Tips for Choosing a New Toilet
The traditional gravity-flush toilet is pretty trouble-free plumbing fixtures, thanks in part to the fact that it has no high-tech parts. Although the water-supply valves, flush valves, and wax ring that seals the toilet to the floor all may fail and need to be replaced from time to time, the porcelain or china fixture itself can last for decades in perfect operating shape unless the bowl or tank become cracked. Nevertheless, you may want to replace your toilet, either for purely aesthetic reasons, such as when remodeling a bathroom or to take advantage of new water-saving features available on modern toilet designs.
The first step is to measure carefully to ensure that the toilet you purchase will fit in the same location as the old one. Measuring is done with the old toilet still in place.
Researching Your Options
With measurements in hand, it’s time to consider what options are available for your new toilet—and there are quite a few.
When choosing a toilet, you can choose from those with bowls that are elongated, compact -elongated, or round-front. Elongated toilets offer deeper seating areas and will fit most residential applications. Compact-elongated toilets have a slightly shorter footprint and take up less space while still offering good comfort. Round-front toilets take up the least space and are a good choice where space is at a premium.
Standard-height toilets have a seat that is roughly 17 inches above the floor. Chair-height toilets are slightly taller at about 19 inches above the floor, making them much easier to use for older people or those with mobility limitations. There are also custom-height toilets that mount on the wall and can be set at heights ranging from about 15 inches to 28 inches above the floor.
Tips to Ensure You Get the Right Fit and Flush
Measure for fit
Your first step in choosing a toilet is to find your current toilet’s rough-in measurement so you can find a model that fits your bathroom. The rough-in measurement is the distance from the wall to the middle of the toilet flange, which lines up with the center of the hold-down bolts. For a toilet with two bolts on each side, measure to the center of the back bolt. If you’re measuring from the lowest part of the wall, take the thickness of the baseboard or molding into account. Ideally, measure directly from the wall.
Choose your design
When choosing a toilet, you’ll need to decide if you want a one-piece, two-piece or wall-mount design. Two-piece toilets are the most common. These plumbing fixtures have a separate bowl and tank you can buy together or separately. Because there are so many on the market, opting for a two-piece toilet gives you a greater chance of finding one with the features you want.
Decide on bowl type
Toilet bowls are available in two shapes: elongated and round. Elongated bowls are around 2 or 3 inches longer in the front than round bowls. Round bowls never surpass 28 inches, while elongated bowls can be as large as 31 inches. Despite the fact that they take up more space, elongated bowls offer some advantages. Some individuals, including the elderly and those with physical impairments, may find the bigger seat more comfortable because it supports the thighs like a chair. These bowls also retain less soiling and hold back odors better. For some, the streamlined oval shape is more visually appealing than the traditional round shape.
Decide on height
Standard toilets are around 15 inches from the seat to the floor. Although this height is comfortable for many, you may be better off choosing a toilet with a higher seat. Seats of 17 inches high are marketed as “comfort height” and are better suited for the elderly and those with physical impairments. In fact, this is the height the American Disabilities Act requires for public toilets.
Consider a dual-flush toilet
Toilets account for up to 30 percent of the water use in the average US home. If you’ve had bad experiences with water-conserving toilets, though, choosing a toilet designed to save water may not seem too appealing. Older models of water-saving toilets simply reduced the amount of water used, leaving you with no choice about how much too use. Newer models have changed that.
Tips on Choosing a New Toilet
Choose the right toilet height.
Toilets usually come in a standard height (the height you’re probably accustomed to) and a comfort height, which is two or three inches higher than the standard height. Unless you’re buying a toilet that will be used often by children, comfort height toilets are usually the most comfortable (hence the name)
Consider water-saving toilets and dual-flush toilets.
Nowadays, the maximum amount of water a toilet can use during a flush is 1.6 gallons, which is far less than toilets in the past, so if you’re replacing an old toilet, chances are any toilet you buy will use less water than your old one. However, if you really want to decrease your water use, consider buying a toilet that’s specially designed to conserve water or a dual-flush toilet, which has a low-volume flush for times when just a little water will work and a standard-volume flush for times when you need a normal amount of flushing power
Decide whether you want a two-piece or one-piece toilet.
