Squat Toilets in Modern British Washrooms
Squat toilets may be familiar to many British washroom users from their travels abroad, but within Britain, the squatting pan toilet is quite rare.
As they are rarely seen on these shores other names include ‘The Nile squatting pans’, ‘Turkish Toilet’, or ‘Indian Toilet’, but they are also very prevalent in China and other Asian and Indian countries.
Some people may recognise the squat pan from road trips across France. Where for some reason and despite widespread condemnation from tourist, the powers that be insist on installing squatting toilets at roadside facilities.
Commercial Washrooms have recently supplied squat toilet pans for several contractors here in Britain. Which may at first due to their popularity seem counter-intuitive.
Why Install a Squatting Toilet in the UK?
Despite widespread dislike for squatting toilets here in Britain, we must recognise this is a multicultural society and much of our economy is based on international trade and visitors. The British economy is also boosted by hundreds of thousands of yearly visitors to our shores for the purpose of education.
Articles in the press often lambast squat toilets. Such as the widely reported case of Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre. Where after initially specifying a number of ‘Nile squatting pans’ squat toilets, after a public outcry the building owners relented. In the end, only installing traditional European toilet pans.
However, the press is also full of reports of Universities and Colleges suffering from international visitors leaving human waste over toilets. Where the international student is simply not familiar with the correct usage of European toilets.
The BBC has reported on how Swansea University has had to put up posters and offer instruction on how to use the European toilet pans to international students. This is certainly not an isolated case either, it happens in many educational establishments in Britain.
Many international businesses in the IT and telecommunications industries that take in many international workers from the Asian and Indian subcontinents suffer from the same issues too.
Health Benefits of Squat Toilets
There are also purported health benefits of using squat toilets.
The people behind the Squatty Potty, claim to squat when going about one's business is healthier. Since when squatting, the puborectalis muscle loosens creating a straight passageway into the rectum. Which ensures quick and comfortable elimination. The Squatty Potty is a device designed to help you mimic the squatting posture at a European toilet pan by raising the user’s feet.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests regular use of squatting toilets maintains or promotes strength in the user's legs. Whilst also keeping the leg and hip joints supple, many regular users of squat toilets have better hip mobility than a European toilet using counterpart. Two potential benefits that become especially important as a person grow older.
Squat Toilet Pan Installation
Squat pan toilets are fixed in the ground, with the actual pan usually being fixed flush to the ground within which they are set. All the plumbing and pipework are therefore also set within the floor of the washroom.
For this reason, it is often very difficult to retrofit a squatting toilet pan into a modern British commercial washroom without raising the floor level. As shown in the image below, a false floor has been built with steps up to the newly raised level within which the squat pan is set.
This also gives the added benefit of being able to manufacture some form of access to the plumbing in the event it needs servicing, such as unblocking. It is worth noting that in many instances abroad squatting toilets are not stocked with toilet paper. So when installing in Britain it would be a good idea to ensure access to the plumbing as possible.
The fitting example images shown are from a recent Lan Services washroom installation, you will note they have also installed grab rails to assist those who may not be familiar with the use and not have the range of motion. The grab rails will also assist all users to lower and raise themselves easily and comfortably.
Squat Pan Designs
Squat pans are generally manufactured in either vitreous china or stainless steel. Commercial Washrooms are able to offer both materials in a choice of styles. Both materials offer an easy-clean service and are more than up to the rigour of being stood upon as they are being used.
Again there are differences in the usual European squat pan style and those from further afield. European squat pans are in the main designed to be fitted with a cistern and flush device. So that they are capable of flushing waste away. Careful consideration and checks should be made prior to installation as to which type you require and are ordering.
The traditional European toilet, however, trumps the squat pan in terms of access and ease of use by the disabled, infirm, and elderly.
Squat Pan Hygiene
Care must be taken to ensure that the pads where the user stands during use are kept clean. Even upon a flushing squat pan, this area will require manual cleaning. This will prevent disease transmission and the build-up of odour.
Aside from careful consideration of the pads, generally, a squat pan should be maintained the same as a European toilet pan manufactured from the same material.
Widespread dislike aside, squat pan toilets are generally regarded as more hygienic since the user should not come into physical contact with the toilet surface.
Shop for Squatting Toilet Pans
Should you require any further advice or guidance regarding the selection or specification of, or the installation of a squat pan toilet, then please do not hesitate to contact Commercial Washrooms.
As always, our team is at the end of the telephone for all your queries and questions and has a wealth of knowledge they’re happy to share with you. So if you need some guidance, or would like to talk over your options, you can give them a call on 01202 650900.