Over the years I’ve had some interesting conversations about plumbing in the home. One conversation has been on what to consider if you put a urinal in your home bathroom. Can it be done? Should it be done? And why are urinals more common in public toilets than domestic bathrooms?
What to consider if you put a urinal in your home bathroom
Firstly, urinals are common in public bathrooms to provide a quick solution for a number 1. Their sleek design can save space in the bathroom allowing for more fixtures to help with the ratio of workers in the building. Urinals can sometimes use less water than a toilet if they are of the waterless variety. (I still have nightmares about this type of urinal.) Urinals are also less prone to blockages.
When we think about the home bathroom, no matter the configuration of your family, the toilet is more practical for domestic use. If space is limited in a bathroom, which it generally always is, a toilet will trump a urinal. Toilets can remove number ones, twos and threes – unlike a urinal.
The cost of supply and install can vary and they can sometimes be on par with a toilet or be even more expensive than a toilet depending on the plumbing alterations needed for the urinal.
When space is not limited, adding an extra fixture can make the bathroom more cramped. There is something to be said for blank space within a bathroom for movability and aesthetics.
The other consideration to think about is having a urinal may not be a great selling point for future buyers if you decide to put the property on the market. However, for some bachelors or same sex couples it could be a high selling point. It really depends on who you’re marketing your property to.
Urinals aren’t the most appealing fixture on the market. They can smell if not cleaned regularly and they are the ideal height for toddlers who may think they are washing their hands. This is more common with bidets though.
Of course the conversations I’ve had about having a urinal in the home bathroom have been with men.
It is a fixture to consider for older men who find the quick use of a urinal beneficial for night time bladder calls. I have been told it’s easier to stumble to a urinal to ‘aim and release’, than to go the same distance to a toilet and having to lift the toilet seat.
For men who need help with mobility, a urinal with the help of support aids, can offer them dignity without having to sit on a toilet.
If you have a family of all boys, a urinal could be a blessing during toilet training.
Even though it’s not normally done, it doesn’t mean it can’t be. However in Australia, do check with your local plumber on whether you can have a urinal in the home bathroom. Local councils will have their own laws on what fixtures can and can’t be installed in a domestic bathroom.
You will also need to have a floor waste if you decide to install a urinal. This is a plumbing standard that’s mandatory. So if your bathroom doesn’t have one, you may need to abandon your urinal dream.
Tips for Urinal Installation and De-Commissioning
For bathrooms with a bath, providing the plumbing is accessible underneath, the waste pipe may be reconfigured to suit a urinal installation. The water connection will need to be adjusted too.
If the bath waste is connected to a floor waste, this can not be used for the urinal waste. The urinal will need to be connected to a trap underneath and directly to the sewer. The pipe connecting from the floor waste to the bath would need to be capped. This alone is why it is mandatory to have a plumber do the installation and decommission.
If you ever choose to sell the house, remove the urinal and replace it with a bath. This does require a bit of mucking around and expense, but it is a solution if you’re adamant about having a urinal in the home bathroom.