Things to Consider When Choosing a Toilet
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right toilet, we’ve reviewed the best toilets to help make it easier.
What Does ADA Mean?
(ADA Compliant Toilet)
ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was originally signed into law in 1990. The act provides the minimum requirements for designing spaces that are universally accessible, meaning folks with mobility problems, vision or hearing impairment or other physical issues can access all the areas in a public building.
To comply fully with the ADA guidelines that came into force in 2011, toilet seats must be no less than 17 inch from the floor and no more than 19 inch. The toilet must also have a lever flush mechanism that make it easier and convenient to flush. Therefore, although many dual flush toilets will meet the height recommendations they cannot be fully certified as they do not meet the flush lever regulations.
What is WaterSense? (WaterSense Labeled Toilet)
WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products.
The WaterSense label is used on toilets that are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only water-saving toilets that complete the certification process can earn the WaterSense label. Recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush.
How Does a Macerator Toilet Work?
When flushed, a normal toilet sends waste through a trap, into a waste line, and onto the main drain line to the sewer or septic tank. Because that drain line is below the level of the toilet, gravity pulls the contents of the waste line into it. It’s the same with sinks and tubs.
Macerating toilets (aka “upflush toilets”), on the other hand, send waste to a macerating unit located behind the toilet or in the wall. High-powered blades liquefy the waste, which is then pumped out of the unit through normal pipe that’s been tied into the main drain line. Macerating toilets are more expensive than standard ones, but connecting a small-diameter pipe to an existing system is much easier and far less expensive than redoing the whole thing.
What Does Rough-in Mean for Toilets?
The toilet rough-in is the distance from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the outlet pipe where the waste leaves the toilet. The most common distance is 12 inches, so most toilets have a “12-inch rough.”
In some cases, the outlet is closer to or further away from the wall, especially in older homes. For those cases, toilets are available with a 10-inch rough or 14-inch rough.
Before replacing a toilet, measure the rough-in or make sure your plumber measures before buying.
Specialized Surface Finishes
Some manufacturers are offering protective coatings on their toilets to reduce dirt accumulation and scaling. Toto has SanaGloss and CeFiONtec, and American Standard has its EverClean surface finish.
SanaGloss is a glaze applied to TOTO ceramic products, leaving them with a long-lasting finish that prevents the build-up of mould, limescale and waste matter. The technology used in SanaGloss has redefined the idea of a clean ceramic surface.
So, what’s the difference between SanaGloss and CeFiONtect on Toto Toilets (Neorest etc)? The answer is SanaGloss and CeFIONtecT are the same. “Sanagloss” is the catchy marketing term for the CeFiONtect glaze. The term SanaGloss was used mainly by Toto USA for marketing their toilets in the US for over a decade. CeFiONtect is more a technical term. It was/is difficult to pronounce than SanaGloss. So calling the special Toto glaze as SanaGloss made it easy to pronounce, remember and market. (CeFiONtect stands for “Ceramic Fine Ion Technology”, with a leftover “T”)
EverClean is a double-coated surface that inhibits the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface. The smooth, mirror-like surface stays cleaner longer, even after years of use.
Toilet Bowl Shape: Round vs Elongated
The best toilet bowl shape for each individual will vary based on personal needs, preferences, and the size of the bathroom. To determine which toilet bowl shape is right for you, keep the following considerations in mind:
Most people find elongated toilet bowls to be more comfortable, but in a small bathroom, a round bowl can save space. Elongated toilet bowls measure up to 31″ from the wall, while round fixtures max out at 28″. Because round bowls are less expensive than elongated bowls, they save a few dollars, too.
Round toilet bowls are usually best for small bathrooms, because they typically occupy two inches less floor space than toilets with standard elongated-style toilet bowls. If you prefer an elongated toilet bowl, but have limited space in your bathroom, a hybrid toilet is newly available on the market called a compact-elongated toilet. It is has an elongated toilet bowl, yet occupies the same footprint (floor space) as a compact toilet.
