Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Marco's Way Of Rating Toilets

I just thought of something interesting...After being a hard core toilet fan for so many do I determine if a toilet is up to standard?

I noticed that different people have different ways of determining whether a toilet is up to standard.Some people are very concerned about cleanliness,while others care whether the toilet is old or new.

In this post,I will share with you my way of rating toilets.What type of toilets do I really fancy?Of course,there is no right or wrong.This is a very subjective matter.You may or may not agree with me.

But if you share the same sentiments,then I think we are in the same boat.

Criteria #1:Toilet Bowl

To me,this is the most important thing I look for in all toilets that I visit.If the bowl is screwed up,it affects the overall rating of the toilet.How do I rate the bowls?

The very first thing I look for is congruence.If the toilet is old,then the bowl must also be old.No point having an old toilet with a new bowl.The feeling sucks.It is like asking an old man to dress up like a teenager.

The next thing is whether the bowl is squatting or sitting.Squatting bowls tend to win more favor as compared to sitting ones.I am a great fan of squatting toilets.

Of course,if I were to rate a sitting toilet very high,then that toilet must be really good.

Next is the brand of the bowl.Is it my favorite brand?If it is,the overall rating of the toilet will also go up.

Criteria #2:Flushing System

This is another important thing that I look out for.The toilet's flushing system can affect the flushing sound of the toilet.

If the bowl is a nice brand and the flushing system is screwed up,it can spoil the flushing sound of the toilet bowl.

To me,the high cisterns are the best.They are nice to flush,and they sound the best.There is a climax,and an anti-climax.My favorite cisterns are the Shires Cisterns.In my opinion,they are the best.Nice feel and they are really powerful.

If you love toilets like me,you know what I mean.

The worst flushing systems are those small cisterns with 2 buttons on top.These are the worst.There is always not enough water to flush everything away,and the flushing sound sucks big time.Go try it out and you'll know what I mean.

I really hate these small cisterns with buttons on top.They spoil the flushing sound.No matter how good the toilet bowl is,this cistern will spoil it all.

The next screwed up ones are the sensor flushes.Although they may be cleaner,but their flushing sound sucks big time.They are slightly better than the small cisterns.

Speaking of the high cisterns,there are also 2 types.One with the straight pipe and the other with the twisted pipe.I like both actually.But let me tell you their differences.The staright pipe is more powerful that the twisted pipe,because the water flows down directly.

The reason why I like the twisted pipe is because it looks nicer and it is more uncommon.

Criteria #3:Ambience

The ambience of the toilet gives you a feeling of what type of bowls you can expect to see.Of course,in certain cases,the ambience may be good,but the bowls are all new ones.It can be very disappointing.

Those who score well in toilet bowls will usually score well in ambience.

What do I mean by ambience?Ambience refers to the type of floor tiles,wall tiles,sinks,the layout and the lighting of the toilet.

Toilets with older ambiences usually score better.I am not really a fan of newly renovated toilets.

New toilets only score well if they were built from scratch.Those which are renovated will usually get a lower score than the original old ones.

Criteria #4:Exterior

There is a saying that you can't judge a book by its cover.But let me change that a little bit.You can more or less judge a toilet by its exterior.There is a 70% chance of being right,basing on my experience.

The exterior usually gives away the first impression of the toilet.A nice,old exterior may score better than a newly renovated exterior.Unless it is originally new,then the rating is higher.

There are also cases where the exterior can be misleading.You might see an old exterior with new toilets in it.But most of the time,the exterior can give you a rough gauge of what to expect inside.

Criteria #5:Number Of Cubicles & Layout

The number of cubicles will play an important role if the toilet bowls are my favorite.A toilet will score bonus points if it has a large number of cubicles with my favorite bowls.

An example would be my beloved Jubilee Street Public Toilet in Central,Hong Kong.It has 20 cubicles of squatting Victorys,all with high cisterns.

I really hate those toilets with one cubicle only.Especially those with sucky bowls.They are bound to fail,if I come across them.

Layout is also important.I like toilets with interesting layouts.I noticed that the Public Toilets in Hong Kong have very interesting layouts.You can visit all of them and find that they are mostly different.

