If you’re thinking about 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. In this article, we will review one of their best products – the Kohler Archer toilet.
- Standout Features – Kohler Archer
- Buying Guide | Kohler Archer Toilet
- Kohler Archer vs. TOTO Drake II
- How to Install the Kohler Archer Toilet
- Bottom Line
Standout Features – Kohler Archer
We’ll start by highlighting 4 standout features of the Kohler Archer toilet model.
✓ Luxury Design
At the very first glance, this toilet looks modern and luxurious. Simple and minimalistic, the toilet features a compact flushing lever on the right side. What really helps this model stand out is the front base design, with nice, sharp edges – a total contrast to the smooth, round bowl.
Additionally, the toilet is available in a Comfort Height (over 17 inches high), making it ADA-compliant. It’s suitable for most people including the elderly, tall people, and people with disabilities.
With an elongated bowl, this toilet is two inches longer than a typical model. The elongated style elevates this toilet to a modern and stylish look. However, this style may also make this toilet too large for small bathrooms, so be sure to take measurements before you buy.
Finally, the Kohler Archer is a two-piece model, meaning it may be more difficult to install and more prone to residue compared to a one-piece unit, which can lead to more frequent maintenance. On the other hand, it’s much easier to transport a two-piece toilet to the installation location.
✓ Flushing System
We really like the fact that this toilet is able to perform such a powerful flush while minimizing water consumption. With its unique AquaPiston technology, the unit provides a 360-degree flush that quietly but effectively removes waste. Additionally, the unit provides a completely leak-free performance, since its seal material is only 10% exposed compared to toilets with 3-inch flappers.
Like most Kohler models, the Archer toilet is very efficient. Compared to other units who use 1.6 gallons per flush or more, this model only uses 1.28 gallons. Qualifying for EPA WaterSense, this model saves water and helps the environment while also cutting your water bills each month. In total, you could save over 16,000 gallons of water each year by switching to a water-efficient toilet like the Kohler Archer.
✓ Ease of Installation
As we mentioned, two-piece toilets 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.
Two-piece units do have some benefits as well. 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. By comparison, two-piece units split the toilet’s weight in half and are much easier to transport. Second, this unit also features a DryLock system, which makes it much easier to install and prevents any possible leaks.
✓ Color Options
Another thing that we like about this unit is the variety of colors you can choose. If you don’t want a white toilet, there are several other color options like Biscuit, Dune, and a beautiful Black variant. However, these options do cost a bit more, so be prepared for a change in price if selecting a different color.
Buying Guide | Kohler Archer Toilet
If you’re still debating if Kohler’s Archer toilet is the right fit for you, don’t worry. In this section, we will provide you with some useful tips for what to look for when buying a new toilet.
Here we listed six features and options of the Kohler Archer toilet.
1. One-Piece vs. 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 100-pound one-piece toilet to your home can be very difficult. However, two-piece units are more prone to dirt and dust sticking, which requires more frequent maintenance in the long term. Finally, one-piece toilets are usually more pricey than two-piece models, but they often look luxurious and modern.
2. High-Tank Unit
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.
3. In-Wall Toilet 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 increases the final price. However, they can offer an unparalleled look compared to standard toilet models.
4. Flush Type
Another aspect to consider when buying a new toilet is its flush technology. For example, the toilet can have a pressure-assisted flush which provides water with a bit more pressure, causing 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 create 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 dual flush toilets will allow you to choose between 1.1 and 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Using the liquid waste, lower volume option can help you save on water usage every year.
Finally, toilets can also have a double-cyclone flush, which is a new technology created by Toto. Most units with double-cyclone flush use only 1.28 gallons of water while providing the same power that a 1.6 gallon flush would. It’s an excellent way to save water (and money) without sacrificing performance.
5. Seat Height
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. Taller seats increase comfort for tall users, those with back injuries, and disabled individuals. You may want to consider an ADA-compliant toilet if seat height and accessibility are important features for your new toilet.
6. Buttons and Levers
Another choice you can make when buying a new toilet is related to the flush lever. For example, traditional toilets have flush levers, while most modern units have buttons. If you want to spend less water and preserve the environment while saving money, we advise you to buy a toilet with a button-activated dual flush option – one for full, and the other one for half-flush. However, flush levers are the more accessible choice if you’re looking for an ADA-compliant model.
Kohler Archer vs. TOTO Drake II
The most similar unit to the Kohler Archer is the TOTO Drake II. To compare the two, we’ll need to discuss several details. First, let’s talk about the design.
As you may notice, both models look very similar. They have a square base and tank, and an elongated, comfortable bowl. The Drake II’s tank might look more elegant, but the final choice will depend on your personal style preference. Both units also 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.
Let’s talk about flushing next. When it comes to the flushing system, these models vary slightly. 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.
Finally, thinking about construction: 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 either of these units as long as you can lift the parts.
So, who is the winner? Well, it’s a bit difficult to choose between two very similar models. However, the Kohler Archer is slightly cheaper and has a more modern look, which makes it a winner in our opinion.
How to Install the Kohler Archer Toilet
Installing a new toilet in your house isn’t as difficult as it might seem. First, if you’re replacing an existing toilet, be sure to remove the old model from your bathroom. Then, check these 5 simple steps to learn how to install the Kohler Archer toilet:
1. 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, making sure to also remove any burrs with a knife. Attach the flange and the pipe and make sure that the pipe’s collar rests on the floor.
2. Install the Soil Pipe and Flange
Now, wipe 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, using steel screws to tighten it.
3. 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 once hot enough, remove the flame and apply solder.
4. Install the Wax Ring and the Tank
Insert collar bolts into the proper flange spots and press on the wax ring. Place the toilet in the right position, making 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 to fully tighten the bolts, but don’t over-tighten or the plastic might break.
5. Install the Supply Line
To install the supply line, you might need to use a tube bender to make sure that the line is 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.
After these 5 steps, you’ll have successfully installed your new toilet!
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 for more recommendations.