When you hear of the bidet you usually hear of the bidet that is attached to your toilet, but there exists another type of bidet. This bidet is a hose that hangs next to your toilet. When you are done using the bathroom you take the hose and wash yourself with it.
Often just an object of shock and wonder in a North American bathroom, the bidet is slowly becoming a more accepted element in bathrooms outside of Europe and Asia. Hopefully this trend will continue to the point where prospective buyers are pleasantly surprised to see a bidet in a home instead of embarrassed or confused. The first step to acceptance understands, so let's see what this bidet thing is all about.
The biggest benefit to installing a bidet in your bathroom is cleanliness. Consider the bidet as a mini-shower for after you use the toilet as well as any time in between that you might need freshening up. However, in North America, the bidet has a sordid mystique, probably because the main focus of the fixture is to clean the genital region.
With the current trends to luxurious spa type master bathrooms, a bidet can fit right in with that high-end European hotel atmosphere. Consider one also if you're looking to make a house more accessible to residents or buyers who might be elderly or disabled. A bidet, particularly one that's built into a toilet, works well with the philosophy of universal design by helping anyone with less than optimal mobility to use the washroom on their own.
There are quite a few bidet options if you're looking to join the modern era of hygiene. There are two types of stand alone bidet, which is what most people imagine when they think of a bidet. The classic style of bidet is basically a low sink that resembles a seat-less toilet that is utilized by filling the bowl up and straddling it to wash. The more frequently seen French bidet is similar but instead of filling the bowl to wash, it has a spout that shoots water upwards. Either type can be used as a rinse or with soap.
If you don't have the space or the money to install a stand alone bidet, don't fret, there are options that you can incorporate to your existing space as well. There are a variety of bidet seats that you can install on your existing toilet that range from very simple and inexpensive to very fancy and pricey. Another option that's a little different is the hand held bidet. This basically is a spray nozzle that you plumb into your toilet's plumbing. It looks and works just like a sink sprayer you might have in your kitchen.