were frustrated with their older, clog-prone and water inefficient toilets. The PRO Series is American Standard’s latest line of toilets that combines the powerful flushing systems of the popular Champion and Cadet toilets while using a WaterSense® Certified (pending) water saving flush. While the switch to the PRO line may be a no brainer, we want to test your PRO knowledge for the chance to win your very own! Read more for details…
Edit (8/8/12) : Congratulations to David Paige and Brian Necessary who will both be receiving a brand new PRO Toilet and retiring their plungers! Thank you to all of our participants in the PRO Talk and Test your PRO Knowledge challenge.
Demands for global change this Earth Day, taking place this year on Sunday April 22nd, starts with small actions that create a bigger picture of worldwide conservation. For example, did you know that a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day? Or that an average 8 minute shower can use up to 24 gallons of water? Detecting and fixing leaks and replacing older faucets with newer models that are Water Efficient or Watersense® Certified can save you hundreds of dollars a year! That’s money we think can be better spent elsewhere (think down payment on a new, fuel-efficient car).
Together, we can make a world of difference. See what Water Saving Rebates you qualify for and calculate your water savings with our interactive water savings calculator to estimate how much green you can save by going green.
Join us in Pledging for a Greener World, You Could Win a Toilet, Faucet or a Showerhead!
Take the challenge with us and Pledge for a Greener World at American Standard’s Facebook, Twitter and right here on the Professor Toilet Blog – you could win one of the Cadet Décor Toilet, Williamsburg Faucet or FloWise® Showerhead! Each time you pledge by tagging yourself on our pledge photo or share with your friends through Facebook, you increase your chance to win one of these water-efficient products so share and post your tips away!
In the NYC area? Join us for a live demonstration of the a Cadet Toilet‘s amazing flushing capabilities on 43rd Street and Broadway as we flush down golf balls and more at Earth Day New York in Times Square on April 20th. Take your picture with Professor Toilet, join us for some fun games and win some giveaways at the day-long event. Who knows? Maybe you will end up the star of our next video!
To enter for our Toilet, Faucet or Shower head drawing, pledge with your top water saving tip as a comment until April 27 5pm EST. To increase your chance to win, pledge via Facebook for additional entries! Only three entries will be picked randomly. First picked name will receive the toilet, second picked name will receive the faucet and last picked name will receive the shower head.
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.”
Yesterday the Professor was thrilled to tune in to NPR’s Science Friday to hear toilet experts discuss a favorite issue: building a better toilet. Participants included Jim McHale, vice president of engineering at American Standard; author Rose George; Frank Rijsberman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Daniel Yeh, engineering professor and toilet inventor.
The topic of the day was World Toilet Day, an event designed to raise awareness about the 2.6 billion people on earth – that’s 1/3 of the world population – who do not have access to proper sanitation. Lack of access to toilets lead to diarrhea, disease, and death, and represents a serious problem in the developing world.
This is why engineers are working on “reinventing the toilet” to create a commode that does not require access to a sewer system or clean drinking water for flushing. The Gates Foundation has also created a special program offering grants to engineers to create new toilet prototypes. Dr. Yeh is currently working on a model that uses anaerobic bacteria to digest waste, for example.
The Professor also appreciated the discussion on the challenges faced by toilet designers in the U.S. McHale explained that the main concern at American Standard was to conserve water without sacrificing performance, and discussed the company’s participation in the EPA’s WaterSense program, which promotes water efficient products and encourages water-saving behaviors. The Professor particularly enjoyed McHale’s description of the H2Option siphonic dual flush toilet, an “engineering miracle” that uses smart science on the inside and an EverClean glaze on the outside to ensure that a wasteful “double flush” is never necessary to clean the bowl.
If you missed the original broadcast, you can listen in on the Science Friday podcast page.
Want to do more to support the fight for better sanitation around the world? Donate to the World Toilet Organization now!
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 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, del.icio.us, Technorati, Twitter and Google, or ‘Like’ on Facebook. A list of participants is below.
