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7 Need-to-Know Facts About Toilets


Whether you call it a commode, a porcelain throne, or just the john, every home has a toilet, if not two or three. If you’re looking to replace yours, there are a lot of things to keep in mind as you consider what toilet you want and how much you’re willing to spend. So here’s what you need to know about toilets.

1) Toilets Use Less Water Now

low flow toilet

Any toilet produced since 1995 is only allowed to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush. This helps reduce how much water is wasted and saves you money. Low-flow toilets didn’t always work as well as you might hope, causing most users to flush twice for the waste to get completely flushed. Luckily, the toilets produced today are much better designed, and as long as you don’t go for the cheapest model, you’re sure to find a toilet that flushes on a consistent basis.

2) Dual-Flush Toilets Save Water

dual flush toilet

If you’re concerned about conserving water, whether because you want to help the planet or you just want to save money, consider getting a dual-flush toilet. This has two options for flushing: one for liquid waste that uses less water, between 0.8 and 1.2 gallons per flush, and a second for solid waste that uses 1.6 gallons. That can save a considerable amount of water per user every year, and if you have a large family, that amount adds up.

3) Toilets Use Either Gravity or Pressure-Assist to Flush

When it comes to how the toilet flushes, there are two options: gravity or pressure-assist. Gravity flush toilets are affordable and a common choice for bathrooms. Pressure-assist toilets cost more, but they have a stronger flush that leaves the bowl cleaner and decreases the likelihood of having a clog. Because of the increased pressure, though, they are louder. That’s something to think about if you’re worried about whether middle-of-the-night bathroom trips will wake up others in the household. If you think that will be a problem, a traditional gravity flush toilet might be a better option for you.

4) Bowl Styles Are Either Round or Elongated

toilet bowl

Another choice you have when purchasing a new toilet is whether you want to get the traditional round toilet or one with an elongated seat. Some feel that the elongated toilets are more comfortable. If your bathroom currently has a round toilet, though, you’ll want to consider whether an elongated toilet will affect the bathroom’s use. For example, will a longer toilet block a cupboard or drawer from opening? Will it make it harder to get in and out of the tub or shower? As long as the extra 2 inches doesn’t cause any problems, an elongated toilet may be a great option.

5) Toilets Come in Many Colors

black toilet

Kohler Memoirs® Stately Comfort Height® With AquaPiston® Two-Piece Toilet Without Seat / Black Black / Elongated / 1.6 GPF, available at BuildDirect.com.

Though everyone is familiar with the traditional color of white when it comes to toilets, there are many shades available. Most shades are neutral colors that play nicely with many color schemes and bathroom designs. You want something neutral because generally toilets are not the focus of the room. Still, you want something that fits in with the style you are projecting, so consider this when choosing a color. You also might find that some toilet colors are more expensive than others, even in the same line-up.

If you want to avoid white because it’s overdone and boring but don’t want to go too crazy, choose a color like almond, sand, or ice gray. If you want to go bold, then a deep gray or black are great ways to do just that.

6) You have Seat choices

When you’re choosing your new toilet, you’ll find many seat options. Here are just some that you might want to consider:

  • Heated seats. If the last thing you want to encounter in the middle of the night is a freezing toilet seat, heated seats are the way to go. Heating elements within the toilet seat gently warm the seat so your bottom won’t get frost bite, even in the middle of winter.
  • Slamless lids. Many have learned that flushing your toilet with the lid up causes germs to spray throughout your bathroom, possibly landing on your counter, sink, and even your toothbrush. Closing the lid before your flush can reduce this, but it leads to the possibility of slamming it closed. Slamless lids are a great way to avoid this.
  • Bidet-style seats. If you would love a bidet, but there’s no room for one in your bathroom, a bidet-style seat is the perfect solution. Features may include pre-heated water, motion-activated lighting, and dual jets.

7) You Can Create a High-End Look

luxury bathroomAre you hoping to turn your bathroom into a spa retreat? There are a few things you can do to add elegance with the toilet you choose. Here are some things to consider:

  • Avoid the typical white toilet. If you want your bathroom to look custom, a toilet color that strays away from the standard is a great way to do it. Go for a classy black option or choose a trendy sand or slate gray color.
  • Get a push button flush. Push button toilets are sleek and elegant, and they definitely cost more than the typical lever flush toilets. Many come with the double-flush options by having two buttons, letting you choose which type of flush you want.
  • Choose a wall-mount toilet. Because of their conservation of space, wall-mount toilets fit right into a contemporary bathroom. As an added bonus, since the tank is in the wall, there’s much less to clean with just the bowl protruding from it. It’s a great addition for those planning to update their bathroom.
  • Consider a one-piece toilet. If a wall-mount toilet isn’t doable because it would cost too much to install it, the second-best option for a high-end look is a one-piece toilet. The design is streamlined to create a smooth appearance. With no seam between the tank and the bowl, it’s no wonder that the finished product looks amazing.

There are so many stylish and innovative options today when it comes to toilets. From the color you choose to the style, the porcelain throne will help bring together your bathroom remodel and will look great for years to come.

Questions about toilets? Ask us in the comments section below.

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