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It seems like such a straightforward purchase, but before you say, “it’s just a toilet,” consider the fact that the toilet is one of the most frequently used items in a household. From the color to the price, the dimensions to the bowl shape, and the height to functionality; there are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to selecting your commode.
Measure Your Rough-In
The toilet rough-in refers to the distance from the finished wall to the center of the toilet's floor drain or waste outlet. Most toilets have a rough-in of 12 inches, although it's not uncommon for older homes to have an unusual size such as 10 or 14 inches. Take the time to measure, never assume, and be sure that the toilet you purchase is compatible.
When measuring, you should measure from the finished wall - not from the baseboard or molding. A well-measured rough in will keep you from having to make unnecessary adjustments or returning a toilet. If you aren't able to see the center of the drain (i.e. you already have a toilet in place), measure from the wall to the center of the bolt caps. There are usually two bolt caps, one on either side of the toilet. Learn more about how to install a toilet.
Rear-outlet toilets are configured a bit differently. Rather than waste exiting through the floor, it exits through the bathroom wall. The rough-in measurement for a rear-outlet toilet is the distance from the finished floor to the center of the waste outlet.
Toilet bowls are offered in two different shapes. Round bowls are typically the standard shape, and you should stick with a round bowl if you are limited in space. Elongated bowls are generally two inches longer at the front for added comfort. If you are thinking about an elongated bowl, measure your area to ensure that the longer front end will not interfere with any doors, drawers, or other objects in the room.
The bowl height is the distance measured from the finished floor to the top of the toilet bowl, before the actual toilet seat. The standard bowl height of a toilet typically falls between 14 and 16 inches.
Taller toilets are available which comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The bowls of ADA compliant toilets, also known as “comfort height toilet,” fall within the range of 17 to 19 inches in height, which make them easier on knees and back to provide comfort for those in need. It is also important to keep in mind that a toilet seat will add an additional ½-1 inch in height.
One piece toilets are exactly as they sound; they are constructed as one piece. The bowl and the tank are not separable, which creates a seamless look. Some also find that one piece toilets are easier to clean due to less gaps and crevices.
These toilets are the traditional, standard style. The bowl and the tank are two separate pieces, where the tank is bolted to the bowl.
If you are limited in space, or turning a small room into a half bath, a corner toilet may be just what you need. These space-savers fit snuggly into a corner to provide you with more floor space.
Rear outlet toilets connect to plumbing through the wall, rather than through the floor. Already popular in Europe, this design is gaining popularity in the United States due to their ability to be installed in most areas of the bathroom. These toilets are also great for bathroom additions on a concrete slab.
Also known as a water conserving flushing system, dual flush toilets are ideal for those who look for efficiency while saving water. The flushing mechanism contains two buttons, giving you the option to perform a full flush or a partial flush.
Standard flush toilets have the traditional single lever flushing system, which uses simple gravity and water weight to generate flushing pressure.
Siphonic toilets incorporate an S-shaped drain trap into their design. When the toilet is flushed, the waterway fills up with water and the tank pours a large quantity of water quickly into the bowl, creating a siphonic reaction for a powerful flush to empty the bowl rapidly. Toilets featuring a siphonic flush are available in both standard and dual-flush configurations.
If you’re one to indulge in the finer things, a smart toilet may be the perfect addition to your bathroom. Infused with the latest technology, smart toilet benefits include advanced hygiene and water conservation, plus luxurious features from a heated toilet seat to automatic flushing.
You've probably heard the term before or come across them when browsing new toilets, but exactly what is a bidet? While common in countries around the world (especially Europe), bidets are just beginning to become more common in homes in the United States.
While it looks a lot like a toilet, a bidet functions like a sink. It contains a basin, drain, and faucet that is used to wash up after using the toilet. If you have the room to add one, a bidet may very quickly become a luxury that you won’t want to live without. For an all-in-one fixture that doesn’t take up additional space, you can find toilets with an included bidet toilet seat, or you can easily find a bidet attachment.