My favorite layout would be a row of high cisterns toilets side by side.From outside,it looks like a row of soldiers standing tall.The Shires look the best.A row of Black Beauties.

Another aspect of layout is how many different types of toilet bowls are there in the toilet.I have come across toilets with 3 different types of bowls in one single toilet.That was really impressive.Especially when all the different types of bowls are the brands I like.

In December 2002,I stumbled upon this Public Toilet at Queen's Road East,Hong Kong Island.It had 4 different types of bowl in one toilet.There was the long Squatting Victory(original),pear shaped squatting Victory,pear shaped Armitage Shanks(Singapore style) and lastly squatting American Standard.

I was pleasantly surprised when I went into that toilet.But sad to say,when I visited it again in 2004,it was demolised.The good thing is that I still have some photos of it.You can find it in my earlier posts.

Yet another aspect of layout is how you access the toilet.In a number of public toilets in Hong Kong,you need to climb up the stairs to the 2nd or 3rd floor to access the toilet.For a few rare cases,you need to climb down the stairs as the toilet is underground.

But this is not as important as the number of cubicles and number of types of toilet bowls.

Criteria #6:Cleanliness

I believe cleanliness is very important to the majority.But for me,it is one of the last criteria.It is no use for a toilet to be clean if the bowl and ambience are both screwed up.

But I would not say it is totally unimportant either.When I went to China,that was when I started to appreciate clean toilets.The toilets there are really terrible.I had to hold my breath when shooting videos.

Cleanliness only becomes important to me if I need to use the toilet.If not,I don't mind dirty toilets,as long as they meet criteria #1 to #3.

These are the 6 Criteria that I look out for when I visit a toilet.How about you?

Cha Kwo Ling Public Toilet Cum Bathhouse - Squatting Kimware With Twisted Pipe

Whew,I worked really hard for this toilet.It took me more than an hour to locate this toilet.But I would say that it was really worth my effort.

Cha Kwo Ling Public Toilet cum Bathhouse is located at 90,Cha Kwo Ling Road.The easiest way to reach it is to take the MTR and alight at Yau Tong Station.But for me,I didn't take the MTR.I walked all the way there from Kwun Tong Ferry.

It took me around an hour to reach there.But to make matters worse,I lost my way.I wasted at least half an hour walking to and fro Cha Kwo Ling Road,trying to locate this toilet.

But looking at its exterior intrigued me.I knew it was going to be something good.The toilet was at the second floor.See the photo below,you need to climb up the stairs located on the left.

Once you go into the toilet itself,you are greeted by 2 rows of squatting Kimwares.There are around 7 cubicles in each row.One row is facing the window while the other row is facing the back wall.

Interestingly,those facing the windows had twisted pipes while those facing the back wall had straight pipes.

Look at the photo below,this toilet is facing the window,and it has a twisted pipe.

Next,you will look at the toilet bowl proper.As you can see in the photo below,it's another squatting Kimware.Nothing to be happy about.

To be honest,I was a little disappointed when I saw the Kimware.By looking at the wall tiles and floor tiles,Kimware is incongruent with them.You probably know that Kimware appeared only in late 2001 to the early part of 2002.

How can it be the original toilet bowl for this toilet?

If I were to deduce correctly,this toilet is at least 25 to 30 years old.The large wall tiles belong to the 1970s era.Probably the late 1970s.

By deduction,the original bowl is probably the 1st batch of long Squatting Victorys.Maybe after a while,the long squatting Victorys were replaced by the small pear-shaped Victorys(my favorite).
The next toilet that came in was probably the Square Armitage Shanks,and lastly is the Kimware you see here.

This is only my deduction.I may be right,I may also be wrong.But all I can say is that this toilet scores very well when it comes to its ambience and flushing system.

Speaking of this type of toilet,I came across a similar toilet at Fat Tsueng Street West in Sham Shui Po district.Like this toilet,that one had an old exterior,old floor and wall tiles.The only thing that is incongruent is the toilet bowl.

That toilet had a number of squatting Square Armitage Shanks.I was quite impressed with that toilet too,basing on the ambience.

Alright,it is time for video now.Listen to the nice flushing sound of this toilet.

Coming up next post...Marco's Way Of Rating Toilets.