How to Choose a Toilet
Choosing a new toilet for the bathroom can be an overwhelming experience. With so many options, configurations, and styles to choose from, you want to make sure you’re selecting the right toilet to suit all your needs.
When selecting a new toilet for your bathroom, consider your desires, budget, and lifestyle. The right toilet can drastically improve your bathroom experience, and we’re here to help you navigate through all the different things you need to take into consideration before making your final choice.
Self-cleaning toilets, for example, allow you to save time, and cuts out the need to do one of the most undesired chores in the house! Our new ActiClean Self-Cleaning Toilet is the perfect solution, using a cleaning solution combined with our powerful VorMax flushing system, with both a Quick Clean and Deep Clean cycle for a bowl that’s sparkling clean at the touch of a button.
Consider a Toilet that can Help Save Water
Not only is water conservation important to the environment, but it can also help save you money on your water bill each month. Standard toilets now flush at a rate of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) – which is less than 50% of the water used by older 3.5 gpf toilets. Due to advances in hydraulic designs, these 1.6 gpf toilets work as well, and in some cases even better than older toilets in terms of bulk removal and reducing clogs.
Choose the Right Configuration for your Bathroom
There are several different configurations of toilets to suit different needs. Selecting the right configuration will ensure that the toilet has the right look and design for your bathroom.
How to Buy a Toilet
In your lifetime, you’re going to flush your toilet an average of 140,000 times. Your toilet will also account for about 30% of your home’s water use, so replacing an old, faulty toilet or purchasing an eco friendly toilet can benefit both the environment and your bottom line. While most people are familiar with the standard gravity toilet with a tank on the back, details like flushing power, water conservation, and a model’s design should all be considered before you purchase a toilet.
Understand the mechanics behind a toilet. When you flush a standard toilet, the handle pulls up a chain, which raises a flush valve. This flush valve then releases at least two gallons (about 7.5 litres) of water from the tank into the bowl in about three seconds, which triggers the siphon to suck the contents of the bowl down the drain and into a sewer system or septic tank. However, contrary to popular belief, the tank is not the most important part of a toilet’s technology. In fact, you could detach the tank from the toilet and pour two gallons of water into the bucket by hand, and the toilet would still flush.
Consider a gravity-assisted toilet. This type is the most common type in North America. These toilets use the weight and height of the water in the tank to facilitate a flush. The tank then refills via a small gushing pipe (usually plastic) until a float shuts off the flow. If any water does happen to flow a little higher from gushing, hand-motion inside, or even an earthquake, a narrow overflow tube handles any overflow problems. So, as long as the toilet is functioning properly, no water should spill outside of the porcelain tank. This type is the staple toilet, simple, effective, and durable. The flushing sound for gravity assisted toilets also isn’t particularly loud and they are easy to repair. However, if you have a lot of people using your toilet (say, a large family) or are going to be putting a lot of wear on the toilet’s flush system, gravity-assisted toilets may not have enough power to flush consistently, after every use.
Consider a pressure-assisted toilet. Unlike gravity assisted, pressure-assisted toilets have an ‘active’ rather than a passive mechanism. This type adds pressure to the force of gravity by supplying more force than the traditional unit. Water displaces air inside a sealed cylindrical tank, usually made of metal or plastic, inside the larger ceramic tank, helping to generate a larger force. However, because the water in the tank is held under pressure, it flushes with greater force, resulting in a loud flushing sound. As well, a greater amount of pressure via your toilet can put stress on older pipes and plumbing in your home, which can lead to a leak or a busted pipe.
Consider a vacuum-assisted toilet. This type innovates on the standard gravity-assisted toilet by using a vacuum that draws the water with more force into the bowl using the rim holes in the upper toilet bowl. Vacuum-assisted toilets have a cleaner, quieter flush than other models, making them ideal for a bathroom near your bedroom, or by a quiet area of your home. However, unclogging this type of toilet requires some time and skill. To unplug the bowl, you have to take the lid off and put your hand over an opening in the tank for the plunging action to work. The vacuum-assisted toilet also costs about $100 more than a gravity toilet.
