If you ever thought of buying a new toilet and searched online to find the ideal option, you may have heard of Kohler. It’s a popular company that provides people with top-quality plumbing products since 1873, and in this article, we will review one of their best products – the Kohler Archer toilet.
About the Kohler Company
When you plan to buy a new toilet, it’s crucial to have trust in the manufacturer. However, that’s not the problem when it comes to Kohler. For almost 150 years, they’ve been providing homeowners with top-notch products at a very reasonable price. Besides, they usually offer pretty good warranty deals, which is a nice way to be completely relaxed and feel good about buying.
|Height from ground||17.5 inches from floor to toilet seat|
|Certification||WaterSense Certified, meeting EPA water efficiency & performance standards
|Gpf (gallons per flush)||1.28 GPF|
|Flush Technology||AquaPiston Single 360° Gravity Flush|
|Color||Choice of Almond, Biscuit, Black, Dune, Ice Gray, Sandbar or White|
|Dimensions||30 (H) x 17.87 (W) x 29 (D) inches|
|Trapway Size||2 ⅛ inches|
|Rough-in||Standard 12 inches|
|Warranty||Limited Warranty – One Year|
Obviously, since we decided to do an in-depth review of this unit, it has some great features that would benefit most users. It also has a few downsides, but we’ll talk about that later.
At the very first glance, this toilet looks modern and luxurious. Still, it’s simple and minimalistic and has a small and compact lever on the right side. However, what makes it beautiful is the front base design, with nice, sharp edges. It’s a total contrast to the smooth, round bowl.
Additionally, the toilet has Comfort Height, which means that it’s over 17 inches high, making it ADA-compliant. It’s suitable for most people, including the elderly, tall people, and people with disabilities.
As you can see, Kohler Archer is a two-piece elongated-bowl model. Basically, it’s more difficult to install and is more prone to residue sticking than a one-piece unit, which can lead to more frequent maintenance. On the other hand, it’s much easier to carry a two-piece toilet to the installation location.
Since it’s elongated, the toilet is around two inches longer than a casual model. It’s not ideal for smaller bathrooms, but being elongated makes it look modern and stylish. However, even if you have a smaller bathroom, the toilet might fit perfectly – just make sure to take measurements before you buy.
We really like the fact that this toilet is able to perform such a powerful flush, with such a low amount of water. With its unique AquaPiston technology, the unit provides a 360-degree flush that removes waste while being very quiet. Also, the unit provides a completely leak-free performance, since its seal material is only 10% exposed, compared to toilets with the 3-inch flapper.
Like most Kohler models, the Archer toilet is very efficient. If you compare it with other units that use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, you will be satisfied that this unit uses only 1.28 gallons, which makes it WaterSense certified. Not only does it save water and protect the environment, but it will also cut your water bills each month by at least 20%. It also means that this unit will save you over 16,000 gallons of water each year.
As we mentioned, two-piece units are more complicated to install than their one-piece counterparts. However, with the rise of technology, most modern units are very simple to install, and the same goes for the Kohler Archer toilet. Even if your DIY skills are limited, you shouldn’t have any trouble if you check the manual first.
Being a two-piece unit also has some benefits. First, you will find it easier to carry the unit to the desired location where you need to install it. Some one-piece units can weigh over 100 pounds, which can be a real problem, especially if you live in a tall building. This unit also features a DryLock system, which makes it much easier to install and prevents any possible leaks.
Another thing that we like about this unit is the variety of colors you can choose from. If you don’t want a white toilet, you can choose between Biscuit, Dune, and a beautiful Black variant. However, these cost a bit more, so if you want a color variant, be ready to pay $200 more.
Kohler Archer vs. TOTO Drake II
The most similar unit to Kohler Archer is definitely TOTO Drake II. But which unit is better? Well, the answer is not that simple. First, let’s talk about the design.
As you may notice, they look very similar. They have a square base and tank, and an elongated, comfortable bowl. However, the Drake II’s tank might look more elegant, but the final choice obviously comes to you. They also have a very similar front side, but the Drake II is slightly more stylish. Both units have a toilet seat of over 17 inches in height, which makes them ADA-compliant and accessible for young children, elders, and people with disabilities.
When it comes to the flushing system, they are a bit different. The Archer uses AquaPiston technology which provides a 360-degree flush for a perfectly clean bowl. It features a leak-free performance and is amazing for a two-piece unit. On the other hand, Drake II uses a Tornado Flush system. It features three jets that create whirlpool-action, which is also very powerful. Of course, both units are WaterSense certified and use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush.
Additionally, both units are two-piece models, so when it comes to installation, you shouldn’t have a problem carrying them. Even if you have no DIY skills, you should be able to install any of these units, as long as you can lift parts.
