Your toilet is one of the most used yet underappreciated fixtures in your home. In fact, unless there’s a clog, a leak, or a constant drip, you might not think about your toilet at all (except when you’re scrubbing in and around it, of course). So when is it time to trade in your toilet for a newer model? If you’ve found that your toilet is:
- Cracked or leaking
- Constantly clogging (more than once a week and not due to toys being flushed by your kids)
- Really old (we’re talking 25+ years)
- Always running even after replacing or adjusting the flapper and float
- Outdated (pretty much any color other than white or oatmeal is outdated)
…it’s probably time to replace your commode.
The problem is that there are so many options nowadays, it can be hard to narrow things down to find the best fit for your home. We’ve put together a table of the pros and cons of the most common options to help you make a good choice.
How your toilet looks when you walk into the room can determine a lot about your experience using it.
- Taller options available
- Easy to repair and find replacement parts
|- Harder to clean
- Installation is difficult
|One-Piece||- Contemporary design|
- Easy to clean
- Good for small bathrooms
- Easy to install
|- More expensive
- Shorter to the ground (harder for tall people, the elderly, and people with disabilities)
- Difficult to repair (often requires replacement)
|Wall-Mounted||- Biggest space saver|
- Contemporary design
- Easiest to clean
|- More expensive to purchase, install, and maintain
- Needs repairs more often (usually require a plumber since the tank is inside the wall)
|Handle||- Can easily customize the handle to fit the rest of your bathroom’s décor|
|- Requires occasional maintenance keeping the levers in line|
- Lower profile
- More contemporary
|- Can be confusing for guests (especially if it’s a dual-flush toilet)
- Difficult for children
- More expensive
How your toilet flushes can completely change the ambiance of your bathroom.
|Gravity Assisted Flush||- Less expensive|
- Easy to find parts and repair yourself
- Quiet flush
|- Often uses more water
- Tanks tend to sweat in hot or humid environments
|Pressure Assisted Flush||- Tanks don’t sweat|
- Often use less water
- Extra flushing power, which can prevent clots
|- Complex and difficult to fix for the average homeowner
- Loud flush
- More expensive
|Single Flush||- Standard|
- Easy to repair or replace
|- Uses more water|
|Dual Flush||- Customize the amount of water depending on which setting you choose|
- Saves water
|- Can be confusing for guests
- Difficult for children
- More expensive
|Hands-Free Flush||- The most hygienic option|
|- Most expensive
- Difficult to repair
- Requires power
The toilet bowl’s shape can also make a difference.
|Elongated Bowl||- More comfortable to most people|
- Great for larger bathrooms
|- Poor choice for smaller bathrooms (could short you up to three inches of space)|
|Round Bowl||- Standard option|
- Takes up less space
|- Less comfortable
- Typically lower to the ground, which can be difficult for some people
Other things to Consider
Don’t forget to take into account the height of a prospective toilet from the floor to the top of the toilet seat. Standard toilets are 15 inches tall, but there are some toilets that are 17 or even 19 inches tall. These taller toilets are great for the elderly and people with long legs or disabilities, though a tall toilet may present a problem for younger kids or short-legged individuals.
If you’re looking for a toilet that can help with toileting procedures, you may want to choose a taller toilet seat. Additionally, toilets that have built-in or screw-on bidets can help with after-toileting cleaning, and are generally considered more hygienic.
No article on choosing the right toilet would be complete without a list of the high-tech gadgetry that you can install in your bathroom. Toilets have come a long way since their days of baby girl pink and avocado green, and there is now tech that you won’t believe!
- Nightlight: No more stumbling around in the dark or being blinded by the bathroom light in the middle of the night. Some toilets come with a built-in nightlight, although there are plenty of techy light-up seats out there if you don’t want to purchase an entirely new toilet.
- No-touch flush: Similar to commercial models at grocery stores and gas stations, these toilets flush with the wave of your hand. This convenient extra is perfect for homes where people forget to flush.
- Low-Flow: Water is such a valuable and essential commodity that it should be preserved at all costs. One way to help in this area is to install a low-flow toilet. It can cut your gallons per flush (gpf) to less than a gallon for liquid waste and 1.6 gallons for solid waste. Compared to older toilets that may use up to five gallons per flush, you’re saving a lot of water!
- Heated seat: This is particularly helpful if you live in a cold climate.
- Air dryer: Not only are there toilets with built-in bidets, but there are also air dryers for your tush. Think of all the money you’ll save on toilet paper!
- Bluetooth and speakers: For people who really want to turn their bathroom into a spa, some toilets come with speakers that have Bluetooth capabilities. Surround sound on the commode – who would have thought?
- Automatic lid opener/closer: Another great feature for families that struggle to put the lid down, automatic lids are particularly helpful if you have small children. Simply wave your foot in front of the toilet, and the seat raises on its own.
- Self-cleaning: That’s right: a toilet that cleans itself! Once a luxury for only the wealthiest homeowners, now self-cleaning toilets are becoming more budget-friendly for the average person. The special design prevents build-up and gross deposits, and the separate cartridge for cleaning solution lets the bowl soak and sanitize. Other options include toilets that use UV rays instead of chemicals to sanitize the bowl.
When you’re shopping for a toilet, pretty much anything will work in a pinch, but finding the right toilet for your home is a matter of fitting something to your preference, space, and budget. Contact Seattle’s best bath remodel contractor to help you find the perfect toilet for you.