The Downside of Luxury Toilet Seats: Convenience vs. Complexity
Luxury toilet seats have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a range of high-tech features and added comforts to elevate the bathroom experience. While these innovative seats can provide a touch of indulgence, they also come with their fair share of challenges. In this article, we’ll explore the potential problems associated with luxury toilet seats that require batteries or a wall outlet to operate and need professional installation by a skilled tradesman, such as a plumber.
1. Installation Challenges
One of the primary issues with luxury toilet seats is the complexity of their installation. Unlike standard toilet seats, which can often be installed by the average DIY enthusiast, luxury seats with advanced features typically require the expertise of a skilled tradesman, like a plumber. The cost of hiring a plumber can vary wildly on experience and location, with the National Average hoving around $100 per hour. Many luxury seats are also integrated with a custom bowl, meaning that households buying one of these toilet seats should expect to replace the entire toilet bowl as well, over a several hour installation process. This can add to the overall cost of the seat and may cause inconvenience if you need to schedule an appointment and wait for the professional to complete the installation.
2. Dependence on Power Sources
Many luxury toilet seats require a power source to operate their advanced features, such as heated seats, bidet functions, and automatic flushing. This dependence on electricity can create several problems:
- Limited installation options: If your bathroom doesn’t have a conveniently located wall outlet, you may need to hire an electrician to install one, which adds to the cost and complexity of the project. This can range from $200 to $300 or more, depending on the complexity of the installation and local labor rates.
- GFCI outlet requirements: electrical outlets located near watersources (such as your sink or toilet) require a ground fault circut interrupter (GFCI) outlet to prevent potential electricution or short-circuting across the house. According to professional services firm Angi’s List, it costs on average $210 to replace an existing outlet with a GFCI one, potentially more if there was no outlet prior.
- Battery replacement: If your toilet seat relies on batteries, you’ll need to replace them periodically, which adds to the maintenance and ongoing cost of the seat. Depending on the type and quality of the batteries, you could be spending $5 to $10 or more each time they need replacing.
3. Maintenance and Repair
Luxury toilet seats, with their sophisticated features, are more prone to malfunctions and breakdowns than traditional seats. As a result, you may find yourself dealing with more frequent maintenance issues and repairs. Additionally, sourcing replacement parts and finding a professional who is familiar with these high-tech seats can be both time-consuming and costly. In some cases, repairs or replacement parts for luxury toilet seats can cost several hundred dollars or more, depending on the specific issue and the brand of the seat.
4. Higher Cost
Lastly, luxury toilet seats are often significantly more expensive than their standard counterparts. The initial investment for a luxury seat can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on the brand and features. This cost, combined with the expenses of professional installation, ongoing maintenance, potential repairs, and power source requirements, can make these high-tech seats a less cost-effective choice for many homeowners.
A High-tech, non-electric solution
One of the best toilet seat options available that does not come with the drawbacks discussed here is the Cleana Home, a non-electric automatically closing toilet seat. Designed with the homeowner in mind, the seat includes important functionality such as auto-closing and an anti-microbial coating while providing easy DIY installation, no battery and wall-outlet requirements, and no servicing or maintenance. At a $95 price point, it also comes in at 1/10th the price of nearest bidet-offerings with auto-closing functionality.
Luxury toilet seats offer a wide range of advanced features and comforts that can make the bathroom experience more enjoyable. However, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks associated with these high-tech seats, such as installation challenges, dependence on power sources, increased maintenance and repair, and increased costs. By weighing the pros and cons, you can determine if a luxury toilet seat is the right choice for your home and lifestyle.
Cleana Home Toilet Seat