More Canadians are buying bidets, but why have they taken so long to crack the market?
Published Friday, October 18, 2019 6:29PM EDT
KITCHENER – Long a fixture of restroom hygiene in Europe, more Canadians are putting bidets in their bathrooms.
Precise numbers are hard to find, but you don't have to ask around long to see that more people are after them.
"It's something that we're selling multiple times a week," says Pamela Engin, showroom manager at Home Hardware.
"Now we find the European influence is making sure that all Canadian companies and American companies follow suit."
Bidets are still number two to toilet paper.
You can spend as little as a few hundred dollars to retrofit an existing toilet seat, or over $5,000 on a higher-end model of a bidet-toilet combo or separate feature.
"There are more going in, in the last probably three years, than I've seen," says Kathryn Holman, showroom supervisor at Water Closet.
She says they have options with seat warmers, night lights, water warmers and driers.
That might sound pretty comfortable—so why aren't Canadians more comfortable with them?
Stephen Quilley is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo's faculty of environment.
"North America, especially America, is really, really quite prudish in this regard," he explains.
He says that people seem more attached to toilet paper in English-speaking cultures.
To really make a splash across the pond, Quilley says it would likely take high-level Hollywood endorsements.
"You need to get celebrities to model the behaviour at a high level and model this new etiquette, this environmental restroom etiquette if you like," he says.
"If you go to someone's house and they've got one, you probably won't take the risk of getting water all over yourself, or wetting your trousers, or having an accident in the bathroom whilst you're at a dinner party."
Experts say the benefits are clear: reducing toilet paper and water use while also reducing the risk of hygiene-related health problems from paper.