When was the last time you Googled “contemporary toilets?” If the answer is never, then take a moment and do it now; you’ll find about 34 million results. During the past three weeks, I swear I have looked at them all.
I began my quest for the perfect toilet to go with the perfect contemporary vanity cabinet (another 114 million hits) naively thinking, “So what will a toilet cost – maybe $500?” Well, think again.
Sure, you can go to the orange box store or the blue box store and get one for about $100, but will it have a real chrome handle? Will it look “high end?” Will a potential buyer look at it and say, “Wow! What a beauty. Where did they find that?”
I had in mind something that was ecologically sound, such as a dual flush model. For the uninitiated, that does not mean two people can flush at the same time, but that you have independent settings for when you need to flush a little or a lot.
I also wanted something that was streamlined, stylish, ergonomically designed and easy to clean. And not stainless steel, please. I spent too many years in law enforcement to be able to think of a stainless steel toilet as chic.
I cast aside the models with little painted flowers and Victorian pulley systems. I sped right through the photos of standard, two-piece toilets and went straight for the one-piece models. I looked at round ones, elongated ones, pillbox ones and even square ones (!).
I studied toilets both foreign and domestic: Japanese, Italian, English, Chinese, Czechoslovakian and the good old American brands we all know and love. But when the prices shot up over $5,000, I sat down on a Kohler Rialto and put my head between my knees, overcome with the vapors. A toilet for the price of a granite countertop? Oh, puleeease!
So, for all you toilet connoisseurs out there, here are the cream of the crap.
Toto offers its electronic, dual-flush Neorest NX1 in Cotton White for a mere $7,000. It’s a one piece, wall-mounted, elongated unit that looks like a pill box and has a built-in bidet that prompts you to get off the pot when it determines you’re clean. I’ll bet there are a lot of parents of newborns that would be delighted with that feature.
Upgrade to the NX2 and this $13,000 beauty will add a UV light cleaning system, heated seat with temperature control, an air deodorizer, a warm air dryer, and a night light – all of which can be operated by remote control. Think of the fun you’ll have when your spouse uses the toilet and you have the remote.
With “Game of Thrones” entering its final season, you can own your own throne – the Dagobert Wooden Toilet in solid ash, named for the last ruler of the Merovingian dynasty and offered by Herbeau for under $15,000. The bowl is hand-painted and plays “Le Bon Roi Dagobert” when you raise the lid. You’ll have to wait to use it, though. It’s made of solid ash and is a special-order item that will take 6-8 weeks to be delivered, so don’t throw out your chamber pot just yet.
Like bling? Then the Isis, a Swarovski crystal-encrusted toilet designed by Jemal Wright of Hollywood, Fla., is for you. It costs $75,000 and you can get a matching sink and bathtub too.
If you happen to be in Shanghai, visit the Moon River Art Park, where you can relieve yourself in its $750,000, hand-sculpted toilet, located in a 10,000-foot man-made cave surrounded by stalactites.
While you may have missed artist Maurizio Cattelan’s America, an 18-karat gold, functional toilet valued at up to $5 million and heavily guarded when it was at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, you can still flush your money down the drain with a 22K gold roll of toilet paper for only $1.3 million.
The most expensive toilet, however, was manufactured by Russia for the International Space Station. It features leg braces to keep the user in place where there is no gravity and cost $19 million to make in 2008. There’s no home delivery, so you’ll have to join the U.S. Space Force to use one.
With such an overwhelming number of toilets available, I can’t decide. I guess I’ll order my $24.99 Squatty Potty, featured on Shark Tank and available at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and move on to faucets. The coveted Creative Commode Award will just have to wait.
Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and Director of Education & Mentorship at RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.