Status toilets: why new-build homes are bursting with bathrooms

Name: Status toilets.

Age: Popping up all the time.

Appearance: Shiny and new.

Great. I love a good toilet. Who doesn’t? Just don’t love them too much.

Is that possible? Sadly, it is. And now the status toilet has begun to creep into modern homes.

Is this one of those musical, self-opening ones from Japan that spray you in the fundament for an encore? Sometimes it might be. Although the status toilet is more about quantity than quality.

I would struggle to use more than one toilet at a time, to be honest. Well, quite. But according to a report in the Sunday Times, 82% of two-bedroom homes sold by Hamptons International last year have at least two bathrooms, while more than a third of four-bed homes have at least four.

Talk about being spoiled for choice! Indeed – and many new homes in the US are being built with more toilets than residents.

That seems … odd. It seems odd to Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs, too. “Bathrooms are extremely wasteful in terms of resource, yet people are putting more in their homes than there are actual occupants,” he said. “Four people live in the house and put in six toilets. I don’t understand that.”

Maybe if you’re rich it is important to have your own personal toilet, plus a few spares. Maybe.

Perhaps you need to have a choice, so you can think to yourself: “This feels like an east wing poo kind of day.” It is important to follow your feelings in these matters. The Weidlake complex of four rented party houses in Hollywood has 32 bedrooms and 51 bathrooms, but still receives complaints of “public urination”.

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I guess it just feels right sometimes. I guess, but Buckingham Palace has 78 toilets, just to be on the safe side. Although, er, paying visitors can’t use any of them.

Spoilsports! Surely that would be the main attraction. I know. It is hard for private citizens to experience that kind of luxury. Olga Kogan, the wife of the Russian oligarch Valery Kogan, once hoped to build a mansion in Connecticut with 26 bathrooms, but had to scale down her plans to a mere 15.

Eleven toilets gone for ever! How their oligarch pals must sneer at them. It’s very sad, I know.

Do say: “Can you tell me which door is the toilet, please?”

Don’t say: “Maybe it’s easier if you just tell me which ones aren’t toilets.”


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