Toilet Features Chaska MN
St. Paul, MN
St. Louis Park, MN
St. Louis Park, MN
Many Pacific Rim toilets have more buttons and control panels than TV sets, and heated seats have become the norm. If you're the type of person who loves simply everything high-tech, then you're in luck because Japan's number-one toilet maker has begun exporting their luxury loos to the United States. Toto (www.totousa.com) is the largest toilet manufacturer in the world, producing more than 7 million units annually, but Japan is where the majority of citizens sit on a Toto logo.
The company far outsells its competitors there, and they've built two U.S. plants to keep up with growing demand in the West. The Neorest toilet features an integrated warm-water cleansing unit - sort of a built-in bidet. The seat provides a front-and-back aerated warm-water spray, which can be regulated for pressure and temperature. It also has an oscillating spray massage, heated seat, automatic catalytic air deodorizer and warm-air dryer - all governed by energy-efficient electronics. And apparently, this toilet is at times more considerate than most American men. When someone stands in front of the Neorest, the lid and seat automatically rise. When they walk away, the lid closes again, and the unit flushes.
The technology is more than porcelain-deep, as diverter valves channel incoming water straight from the supply pipe (there is no tank) with no splash or noise. Jets and nozzles assure a powerful flush and rim-cleansing action, even in the 1.2 gallons-per-flush mode. "In Japan, hygiene is an extreme cultural imperative, and they embrace this sort of technology with alacrity," says Lenora Campos, manager of public relations with Toto USA Inc. "Computer technology is dominant there as well, so this sort of thing is only natural to them."
Toto began exporting these units to China in August and to the United States one month later. At press time, no sales figures were available, but Campos states the company expects to sell about 1,000 units per month. The Neorest sells for about $2,800 (U.S.) in China, but shipping costs drive the price here in the States up to about $5,000. And rest assured, there will be no Japanese writing used to explain the various functions. Stories abound in Japan about how unsuspecting foreigners are jolted when a hidden bidet is activated instead of the expected flushing. In Japanese locations frequented by travelers, cartoon pictures now explain the various functions. Here in the States, buttons will be labeled in English.