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Why you can't have an actual 14K gold toilet
Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's probably been keeping you awake at night - why is your toilet porcelain? It's a good question. How many tree huggers and green activists would prefer a recycled cardboard toilet, or at least one made out of sustainable materials (bamboo, with a panda company mascot). Then there are the folks who just want to show off their net worth, even in the loo. For them, we have designers willing to coat porcelain thrones in layers of gold, until the thing they do their personal business on is worth more than most people's 401ks.

But the fact of the matter stands - that toilet is still porcelain deep down underneath. Why don't we have a greater variety of bathroom fixture materials? Luckily for us, Rachel Swaby at the tech and science site decided to tackle the great unknown.

Swaby talked to an expert at Kohler, where bathroom fixtures are born, and he explained that toilets need to be at least four things - clean, sturdy, waterproof and flushable. Porcelain passes all these tests with flying colors but also happens to be easy to make, mold and fire up in the kiln to boot.

So with that solved, why not plastic or stainless steel? asks Swaby. The first is too expensive and may not feel sturdy enough. As for stainless steel, well, have you ever sat on cold metal before? And, as Swaby points out, "prison chic doesn't go very far in the average home."

Swaby closes her piece with a bit of information about the testing process for new toilets (porcelain gets all As of course), and a comment from Kohler's senior product manager, Brian Hedlund, which said porcelain toilets just tend to last, and people are more likely to upgrade or replace their units for the sake of the planet or style than actual wear and tear.

It's an interesting point, especially in a day and age when investing in an eco-friendly toilet saves you some precious cash on the water bill while also giving the planet a helping hand. Though still thoroughly porcelain, these eco-friendly toilets  are a great way to show your true green colors. And maybe start saving up for that 21K gold model.



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