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How to choose a toilet 1

How to choose a toilet 1

Issue Time:2021-03-06

Choosing a toilet may seem like an easy task, but there’s a lot you should consider before making a decision.

Toilets come in different sizes, heights, and colors. Those factors are largely personal preferences and they are the easiest to choose.

You’ll also need to make sure it’s the correct “rough-in” (distance from the wall to pipe), decide on a dual flush or single flush, and pick a 1-piece or 2-piece toilet.

The majority of people have never thought about toilets or had to change theirs. Our ignorance is understandable given that toilets can last 20-30 years!

Those of us who have thought about toilets usually do-so when there is a clog or a leak. We get the plunger to unclog the trap or tweak a valve, and our toilet problem is solved!

If you’re trying to choose a toilet you’ll likely be remodeling, upgrading, trying to save water/money, or just want a change. You’ll quickly realize there are so many aesthetic options and technical information to know – where do you start!


This article covers 9 ways to choose a toilet. I’ve made them straightforward and easy to follow so it will put you on the right track to find the perfect toilet. Let’s get started.

    1.Look At The Room

Before you do anything, walk into your bathroom and visualize what it should look like. If you’re moving into a new house or remodeling it will be tough to imagine the finished product, however, you’ll have a general idea.


If your bathroom is already decorated and you’re only changing the toilet it will be much easier.


Ask yourself these questions:


    · Will I need to replace pipes?

    · Is the toilet moving or will it be in the same place?

    · Do you want a wall-hung toilet (these look great but require more work)

It’s always easier to keep your existing pipes in one place. It makes installation of the toilet an easy process.


Use a tape measure to measure the hole in the floor to the wall where the toilet will sit. This is the “rough-in” measurement that you should know when choosing a toilet. Most “rough-in” measurements are 12” but there are also 10” and 14” options. Knowing the “rough-in” measurement is the first step to choosing a toilet.

    2.Assess The Space

While you’re in your bathroom evaluate the space. It is adequate or will the space for the toilet be a tight fit?


Some people choose to use a corner toilet in a small bathroom because it can save space. If you have plenty of space then you have more options for the placement and size of the toilet.

Smaller spaces should use a standard “round” toilet bowl (as opposed to an elongated option).

    3.Decide On Your Style

Some people will get stuck on the appearance of a toilet when remodeling a bathroom (just like I have strong opinions because I talk about toilets every day). But the truth is that toilets are hardly noticed and most people have a traditional looking toilet – the main thing is that it works!

If you have a modern home or have a designer’s mind, you will probably want a toilet that looks sleek. Maybe you like bold lines or maybe you prefer smooth curves.  Check out my product on the best square toilets.

If you’re choosing a toilet and want something that looks like a high-end toilet, then take a look at 1-piece toilets, toilets with a full-skirt, and also look at wall-hung toilet options.

Most people use 2-piece toilets which are fine! But 1-piece toilets connect the tank to the bowl without spaces. 1-piece toilets have more curves and tend to look impressive.

Similarly, wall-hung toilets are modern looking and have fewer pieces. They make cleaning around and under the toilet a breeze and give off a floating look with added depth perception.

    4.Understand Toilet Features

There are many features when it comes to toilets and a few you should be aware of. I’ve created a list of options but don’t be overwhelmed.

    · Dual flush vs Standard Flush

Dual flush toilet first became popular with municipalities and common areas. They are now popular in homes across America and they are an important contributor to water conservation.


Dual flush toilets are straightforward. They have two buttons, one for liquid waste and one for solid waste. The first button uses less water than the second.  Here’s my product on the best dual flush toilets.


It’s not just about water, it’s also great for saving money. Use a dual flush toilet and you’ll help the environment and your pocketbook.


    · Gallons Per Flush

Old toilets from the 70s, 80s, and 90s used 10 gallons, 5 gallons, and 3.5 gallons of water per flush. This much water is unnecessary.


Toilet companies, in conjunction with State regulations, have helped reduce the “gallon per flush” to an average of 1.28 gallons per flush. It’s important to be aware of gallons per flush because you’ll want to follow the regulations of your State and county.


    · Elongated vs Round

These terms refer to the size of the bowl. If you’ve ever sat on a bowl and thought “this toilet seems small” then you were probably sitting on a round toilet bowl. Round toilet bowls measure 16.5” from front to back while elongated bowls measure 18.5”. 2 inches may not seem like much but it makes a big difference for larger and taller people.

I’d venture to guess that most homeowners in America opt for an elongated toilet bowl. Unless you’re lacking space, I’d go with an elongated toilet bowl 10 out of 10 times.


    · Rough-In


I mentioned the “rough-in” measurement earlier in this article and I can’t stress its importance enough. It’s essential you get the right measurement or you won’t be able to install your toilet.

To measure correctly, put your tape measure against the wall and extend it until it reaches the middle of your floor pipe. If you don’t have access to the pipe because the toilet is on, just measure to the bolts that hold the toilet down.

This is your rough-in measurement and it will likely be 12”. Occasionally it will be 10” or 14”.


    · Standard Height vs Comfort Height


Standard toilets measure 15” from the floor to the top of the bowl (seat area). If you’re a taller individual, a comfort height measure 17-19” from the floor to the top of the bowl (seat area).

2 inches may not seem like much but comfort height toilets make it easier to stand up off the toilet. They are generally better for tall people, seniors, and people with health issues that affect their ability to stand up.

Comfort height toilets are not ideal for small children because they might have a hard time getting up and down from the seat. Moreover, some doctors believe that a squatting position is a more beneficial position for defecating because it opens up the bowels. A comfort height toilet decreases the squat angle by having higher seat.


    · 1-Piece vs 2-Piece


1-piece and 2-piece toilets are primarily a style feature. In my opinion, 1-piece toilets look better, but they’re usually more expensive as well.

1-piece toilets connect the tank to the bowl and must be moved and arranged as a single piece. 2-piece toilets are easier to move and install because the bowl of the toilet can be installed before the tank is attached.

Most people have 2-piece toilets so one isn’t better than the other, however, if you want a classier, more designer look, a 1-piece toilet looks great.