You can't have a modern bathroom without having a good toilet in place. In such a fast moving industry, picking one from the many available can be tricky.
There are plenty of brands to choose from such as American Standard, TOTO, and KOHLER, alongside numerous flushing mechanisms for different purposes. This can make shopping difficult and confusing for some consumers. We aim to ease those concerns through answering questions, and explaining design features of products.
As someone who has worked for much of his career as a handyman, with plenty of plumbing jobs completed, i'll be calling on my experience to provide you with recommendations and advice that may help in your quest to find one of the best toilets to buy or a viable replacement for your households needs.
We've hand picked and reviewed a few of our favorites below based on a number of carefully chosen specs, including tests on flush power.
|TOTO MS854114#01 Ultimate||89%|
|KOHLER 3810-96 Santa Rosa||88%|
|American Standard 221DA.104.020||87%|
|American Standard 2467.100.020||86%|
|TOTO CST243EF-01 Entrada||86%|
|KOHLER K-3589-0 Cimarron||85%|
|TOTO CST454CUFG#01 Drake II||85%|
In our reports, we analyze and inspect the capabilities that several of the most coveted options in the industry offer. We take into account a number of things to give you a comprehensive overview of what to expect from each.
The MS854114#01 finishes as the number 1 option, and for good reason. It has a stylish one piece design, that will fit a 12 inch rough in, and is finished in a cotton white color. So, if you're looking to stick to a bright theme in the bathroom, this could be a potential option.
It comes equipped with a soft close seat that eliminates those pesky slamming noises in the dead of night waking the whole house up.
It operates on a gravity fed flushing mechanism, which alongside a three inch valve, will help rid waste from the bowl easily by utilizing 1.6 gallons per flush.
Consumer feedback is certainly more positive than negative at this stage according to several of our sources, which is a great sign. However, to get your hands on this, you can expect to pay an above average price. A sensible choice for people searching for a new toilet.
This is a first rate loo from the Santa Rosa collection that finishes as runner up. It includes several features that help it stand out from its main competitors. Among those features is a lower water consumption, plus a reasonably compact, one piece design that will allow you to install it in smaller spaces.
It operates on a gravity fed, aquapiston mechanism that will ensure water gets pushed into the bowl from every angle, cleaning it effectively.
What's more, those of you looking for a comfortable option will appreciate the comfort height properties. It's made taller to feel more like a chairs height when seated, which will ultimately, make things easier when it comes to standing up and sitting down.
If you're working with a lower budget, this is probably not going to be ideal, but for those of you willing to splash that little bit extra for the performance, this could be a suitable match.
Another great toilet from the Colony range of AS. This unit fits a standard 12 inch rough in, and comes complete with a two piece design that's finished in white. It's designed to work well alongside the other bathroom accessories from this range, great for someone aiming to create a themed bathroom.
The bowl is round fronted and it isn't going to have a big footprint with measurements of 25.8 by 19.2 by 29.9 inches.
The gravity style flush runs on a efficient 1.28 GPF, which combines well with the Power Wash rim features to provide a model that's got both a low consumption and a set of features to effectively clean the bowl of waste and bacteria.
We believe this is one to consider if you're working with quite a tight budget. Spec wise, It holds its own against many of its competitors for an affordable price.
The Cadet Flowise runs on a pressure assisted system, which achives a solid flush, using less water. In fact, this is what's known as ultra low flow, meaning it goes beyond EPA standards and saves an impressive number of gallons per year in comparison to 1.6 GPF models. This one uses an impressive 1.1 GPF, well within the WaterSense range.
The bowl is Universal height, meaning it meets ADA requirements, and ensures people that have issues with standard bowl heights, get a little bit of relief when sitting and standing up on this one.
It's finished with a EverClean gloss which plays a part in preventing germs from sticking to the bowl after use, and ultimately leaving the washroom fresher, and more hygienic for the next person.
We are of the opinion that this is a solid residential option that is affordable, and efficient, rolled into one package.
The Entrada is a close coupled option with a round front bowl that saves space in compact washrooms. Consumers also have the choice of either Beige or White depending on their own personal tastes.
It's ADA compliant, giving it a bump in height when compared to standard size bowls. This is meant to be a way to relieve the amount of pressure the elderly and infirm feel when they sit and stand.
