My boyfriend and I love a Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood that has high-tech toilets in its restrooms that warm the seat. We want one of these for our condo. Do you know whether something like this is easy to do yourself?
A: Every day, homes are getting more high-tech, including in the bathroom. What you're describing is called an electronic bidet seat attachment. Today's models will fit many modern toilets, but you need to double check.
Some of these products are seat warmers, and some have a variety of sprayers, air driers, and even a night-light feature. A few have a remote control so you can set your water temperature and sprayer preferences.
The electronic bidet and seat warmer was invented in Japan. The idea of warm toilet seats date to a time before most homes in Japan even had indoor plumbing. To keep odors at bay, the Japanese kept a window open in the bathroom all year. Once they started using a Western-style fixture, they realized the toilet seat got cold, so many families used a terry cloth seat cover.
At some point, somebody had the idea of making a heated toilet seat that would be easier to keep clean. Manufacturers added features including the bidet function, air dryers, and much more depending on the model you choose.
As for installing an electronic bidet or toilet seat, you need to have access to an electrical outlet. Most American bathrooms don't have electricity anywhere near the bathtub, shower or toilet. Installation of a new outlet in a bathroom is a job for professionals. Talk with your electrician about whether this could work at your house.
Europeans have used bidets for centuries, but their use in the United States is limited to a few luxury hotels, upscale homes - and Japanese restaurants. But maybe it will catch on.