Selecting the right toilet is not easy. Toilets have many options to consider, which we covered all right below!
Our team identified the most important toilet features and functionality you need to learn.
Using this guide, you’ll be able to find the perfect toilet that suits your specific needs.
Key Features of Toilets
From dimensions to flush type, several factors need to be considered before purchasing your next toilet. Not only is it vital to purchase a comfortable toilet, but one that fits your flush style needs.
Below are some things to consider before purchasing a toilet.
Flushing Mechanism ✓
When it comes to choosing a toilet, many people often overlook the flushing mechanism.
We consider this feature the most important.
Below are different flushing mechanisms to know about before making your decision.
Check our flushing toilets review guide.
Flappers are the most basic flush systems found in most older toilets. The flapper seals the flushing hole, and a toilet chain pulls the flapper to release the water. It’s the most simple design and becoming phased out over the years.
The canister style flush is more popular flush system on the market.
With a simple push of the button, the valve lifts and allows water to pass, ensuring a thorough clean with the right amount of water.
It’s mostly used in dual flush systems and perfect for those who want to save water and still have a powerful flush.
Pressure Assisted Flush
Pressure-assisted flush toilets are not so common in residential homes, but for those who want an extra forceful flush.
It contains compressed air and water inside the tank, giving your flush a boost and leaving your bowl spotless. Plus, it uses less water than traditional flushing mechanisms.
Remember, when it comes to choosing the right toilet, the right flush mechanism should be at the top of your list.
Toilet Height ✓
The toilet’s height is crucial for comfort and a proper sitting fit.
Measuring the toilet seat height is easy, just take a measuring tape and determine the distance from the floor to the toilet seat or rim. Keep in mind that the toilet lid isn’t part of the toilet height.
To get the toilet seat height, you will have to measure from the floor to the top of the seat.
We have a full guide about measuring a toilet’s height.
When selecting a toilet height, you have the following options:
Most toilets in the USA have standard or regular heights, suitable for short people and kids.
A standard height toilet measures 15 to 16 inches from the floor to the seat.
They’re typically more expensive than other models.
Taller toilets measuring 17 to 19 inches from the floor to the toilet seat are referred to as chair height toilets.
These models are ideal for tall people.
While many people mistake chair height for comfort height, these models aren’t the same.
This term is only used by the American manufacturer Kohler for their toilets that measure 17 inches or taller.
ADA Compliant Height
Nowadays, ADA compliant toilet heights are more popular. But, what is ADA-compliant height?
Toilets that conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act measure 17 to 19 inches from the floor to the toilet bowl seat.
ADA compliant toilets are more comfortable for people with disabilities.
Toilet Bowl Shape ✓
When it comes to the shape of your toilet bowl, you’ve got two options: round and elongated. So, which one is right for you? Well, that depends on your personal preferences and the size of your bathroom.
The round bowl is the classic choice that’s been around for decades.
It’s perfect for smaller bathrooms, as it takes up less space.
However, it may not be the most comfortable choice for adults, kids, or seniors.
If you want to make a statement with your toilet, go for an elongated bowl.
It’s more stylish and comfortable, thanks to the extra length on the front.
Plus, it’s more hygienic than the round bowl.
The only downside is that it takes up more space, so make sure you’ve got enough room in your bathroom.
Toilet Piece Style ✓
The one-piece toilet is the sleek and stylish option that’s perfect for modern bathrooms.
It’s easier to maintain, thanks to fewer crevices that trap dirt. Plus, the installation process is less complicated.
The two-piece toilet is the traditional choice that’s been around for ages.
It consists of a separate toilet bowl and tank that need to be installed together. While it’s less expensive than the one-piece toilet, it’s harder to clean due to more crevices that trap dirt.
Water Consumption ✓
Another important consideration about water consumption. You want a toilet that’s efficient and water-saving, right? Well, you’ve got two options: 1.6 GPF or 1.28 GPF.
1.6 Gallons Per Flush
The current federal standard for toilets is 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush). While it’s a more traditional option, it uses more water, which means higher utility bills.
1.28 Gallons Per Flush
If you want to save water and keep your bills low, go for a toilet with a 1.28 GPF rating. It’s a modern-day option that uses 20% less water than the traditional 1.6 GPF toilet. Plus, it’s eco-friendly.
Flush Type ✓
Now, let’s talk about flush type. You want a toilet that’s going to clean everything with ease, right?
Well, you’ve got two options: single flush or dual flush.
The single flush is the classic option that uses a standard amount of water (up to 5 gallons) to clean everything in one flush. While it’s effective, it’s not very water-friendly, and it can mean higher water bills.
Dual flush toilets are the perfect solution to conserve water. Choosing the flow of water for different bowl wastes is the main feature of dual flush toilets.
With two flush options – one for liquids and one for solids – you get to choose the appropriate amount of water needed for each flush.