Wates more, it meets both CalGreen and EPA Watersense standards, with a eco friendly 1.28 GPF flush. But how does it achieve this? This comes down to the built in E-Max flushing system which gives it a wide valve, and large jets. This enables it to do more with less.
A ceramic, one piece toilet, with a nice looking exterior made of porcelain and finished in white. The style as a whole would best be described as contemporary, and it certainly falls under a category I would describe as affordable.
It runs on a dual flushing mechanism, with a choice of 0.6 gallons for liquids and 1.6 gallons for solids. Along with the water saving properties you also have additional features that improve efficiency further, such as the three inch flush valve.
The brand may not be as recognizable as others, but user feedback has been somewhat positive despite the lower price range.
Compare toilets side by side using the table below. Be sure to check it fits your rough, and if you want to go for something economically friendly, why not choose a WaterSense labelled product.
|TOTO MS854114#01 Ultimate||KOHLER 3810-96 Santa Rosa||American Standard 221DA.104.020||American Standard 2467.100.020||TOTO CST243EF-01 Entrada||KOHLER K-3589-0 Cimarron||TOTO CST454CUFG01 Drake II|
|Type||One piece||One piece||Two piece||Two piece||Two piece||Two piece||Two piece|
|Dimensions||29 x 17 x 28"||18.8 x 27.8 x 28.2"||25.8 x 19.2 x 29.9"||30.2 x 20.5 x 29.2"||23 x 15 x 30"||28.8 x 17.6 x 30.8"||28.5 x 15 x 30"|
|Weight||89 lbs||102 lbs||61 lbs||58 lbs||76 lbs||87 lbs||85 lbs|
Before you jump in at the deep end, I want to go through some features you may comes across whilst shopping for a new commode. Some may be obvious, others complex, but the important thing is to get a full understanding of what you're purchasing and whether or not it's a good match for your requirements.
There are several different types available on the market, which can make choosing a reliable flushing toilet difficult. I go through several leading units below and explore what they have to offer.
A one piece design refers to products in which both the bowl and tank come all in one integrated package. They can often be utilized as an option to minimize the footprint to fit in smaller bathrooms. They are also notably easier to clean. Which is even more true if you end up purchasing a model with a concealed trapway.
One major reason people tend to choose these over other varieties, comes down to the fact that they are fairly easy to install because the process of attaching the tank to the bowl is no longer required.
Additionally, because they are made of one piece of ceramic material, many problems that can arise from exposed pipes and features are no longer a cause for concern. Hence, this gives them an edge in durability too.
However, with the positives, there are usually negatives. And this comes in the form of price tags. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a little bit extra to get your hands on one.
If you're looking for a cleaner, tidier, low maintenance approach, these could be ideal.
Two piece products are options found in many households today. Unlike the one piece, these come as a separate bowl and tank that can be attached to one another.
When carrying out our research, we found there is plenty of choice in the types available to consumers, which is always a plus point.
Compared to one piece options, they tend to be considerably lighter on average, but they can usually be more difficult to install as the tank does not come attached. This may require a professional plumber to install it for you, which will ultimately lead to additional costs.
Wall mounted options can quite often be dual purpose. On one hand, they are great for saving space. On the other, they provide a unique style that others just can't match.
Perhaps something less spoken about however, is the height in which you can fit them. Having more flexibility on seating height allows you to set a height that's suitable for everyone in your household. User comfort is something many people overlook in favor of functionality, but it's very important to get this right.
Also, because they are not floor mounted, you will find they are far easier to clean with the ability to remove bacteria from every angle.
And if you are someone who enjoys keeping a modern theme for your bathroom, the ability to hide the tank and water behind the wall is great. It can make the room appear more spacious. The downside of that is they are not as easy to install.
As the name would suggest, these are options that don't come with a tank and are the water typically comes through the supply line whilst creating enough pressure to remove waste. These aren't as common in the residential sector because not every home has the plumbing system to accomodate it. For those that do however, it can be the minamalistic touch needed to bring out the best in your bathroom.
Composting units are ideal for vacation or for people on the go. They can be installed in different locations easily because they are so easy to assemble. Waste disposal is usually relatively straight forward too. Which makes them a popular choice for both camping and recreational vehicles. