The Alpha Renovation Journal PART 2) Five Questions To Ask When Buying Sanitary Wares

If you come to my house and you ask me, “Tommy, I need to use the toilet. Where is it?” and I don’t say, “It’s in the heartland mall two bus stops away,” it means we have a pretty decent friendship, and you’re allowed to step into my private space.

By “private space” I mean a safe, quiet haven where I pretend to be an opera singer and belt off-key Taylor Swift songs at the top of my lungs while the hot water is running. It is a very private side of me that only my neighbours in the entire block know about.

ANYWAY, I was out shopping for faucets, sinks and various shiny essentials you need in the bath areas, and it struck me, “Hey, any self-respecting shower and washroom area needs an elegant toilet bowl.”

I took this photo. If you like it, it’s yours.

It is the feature piece in the room, the most useful thing in an ensemble cast, like Lebron James and any basketball team he plays for.

I know you’re sniggering and thinking, “I don’t need a toilet bowl. This is the most boring blog post in the world ever! Post some OOTDs already!”

Oh you scorn, but one day, when you’re putting together your own home, you WILL NEED A TOILET BOWL, and you will desperately try to recall the indispensable, toilet-bowl shopping tips I wrote about on this blog, and you’ll be Googling it… and find it immediately. So, yeah, just keep Google handy.

Shopping for a proper toilet bowl can get complicated. There’re single-piece bowls, two pieces ones, wall-mounted ones, those that come with bidets… it’s mind-boggling. I’ve never examined so many toilet bowls in my life. It’s like arranging a marriage for my bum.

“Dear Derrière, you are to commit to this bowl for better or worse, through spicy meals and high-pressure constipation. Till sale of house do you part.”

Fancy faucets come from Europe and Japan. They have silky movements and super shiny surfaces you can check your teeth in. They also cost your pinky fingers.

Why didn’t anyone name their sanitary wares shop The Game Of Thrones? A throne is where you release stress, and do some deep thinking, pondering over things like, “How BIG is Kim Kardashian’s toilet bowl?”

There are a few instances in a man’s life when he DOES NOT LOOK ANOTHER PERSON IN THE EYE. These are:

  1. When he’s eating a banana
  2. When he’s doing kegel exercises at the gym, and
  3. When he’s sitting on a toilet bowl in a toilet bowl showroom. Stay classy.

The sales person will try her best (but fail spectacularly) to make you feel comfortable, asking you things like, “Does the bowl feel good? Supports your bum? Can you sit for long like this?”

“Feel the bowl. You must feel it to like it!” Alrightey then.

Bear in mind that there are dozens of strangers around you who are also seriously shopping for something to excrete bodily waste into. Everyone’s mind is picturing the same thing – “Do I see myself off loading into this thing every day?”

Toilet bowl shopping is like speed dating: You don’t have all day, because you need to like each other – fast.

Buying a toilet bowl seems like a simple task. What can be so complicated, right? Well, besides the price points (between $150 to $1500), there is a lot of science involved. You need to consider a few things, such as:

  • “How strong is the flush power?”

Don’t worry, they won’t judge you and think you’re a baby hippo. The flush power of a toilet bowl dictates how effective it is at removing bulk. This prevents clogging in the last thing in the house you want to clog.

Ask for the model’s Veritec rating, which is a scale between one to 10. The higher the rating, the less likely the water will come UP when you flush.

  • “Should I get a round bowl, or an egg-shaped bowl?”

I don’t know anyone with a perfectly round backside, or an egg-shaped one for that matter, but round bowls save you space, while elongated ones (egg-shaped) are more comfortable for prolonged sits, for days when you feel like reading a few chapters of “The Fault In Our Stars” and crying alone in the toilet.

  • “What is the water usage for this toilet bowl?”

Ironically, toilet bowls require water to flush unwanted water out of your house. Water-saving models now come in half/full flush designs, where the half-flushes use about 1.5 litres of water, and full flushes, twice that.

  • “Should I get a one-piece bowl, a two-piece bowl, or a wall-mounted one?”

There are a few factors involved: Costs, design of your toilet, and how much space you want between your knees and the toilet door. It’s largely aesthetics and personal preference. But wall-mounted ones tend to be the costliest as they require special plumbing but are the most discreet, one piece sets are easiest to clean, while two-piece bowls are like LEGO sets, simple and practical (but a bitch to clean). Ask your toilet bowl vendor for details as there are loads of pros and cons to consider.

5) “Should I get a bidet?”

A bidet is great for personal hygiene. You can sit there and basically know how a car feels going through the car wash. There is that mechanised, geeky element to it, but it does not come cheap. Be prepared to pay double (up to $2,000) the amount for something with a great bidet system.

And that’s it from me for this episode of The Alpha Renovation Journal. More tips and tricks from me next week. J