Compatibility is crucial when it comes to installing a bidet on an existing toilet. Even though many manufacturers claim that their products are universal, you may still have reservations when purchasing a bidet to fit your toilet. You know how annoying to purchase and return a product in the end.
Can you install a bidet on any toilet? Technically yes. You could install a bidet on most two-piece toilets effortlessly, but it could be more challenging when installing it on a one-piece or other types of toilets. You may need to do some permanent alternation to your bathroom.
In this post, I will shed some light on this question to prevent you from buying a bidet incompatible with your existing toilet.
Important factors in deciding whether a bidet can be installed on a toilet
There are a few types of bidets available in the market, and they have different characteristics. But I find that there are a few common factors to consider when installing it, regardless of its type of bidet.
Access to the fill valve
The magic of the bidet lies in a splash of water. Therefore, the bidet needs to connect to a water source.
In most cases, the bidet gets water by installing a T-adaptor connected to the toilet’s fill valve. In this way, the water from the water hose will divert into two directions: to the bidet and the toilet.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure the T-adaptor can be installed on the fill valve or find a way to get a water source for your bidet.
Most toilets have a straight tank, no matter whether it is separate or not. However, some toilets have curved toilet tanks or curved slopes, making installing harder.
Many bidets have to align with the toilet holes and have a side panel. Manufacturers may need to make a specific version of it, which is not always the case.
Therefore, you have to pay more attention when shopping a bidet for a french curved or another unique toilet shape. Otherwise, you could consider installing a handheld bidet sprayer as it is not attached to the toilet.
This is not an issue for those who have a round toilet or elongated toilet since manufacturers often provide versions for these two types of toilets.
Bidet seats and bidet attachments are fixed on the toilet by installing bolts and nuts on the toilet holes. It is the same way as installing a toilet seat.
Hence, you need to check if the distance between two holes, the distance between the holes and the water tank, and the distance between the hole and the toilet rim are compatible with the design of the toilet.
If any of these metrics are not compatible, the bidet will not be able to install on the toilet successfully.
If there is no shutoff valve around the toilet, the bidet can’t get a water source. While some specific handheld bidet sprayers can connect with the sink faucet, bidet toilet seats don’t do that.
If your toilet doesn’t use a water tank or hide the tank in the wall, you may need to hire a plumber to install a shutoff valve for your bidet.
A sink nearby
This is a specific factor to consider for warm water attachments and dual temp handheld bidets. As there is no internal heater in these two types of bidets, they get the hot water from the hot water line in the household, which is often located at the bottom of the sink.
You can put a bidet on almost any two-piece toilet
Two-piece toilets are the most common type of toilet in the US. It consists of two essential parts: a water tank and a bowl separately.
Through a shutoff valve and a water hose, the water from the plumbing system will be sent to the tank’s inlet, which is often located at the bottom of the tank.
You can see a water hose connected from the shutoff valve to the inlet clearly beside the toilet, and it is easy for you to disconnect it and install an added T-adaptor.
In addition, two-piece toilets often have the standard dimensions regardless of which brand it is. Therefore, the plate of the bidet attachments or the main unit of the bidet seats can be fixed on the toilet easily. Meanwhile, the side panel can be correctly placed on the side for you to access.
For those who intend to buy a bidet seat, you can feel confident if you have a two-piece toilet, whether it is an elongated one or a round one. If you want to buy a dual-temp sprayer or attachment, a sink nearby is the only extra thing to check.
I think the two-piece toilet is the most bidet-friendly, and it is also easy for you to maintain the bidet later.
The only exception is when the two-piece toilet is skirted. You can’t access the bolt holes under the bowl, so you have to use top mounting bolts instead. More on that later.
You can add a bidet to a one-piece toilet easily but may need modification
More and more families choose to install a one-piece toilet as it is sleeker and easy to clean. The whole toilet is one unit, and the trapway is usually concealed. Even though some skirted toilets are two-piece, most of them are one-piece.
The uniform appearance has a lot to love, but it has some disadvantages as well, especially for installing a bidet.
Usually, to mount a bidet seat or an attachment, you need to place a plate on the bowl hole and tighten it with nuts and bolts, and these nuts should be installed under the bowl.
If the one-piece toilet has a plain trapway, you can install it easily. But when the one-piece toilet has a concealed trapway, you will need a workaround. Like I said before, you can get it done by using top mounting bolts.
Another issue you will encounter when installing a bidet on a one-piece toilet is not having access to the fill valve that is often located behind the toilet skirt.
These toilets are often flat in the back, and there is limited space between the wall and the fill valve. You have to move the toilet to access it, which people can do themselves.
You could either hire a plumber to move the toilet or install the T-adaptor for you to solve this problem. Or you can install an alternative T-valve connected to the shutoff valve instead of the tank inlet.
It means the water will divert to the bidet at the beginning of the water hose instead of the end.
Hence, you can always find an alternative solution when installing a bidet on an existing one-piece toilet.
These types of toilets are not always compatible with bidets
Except for traditional two-piece toilets and one-piece toilets, a few types of toilets are not so common. These toilets have a unique design which increases the installation difficulties of bidets.
Wall-hung toilet and tankless toilet
Wall-hung toilets and tankless toilets are modern and minimalist. You can’t see the water tank in the bathroom. These tanks are concealed in the wall or use the plumbing system so that you can’t find any water hose and shutoff valve near the toilet.
To install a bidet on such a toilet, you will need to hire a plumber to install an extra shutoff valve for you so that the bidet can get water continuously. Or you can get the water from a sink faucet, but you have to take off the valve every time you need to use the sink, which is not so convenient.
If you want to use an electric bidet seat, you should also install an outlet nearby.
Toilets with unique appearances
Some toilets are french curved or have a wider distance between toilet holes. These facts could hinder the bidet installation because few models will be compatible with them.
Maybe you can find some bidet models in the end; otherwise, you can install a bidet sprayer that is not limited by these specifications.
You can install a bidet on any existing toilet, but some types of toilets are easier than others.
The traditional two-piece toilets are undoubtedly the most bidet-friendly. Adding an extra t-valve on the tank valve and your bidet is good to go.
Installing a bidet on a one-piece toilet is not as hard as you expect. You could use top mounting bolts or an alternative T-adaptor to make a workaround.
Install a bidet on other types of bidets could be difficult, but a plumber could help you out anyway. It would increase the installation cost and is not allowed in most apartments.