Buying a Toilet
In the market for a new toilet? We don’t want to make it complicated for you, but you have lots of options. Here we address them.
There are several different toilet types.
- Two-piece toilets are the traditional units with separate tanks and bowls. While less expensive, they do easily accumulate dirt between the tank and bowl.
- One-piece toilets eliminate the seam between the tank and bowl. They have a modern and sleek look and don’t have the issue of dirt between the tank and bowl, but generally are more expensive than their two-piece counterparts.
- Wall-mount toilets attach directly to the wall. The tank is concealed inside the wall, creating more floor space. This makes these units desirable for smaller washrooms.
- Tankless toilets do not use a tank to clear waste. Instead, they use water directly from a supply line connected to the bowl.
You will need to choose bowl shape, height and color.
- Round-front bowls are designed to fit smaller spaces. Elongated bowls are pear-shaped and have several additional inches of bowl space at the front of the toilet. These are easier to use due to their slightly larger opening.
- Standard bowls are 14 or 15 inches off the ground. However more people, especially older people and those with limited mobility, are opting for taller toilets that rise 16 to 17 inches off the floor.
- While most toilets are white, there are a variety of color choices available. It is standard however that the toilet, lavatory bowl and tub all match in color.
- Traditional gravity-fed toilets rely on gravity to dump water from the toilet tank into the bowl, which then sucks waste down into the sewer line.
- Pressure-assisted toilets use pressure to create a blast of water that helps evacuate waste. These toilets tend to be loud.
- Power-assisted toilets use a small electric motor to introduce air pressure into a small tank.
Toilets account for about 30% of indoor water use, more than anything else. The current maximum allowable flush is 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). However, new high efficiency toilets with the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense certification flush at 1.28 gpf. Additionally, dual-flush toilets allow you to use a low water flush (0.8 to 1.2 gpf) for liquid waste and the traditional 1.6 gpf flush for solid waste.
If you want to spend a little (or a lot) more money, there are some non-traditional choices which, of course, do add expense.
- Heated seats use low-voltage heating elements to warm the seat.
- Bidet-style seats retrofit into your existing toilet and provide the cleansing power of a bidet. Some have pre-heated water, dual jets, air-drying and even motion-activated lighting.
- Slow-close lids close gently, eliminating that crashing sound.
- Anti-microbial coatings inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, reducing molds, mildew and odors.
The rough-in dimension is the measurement from the bolt cap to the wall behind the toilet. This is basically the measurement from the wall to the center of the drain in to the floor that the toilet bolts onto and empties into. Most toilets have a rough-in dimension of 12”, but toilets are also made to fit 10” and 14” rough-ins.
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