Toilet Buying Guide

If we had any advice for you to follow when renovating your bathroom, it’s to pay attention to detail when buying a new toilet. It’s easy to forget that it is among the hardware we use most in the household. Therefore, aiming for a toilet that’s durable with a powerful flushing mechanism should be high on your priority list.

In today’s guide, we look at the various specifications that can make the difference between being one of the the best toilets to buy or an average one. We look at features, including water consumption, flow rate, tank style, trip lever, bowl, trapway and so much more. As these can be quite an expensive acquisition, readers should be investing quite a bit of time researching the basics at the very least. By doing so, you will run into far less problems after purchase.

Let’s start by looking at the toilet bowl. The material used in construction these days are generally all the same with a ceramic surface coated with a glazing that’s designed to smooth over the bowl as a whole. This glazing will have different labels attributed to it depending on the manufacturer. They all do the same thing, just make sure the toilet you choose has it. EverClean and CEFIONTECT are popular ones.

Then there is the shape of the bowl. This can differentiate quite a bit. You get elongated, square, round front, and round as the main options. Think about what purpose each serves. An elongated shape bowl is built for user comfort with excess leg room. Whilst a round bowl will work well in a more compact bathroom. Both have there uses and advantages, so this will depend on your own households preferences.

A final, but important feature of a toilet bowl is its height. You’ll no doubt come across both standard and comfort height bowls in your research. But what exactly does it all mean? How do you define it? Well, to put it simply, a standard height bowl will measure less than 17 inches in height from the base to the seat. A comfort height unit will measure between 17 and 19 inches, and are deliberately designed to be taller to be a better choice for the elderly and disabled. That’s why they are often labelled as ADA toilets.

Moving on to the tank and flushing mechanism. This can be quite complicated, especially for someone who may not have any previous plumbing or DIY experience. There are quite a lot of different systems out there ranging from single to dual, gravity to pressure assisted. To simplify this, you should be asking yourself are you after a commercial solution with a powerful flush, or a residential one? For commercial builds, you may want to utilize a more heavy duty option, with a pressure assist flush. Alternatively, in a home setting, a gravity fed flush is usually more than enough.

Once you understand the mechanism you require, you should begin looking into water consumption. We suggest looking for WaterSense labelled toilets as they are designed to save a significant amount of water each year. These units will use up to 1.28 gallons per flush.

So by now, you should have a basic understanding of the tank, flush, water efficiency, and bowl. Before you can begin your search though, you will need to know what your rough in measurement is. Typically, this is quite an easy task to undertake. Grab yourself a measuring tape and measure from a finished / plastered wall without skirting to the middle of your waste outlet. Most of you shall find it measures twelve inches, which tends to be the most common in North America. However, you should make sure as getting it wrong can cause further problems whilst installing the toilet.

Now you have the important details covered, you can start to look at the smaller details. Things like brand name is important, but not as much as the items listed above. To give our readers a head start though, we recommend sticking to manufacturers that have been in the bathroom industry a long time. So names like TOTO, Gerber, Kohler, and American Standard should all be considered.

You can further further filter out the top toilets from the bad ones by reading what consumers are saying in their reviews. We have a number of useful sources that we use in this regard. Amazon, Home Depot, and Wayfair are among them. Check out what they are saying about their purchases. It can provide a very useful insight into the overall quality of a product, and help you avoid the defective toilets.

With this short, but smart list, you have a great knowledge base from which to build off and ensure you pick something that is right for you. You can also check out our article giving seven tips for buying a new toilet.