Shopping for a new toilet can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you want to buy one that not only looks great but also can cater to your needs. Even though the whole thing may look very simple at first glance, in fact, there are plenty of important factors to consider. Set aside a couple of minutes to read our in-depth guide and learn what you should look for when shopping for a new toilet.
DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
First thing first, and before even starting to browse the vastness of the internet, you have to decide on the type of the toilet and determine its size. You also need to have a clear idea of how much money you’re going to spend as there is nothing worse than wasting time scrolling hundreds of products that can’t be squeezed into your budget. Measure the dedicated area in your bathroom to figure out the maximum size of your future toilet, then take measurements to find out the distance between the rear bolts of the toilet and the wall and pay attention to the bolt configuration.
Now gauge the toilet rough-in to know the length between the wall to the center of the waste outlet (if you have a rear-outlet toilet) or the floor drain. In the majority of cases, it would be a 12-inch rough-in but older models can come in other sizes, for instance, 10-inch or 14-inch. Once you are done with the measurements, it’s time to proceed to the most exciting part of the process – selecting your new perfect fit, and here are things you have to look for.
Perhaps you’d expect us to begin with shape and design but for a change, let’s start with what really matters – the flushing system of the toilet. If you do not want water bills to eat a significant part of your earnings, then you need a powerful yet water-efficient flushing system. Needless to say, models that consume three gallons per flush are a big no-no, so look for those which do not spend more than 1.6 or 0.8 gallons per full or partial flush respectively.
If you want to get consumer rebates on your water bills, look for EPA WaterSense certified toilets made by renowned brands that do care about the environment and sustainable use of water resources. American Standard is definitely one of them and the majority of their products have deserved the WaterSense seal. If you read the Vormax review, you will see that this model consumes only 1.28 gallons per flush, which is well under the industry average. Also, look for a so-called water-conserving dual flush that has two levels of flushing. Of course, you can always swap out a standard single-level flush with a dual option but it will bring you extra hassle and expenses.
Now, let’s talk about the design of your sought-after item. First, a couple of words about the bowl shape. Toilets come in two shapes, so you can choose between a round-front and elongated bowl. There is nothing tricky here, round-front toilet bowls take less space while the elongated counterparts (they are 2 inches longer) provide for more comfort. The bottom line is if you have enough space, go for an elongated version.
Moving forward, you have to determine your desired bowl height, which is the distance from the floor to the top of the toilet bowl (the toilet seat is not included). While the great bulk of toilets have a standard height of 14 to 16 inches, you may think of getting an ADA compliant product that is far more comfortable to sit on. With a height range that starts at 17 inches and goes to 19 inches, those toilets are not only ideal for people with disabilities but also great for everyone who has problems with knees or just prefers comfort sitting. Keep in mind that a standard toilet seat adds between ½ and 1 inch to the overall height of the toilet.
Finally, you have a choice to either buy a one-piece or two-piece toilet. In the one-piece variant, the toilet bowl and the tank go together and can’t be separated while the two-piece option (the one we actually used to) has the tank bolted to the bowl. The latter is less heavy and much easier to install while toilets made as one piece are somewhat easier to clean due to fewer gaps and crevices.
Now when you know exactly what to look for, it’s time to start shopping for your new toilet. Take the measurements, determine your needs, and do not forget that water-efficiency is very important.