If you’re wondering how to buy a toilet, don’t worry, there are many styles, features, types, and styles of toilets to choose from. No matter what size your bathroom is, big or small, or odd shaped, there’s a toilet to fit your needs.
When you’re redoing a bathroom in your home, the toilet is an important consideration. Aside from being an essential item for its function, it can also be an attractive design feature in your bathroom. In the below article we’ll cover the different types of toilets and features of each, so when you’re in the market for a new one, you’ll know which to choose.
Buying a Toilet: Features & Options
When buying a toilet, think about your priorities in terms of what features you would like it to have. Do you want it to have more flush power, or would you rather save water? Or, perhaps height is a major consideration for you and you’ll need to find a toilet with the perfect height for your bathroom. Maybe you prefer a toilet that flushes quietly. The information below will help you make the right choice for your home.
Water Saving Toilets
Thanks to people using water saving toilets, the average single-family household water use is down 22% from 1994. Toilets used to send about 3.5 gallons of water per flush. In the early ‘90s the EPA mandated all new toilets use only 1.6 gallons when flushed. Now, 1.28 gpf limit is the high-efficiency status for the current generation of high-efficiency toilets. Water saving toilets typically have buttons to flush (see below), with one for liquid waste and a different button for solid waste.
Standard toilets are about 14 or 15 inches high. There are also “comfort height” toilets, which are 17 to 19 inches high. Many think these are easier and more comfortable to use. You may want to consider other factors regarding toilet height, including the height of everyone in the house, whether or not you have kids, and if someone who lives with you is in a wheelchair. It’s important to be sure that the toilet is comfortable and easy for everyone to use!
Flush power refers to how strongly your toilet flushes. It’s not ideal to have to flush your toilet more than once, because it wastes water. You have the option of getting a toilet with high flush power, or you can get one with dual flush power. With dual flush power, the flusher may be a circle split into two buttons, or two buttons next to each other. The double flush system has a siphon that it relies on, and it has two water holes on high and low.
While many toilets are gravity-flow, there are also pressure-assisted toilets. In these toilets, when water pumps into the toilet tank, air pressure is created in the tank chamber. When the toilet is flushed, the compressed air releases, and combines with gravity to create a powerful, quick flush. The loud sound this type of toilet makes often deters people from getting one!
Toilets come with different types of flushing options. One, we’ve covered, is using a button, and the other is of course using a lever. Levers have been standard for years, while the button flushing option is relatively new on the market. Here’s a look at these two options:
As we’ve mentioned, button flushing is relatively new. And in some countries it’s become the standard. There are many advantages for purchasing a toilet that has a button flush, including that it’s easier to fix and also easier to clean. They can be more expensive and may be more difficult for children to use. Another advantage is the dual flush power we’ve discussed above, which saves water. So even if they are more expensive in the beginning, the water savings will benefit you in the long run.
You can also purchase a toilet with a lever to flush. When you push the lever, the seal in the toilet basin opens up and lets water into the bowl. Levers are often easy to replace, so you can customize the look of your toilet. There are a variety of finishes and styles such as polished nickel, chrome, or stainless steel.
Toilet Types & Styles
There are many types and styles of toilets that can go with the décor of your bathroom. No matter how large or how small your room, you can find a toilet that will fit. Two-piece toilets, one-piece toilets, toilets that hang on the wall or even toilets in different colors. Below we’ll cover some of your options.
Two Piece Toilet
This type of toilet is the most common in many bathrooms. The water tank and the toilet bowl are separated, but made to fit together. The tank is larger and can store more water, but dirt can gather in the seam between the pieces. One of the more significant assets of this type of toilet is its durability — the right choice can last for decades. Also, since the pieces are separate, it is less cumbersome to carry if your bathroom is upstairs. When looking for toilets the two-piece will likely be your less expensive choice.
This toilet has the tank connected to the bowl, making it all one piece of ceramic. The size of the water tank is smaller than two piece, but it doesn’t have the seam between the two pieces, which makes it easier to clean. This type of toilet can be more expensive than most other types of toilets, and can be more expensive and more difficult to carry. But it is easier to clean and also install. You may think one-piece toilets will all look modern, but they come in many different designs if a modern bathroom isn’t your style.
With a wall-mounted toilet, the bowl is attached to the wall, and the whole thing is elevated off of the floor. It has the appearance of being tankless, but can have a tank. The tank is actually inside the wall. Design-wise, all you will see is a bowl hanging on the wall. These toilets are visually appealing, easy to clean, and space saving. They can be challenging to install, however, which is best done by a professional. These are expensive toilets, and before you decide this is the right choice for you, you’ll need to open up the walls in your bathroom to see that you have the right plumbing for it.
This is a gravity flow toilet. The water tank is above the bowl, and pulling the chain triggers the valve to open. Then the water flushes down the pipe and washes the waste away. They work the same way as two-piece toilets, the difference is that the tank is hung on the wall instead of sitting on top of the base. The price is relatively high compared to other types of toilets, and they can be difficult to find. If you want a bathroom with a more retro look and feel, this might be the type of toilet for you.
Integrated Base Toilet
Integrated bases refer to the look of the bottom of toilets. They are more expensive than regular toilets, but the bottom of your toilet will be full and smooth, without any grooves or nooks. You can get an integrated base on a one-piece toilet or a two-piece toilet. It’s a sleek look for a toilet, and a major benefit is that it’s much easier to clean than its counterparts. A few quick wipes on the smooth surface.
Black, blue, pale pink, red. Toilets can come in many different colors. These can can look outdated, but when done right can lend an attractive design element to your bathroom. White toilets are most common, however. And it’s important to note that having a white toilet can increase the resale value of your home, if you own.
Summary & Next Steps
When buying a new toilet for your bathroom, there are so many options to consider. Different types of toilets have water saving options, some come in different heights and colors. Some sizes will fit any bathroom, no matter how large or small. The choices are unlimited.
For a professional job of installation in your bathroom and for a job done right, find a local plumber near you.