What is the Difference between a Bidet & a Bidet Toilet Seat?

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You may have heard of a bidet or bidet toilet seat and wondered what the differences between the two are. Perhaps you have experienced one or the other, or perhaps you are looking to install one of these modern innovations into your home. As bidets are slowly becoming an essential part of the world of bathrooms, the added bidet toilet seat makes many people even more interested in the device.

What is the difference between a bidet and a bidet toilet seat? A bidet is a special device used to clean the genitals after urination or defecation, often found directly next to the toilet. Bidet toilet seats, on the other hand, are a high-tech toilet and bidet add-on that are installed to an existing toilet replacing the toilet seat. They enable you to use the bidet cleansing functions while still seated on the toilet.

Bidets are the primary way that many people in Southern Europe, Asia, and South America clean themselves up after using the toilet, and they are becoming more popular in other parts of the world as well. To better understand the use of a bidet and a bidet toilet seat, we will explore their features, how to use them, their installation processes, and benefits that the bidet toilet seat offers.

Bidets and Add-On Bidet Features

Bidets come in a variety of forms. A few of these include:

  • A separate porcelain fixture that is placed next to the toilet.
  • A toilet seat replacement that attaches to the existing toilet.
  • A handheld bidet sprayer (Shattaf).
  • An attachment that can be installed underneath the existing toilet seat.

Each of these bidet and add-on bidet features offers a variety of benefits to the user. If you are looking towards installing one into your home, you may want to consider your price range, level of comfort desired, level of convenience desired, and practical installation processes that accompany the device of choice. 

How to Use a Bidet without a Bidet Toilet Seat Installed

Using a Bidet as a separate fixture involves using a toilet and then moving to clean yourself off in the (typically porcelain) bidet. In this nature, many first-time users confuse it for a short sink or a second toilet. The porcelain fixture, however, has a spray jet located near the drain from which the water sprays vertically up; some have faucet nozzles from which the water sprays horizontally. In order to use this type of bidet (as opposed to a bidet toilet seat), follow these steps:

Step 1: Use the Toilet First

Relieve yourself normally while sitting on the toilet; then you may clean yourself with tissue paper as you typically would without using a bidet. When you are done, move to the bidet and use it by squatting or sitting on the bidet fixture. Remember to take your pants or underwear off or rather, at least have them removed to the point of not soaking them with the bidet water by accident. For sitting, it is better if you sit facing the wall so that you can see the stream of water coming out and control it more easily.

Step 2: Turn On Your Bidet

You may take your time to turn on the bidet and hover your hand close to the nozzle or jet to feel the temperature and pressure of the water. You can also decide to do this before you visit the toilet so that the bidet is ready to go when you are. While seated on the bidet (that is turned on), reposition yourself as needed for the water to hit the spots you are aiming to cleanse. For the bidets with faucets, you should simply adjust the angle of the faucet until the water hits the spot.

Step 3: Make any Necessary Adjustments

Adjust the knob to attain a comfortable temperature and pressure. Wash yourself thoroughly until you feel completely clean. Turn off the bidet when done.

Step 4: Dry Yourself Off

This will depend on what is provided in the washroom. If there is a toilet paper, simply pat yourself dry. If it is a designated towel or a washcloth, wipe yourself as you always do after a shower. Typically a designated bin will be provided for the washcloths/towels. When you are done, rinse the bidet basin with clean water and then wash your hands.

Using a Bidet Toilet Seat

Now that we have examined how to use a bidet, it is hopefully more clear that a bidet is typically a separate porcelain fixture. On the other hand, a bidet toilet seat is attached to the toilet so that you do not have to move from one device to the other. When you encounter it for the first time, using it may impose a few challenges due to its strangeness to those who are not familiar with it. In this article, we have clearly clarified how to use a bidet toilet seat, its benefits, and how to install it for use.

How to Use a Bidet Toilet Seat 

One of the  most attractive qualities about a bidet toilet seat compared to a standalone bidet is that once you are using it, you do not have to move to use the bidet washing features when you are done with your toileting experience. 

