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Which Toilet is Right for You?

When it comes time to remodel your bathroom, you are thinking about many different aspects of the project – granite countertops, tile flooring, new shower, and new faucets. However, you probably are not thinking about your toilet, at least not in the way you should be. Surprisingly, there is more to selecting a toilet than the color and shape of the commode. You should also be thinking about the size, the height, the style, and the flushing technology. These are all things that will be discussed here in an effort to help you make an informed decision about where you will sit when you get home from a long day at work.

The Fit

As you are remodeling your bathroom – and thinking about your toilet – you need to think about what size is going to work best with the layout. ‘Rough-in distance’ is a term used to describe the measurement of the distance from the center of the toilet drain to the finished wall. In most standard bathrooms, this space is 12 inches. At this distance, you have a large selection of toilets to choose from. If your bathroom layout has a different rough-in distance, such as 10 inches or 14 inches, your choices will be limited.

With that said, you still have a decision to make, no matter what your rough-in distance is. For comfort, many people opt for an elongated bowl. However, this is not necessarily the best decision in a small bathroom, where a round bowl may be more practical. A standard elongated toilet can take up to 31 inches of space from the wall to the center of the room. A standard round toilet is significantly less, measuring at a maximum of 28 inches. Just a note – elongated toilets are slightly more expensive than round toilets.

One of the most important aspects of choosing the perfect toilet is comfort. While many people do not think about how much time is spent sitting on the commode, it is something to keep in mind. Although the right toilet seat will make most of the difference when it comes to comfort, height of the toilet is also important. Most standard toilets are 14 inches from the floor. However, for taller people, manufacturers are making toilets in a slightly higher height to make them more comfortable. In addition, many homeowners are opting for taller toilets, as they make it much easier for sitting down and standing up.

The Style

Although many people do not realize it, there are a variety of different styles when it comes to toilets. A two-piece toilet is the most affordable options, and features a tank that is bolted to the bowl. A one piece toilet features a bowl and tank that are one piece, but is slightly more expensive than a two-piece toilet. With that said, one-piece toilets are easier to clean because they do not have a seam that two piece toilets have. Another option you have is a wall-mounted toilet, which makes cleaning underneath very easy. Again, however, because this is a higher-end option it does tend to be relatively expensive, and will require a thicker wall to securely mount the toilet and be able to hold the weight of individuals using it. In addition, if there are any issues with the toilet down the road, repairs may require the wall to be reopened, which could lead to higher expenses for wall repairs.

Flushing Technology

After you have figured out the size and the style, the next consideration should be the flushing technology. You want a beautiful toilet, but you also want it to function properly. Newer toilets – those produced after 1994 – are required to use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Unfortunately, many of the toilets were not functioning properly, disappointing many of the homeowners. On the up-side of things, manufacturers have developed toilets that use only 1.6 gallons of water, but still function efficiently. Talking with the sales person, or checking online reviews is the best way to discover which toilet is going to look great and function well.

Another option to consider is dual flushing technology. Manufacturers created this option to help families conserve water, thus reducing water bills. These types of toilets have a split flush mechanism, which is typically located on the top of the take. If you push down only one of the two button, your flush will be accomplished using only .08 gallons of water. Pushing the two down will give you the full 1.6 gallons of water.

As you have learned, there are a variety of different factors to take into consideration when choosing a toilet. Make sure you double check your measurements for the ‘rough-in distance,’ as this will help ensure your toilet will fit in your space while giving you adequate room to move about the bathroom. If you are unsure about the toilet height, visit a showroom to give them a test sit to make sure you are comfortable. Finally, you have to decide what color to choose. We recommended coordinating your toilet color with the shower color and the granite countertop color.