Note: – All ADA compliant toilets must have an elongated bowl.
Which is Better One-Piece or Two-Piece Toilet?
Two-piece toilets are the most common design found in homes today. They are typically less expensive and usually have a taller tank than a typical one-piece toilet. One-piece toilets, on the other hand, are generally more expensive but they are often easier to clean and may provide a smoother or sleeker appearance.
What is Comfort Height Toilet?
Unlike standard bowls, whose rim stands about 14 or 15 inches above the floor, most “comfort height” toilets are 17 to 19 inches high. Some people find them more comfortable to use, as the added height makes it easier to get on and off the throne. The higher bowl height can be good for the knees and back and can offer real advantages to taller folks, the elderly and people with mobility problems. But comfort height isn’t comfortable for everyone. If you’re short or there are small children in your household, a “comfort height” toilet may not be your best bet.
Types of Toilet Flushing Systems
There are four main flush systems that you can choose for your toilet. This guide will explain each one briefly. The kind of flush that your toilet uses will be important and depend on the kind of design of toilet that you are going to choose, You will need to ensure that you choose the best flush to keep your toilet bowl clean.
Gravity Flush ToiletGravity flush systems are one of the most common used flush systems and have been used over a century. With this type of flush system the flush valve or “flapper” opens up and allows water to rush down through the bowl. Over the years manufacturers have improved the efficiency of gravity flush toilets by changing tank and bowl designs and using and enlarged flush valves. These improvements have lead to more efficiency using less water. Gravity flush toilets are inexpensive and easy to maintain, however they are prone to sweating and can sometimes under perform leaving more to be desired in terms of effectiveness.
Pressure Assist ToiletToilets using a pressure assist flush system have a pressure tank that fills up with water and maintains a certain pressure. When the flush valves opens the combination of pressure and gravity make for an explosive flush. Pressure assist toilets utilize a minimal amount of water without sacrificing performance. Pressure assist flush systems offer a powerful flush, out performing many of their counterparts, and are less prone to sweating. However they come at a higher price, can be difficult to repair, and are noisy.
Dual Flush Toilet SystemDual flush toilets reduce water use by offering separate options for liquid waste and solid waste. Thus, the term dual flush refers to the two handles or buttons found on this type of toilet. Most dual flush systems are pressure-assisted and low flow. Compounding pressure and low-flow technology, the liquid waste button uses less water than the solid waste button. Dual flush systems are widely available in standard home improvement stores. They save considerable water per flush compared to standard tank systems.
Double Cyclone Flush
The Double Cyclone flushing system uses the power of gravity combined with centrifugal force to environmentally and efficiently flush the toilet. Water drops from the toilet tank and is then pushed out of two nozzles that force water to circle the bowl, cleaning as it flushes. Double Cyclone toilets use 1.28 gallons of water per flush.
9 Tips to Find the Best Toilet
So it’s time to replace the throne. You will have to make some decisions:
1Do you want a single-piece or a two-piece toilet? Single-pieces cost more and often are more visually appealing. The two-piece is cheaper because it is easier to cast two smaller pieces than one whole toilet. The two-piece also leaves you with that hard to clean seam between the bowl and the tank and who knows what evil lurks there?
2Do you want an elongated or round-front toilet? This is largely an aesthetic and dollar decision, though some folks swear that the elongated (oval-shaped) toilet is a more comfortable seat. It does come with a bigger price tag. And if you have space constraints in front of the toilet, the round-front is more compact saving 2 inches in front to back depth.
3Do you want the traditional height, or a taller toilet? For older people whose knees are not quite what they were, the extra inch or two is great. And for taller people, the taller toilet is also nice.
4Does this toilet flush well? Besides the advertised “flushability” one thing to pay attention to is the water surface area in the bowl compared to the exposed porcelain area of the bowl. Some toilets have a very large exposed porcelain area in the bowl which means you will need to keep a toilet brush handy to keep it tidy. The rim wash that the toilet supplies also makes a difference as to how well the bowl flushes clean. Since most showrooms don’t show the toilets actually hooked up, you should talk to your plumber on this one, so you get a toilet that performs the way you want it to.