|Name||Blog Name||Blog URL|
|Susan Abbott||Customer Experience Crossroads||http://www.customercrossroads.com/customercrossroads/|
|Paul Anater||Kitchen and Residential Design||http://www.kitchenandresidentialdesign.com|
|Shannon Bilby||From the Floors Up||http://fromthefloorsup.com/|
|Toby Bloomberg||Diva Marketing||http://bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/bloomberg_marketing/|
|Laurence Borel||Blog Till You Drop||http://www.laurenceborel.com/
|Bill Buyok||Avente Tile Talk||http://tiletalk.blogspot.com|
|Jeanne Byington||The Importance of Earnest Service||http://blog.jmbyington.com/
|Becky Carroll||Customers Rock!||http://customersrock.net|
|Katie Clark||Practical Katie||http://practicalkatie.blogspot.com/|
|Nora DePalma||O’Reilly DePalma: The Blog||http://www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog/|
|Paul Friederichsen||The BrandBiz Blog||http://brandbizblog.com/|
|Tish Grier||The Constant Observer||http://spap-oop.blogspot.com/|
|Elizabeth Hise||Flooring The Consumer||http://flooringtheconsumer.blogspot.com|
|Emily Hooper||Floor Covering News Blog||http://www.fcnews.net/category/blog/|
|Diane Kazan||Urban Design Renovation||http//blog.urbandesignrenovation.com|
|Joseph Michelli||Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog||http://www.josephmichelli.com/blog|
|Veronika Miller||Modenus Blog||http://www.modenus.com/blog|
|Arpi Nalbandian||Tile Magazine Editors’ Blog||http://www.tilemagonline.com/Articles/Blog_Nalbandian|
|David Polinchock||Polinchock’s Ponderings||http://blog.polinchock.com/|
|Professor Toilet||American Standard’s Professor
|David Reich||my 2 cents||http://reichcomm.typepad.com|
|Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond||Scarlet Opus Trends Blog||http://www.trendsblog.co.uk|
|Sandy Renshaw||Purple Wren||http://www.PurpleWren.com|
|Bethany Richmond||Carpet and Rug Institute Blog||http://www.carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com/|
|Bruce D. Sanders||RIMtailing||http://www.rimtailing.blogspot.com|
|Paige Smith||Neuse Tile Service blog||http://neusetile.wordpress.com|
|Christine B. Whittemore||Content Talks Business
|Christine B. Whittemore||Smoke Rise & Kinnelon
|Christine B. Whittemore||Simple Marketing Blog||http://www.simplemarketingblog.com/|
|Ted Whittemore||Working Computers||http://www.kinneloncomputers.com/|
|Chris Woelfel||Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile
|Patty Woodland||Broken Teepee||http://www.brokenteepee.com|
|Denise Lee Yohn||brand as business bites||http://deniseleeyohn.com/best-bites|
More and more seniors are moving in with adult children, and this trend is also starting to drive a new home remodeling trend, especially in the Professor’s favorite room: the bathroom. Preparing to have an elderly parent move into your home – or even just visit regularly – brings up issues of comfort, safety, dignity and accessibility in the bathroom. Temporary fixes like plastic bathtub seats and toilet frames with elevated seats can be rickety and take up surprising amounts of space that smaller bathrooms just don’t have to spare.
A smart alternative to these options? A bit of bathroom remodeling work focused on universal design. The Professor has found that upgrading to new fixtures built with accessibility in mind can cost less than you might think. Upgrading helps maintain independent living for the elderly, and is a wise investment for even temporary disability circumstances, such as recovering from surgery or a broken bone. Plus: introducing universal design concepts to your bathroom now will allow you to age in place independently in the future.
The Professor humbly offers the following tips to create a bathroom that will look great and work wonderfully for you and your loved ones well into the future.
Switch to an ADA-compliant faucet. Some faucet handles require a surprising amount of force to operate, and knobs can be difficult to twist for seniors. The Professor suggests an ADA-compliant single lever faucet that allows for easy on-and-off operation without the need to grip. This simple and inexpensive alteration will make washing up more comfortable for elderly parents and grandparents, and is also a great excuse to perk up the look of your bathroom.
Try a taller toilet. Standard toilets have a bowl height of about 15 inches, but many manufacturers have recently introduced models that are an inch and a half higher. These taller commodes make sitting down and getting back up less stressful on the body. Bring high style and performance as well as comfort to your bathroom by upgrading to a luxury toilet. The Professor especially likes the elegant ”Right Height” toilets from Porcher available in sleek, easy to clean, one-piece styles.
Think about accessible storage. Keep bathing and grooming accessories neatly stowed out of the way to reduce trips and falls, and to keep them clear of wheelchairs. Accessibility and functionality are key when planning for convenient storage options in the bathroom.
Replace an unused bathtub with a walk-in shower. Holding on to the ability to bathe independently is key to aging gracefully and with dignity. The ubiquitous tub/shower unit in so many homes may be uncomfortably high for the elderly and disabled to step over, and too low to sit down into for bathing. The Professor has found a unique, low-cost solution from American Standard: a walk-in seated shower that features a wide, contoured, full-sized seating area with recessed front to make standing or sitting while showering comfortable and easy. This unit has a low 3” threshold for easy access in and out, plus a built-in wrap-around grab bar for added safety.
Provide a spa-like walk-in tub. Many walk-in tubs are designed to fit perfectly in the space of a conventional tub for easy installation and are now available with luxurious special features. American Standard offers a smart QuickDrain option that removes water eight times faster than a conventional drain, so there is no need for a long, cold wait for the tub to drain before opening the door to exit the bath. Walk-in bathtubs are also available with advanced features like whirlpools and combo massage systems, so bathing can be safer AND more luxurious for aging parents and for you.
The Professor’s obsession with issues of toilet performance is world renowned, but it must also be acknowledged that many other factors are involved in having a pleasant (or unpleasant) bathroom experience. The most frustrating and frequently debated issue of them all must be toilet paper orientation: over or under?
The debate itself is as old as the rolls of toilet paper themselves (which, incidentally, date back to 1871) but the Professor was delighted to find an informative article loaded with detailed infographics illustrating the advantages of each orientation as well as important moments in toilet paper history. It’s an interesting article that just might give you pause the next time you need to change the roll.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There 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!