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Kohler's new throne is fit for a king, at least in price

Consumer Reports News: April 14, 2011 12:15 PM

Among the highest-priced models in Consumer Reports latest review of toilets is Kohler's $500 Highline Comfort Height K-3493. The toilet didn’t make our recommended list, in part because of its steep price tag. But compared with Kohler’s newest offering, the $6,390 Numi toilet, $500 sounds like money well spent.

Kohler calls the Numi a toilet, but it does more than your average commode. The motion-activated lid and seat provide hands-free opening and closing. There's a built-in bidet, with a “self-cleaning wand” that can be adjusted to your preferred water pressure and temperature. That same wand also features an integrated air dryer for quick drying. Not only is the seat heated, floor-level vents keep your toes warm on cold winter mornings. Illuminated panels in the toilet provide a gentle glow, and built-in speakers play FM radio or connect to your MP3 player.

Consumer Reports hasn’t tested the Numi, but Kohler claims the WaterSense-certified toilet offers unrivaled water efficiency. It uses dual-flush technology, which lets you select a partial flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste. In our tests of other dual-flush toilets, the best models effectively flushed solid waste, but most were mediocre or worse in flushing liquid waste.

We’ll be curious to see if the Numi raises the bar for dual-flush toilets, assuming we can find $6,390 in the budget for our next toilet test to make the purchase.

Daniel DiClerico

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