Real talk – toilets matter. It might not be proper dinner table conversation, but the comfort of your toilet plays a huge role in your life. Because as Taro Gomi eloquently put it, “Everyone Poops.”
When it comes to the question of how to pick the best toilet, your decision can be broken down into four main categories – bowl shape, toilet height, toilet style, and flush power.
Toilet Bowl Shape
Toilet bowls come in two shapes – elongated and round. The elongated bowl is egg shaped and can measure up to 31-inches from the wall. It is prized for its incredible comfort and rear-end support.
The traditionally shaped round toilet bowl measures a maximum length of 28-inches from the wall. Smaller in stature, it is the ideal choice for a small space. It has the added perk of typically being a less expensive choice.
Toilet Bowl Height
The standard for toilet height is 14-inches. However, to accommodate tall individuals and those with mobility issues, newer toilets have been designed with heights ranging from 16- to 17-inches.
Toilet Bowl Style
When it comes to toilet bowl styles, this is where you begin to have more choices. There are two-piece toilets and one-piece toilets. There are toilets that rest on the ground and ones that mount to the wall.
Two-piece toilets are typically more affordable. They are also easier to install, as the two pieces individually are lighter and easier to maneuver into place.
One-piece toilets are typically heftier and cost a bit more. However, because of their sleek design, they’re easier to clean. Wall-mounted toilets offer an elegant look. But, they are typically more expensive than their ground-resting sisters. Additionally, they can be trickier to mount, as they require a thicker wall to hold the tank.
When first invented, toilets simply depended on gravity and a whole heck of a lot of water. In fact, prior to 1994, most toilets used 3.5 gallons per flush. In order to reduce water consumption, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, requiring any newly manufactured two-piece toilet to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush.
As water has become an increasingly precious commodity, manufactures have continued to improve their flush technology. In some cases, they’ve effectively cut the water-used-per-flush in half.
Today, flushing toilets come in two main types: gravity and assisted.
- Gravity – The most common gravity toilets are siphonic toilets. They use an s-shaped trapway. Harnessing the natural flow of water, the bowl is designed to siphon waste and water through the base. These toilets don’t depend on electricity, meaning if the power goes out, they’ll still work. Some models also have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of gallons each year.
- Assisted – Assisted gravity flushing toilets also use gravity. However, rather than a simple siphon, they depend on electricity. These toilets move pressurized water from the tank to the bowl, providing a strong, consistent flush. Typically, assisted toilets allow you two flush choices – a light flush, which uses less water and is ideal for liquid waster, and a heavy flush, which uses more water and is ideal for more solid waste. In many cases, the use of pressurized water and the flusher’s ability to choose a big or small flush can save a significant amount of water each year.
Additional Toilet Considerations
- The Bidet – A bidet looks a lot like a toilet. It’s small, squat, and round(ish). Typically placed next to the toilet, it’s actually not used to relieve yourself. Rather, it’s designed as a personal hygiene tool. Popular in Europe, it uses a spray to wash your backside.
- The Toilet Seat – Of all your toilet decisions, seats are the most affordable to change and upgrade over time. You can get seats with padding. There are heated seats and seats that help prevent lids from slamming. You can even get seats that act as a bidet. For those who don’t have room for a bidet in their bathroom, this can be a great space-saving way to add extra function.
Word-to-the-Wise: As with any expensive bathroom feature, we highly recommend selecting a toilet in a neutral color. A pink toilet might make your six-year-old daughter happy for awhile. However, eventually she and you are going to outgrow the princess theme. By installing a toilet in a neutral color you can update your bathroom’s theme without the cost and hassle of replacing your toilet.