How to Choose a Toilet

Luxury is not typically associated with toilets, but innovative design, evolving Toilettechnologies and unique features has moved the toilet from simple bathroom necessity to a stylish focal point.

Still there are details to consider before shopping for a new fixture, and measuring the rough-in, which is the distance between the wall and the center of the bolts of the existing toilet, is probably one of the most important numbers a homeowner will need.

There’s also the flush, the seat height, shape of the bowl and whether or not a one- or two-piece toilet will get the job done for the right price.

It’s all in the flush

Toilet flushing now uses a lot less water than just 20 years ago; 1.6 gallons per flush compared to 3.5 gallons per flush. The Environmental Protection Agency implemented the change to help conserve water.

Shoppers can choose from dual flush toilets (low-flow and high-flow); low-flow; or gravity flush systems.

Dual flush – One water level for liquid waste and a higher level for solid waste.

Low-flow – Between .8 and 1.6 gallons per flush every time.

Gravity – Water and gravity work together to generate the flush.

The right seat

Toilet manufacturers make toilets in basically two heights; standard and comfort. The standard height is either 14 or 15 inches while the comfort height mimics a typical chair at 17 to 19 inches.

What shape is your bowl?

Toilet bowls can be round or elongated, and the choice usually comes down to space. Both shapes are found on toilets of varying styles, but round is better for smaller bathrooms while elongated is the most popular.

One piece or two?

There are benefits to having a one-piece toilet over a two-piece fixture like easier cleaning and more stability, but a one-piece toilet can be more expensive than its two-piece counterpart.

The main difference, of course, is in how the toilets look. A one-piece unit is more compact and can have a sleeker design. Two-piece toilets can also boast some pretty cool features and remains the most popular toilet on the market.

Toilet seats

Most one-piece models include the toilet seat, but shoppers should be prepared to buy a toilet seat if they choose a two-piece model.

The good news is that there really isn’t any guess work; buying a seat from the same manufacturer as the toilet in the same shape – elongated or round – means the right fit every time.

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