Should You Consider Adding a Bidet to a Public Restroom?

If you own a business or organization that has public restrooms, you might consider adding bidets to those restrooms. Bidets are designed to offer a more hygienic, more thorough cleaning experience – but they aren’t perfect solutions.

What are the pros and cons of moving forward with this decision?

Advantages of Adding a Bidet to Your Public Restroom

These are some of the potential advantages you can see by adding a bidet to your public restroom:

·       Easy installation. There are many different types of bidets, but with so many options available, it’s easy to find a type of bidet that’s easy to install. If you go with a bidet toilet seat, such as this one, you should have no trouble installing the bidets yourself. If you want standalone ceramic bidets, you may need to invest in much more intensive plumbing changes.

·       Inexpensiveness. Generally, bidets are inexpensive. If you’re interested in luxury units with all the bells and whistles, you can end up paying hundreds of dollars per unit. But if you’re interested in a simple spray attachment, or something similar, you can operate with a much tighter budget.

·       Better personal hygiene. People have begun switching to bidets in part because of their hygienic superiority. Wiping with toilet paper does a decent job of cleaning, but it pales in comparison to what a jet of water can do. Rinsing off your underside after using the bathroom results in a much more thorough cleaning. Additionally, people who use bidets regularly are less likely to experience hemorrhoids and certain other health complications. If you equip all your public restrooms with these devices, all your employees and customers can walk around feeling more refreshed after taking care of business.

·       Lower toilet paper costs. Toilet paper probably isn’t your biggest business expense, but it’s something worth considering on the budget. If you switch to bidets, and most people use those devices as intended, your toilet paper needs will plummet. Depending on how many people are using your bathrooms, and what type of toilet paper you’re buying, this could ultimately save you hundreds to thousands of dollars every year.

·       Image and reputation. Bidets are currently seen as a luxury item, and despite rising popularity in the United States, they’re still something of a rarity, according to NYTimes. When someone walks into your bathroom and they see a bidet, they might come to see your organization differently, usually in a better light. It gives your place of business a sense of distinctiveness that most other businesses don’t have. It may also make the experience more memorable, lending itself to better word of mouth marketing.

·   An interesting talking point. While many people refuse to talk about anything related to bathrooms, for many of your employees and patrons, bidets will be an interesting talking point. It might serve as a valuable icebreaker for an upcoming meeting or help you start a conversation with a bit of intriguing levity.

Disadvantages of Adding a Bidet to Your Public Restroom

These are some of the drawbacks you’ll need to consider:

·       Initial costs. Despite the fact that bidets are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, they still represent an unnecessary expense. If your business is trying to cut costs as much as possible and operate lean, it’s hard to justify the costs of installation. Bidets have a long lifespan, so this should be a one-time expense – but it’s hard to say whether the benefits will justify that expense.

·       Hygiene concerns and cleaning needs. Some people are concerned that sharing a bidet is unhygienic. However, as long as you commit to proper cleaning practices, sharing bidets is as hygienic as sharing toilets. The problem is, in public restrooms, it’s hard to clean bidets as they should be cleaned. It’s possible to find self-cleaning models, but even these suggest regular manual cleaning to make sure the devices stay in hygienic condition. Unless you’re committed to manually cleaning your public bidets regularly, you should consider passing on this option.

·       Operational difficulties. Not everyone is going to understand how to use a bidet – especially if they’ve never seen one before. This can result in confusion, intimidation, and in some cases, misuse.

·       Water costs. Bidets save you money in the long run because they reduce toilet paper costs – but they can also slightly increase your water bills.

While there are some impressive benefits of adding a bidet to a public restroom, hygiene concerns, operational difficulties, and initial costs make it a decision worth scrutinizing. If you can commit to regular manual cleaning, and you believe that bidets will be appealing to your target demographics, they may be worth considering. But for most public restrooms, they aren’t necessarily a good fit. Bidets are a much better investment for home bathrooms.

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