It’s not unusual for homes and establishments to have toilets. In fact, it’s a basic and a necessity for obvious reasons. Standard toilets may, however, start arguments about whether a toilet seat should be left up or down. Nowadays, people are starting to consider urinals as an alternative, if not an addition, to standard toilets. Not only this an ongoing trend in business establishments, but also in households as well. Why are urinals becoming increasingly popular then? Why are they considered to be a good alternative to your standard toilet?
What are the advantages of installing a urinal instead of a standard toilet?
To start with, urinals don’t take up so much space as compared to standard toilets. This becomes of particular importance in places where space can be an issue. Urinals also use less water as compared to standard toilets which use up gallons of water every flush. There are even urinals that do not use up water at all! So, in terms of water conservation, urinals definitely have a greater advantage. Urinals are also easier to clean and maintain compared to your usual toilets. Urinals are quite efficient and convenient to use. That is why for many males, urinals are becoming a reasonable option.
Although admittedly, standard toilets will still be the bathroom fixture of choice, urinals can be a good alternative for those who feel that they need to save on water consumption or lessen time spent on household maintenance.
Read through this article to understand a bit more about urinals, especially if you are seriously entertaining the thought of purchasing one yourself.
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What are the different types of urinals?
You may have different choices available for standard toilets that can somehow meet your needs and preferences. Urinals, on the other hand, have limited choices. It would be better to familiarize yourself with the kinds of urinals available so that you know what options you will have for your home.
Flush urinals are the most common types of urinals. They are quite similar to the standard toilets that you may know. After using the urinal, you simply need to flush and let the released water clean all the liquid that is in the urinal. Everything goes straight to the drain, just like an ordinary toilet. There are a wide array of designs and designs to choose from when it comes to flush urinals since these are the most common types of urinals available. They require less maintenance compared to standard toilets although they still do need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
If you do intend to install a urinal in your home or in your business establishment, this will probably be the better choice since its use gives a sense of familiarity to the user. Besides a sense of familiarity, you also are given more options that will definitely meet your need and preference. One other reason for purchasing this kind of urinal is that compared to waterless urinals, flush urinals are more affordable. These, therefore, can easily fit your budget especially if you plan to purchase a lot for your establishment.
Maybe it’s because you’re all too familiar with flushing systems that you start to wonder about waterless urinals. Like what the name says, waterless urinals do not make use of water in order to get rid of waste in the urinal. Instead, these kinds of urinals are designed in such a way that urine, through the help of gravity, is driven straight to the drain. For commercial establishments, these waterless urinals are slowly becoming popular since it greatly reduces water consumption and ultimately decreases costs. Not only does it translate to extra savings, but it also helps a lot with the environment in terms of water conservation efforts.
There is a slight inconvenience with waterless urinals though. They do require more maintenance than flush toilets since these don’t make use of water to clean the urinal at each flush. However, given the amount of savings that you can get from a waterless urinal, this may all be worth the trouble.
What should you look out for when buying a urinal?
There are certain things that you need to know if you are indeed bent on buying a urinal. Knowing these will make it easier for you to make a wise decision and not end up with regrets after you do make your purchase.
Although urinals do not require much space compared to standard toilets, they do still come in different designs and sizes. You still will have to do your measurements to know how much space you can allot for the urinal you plan to install. Some, after all, can be quite large and they may take up more space than what you have in mind. You wouldn’t want to end up buying a urinal that you fancy just to find out that it won’t fit in the space that you intend to place it. This is especially the case for homes that need to be remodeled. When remodeling a home, space is already planned and limited. Because of this, accurate measurements should be made in order to make sure that you buy a urinal that can fit that given space.
In case you plan to put urinals in a commercial space, it would be better to choose urinals that are small so that you can put in as many as you can in the space allotted for the toilet. Commercial spaces will definitely have more foot traffic than an ordinary household. Having more urinals will mean more guests being able to use the toilet without having to wait much for their turn.
If space isn’t an issue, a larger urinal is indeed better than a small one. Truth be told, it is harder for men to “take aim” at smaller urinals so this usually ends up in a bit of a mess. Larger urinals make it easier for men to make that shot so these end up less messy and more convenient to use.
There isn’t much difference between the price of a standard toilet and the price of a urinal. They can go for as low as $100 for a simple flushing toilet. For urinals made of better materials and designs, the price can go as high as $1000.
As expected, more features (such as an automatic flush!) can be seen in more expensive types of urinals. Anything that will add convenience will add to the price of the urinal. The design and the brand will also mean added costs. Put all these into consideration when choosing a urinal and try to see if the urinal you have in mind is indeed worth its price.
Urinals usually make use of levers or handles to activate the flush. The mechanism is pretty similar to the standard toilet.
For a more hygienic option though, there are urinals that don’t make use of these kinds of levers but instead, make use of sensors so that the urinal automatically flushes after use.