So, who is the winner? Well, it’s a bit difficult to choose between two very similar models. However, Kohler Archer is slightly cheaper and has a more elegant look, which makes it a winner in our opinion.
Buying Guide | Kohler Archer Toilet
If you decide that Kohler’s Archer is not the right fit for you, don’t worry. In this section, we will provide you with some useful tips and talk about what you should look for when buying a new toilet.
One-Piece or Two-Piece Unit
There is a big difference between one-piece and two-piece toilets. First, consider the installation process. If two units have the same weight, it’s much easier to carry the unit which is split into two pieces. Carrying a 120-pound one-piece toilet to your home can be very difficult. On the other hand, two-piece units are more prone to dirt and dust sticking, which requires more frequent maintenance in the long term. Also, one-piece toilets are usually pricey, but they look luxurious and modern.
These models are almost the same as standard two-piece units, but they come with a tank that’s positioned much higher. A high-tank toilet is an excellent choice if you want a retro unit with a specific, old-world feel. However, those units are not widely available, which directly increases their price. If you want a high-tank toilet, be ready to pay a bit more than you would pay for a standard unit.
If a sleek and minimal profile is what you are looking for, an in-wall toilet might be your best investment. In most cases, the tank will be hidden in the wall – however, some units are completely tankless and use a direct water source. You should know that these units are pricey and more complicated to install. They also require taking down the wall and hiring a professional, which additionally increases the final price.
Another thing that you should consider when buying a new toilet is its flush technology. For example, the toilet can have a pressure-assisted flush which is set in the wall and provides water with a bit more pressure. It will cause the water to flow faster and keep the bowl cleaner.
Besides pressure-assisted flush, the toilet can also have a gravity flush, which uses water to make the pressure and creates a powerful yet quiet siphonic action.
Another type of flush is a dual flush, which is relatively new. It allows you to choose between full and half-flush, depending on whether the waste is solid or liquid. For example, modern toilets will allow you to choose between 1.1 and 1.6 gallons of water. That way, you can save a decent amount of water every year.
The toilet can also have a double-cyclone flush, which is a new technology created by Toto. Most units with double-cyclone flush use 1.28 gallons of water, but provide the same power as if they were using 1.6 gallons. It’s an excellent way to save water (and money) while having an amazing performance.
Most toilets have a seat height of 17 inches, which is considered standard. However, if you want a comfortable seat, you might aim for 19 inches. If you don’t have problems with the typical toilet, you can stick to the standard height. A seat height of 19 inches is good if you have problems with your back, or if you are a tall or disabled person. In that case, make sure that the toilet is ADA-compliant.
Buttons and Levers
Another choice you can make when buying a new toilet is related to buttons and levers. For example, traditional toilets have flush levers, while most modern units have buttons (especially dual-flush toilets). If you want to spend less water and preserve the environment while saving money, we advise you to buy a toilet with two buttons – one for full, and the other one for half-flush.
How to Install the Kohler Archer Toilet
Installing a new toilet in your house isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Check these simple steps to learn how to install the Kohler Archer toilet very easily.
Prepare the Floor
First, put a rag or a piece of cloth into the soil pipe to prevent odor. This will also prevent debris from falling in. Then, remove the soil pipe but make sure to also remove burrs with a knife. Attach the flange and the pipe and make sure that the pipe’s collar rests on the floor.
Install the Soil Pipe and Flange
Now, wipe the primer on the inner part of the closet bend and on one end of the soil pipe. Then, apply PVC cement to the same places and quickly twist the pipe into the bend. Apply cement to the other end of the pipe and twist the flange onto the pipe. Make sure that the collar is properly secured to the floor and use steel screws to tighten it.
Solder the Valve
Shut off the water supply line and place a bucket under it. When the pipe is drained, remove the handle and stem from the valve. Heat the supply line joint, and when it’s hot enough, remove the flame and apply solder.
Install the Wax Ring and the Tank
Insert collar bolts into the proper flange spots and press the wax ring over it. Place the toilet in the right position, but make sure that each hole is positioned properly. Next, add the rubber tank-to-bowl washer at the tank’s bottom and lower the tank onto the bowl. Make sure to add a nylon washer onto the bolts and tighten them with your hand. Use a screwdriver when they stop, but don’t over tighten or the plastic might break.
Install the Supply Line
To install the supply line, you might need to use a tube bender to make sure that it’s aligned properly. Cut the supply line half an inch below the outlet and slip on the plastic nut. Then, put the connection nut and compression ring in place and add a bit of paste to the threads. Tighten the supply line with your hands or a wrench, and then do the same with the compression nut.
As you can see, buying the Kohler Archer toilet can be an excellent long-term investment. It’s relatively affordable and offers some of the same great features that top-quality, expensive units offer. If you still wish to shop on your own, be sure to check our buying tips.