If you are looking to purchase a new toilet, you may be feeling intimidated by the process. There are plenty of factors to consider, and the choice can feel complicated if you are not a professional.
So what should you keep in mind when searching for the perfect toilet for your home? And what toilet do plumbers recommend? This article will cover these questions and more. Keep reading to learn more about it.
What Toilet Do Plumbers Recommend?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The appropriate toilet for you depends on many factors. Some include the age of your home and sewage system, the size of your bathroom, and your budget. Your height and any health conditions may also influence your decision.
What to Consider When Choosing a Toilet
Let’s take an in-depth look at the features a plumber would consider when deciding on a toilet for their home.
Performance is arguably the most critical aspect of choosing a toilet. A toilet should flush as efficiently as possible. Efficient flushing means the toilet gets rid of all waste (solid or liquid) in just one flush–not multiple (if it doesn’t, see if our article ‘Toilet Flushes But Waste Comes Back‘) Of course, we are talking only about things that should go in the toilet. Always avoid flushing things like pads, wet wipes, diapers, etc.
Your toilet should also stand up to the demands you will place on it over time. For example, what happens if an item goes in that’s too small to fish out but big enough to cause problems? Will the toilet flush normally, or will you need to call a plumber?
High-quality toilets should also handle clogs with ease. Using the plunger now and then is normal, but you don’t want to use it every day.
Ask any plumber, and they’ll tell you to keep size in mind. Toilet size can be easy to overlook, but you need to find one that fits the dimensions of your space. Otherwise, something as simple as going to the bathroom can quickly become uncomfortable.
Always check the measurements before purchasing, as there is a minimum clearance required on the sides and in front of the toilet.
You may need even more clearance, depending on your needs. If your bathroom is large, a standard-size toilet will probably work just fine. But if your bathroom is on the smaller side, you may need a round toilet or a corner toilet.
Water Saving Features
The average person visits the toilet several times a day. This use alone accounts for 27 percent of household water consumption–more than any other area in the house. So if you want to cut down on water consumption and save money in the process, the bathroom is an excellent place to start.
Getting rid of older toilets can make a significant impact. They use anywhere from two to seven gallons per flush! Compare them to low-flush options that use about 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) and it’s easy to see the difference.
Most toilets are now manufactured to use as little water as possible. The current standard in the United States is 1.6 GPF, though newer toilets can flush on 1.28 GPF. However, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look to ensure that the brand meets current standards.
Oh, and if you still subscribe to the idea that water-saving toilets are less effective, don’t. Technology has come a long way and these toilets work just as well.
Dual-flush vs. Single-flush
Another water-saving feature to consider is dual-flush.
You need more water to flush solid waste than you do for liquid waste, but single-flush systems flush all waste with the same amount of water. Dual-flush systems solve this problem by letting you choose between solid and liquid waste. They’re the norm in places like Canada and Europe, and they can help you save a lot of water.
Check out this video that explains how dual flush toilets work.
If you’re like most people and know nothing about toilets, you probably also know nothing about flushing mechanisms. But they’re a critical feature to pay attention to, and it’s vital to understand the difference between them. There are two kinds:
- Gravity flow
- Pressure assisted
Gravity flush is one of the oldest and most common flushing systems. It uses a combination of water and the earth’s gravitational pull to drain the toilet bowl. On the other hand, pressure-assisted toilets utilize gravity and a secondary tank in the main toilet to create the pressure needed for flushing.
There are pros and cons to each type. Pressure-assisted toilets are more expensive, and they make a loud whooshing sound when you flush. But they also flush more waste at once, which helps you save water. If you live in an older home that’s prone to clogs, this toilet type could make your life easier.
However, most hardware stores don’t stock parts for them. If you need to replace one, you’ll likely have to special order it. For this reason–and because many homeowners shy away from the loud sound and high price–traditional gravity flow toilets remain more popular.
It’s easy to overlook toilet seat height, but this feature makes a significant difference in your comfort. Most toilets are 16 inches high, but you can find taller models. Taller toilets (17 to 19 inches) are more comfortable for some people, like tall individuals or those with disabilities. You may also want to consider something taller if you’re a senior.
However, keep in mind who will be using the toilet. If you have young children, it’s better to go for a standard height.
When it comes to toilet bowl shapes, the three most common types are round, elongated, and compact elongated (oval). Round bowls are good if you need to save floor space, but elongated and oval bowls are the more comfortable option for most people. If space isn’t a concern, you’ll probably want to forego a round bowl.
Not sure which one you prefer? It’s a good idea to sit on each kind and see how you like it.
Last but not least, your budget is a critical consideration. Toilets are far from cheap, but if you want something that’ll last you, you should be prepared to spend. It’s helpful to think that you’re making at least a fifteen-year investment when you buy a high-quality toilet–twenty in some cases.
Types of Toilets
Aside from flushing technology, you’ll need to consider what kind of profile you want for your toilet.
As you can guess from their name, these toilets come in just one piece. They have an integrated tank and bowl, and they’re typically low-profile. One-piece toilets are usually easier to clean, though they’re quite heavy. They’re also generally more expensive than two-piece toilets.
Two-piece toilets have a separate tank and bowl, which makes them easier to install than one-piece toilets. Their detachable tank also makes them easier to customize to different styles and heights. If you have a small bathroom, a two-piece model could be a better choice for you. Plus, you won’t have to worry about leaks from the tank gasket.
A high-tank toilet is decidedly uncommon, but some people choose to mount their toilet tank up high on the wall near the ceiling. This type offers an old-fashioned look, but it’s an excellent way to increase the force of the flush if you like this style.
What Toilet Do Plumbers Recommend? 3 Top Choices
Now here’s a quick look at some of the top plumber-recommended toilets.
If you’re looking for a two-piece toilet, this TOTO model is one of the most highly recommended. It’s got powerful flushing capabilities thanks to its fast-flush design. It uses an extra-large siphon jet, a three-inch flush valve, and several other features to deliver a fast, efficient flush. TOTO also included a beautiful elongated design in this ADA-compliant toilet.
American Standard Champion 4 One Piece Toilet
For anyone concerned about clogs, this American Standard option could be right for you.
It uses 1.6 GPF to flush and clean the bowl. But what makes it so good for clogs is its efficient flushing system. It features four-inch piston action accelerator flush valves that get rid of waste the first time. The result is that it removes up to 70 percent more waste than a regular toilet, but without making tons of noise (if your toilet does make a lot of noise, read our post for more information)
Glacier Bay 1-piece High-Efficiency Dual Flush Elongated Toilet
If you want to invest in a dual flush toilet, this Glacier Bay model is worth considering. Glacier Bay developed a certified water-saving design that’s excellent for drought-prone areas. It’s also made with durable materials, so it’ll look beautiful for years to come.
When it comes to finding the best toilet, what’s right for someone else may not necessarily be right for you. The best way to make your decision is by closely looking at your needs, home, and budget. When in doubt, consult a plumber or head to a local home improvement retailer.