Saturday morning, May 14th. I was on the road by 8:00 am. I whizzed down the Mass Pike; I-84 and I-91 in Connecticut; the Merritt, Hutchinson River and Henry Hudson Parkways and arrived at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street, near my daughter's apartment in New York City by 11:30 am. Two hundred miles in three and a half hours. I was on a roll. I figured I'd drive around the block once to see if I could find parking on the street. I prayed to the NYC parking gods and they answered my prayer. Just as I turned onto West 16th Street, a car pulled out of a great spot (and I mean GREAT) -- good until Monday morning. A great way to start the weekend!
So began my trek to New York City for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) with the #Designhounds, a community of design-loving bloggers and interior designers sharing the best of design, fashion, food and travel. In its 29th year, the ICFF is a multinational tableau of vendors, artisans and craftspeople offering innovative furnishings for the residential and commercial design marketplace. We roamed all two and a half floors of the ICFF at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center perusing more than 750 exhibitor booths, but also shared some private talks with Luxe Interiors+Design, TOTO USA, Wilsonart and Ittala. In this post, I want to share some interesting and, dare I say, intimate facts about toilets, courtesy of TOTO USA. [Disclaimer: TOTO was a sponsor of my Designhounds venture].
As a LEED-certified designer (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), I emphasize conservation and sustainability in my designs. Did you know that 27% of the water used in one year by an average American family of four is from toilet flushing? And that's more than any other household use of water. TOTO is a pioneer in developing water efficient products starting with their toilets. The company was the first to bring 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) toilets to the American market, was approached by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a 1.28 GPF toilet, and now has 1.0 GPF toilets in its product line which save 35% more water than standard 1.6 GPF toilets.
TOTO set the benchmark for high-efficiency toilets. If you want the gold standard, consider the Neorest 750H. This toilet senses when it will be used and pre-mists the bowl which better prevents waste from adhering to the bowl's surface. To enhance the non-stick surface properties, TOTO engineers developed a titanium dioxide and zirconium coating fired into the bowl's interior glaze which furthers the elimination of organic substances including lime scale and mold. Topping it off, an ultraviolet light is activated when the lid closes causing a photocatalytic reaction that destroys any remaining organic material inside the bowl.
The interior glaze of the Neorest 750H has a pearlescent quality.
The technological advancements in Neorest are featured in other TOTO toilets. As with Neorest, these toilets feature a hole-free rim and TOTO's patented Tornado flush technology which uses two nozzles to release water powerfully into the bowl, circulating the surface area, maintaining a waste-free and germ-free environment.
If TOTO had its way, it would be converting Americans to its Washlet. The Washlet is a toilet seat with bidet functionality. To date, TOTO has sold 40 million Washlets world-wide. But Americans are slow to embrace its virtues. I had a client about 10 years ago who traveled to Japan on business and while there, experienced the Washlet. As soon as he returned home, he purchased a Washlet for his master bathroom. It's just that good. With a slow-close lid, the Washlet features a pre-mist and post-mist of electrolyzed water to keep the bowl clean and cling-free, a sensor-controlled heated seat, a nozzle that dispenses a cleansing warm-water spray and a warm-air dryer. And all can be remote-controlled in the palm of your hand.
Thanks to TOTO, I'll be trying the Washlet out. But I dare say I'll write a follow up with a play-by-play of the experience.