Hands-Free Toilet Flush: All You Need to Know

hand activating a Geberit Sigma80 flushplate

Did you know that touchless bathroom technology began with hands-free toilet flush? 

That's right. Most people assume the touchless faucets were the first sensor fixtures. However, inventors did not invent the automatic toilet until the late 1980s. 

It was in 1986 that John T. Barrett, an American inventor traveled to Japan to work on his innovation with tech geniuses from the technology capital of the world. Together they developed the first automatic toilet flush

Since the first hands-free flush in the mid-'80s, toilet tech has come a long way. Here's all you need to know.

Key Takeaways:

  • The history of the flush began in 1596 thanks to innovations by Sir John Harington. It would take nearly four hundred years before Japan invented the hands-free toilet flush in the '80s.
  • A few must-have hands-free toilet flush features include smooth and quiet operations, maintenance-free design, and innovative functionality, including remote features.
  • Building your dream bathroom requires a plan. Use a 3D bathroom design tool to plan out every inch of your space, including every fixture and texture.

The History of the Hands-Free Toilet Flush

The history of the flush began around 2500 BCE in the Indus Valley civilizations in Northern India and Pakistan. These folks were way ahead of their time. However, they did not invent the flushing toilet. Those toilets used gravity alone to clear the systems. 

An Englishman by the name of Sir John Harington holds the original patent for the first flushing toilet. He invented it in the late 16th century. It was the first of its kind to feature a cistern that would empty into the toilet bowl with the pull of a chain handle.  

The Japanese are also ahead of the modern Western world when it comes to bathroom technology. They invented the first sensor flush toilet in 1986 to remove potentially germ-ridden handles and buttons.

Today, touchless bathroom technology and hands-free toilet flush plates are remote, offer dual-flush water-saving features, and are easy for anyone to use.

4 Must-Have Hands-Free Toilet Flush Features  

According to market research, the global smart toilet market will reach $12.7 billion by 2025. Driving these benchmarks is the innovations featured in hands-free toilet flush systems. These systems continue to increase in market revenue steadily. 

bar graph of the market size for hands-free toilet flush plates

Here are a few features driving this market growth (and ones that you should incorporate into your luxury bathroom design:

1. Smooth and Quiet Operations   

Flush plates look great, but they should also function smoothly and quietly. Opt for a dual-flush plate that features a visual cue. That way, anyone approaching the system knows immediately how to use it.

2. Maintenance-Free Design  

No one wants to spend time maintaining their bathroom's plumbing systems. Get a flush plate that offers another essential function. Simply lift the flush plate to uncover the inner workings of the concealed in-wall cistern. You won't need tools to easily reach the fill and flush valves to perform straightforward maintenance. It's so simple to maintain that it's practically maintenance-free!  

3. Freedom of Design   

Look for a hands-free toilet flush system that provides discreet, reliable, behind-the-wall solutions that guarantee outstanding convenience, perfect function, and maximum durability. Your flush plate is the only system element you will ever see. 

Furthermore, you can choose from various flushing systems, making it likely to find the most suitable plumbing product for your special structural conditions or particular application. You just need to make sure you find a reliable manufacturer who can offer these design features.

For instance, leading plumbing products manufacturer, Geberit makes it easier to match your Geberit in-wall systems with a stylish flush plate, each one given a "family name" called Sigma and Omega, making it simpler to get the ideal system for your project.

Geberit also offers urinal flush plates in modern designs. Complete your bathroom look by matching everything from hardware to fixtures and flush plates. No detail is too small. Get the bathroom design you've always dreamed of having.

4. Innovative Functions 

Make a statement in your bathroom design. Get a remote flush plate that allows you to place the actuator anywhere within five feet of the system. That improves the functionality of the space while improving accessibility and enhancing comfort. 

These hands-free toilet flush systems are clean and convenient. Not only do flush plates deliver a sleek aesthetic, but they also help you keep the space more hygienic. 

Another innovative feature is that your actuator should offer a soft, smooth touch when hands-free and requires a little push to get things flowing. While you will probably use the automatic feature more, the comfort of the manual operations feature is ideal when hands-free isn't an option.

Hands-Free Toilet Flush Systems Available at Geberit  

Designing your dream bathroom or the perfect space for a client requires quality plumbing products you know you can rely on. At Geberit, flush systems are our specialty. We design hands-free flush plates, in-wall concealed plumbing systems, and the latest touchless bathroom tech perfect for any size space. 

If it's time to upgrade the fixtures in your bathroom, choose hands-free for a more hygienic visit to the lavatory. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly associates for details.