There are also those that flush automatically at certain intervals. This would probably be a good choice to use in commercial establishments in order to lessen cleaning that should be consistently done by the cleaning staff during operating hours.
A urinal will be a permanent fixture in your home or business establishment so aesthetics will most probably be a thing to consider when choosing the urinal you plan to buy. When it comes to aesthetics, there are several options to choose from that can match your personal preference.
You can opt to get a wall-mounted urinal that sets a modern approach to design, or a floor-mounted one which will make it easier for you to “focus on your aim”. Then again, you may be the type who doesn’t care about design at all for as long as the urinal serves its purpose. Whatever your preference is, make sure that you go through all available choices in order to make sure that you end up making the right choice.
Design matters because, aside from providing aesthetics to the urinal, it also can contribute to functionality and ease of use. There are urinals that are designed to hasten the flow of waste down into the drain with the aid of gravity. There are those that are designed to help catch urine in order to avoid splatters in case of a bad aim. There are trough urinals that can accommodate several users at a given time. Trough urinals are a good alternative to buying several units for use in commercial establishments.
Always think about the user when thinking of what design will fit best. Think, as well, of maintenance since you would most probably want a urinal that is easy to maintain in order to maintain proper sanitation.
Like any part of a washroom, urinals have to be cleaned on a regular basis. Waterless urinals, most especially, require more regular cleaning as these do not have water that can aid in regular cleansing the urinal of urine during every flush. The bottom line, when it comes to maintenance, is that you may want a urinal that requires less cleaning time as compared to that which will need cleaning several times in a day or week.
Again, design will play a role when it comes to maintenance. Designs with hard-to-reach spots or corners will be more difficult to clean as compared to designs which do not have these. Imagine how you will have to clean a particular urinal before you decide to purchase it. At the end of the day, the less hassle in terms of maintenance means more convenience on your part.
Urinals may be either floor-mounted or wall-mounted. Each will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Floor-mounted urinals are designed to have their pipes installed on the ground with the drains located way below the ground as well. The actual urinal is connected to these pipes and is placed along the wall of a washroom.
Wall-mounted urinals are the more common types of urinals. All the pipes and drains are located within the walls of a bath. The actual urinal is placed on a wall with a bit of space between the bottom portion of the urinal and the floor.
One reason why many are starting to look into urinals is because of the large savings that they can get off their water bills. This is definitely true for waterless urinals which do not use water for flushing at all. If your main purpose in getting a urinal is to lessen water consumption, then a waterless urinal is definitely the way to go.
For flushing urinals though, water consumption really depends on the design of the urinal when it comes to the flush. Indeed, different kinds of flushes differ in the amount of water they use. The best way to check is by looking at the gallons per flush (GPF) rating. All manufacturers will show their GPF rating, which is definitely much better than the standard toilet. Standard toilets normally use 1.28 gallons of water per flush. Urinals are known to use on around 1/8 of the amount standard toilets use.
The following list will give you an idea of how much water urinals use:
Do take note that a lower GPF means lower water consumption. If one of your objectives is to lessen water consumption, then get one with the lowest GPF.
You would also want toc check out a urinal that is WaterSense Certified. This is a certification given by the EPA under its WaterSense program. Once a urinal has been WaterSense Certified, you can be sure that this product has undergone much testing to make sure that the product is reliable when it comes to lessened water consumption.
Things can get tricky when you try to replace an old urinal to a new one. In this case, you would have to get a urinal that will match the size and design of the old one or, at least, approximate the size of the old one. You will have to consider the amount of space that you will have to allot for the new urinal. You will probably have to end up picking the same type of mounting as the old one. You’ll also have to check the spud of your old urinal. The spud is the part where plumbing of your old urinal connects to the urinal. The spud of the new urinal should, somehow, approximate the spud of the old one.
You may, of course, employ the help of a professional to make adjustments for the plumbing and maybe even the space for your new urinal. However, do keep in mind that this will entail additional expenses on your part. It may even eat into your budget.
Urinals can be either ceramic or stainless steel.
Ceramic urinals are the most common types of urinals available in the market. These will include urinals made from porcelain and vitreous china. These may come in a large array of styles and colors so you will surely find one that will meet your taste and preference. They are also quite sturdy and definitely waterproof. They also are easy to maintain since they don’t easily stain. The downside though to ceramic urinals is that they do have the tendency to chip so care should be taken when cleaning these urinals.
Stainless Steel urinals are usually associated with trough urinals and even some bowl urinals. These urinals are also quite durable. If well maintained, these won’t rust or stain.
Urinals are slowly becoming popular since they do have the advantage when it comes to water usage compared to standard toilets. For men, these are also more convenient to use and more hygienic. That said, it still matters though that the right choices be made based on what you know and what you feel you need. If all factors have been properly considered, a urinal can actually be a good fixture to have in your home.