Step 1: Sit Down

Position yourself as you normally would on a standard toilet- facing away from the flushing handle while seated down. Once you are seated on the attached bidet toilet seat, you are already on your bidet; you will just enable the features from the toilet itself. The bidet wash nozzle is retracted inside the bidet toilet seat. All you need to do when you are done with the toilet business is to press the button.

Step 2: Press the Button

When you press the wash button on your remote control, likely found mounted to the wall or connected to the seat, the spray nozzle will extend beneath you. As a general rule, test the angle of the nozzle, the temperature of the water and the pressure at which the nozzle oozes water out using your hands, not genital parts. Genital parts are highly sensitive; you may end up hurting or burning yourself. You may test this out prior to sitting on the toilet in the first place.

Step 2: Start Your Wash

Rinse off your genitalia until it feels clean. Once you start your wash, the nozzle spray is calibrated such that it is very selective; it does not allow dirty water to pass (thankfully for the user’s sake). Besides this feature, the nozzle automatically cleans itself after every use. You can also use nanoparticle technology to sterilize the nozzle.

Step 3: Adjust the Sprayer

You need to adjust the sprayer as the bidet nozzle begins to spray so that you use it in a way that is most comfortable to you and with a precise angle of water flow. The temperature, water pressure, nozzle position, and nozzle width should all be able to be adjusted using the remote control panel. By controlling the width of the nozzle, you increase water pressure, thus making it come out stronger (or reduce pressure to make it weaker).

Step 5: Dry Yourself Off

You can pat yourself dry with toilet paper or a towel when you are done, especially if you are in a rush. However, some bidets come with a warm air dryer. To use this, press the “dry” button on your control panel. The air dryer is typically very efficient and will dry you completely, but will take a few minutes. If you still do not feel dry after this, then you may use a towel or toilet paper to complete the drying process.

Benefits of a Bidet Toilet Seat Compared to a Bidet

There are several benefits to choosing to install a bidet toilet seat compared to a separate bidet fixture. Several of those benefits are listed here:

  • Comfort. Experiences on the toilet may turn very uncomfortable, even more so when you have to sit for an extended period due to stomach problems or extended bowel movements. This is the reason a quality seat is important when it comes to getting the most out of your experience in the bathroom. Uncomfortable or rather rough toilet seats could even lead to bruises or rashes and cause much irritation.

    Bidet toilet seats are usually soft- some of them are as soft as a pillow but are still very durable. Moreover, most bidet toilet seats come with warm water cleansing, air dryers and are operated via remote control. Some even come with an energy water heating system for unlimited warm water. Warm water bidet toilet seats are equipped with a device that sprays warm water on the external genital after urination and defecation. All this makes the system convenient and comfortable to use.
  • Hygiene. From the perspective of public health, warm water sprayed from the nozzle is disinfected by residual chlorine in tap water. The pathogen build-up is always limited. However, using a bidet toilet seat with warm water adds a level of safety and hygiene compared to using tissue paper. Tissue papers make you vulnerable to the spread of pathogens through left-behind particles in the genitalia when used.
  • Medical conditions. In the hospital setting, or if at home but recovering from a recent procedure, this piece can be very useful. For example, this can be useful if you are a patient who recently had surgery and in recovery. Women who have recently given birth, those with bowel movement issues, or those who have been diagnosed with or treated recently for hemorrhoids can all benefit from bidet toilet seats.

    If you have been a patient with one of these conditions, it is likely that you experienced an unpleasant ordeal whenever you visited the toilet. Bidet toilet seats enable you to do your toilet business and access bidet function while still using the toilet. This reduces too many movements in the washroom that might worsen your condition. Additionally, the added hygienic cleansing process will help to maintain overall health in your genital region.