Plus, it’s a great way to be eco-friendly without sacrificing your bathroom experience.
Measuring Tips ✓
It’s essential to know how to measure a toilet to ensure you get the right fit. If the toilet is too big, it may prevent the door from opening or block access to the vanity cabinet.
To determine the toilet size, you must consider rough-in dimensions. This refers to the distance between the center of your toilet’s drain pipe (toilet flange) and the bare wall.
The standard rough-in measurement is 12 inches, but 10-inch and 14-inch measurements are also available.
If you already have a toilet, you can measure the rough-in quickly, and the new toilet should match the same dimension.
Measuring a Rough-in
Locate the drain pipe on your toilet floor, a round hole that may or may not have a plastic lining.
Measure the distance from the drain pipe center to the bare wall using a measurement tape.
If the distance isn’t a standard 12-inch, 10-inch, or 14-inch measurement, you’ll need to measure it again. Note down the measurement and select the right toilet accordingly.
Choosing a Toilet Brand ✓
When shopping for your next toilet, its important to look into the manufacturer and determine which brand fits your needs and style.
When it comes to a toilet brand, it determines the quality, style or a particular toilet technology patented by that manufacturer.
We listed our three most popular brands on the market below:
This well known toilet manufacturer is one on the top 3 brands on the market today. Kohler has been around for over 100 years and boasts their innovation in the toilet industry.
Keep an eye out for Kohler’s toilet technology such as the Revolution 360 flush system and their lineup of smart toilets.
Be sure to check our full Kohler toilet review article here.
Another popular toilet brand on the market are manufactured by TOTO. Keep this brand in mind when weighing out our decisions when comparing brands.
TOTO is a Japanese toilet company, which prides themselves in craftsmanship design, technology and their Washlet bidet attachments.
You can find several TOTO toilet technologies which include a tornado, double cyclone, 3D, or a dynamax flush system.
Our experts put together a full TOTO toilet review article here.
American Standard Toilets
One of the most popular toilet brands on the market today.
You will find American Standard toilets almost anywhere you go shopping both online and in person.
They offer simple to stylish toilets ranging from a standard design to modern. You can find their innovative technology to include Vormax flush systems and EverClean toilet bowl glazes.
Make sure to read our full review of American Standard toilets here.
Consider Special Toilet Types ✓
Smart toilets include technology features. From automated flushing to self-cleaning systems, these units can make every bathroom trip feel like a spa day.
While they are investment pieces, thus making them substantially pricier than standard toilets, these models can be a real game-changer.
Tankless toilets are toilets with hidden tanks in the wall and tend to have their bowl mounted to the wall. They require special installation and possible supply and waste line reconfigurations.
Because they are connected directly to the supply line, these toilets are able to refill faster and flush quicker than traditional toilets.
However, due to their special installation set-up, possible problems down the line tend to be a bit trickier as they require professional help.
Portable and Composting Toilets
Portable and composting toilets are ideal for when you’re on the go. From camping trips to long car rides, these toilets get the job done and eliminate the worry about where “to go” when you’re out and about.
Because they have no connection to a water supply line, you will need to empty them out manually every so often to get rid of the waste.
Upflush toilets, also known as macerating toilets, functionally operate the same way that standard toilets do. The only difference is what happens after you flush.
While standard toilets flush your waste down the sewer line, macerating toilets grind down waste into a slurry-like mixture which can then be pumped into the ground.
Pressure-assisted toilets have a sealed pressure tank that pushes out air and water to expel waste. These toilets are ideal for older homes that have weaker plumbing systems.
These models tend to be high-efficiency units, making the most out of limited water consumption.
Toilet Accessories ✓
Plungers come in all shapes and sizes. The most common types you’ll encounter are the cup, flange, and accordion.
The cup plunger consists of a single rubber cup at the end of a handle; they are ideal for dealing with sink clogs. The flange model is a step up from the cup plunger, with an extra cup layer to fit standard toilet drains.
The accordion plunger, as the name suggests, looks like an accordion, with its multiple folds. These units have a small cup on the bottom to create a tighter seal on drain openings.
Even something as small as a brush can affect your toilet experience. Be sure to check out a brush’s bristle strength and handle design before purchasing.
Silicone brushes have become more popular on the market but traditional plastic bristles are still a reliable choice. Natural brushes are made of recycled materials.
Disposable brushes are available for an even easier clean.
Brushes also come with wooden or plastic handles. Wooden handles are more eco-friendly but plastic ones tend to be easier to hold due to added grip padding.
Cleaning your toilet bowl is always important. Bathroom cleaning agents can make your weekly clean-up way easier. Commercial cleaning agents, like Lysol and Ajax, are designed to prevent damage to the ceramic glaze.
But you can cut costs by using homemade alternatives, such as a white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mix!