What Is A "SPALET," And Why Should You Have It In Your Home Now?
Japan has always fascinated me, and any chance to visit and explore new Japanese cities is a welcome one. It is the first Asian country that could truly be classified as 1st World, evidenced by how things work so efficiently—like the reliable trains and subways, and it’s constant evolution is marked by bending technological advances to be of service to its people. And I’ve always loved how cleanliness and hygiene are such cornerstones of its living culture. Ofurozuki is the term used to refer to hot water and bathing as cornerstones of their cultural traditions. So when LIXIL and Bijoy Mohan, CEO LIXIL Asia, reached out to invite us to Nagoya for their SPALET Iconic Tour 2018, my bags were packed!
The Nagoya LIXIL Showroom building
A corporate giant in the housing and building industry, LIXIL was formed in 2011 when five major companies with a diversified portfolio of products merged. For the SPALET Iconic Tour, we’re talking about shower toilets rechristened as SPALETs, falling under the brand names of INAX, GROHE, and American Standard.
Leveraging the expertise and experience of the three brands, LIXIL now leads the world in innovative SPALET technology, fusing a Zen-like spa experience with the functionalities of the Western toilet. The vision then is to make pleasurable and enhancing, by adding hygiene, comfort, and convenience to what was considered uncomfortable and difficult to even talk about.
While bidets and trigger sprays do exist, the SPALET seeks to make this daily bodily function as convenient and fuss-free as possiblewith deodorizing, anti-bacterial, self-cleaning, and drying features all part of the SPALET technology.
Synchronisation by Yasumichi Morita
Waterfall Villa by Moriyuki Ochiai
The INAX Satis "shower toilet," an example of SPALET technology
What I was surprised to learn was how INAX invented the first basic shower toilet back in 1967, 51 years ago; and it’s been so popular in Japan, found in over 80% of Japanese homes, and yet, has not become a regular feature in homes across the world. As Mohan was ready to explain, this had to do with several factors. One was how INAX was apprehensive about how the rest of the world would take to this technology.
From 1967, the very first INAX shower toilet
When it comes to toilet customs and behavior, the world is split between dry and wet cultures—dry referring to the use of toilet paper, while wet is use of water. Europe is generally dry, with the exception of France, where the bidet was invented. Here in the Philippines, we have the "tabo" culture, which results in a combination of wet and dry, but can be messy and unhygienic. Customs aren’t that easy to break, and honestly, some cultures don’t like it when it’s shown that an Asian custom actually works better, or that we’ve been cleaner or more efficient in this side of the world. Thankfully, that is changing, and the incorporation of SPALET technology in acquired brands such as GROHE and American Standard have made it easier for the SPALET technology to be accepted in Europe and the USA, respectively, but with still a long way to go.
Mr. Bijoy Mohan, CEO, LIXIL Asia
The SPALET, in its 2018 version, includes retractable dual nozzles for front and rear cleansing, the aforementioned deodorizer, antibacterial seat, cover, nozzle and remote control panel. It includes heated seats, customized dryer and massage functions, and Aqua-Ceramic technology that allows water to penetrate beneath any waste attached to the ceramic, and ensure easy removal. So you’ve combined the functionality of the toilet with the cleaning properties of a bidet, but all in one SPALET, and I loved how so many other considerations were thrown into the mix. It’s even hoped that this will greatly reduce the use of toilet paper.
At the LIXIL Showroom, bathtubs don’t depend on one water source or spigot, but a soothing spa effect mini-waterfall.
The public toilet at LIXIL boasts of this sink, where soap, water, and dryer are all conveniently situated, so no dripping of water on the floor as you move to the dryer.
To help push the SPALET experience, LIXIL created the I Love SPALET campaign, and initiated a Dream SPALET Destination Competition, reasoning that hotels and resorts would be ideal venues to make the public experience the convenience of SPALETs, and wonder "Why don’t I have this at home?" Our own Okada Manila was one of the destinations chosen, as the INAX Satis shower toilets are regular features in their toilets.
Here in the Philippines, the INAX, Grohe and American Standard SPALETs are all available as part of LIXIL’s commitment to this market. Ayala Land Premier have made Grohe fittings a regular feature of their current offerings, highlighting how Grohe is a must-have in giving their luxury condominiums those final touches that make it a cut above the rest.
For Filipinos, it may be seen for now an affectation or something reserved for the affluent, but as LIXIL was ready to point out, if over 80% of Japanese homes have a "smart toilet," it’s only a matter of time before the comfort, convenience and hygiene of the SPALET (or shower toilet) can become a regular feature of most homes here as well.
As our link to good living, LIXIL is leaving no aspect of our daily lives untouched in its commitment to making our lives that much better.
Photos from ilovespalet.com