Toilet Buying Guide
When you’re in shopping mode for a new commode, remember that a big price tag doesn’t guarantee better performance. In our tests of single- and dual-flush toilets, the ones with the top Overall Scores were midpriced models. The best toilets also save water while delivering worry-free performance.
How We Test Toilets
To develop our toilet ratings, Consumer Reports’ test engineers put the fixtures through a battery of tests involving waste removal, bowl cleaning, and drain-line clogs. We also measure how loud a toilet’s flushes are
Toilets by Type
While there are many features to consider when buying a toilet, including height, bowl shape, color, style, and flushing technology, most toilets fall into one of two basic types: gravity-feed and pressure-assisted. Gravity-feed toilets dominate the market, but pressure-assisted models are worth a look.
As their name implies, these toilets have a flush valve that relies on gravity. Water drops from the tank into the bowl to move waste down the drain. They can work with as little as 10 pounds per square inch of household water pressure. Models with a beefy 3-, 3½-, or even 4-inch-wide flush valve deliver more thrust in our tests than those with a 2- to 2½-inch valve. Ask to see the manufacturer’s specifications for the flush valve.
As water compresses air within the sealed tank, it creates pressure that thrusts waste forcefully down the waste line. A pressure-assisted toilet is an especially good choice for large families, but it does have a noisier flush.
Choose the Right Toilet for Your Bathroom
is there really much to think about other than looks when selecting a toilet for a bathroom remodel? Surprisingly, yes. When it comes to choosing a commode, size, height and how well it functions should play into your decision.
THE PERFECT FIT
There are thousands of toilets on the market, but a rough-in distance, which measures the distance from the finished wall to the center of the sewer drain for the toilet, will narrow the field. The standard rough-in is 12 inches, and the widest selection of toilets is available in this size. If a bathroom remodel makes use of an existing rough-in that is another size, 10 or 14 inches for example, choices can be more limited.
There are several toilet types available. A two-piece toilet, in which the tank bolts on top of the bowl, is typically a bit more affordable. A one-piece toilet, with an integral tank and bowl, can cost more, but these units are easier to clean because they have no seam. Wall-mounted toilets add drama to a bathroom, and cleaning under them is a breeze. However, this higher-end fixture can be more expensive to install because it requires a thicker wall to mount the toilet and house the tank, and future maintenance could require reopening the wall.
Once you’ve settled on the size, shape and style, find a toilet that flushes efficiently. “You can have the most beautiful toilet in the whole wide world, but if it doesn’t flush, it’s ugly,” Williford says
Bidets, fixtures that look similar to toilets but are actually used for personal hygiene, are typical in European bathrooms, but aren’t as common in the United States. Max Isley, owner of Hampton Kitchens in Raleigh, N.C., estimates that less than 20 percent of his clients choose to include a bidet in a bathroom remodel, and most do simply because the fixture is fashionable and helps with resale. Bidets can also be useful for anyone who has mobility problems and finds it difficult to get into a bathtub or stand in the shower.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Toilet
Loo, commode, privy—no matter what you call it, this plumbing fixture is part of your everyday life. Given that the average person visits the toilet 2,500 times a year, it’s important to pick one that you’ll be happy seeing—and sitting on—every day.
Measure the Rough-in
In plumbing terms, a “rough-in” is the distance from the wall behind the toilet to the bolt cap of your toilet. Toilets typically have a 10”, 12” or 14” rough-in. This distance determines the type of toilet your plumber can install
Choose a Toilet Style and Type
Toilets come in a wide range of styles, including traditional, transitional, modern, eclectic and contemporary. Once you know what you’re looking for in a style, you can then consider the type of toilet of that best suits your needs.
Two-piece Toilets consist of two units: a bowl and a tank that is bolted on top. Depending on the model, you may be able to mix and match your bowl and tank. If you are interchanging your tank and bowl, make sure the tank securely lines up with your bowl’s bolt holes. Two-piece toilets work well with a variety of styles.
One-piece Toilets seamlessly integrate the toilet and the bowl as one unit. This creates a sleek, clean look that’s perfect for a modern or contemporary bathroom. One-piece toilets are easier to clean and install than two-piece toilets. One-piece toilets are typically found in modern, contemporary and eclectic bathrooms due to their sleek appearance.