Two-piece toilets have tanks and bowls that are separate pieces and are the standard toilet used in most homes. Two-piece toilets function well, and many people are perfectly satisfied with them; however, some people prefer one-piece toilets, in which the bowl and the tank are fused into a single, seamless unit. One-piece toilets are easier to clean than two-piece toilets, and they have a smooth profile and a sleek look that some people prefer.
Choose a bowl shape that fits your bathroom.
Toilets come with either round bowls or elongated bowls. As the name implies, round bowls are fairly round and work well in smaller bathrooms since they have a small profile. Elongated bowls are oval-shaped and are two or three inches longer than round bowls. Some people find the elongated bowls to be more comfortable.
Understand the different flush mechanisms.
For years, homes used only one kind of toilet: the gravity-flush toilet. These toilets use the weight of water to provide flushing power. The flushing mechanism is simple, which means these toilets are low maintenance, and gravity-flush toilets are perfectly adequate for many people. However, once toilet manufacturers began looking for ways to conserve water, they devised new ways to create flushing power, which resulted in assisted-flush or pressure-flush toilets. These toilets use air to increase flushing pressure, which results in a more powerful, efficient flush.
Tips for Buying a Toilet
to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a toilet is a toilet is a toilet. Or so you’d think, until you take a look at the spectrum of possibilities available from today’s manufacturers and see that styles and shapes abound. Add in options for comfort, interactivity and water conservation, and today’s toilets can do almost anything—including glow in the dark
From taking care of your most basic needs to elevating your green quotient to making the ultimate style statement, there’s a toilet that’s right for you and your budget. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a basic commode to more than $7,000 for an ultra-chic toilet with all the amenities.
Two-piece toilets. These traditional models have separate tanks and bowls, which make handling easier, especially for DIY installations and for getting a toilet into tight spaces. The water inlet hole and the bolts used to fasten the tank to the bowl are sealed, and the seam between the two pieces is sealed with rubber gaskets. While the gaskets are good for years of service, they’ll eventually fail, causing leaks. Replacing the gaskets can be a hassle because the bolts and nuts tend to rust and “freeze,” requiring cutting.
One-piece toilets. This style eliminates the seam between tank and bowl. The result is a sleek design with no crevices to trap dirt. One-piece toilets tend to be more expensive than comparable two-piece models.
Round-front bowls. The snub-nose bowl design fits smaller spaces. Before the advent of the elongated toilet, the round-front was the only shape made.
How to Choose a Toilet for Your Bathroom: Tips from Experts
Choosing a toilet for your bathroom can be an overwhelming task. Of course, the first factor is your budget and how much the new toilet will add to your total bathroom remodel cost. However, there are several other factors that come into play as well. With so many sizes, configurations, and sizes available, your new commode should be able to meet all your requirements. Now, if you are not sure about what parameters you should consider for your next toilet purchase, go through this guide that entails expert tips on how to choose a toilet — which shall ensure you have a satisfactory buying experience.
Consider the Toilet Configuration
The first step to take before getting a new toilet is to calculate the size of your bathroom. Measure the rough-in distance — which is the length between the floor drain and the wall. You should consider a standard length of 12 inches, but you can also tweak it to measure anywhere between 10 to 14 inches, depending on the space available. Once this number is final, choose the bowl shape, toilet height, and style.
Elongated toilets feature a bowl that extends out more toward the front for extra comfort. It takes up more space in your bathroom and is perfect if you have the luxury of more space.
This category of toilet bowl — as the name suggests — comes with a round, compact design. It takes up less space and is best for small bathrooms.
For standard toilets, the ADA-approved height for toilets is 15 inches off the floor. The rim or seat ring adds an extra 1 or 1½ inches. For more comfort, you can go for a taller toilet, up to 17 inches, if you have the luxury of space in your bathroom.