    Consequently, people with physical disabilities or seniors with limited mobility will also find the bidet toilet seat very convenient once this piece is installed in their homes. Because there is limited movement involved with the use of a bidet toilet seat, you are less exposed to the difficulties of reaching to wipe and thus less exposed to falling as a result.
  • Easy to install. To install a bidet toilet seat (especially compared to a separate bidet fixture), you do not need a plumber or a specialist. This device is designed such that you can install it even if you do not have plumbing experience; it attaches itself to the existing toilet with relative ease. Rather than rerouting your plumbing or dealing with the hassle of a bidet added to your bathroom, simply attach the bidet toilet seat to your existing toilet.
  • Clean water standards are upheld. Many would be worried about the condition of the water used given that the seat is on the toilet. However, you can rest at ease knowing that the water is diverted before it reaches your toilet. This means that the water you are using is as clean as that which is diverted to your shower or sink. Bidets are relatively clean devices and have many cleansing functions to maintain this standard, but for those of you worried about the water source, you can have peace of mind that a bidet toilet seat uses clean water that is not recycled from the toilet.
  • Bidet toilet seats are available with warm water features. Electronic bidet toilet seats heat the water for you so that you do not need a separate hot water system. You simply need an electric outlet to be able to use this feature, so be sure to pay attention to the location of your toilet upon installation of our bidet toilet seat. Consequently, some even use a tank system to hold warm water.

How to Install a Bidet Toilet Seat

Bidet toilet seats are very easy to install when you already have the toilet installed for you. Installing a free-standing bidet, on the other hand, is very involved, and you are likely to need a plumber to do it for you or to confirm if the installation is correct.

The bidet toilet seat should be in the shape of your toilet. Your toilet shape is either round or elongated with the round-shaped toilet seat being relatively smaller than the elongated one. Attaching a bidet toilet seat is therefore ideal for small bathrooms as you do not have to install additional fixtures in limited space.

All you need to do here is to measure your toilet; accurately measure the distance between your toilet tank and the toilet seat bolt along with the distance between the bolts. With the measurement, you should be able to order the right bidet shape. It will come with all the parts required but may require small tools. Once you check the manual, you can simply follow these installation steps to help.

  1. Turn off the water. Ensure the water supply valves are turned off, and then flush your toilet to remove any water remaining. This will enable you to assess any leaks as you install the bidet toilet seat.
  1. Remove the existing toilet seat. This is the position where your bidet toilet seat will be installed. Simply remove the nuts and bolts holding the seat, and then clean the mounting area for easy installation. You may need top-mount hardware for a top-mount installation in case you can not access the bolts from underneath.
  1. Attach the bidet toilet seat mounting plate. Place the plate over the toilet bolt holes and adjust the black bracket so that they are in line with the bolt holes. Put the mounting bolt through the bracket and tighten. This is the platform on which your bidet toilet seat will be installed.
  1. Install the bidet toilet seat. Simply slide the bidet toilet seat onto the plate until you hear it click. If the seat is not well aligned with your toilet, you will then need to adjust the plate.
  1. Connect the water supply. You should connect the bidet toilet seat to the water supply hose for the toilet tank, not the toilet tank water shut off valve itself. Unscrew your flexible water supply hose from the toilet tank fill valve where the toilet tank water supply hose was connected; this should be where you screw on the bidet t-valve.

  2. Connect the water supply hose to the t-valve. Next, you will screw one end of the bidet hose to t-valve, then the other free end to the bidet toilet seat. Tighten all connections to make sure they are secure. Find the best Bidet T-valves for elongated toilets.
  1. Check for leaks. It will be important to check for leaks by turning back on the water supply. If there are any leaks, be sure to check where they are coming from and re-connect/tighten any loose parts until there are no more leaks that you can spot For an electronic bidet toilet seat,  be sure you have plugged it into a grounded GFI outlet.
  1. Test your device. To be certain the bidet is working, you need to sit on it and do the test practically. Some are sensitive to skin contact and will only start working when they sense your presence. However, for those devices that you can test without sitting on, place your hand on the right bottom corner of the seat at about 4:00 on a clock face. Press the dryer or the nozzle cleaning. You can also press the wash button as well but ensure you hold your hands over the nozzle as it sprays to prevent any messes. 

If everything is working well, then the task is complete. You have your new bidet toilet seat installed and ready to use. For the best bidet experience, you can likely see that bidet toilet seats are the way to go. With the convenience, space-saving qualities, and ease-of-use factored into the experience, you truly cannot go wrong.