We’re guessing that at some point in your life, you’ve been standing at a public urinal and had the thought, “Why don’t I have one of these things at home?” It’s a fair question. Most public restrooms have urinals as a default option, but almost no homes do.
Urinals seem like such a common convenience it can be hard to figure out why more homes don’t have them as commodities. The question is is it worth the cost? Read on to learn about why there aren’t more home urinals.
Benefits of a Urinal
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to pee standing up, we probably don’t need to convince you that a home urinal would be cool. You can enjoy all the glory that a urinal brings to the bathroom experience without any worries about another person scoping your goods or standing too close. It’s your opportunity to live the dream life every day.
But from a more practical standpoint, urinals can provide some more concrete benefits. For elderly people, not having to sit down and stand up from a toilet can reduce the risk of falls. And urinals use a little bit less water than toilets, making them more environmentally friendly.
Partners Don’t Like Them
The biggest reason we don’t see more urinals in homes is that many partners don’t like them. If you aren’t someone who pees standing up, you may not see the appeal; why would you add an ugly fixture you can’t use to your bathroom? They take up space and smell, and how hard is it really to use the toilet.
And these partners do have a point. As we’ll discuss in a moment, installing a urinal can be expensive, and it doesn’t make much sense to spend that much money to install something only one partner can use. Not to mention urinals aren’t exactly a typical feature in bathroom décor, and it can be hard to make them look like they belong in the space.
Cleaning Is Worse
While it is true that urinals allow you the maximum freedom in your peeing experience (aside from standing with your back to the wind and going nuts), it comes at a cost. How many times in your life have you ever had to clean a urinal? Assuming that number is zero, let’s imagine for a moment what that chore would look like.
Urinals tend to get a little more coated in urine than your average toilet, which makes them smell more. And cleaning them means wiping them down directly, a chore no one wants. Cleaning a toilet is easier and is needed less often since the water covers the entire bowl and takes most urine particles away with it.
Another huge reason we don’t see more urinals in the home is they’re an unnecessary expense, and not an insignificant one at that. Urinals cost between $600 and $2,000 depending on the model you get. And like with anything, the more you pay, the better it’s going to look, so realistically you’re looking at the top end of that price range.
And that $2,000 price tag is just for the cost of the urinal. That doesn’t begin to touch the installation costs, which include running new water lines, drain pipes, and potentially electricity for automatic flush switches. It’s a significant chunk of money for something that’s an indulgence at best.
It Doesn’t Add to the Home Value
Some people might try to argue that adding a urinal will add value to the home. After all, it’s such a useful and unique feature, right? Buyers are going to tour the home, see that there’s a urinal, and start making offers on the spot, because, sweet, this home has a urinal!
But in reality, putting in a urinal does nothing for the resale value of the home. That money you’re putting in will have a 0 percent return on investment. You’d be better off putting in a better toilet that you and your partner can both enjoy.
It Doesn’t Save That Much Water
We know, we said earlier that urinals use less water than toilets, and they technically do. On average, a toilet flush uses 1.6 gallons of water, while a conventional urinal uses 1.5 gallons per flush. That means you’re only saving a gallon of water or so a day, and that’s assuming you’re well-hydrated and home a lot.
If you’re looking to save water around the house, there are better ways to do so. Some people have explored grey water options for flushing their toilets. Others have suggested using your urine as a supplement for your lawn or garden rather than flushing it away.
On the subject of putting in a new toilet, that’s one of the best alternatives to adding a urinal. We know, your first priority is environmental conservation and you want to save water where you can. Well the good news is there are dual-flush toilets that can help you do that!
Dual-flush toilets offer you two options for flushing: number one or number two. If you pull the lever up, it’ll use a smaller amount of water, an option that both you and your partner can use to save twice as much water! We know, we’re sorry; adding a urinal isn’t a very practical option for the home.
Explore Home Urinal Options
We know, having a home urinal would be one of the coolest things ever. And the option is becoming more popular, so don’t give up hope yet. Have a conversation with your partner if you have one, and seriously weigh whether the coolness factor is worth the few thousand dollars it’s going to cost you to get one installed.
If you’d like to explore the cost of getting a home urinal installed, get in touch with us at Beehive Plumbing. We can help you install a urinal or bidet, as well as do general and emergency plumbing repairs. Book an appointment with us now to discuss your bathroom remodel project.