How To Choose The Perfect Toilet

by Rachel Laurendeau on January 17, 2013

Bathroom remodeling can be fairly time consuming both in labor and time spent choosing all of the fixtures and finishes. One often-overlooked element is the toilet. There is a lot to consider in this standard fixture so it’s worth taking the time to choose the right one.

Just The Right Fit
There are so many different models on the market that it can be hard to know exactly what you should be looking for in a toilet. To choose the perfect toilet, I really recommend going to a showroom and talking to a knowledgeable salesperson about all of the options and spending the time to try out the different heights and styles. You might feel silly doing it but it is well worth it in the long run.

The standard toilet height is 14.5 inches from floor to top of the bowl while a “comfort height” toilet measures in at 16.5 inches high. Those extra two inches make the toilet more comfortable for taller people and make it easier for people with disabilities to get up.

In addition to height, toilet bowls are available in round or elongated styles. Elongated styles are generally considered more comfortable but the round models can save space in a small bathroom and are a little less expensive.

Style In the Bathroom
As a general rule, your toilet should complement your overall bathroom design.

Porcelain toilets are available in one-piece or two-piece styles. The two-piece model has the tank bolted on top of the bowl and this is what we traditionally see in homes. The one-piece model has an integral tank and bowl and is therefore seamless and easier to clean but this more contemporary look is also more expensive. Wall-mounted toilets are another style to consider, offering a different look and using up less visual space in small bathrooms. However, installation is more expensive as a thicker wall is needed to mount the toilet and house the tank and if it ever needs maintenance the plumbers may have to open up the wall.

A few extra little luxuries that you may want to look into are auto-flush features, soft-close seats that prevent the seat from slamming down, heated seats for a little extra comfort or even a seat with a bidet function for personal hygiene.

Flushing Considerations
When plumbing guidelines changed, reducing the amount of water used per flush down to 1.6 gallons, the original technology was not very effective. However, nearly a decade later, most low-flow toilets are very effective. Many manufacturers also offer dual-flush toilets, which can help you conserve even more water and help you save money over the lifespan of the toilet.

Green tip: you may also want to consider a composting toilet for the cottage, RV, or a remote or off-the-grid home. Composting toilets use no water or minimal water and waste is managed through composting or aerobic systems.

Don’t settle for any old commode, take the time to choose the right one to meet your needs and design preferences. Talk to your local plumber or home improvement expert for more information or for help in choosing the perfect toilet for your bathroom.

Resources: HGTV and The ABCs of Toilets

Related article: How To Choose the Perfect Bathtub

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