Game of Porcelain Thrones: How to Choose a Toilet

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When it comes to bathroom renovations, no appliance is more essential than the toilet. The toilet that you choose will affect everything from convenience to the money you spend (or save) on utility costs–so it’s important to choose the right one.  Although there are a few important things to consider before choosing a toilet for your home, there’s no need to get flush with anxiety over it. Consider these helpful tips below to keep a lid on your buying jitters.

Why Is it Important to Choose the Right Toilet?

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Before we break down some of the factors to consider when looking for a toilet, it’s important to consider the significance behind such a choice. After all, home improvement isn’t cheap, and every dollar should go where it counts. Did you know that across the United States, toilets waste 1.6 billion gallons of water in a single day? That’s quite the extra weight on your water bill.

As important as that is, choosing the right toilet comes down to more than money. The wrong toilet may make it more difficult for an elderly or impaired individual to use it. You also don’t want to buy a toilet only to come home and find out that it doesn’t even fit in your bathroom. Don’t fall for these rookie mistakes and consider the following factors when choosing a new toilet.

Two Types of Toilets

american standard toilet

American Standard Champion Pro Two-Piece SKU 15074065

There are two main types of toilets out there: one-piece and two-piece. A two-piece toilet is likely the one that you’re used to having in your home. This is the traditional design of a toilet, where the bowl is separate from the tank. These toilets are less expensive but may be more difficult to install and more cumbersome in a small space. With a two-piece toilet, you also usually need to buy the toilet seat separate.

On the other hand, a one-piece toilet has a bowl and tank that are seamlessly integrated in a more aesthetic design. These toilets are generally more expensive but are easier to install. They also save space and are easier to clean than their two-piece counterparts. Also unlike two-piece toilets, one-piece toilets often come with the toilet seat already installed.

kohler one piece toilet

Kohler San Raphael One-Piece SKU 15071395

 Different Bowl Shapes

Your options keep expanding. Toilets come in three main bowl shapes: elongated, round-front, and compact elongated. The elongated toilet is known for being the most comfortable, but it does tend to take up more space since it expands out into the room more than the other two. A round-front toilet is more common and more kid-friendly. These toilets also require less space and tend to run a little cheaper than the others. A compact elongated toiled strikes a happy balance between the other two shapes.

Rough-In Size

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As we mentioned above, few things can be more frustrating than buying a toilet only to find out that it doesn’t even fit in your bathroom. In order to avoid this frustration, you need to measure the rough-in size, which is the distance between the wall behind the toilet and the outlet pipe that will connect to your toilet. Different toilets are built to fit into 10-, 12-, and 14-inch rough-in sizes.

In order to be aware of your rough-in size before shopping, measure from your wall to the bolt caps on your current toilet, but don’t include baseboards in the measurement since they won’t be in the way.

Height

kohler comfort height toilets

Kohler Comfort Height Toilets from left to right: SKU 15071366; SKU 15071272; SKU 15071115

 

Fortunately, many toilet manufacturers take into account those who may have a difficult time sitting down on the toilet and getting back up. Kohler, for example, offers Comfort Height toilets that sit two inches taller than regular toilets, which usually only make it to 17 inches off the ground. A regular, shorter toilet will work better if you have kids in the family, but if an elderly or impaired individual will be using this toilet often, try to find something like the Comfort Height toilet.

Gallons per Flush

Looking to save as much water as possible? Then make sure that you consider the gallons per flush of your potential new toilet. Toilets with higher efficiency that use fewer gallons per flush tend to be more expensive, but they also drastically reduce water bills. Most toilets’ gallon per flush falls between 0.6 and 1.6 gallons.

Pricing

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Finally, as with any home improvement project, homeowners need to consider how this toilet will fit into their budget. A toilet with more bells and whistles is going to initially cost more, but it will also inevitably save water and cut your utility costs. It may just come down to a decision of when you want to spend the money. That being said, we can definitely promise that you won’t regret spending a little extra on a good toilet. It will pay itself off over time.

 

What do you think? Did you find this helpful? Do you still have questions about toilets? Let us know in the comments section!

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Jill Canty

hiker; runner; breakfast food, mcdonalds, and beer lover; HBO and AMC marathoner; insatiable modern fiction devourer; hopeful globe-trotter; concert-goer; proportionate Beyoncé obsession-haver; and - of course - content writer.