5Bowl footprint on the floor? If you are replacing a toilet, the old toilet covered a specific area on the floor. If your flooring was cut around the base of the old toilet rather than laid under it, it is possible that a new toilet will not cover the old cut-out leaving an ugly scar on the floor. This problem also shows up with hardwood floors as the wood ages differently beneath the toilet. If you have to redo the floor this makes for an expensive toilet change-out.
6You’ll need to know the rough-in requirements of the toilet you want to put in. Most toilets have a 12” rough-in (the number of inches that the center of the drain is from the wall). However, different rough-ins are available, and especially with remodels, you want to make sure that you match the rough-in dimension of your existing toilet to avoid the necessity of moving the toilet drain – which can be expensive.
7What color toilet? The most common is white, since it doesn’t go out of style. Off-white colors are very popular too but keep in mind that they can be slightly different from different manufacturers, if you are mixing manufacturers on sink, toilet, tub. Also, though the darker colors are gorgeous, if you live in an area with a lot of minerals in the water, the mineral deposits on the toilet bowl make for an unsightly ring very quickly.
8There are now toilet seats available that, with a mere touch, float slowly down and close, rather than slamming into place. If leaving the seat up is cause for consternation in your household, a slow-closing seat might just be the peacemaker.
9Most communities now require toilets with a 1.6-gallon, instead of the old 3-gallon flush, to conserve water. However some manufacturers still offer flushing mechanisms that simply don’t flush effectively at the lower water usage. Others are so complicated that they require a lot of maintenance and parts that are difficult to find and expensive to buy. Make sure that the toilet you are considering is a good flusher – or expect to be re-flushing multiple times, and calling the plumber to clear the toilet.
Best Toilet Brands
Kohler Co., founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler, is an American manufacturing company based in Kohler, Wisconsin. Kohler is best known for its plumbing products. For more than 100 years, Kohler has lead the industry in the design and manufacture of toilets and seats, pioneering water-efficient designs and integrating innovative technologies.
Kohler toilets have been essential in shaping the style and functionality of the modern bathroom over the last century. Today the advanced features and proven durability of these products are redefining personal comfort and cleanliness. Kohler Cimarron, Highline, Wellworth and Memoirs are some of their top seller models.
Toto, is the world’s largest toilet manufacturer. It was founded in 1917, and is world-renowned for developing the Washlet and derivative products. Its technological innovations and high standard of quality have made it an iconic and much-loved brand in Japan. Take note that Toto offers more than the usual toilet. They have fully-automated toilets that can bring comfort to the next level for the users.
For instance, the Toto Washlet is an innovative toilet seat that features an integrated bidet. The bidet feature activates at the push of a button on the seat or a remote control; a small wand extends from the back of the rim and begins to jet water towards the backside of the user. Different Washlet models have features such as air fresheners, seat heaters, and dryers.
American Standard is a North American manufacturer of plumbing supplies and toilets. The company has been making toilets for over 140 years. They offer moderately priced toilets for the consumer market. American Standard has some great toilet features such as metal flush toilet handles, fully glazed trapway, antibacterial surfaces, and large flush valves that make their prices great value for money.
Engineered for excellence, toilets from American Standard offer the latest in innovations for optimal performance, convenience, and benefits with the quality you’ve come to expect. It is a well-known brand name with durable toilets that are built to last.
Although Saniflo may not be as well-known as some of the other manufacturers of toilet we have mentioned, in the particular market that Saniflo services it is the premier brand. Saniflo manufactures macerating toilets that can be located, with minimal plumbing, in areas where it is impractical to fit a standard flush toilet.
Saniflo macerators are a recognised brand in the market and have products suitable for both domestic and commercial applications. Perfect for helping to build additional bathroom and kitchens in your home without alot of building work. They work by breaking up waste using a fast rotating blade which changes the waste into a fluid which in turn is then pumped and discharged through the drainage pipework in the normal manner.