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Celebrating Thomas Crapper Day, January 27, with the Latest in Toilets from Milwaukee/NARI

Jan. 27, 2010

Thomas Crapper went down in history as the prime developer of the flush toilet mechanism, perfecting this most-used fixture of the bathroom. For that reason, he’s celebrated every year on January 27, Thomas Crapper Day, which serves this year as the 100th anniversary of his death. In honor of the commode, members of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for more than 48 years, offered what’s new and what’s functional in toilets from their recent gold-award-winning projects.


The Milwaukee/NARI Wisconsin Remodelers Awards (WRA) were given during a banquet on Friday, January 22. The following are part of an elite group of projects to win the gold award in their respective categories.


In the remodeling category of bathrooms under $15,000, Milwaukee’s Brillo Home Improvements, Inc. completely renovated a small powder room to open up the space and make it more contemporary. The toilet chosen for this project was physically narrower and visually appeared less dominant. “The sleek white Kohler toilet is a perfect fit with its smooth contours and European look,” the company wrote. Even the top position of the flush mechanism saves space.


For the lower level over $150,000 category, DG Remodeling in Pewaukee won for remodeling a lower level that had recently flooded. In addition to a bar and entertainment area, study, play area, and ample storage, the lower level featured a small powder room. “Originally sparsely furnished with a wall-hung sink and white toilet, this room has been transformed into a jewel with the installation of a bisque-colored Toto toilet and ornate vanity and sink,” the company wrote.


The bathroom was the centerpiece of this project from Pekel Construction & Remodeling, Inc. in Wauwatosa, which won in the residential addition $60,000 – $100,000 category. This traditional toilet, which matches the white porcelain under-mounted sinks and door-less shower, “is concealed behind the curved shower wall, and a large linen closet is arranged on the opposite wall facing the toilet.”


Stone & Banister, LLC in Pewaukee won in the lower level $50,000 – $100,000 category by expanding the home’s living space to the unfinished basement. This included the addition of a half bath to the bar and entertainment areas. “We located the half bath as far from the main area as possible, and we installed fixtures with a more vintage look to tie into the old world feel,” the company wrote. After roughing in the plumbing for the new bathroom, they installed a matching Kohler Revival pedestal sink and toilet.


Finally, this remodel in the category entire house over one million won a gold WRA for Wooden Thumb, Inc. in West Allis. The project included a powder room and a master bathroom. Pictured here from the large master bathroom are the matching toilet and urinal, which combine “elegance and convenience.”


Milwaukee/NARI member Chris Holum of the Kohler Co. offered a number of recent innovations in the toilet industry. Using 13 watts of electricity, one of their toilet seats is warm at all times. Another toilet seat has bidet functionality, using water as a hygienic – and green – alternative to toilet tissue. Yet another seat slowly closes with one touch to eliminate noisy seat slamming.


Kohler also offers dual flushing technology in their line of toilets, which gives users the choice of a 1.6- or .8-gallon flush, for ultimate water conservation. Other options include a water-conserving 1/8-gallon-per-flush urinal; a brand new one-piece, single-flush, high efficiency toilet; and assisted flushing technologies, including the use of compressed air within the reservoir and a pump for optimizing flushing performance.


The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.


The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry’s growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 900 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation’s largest.


For more information on the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI's Remodeling Guide,” call (414) 771-4071 or visit the Council’s Web site at



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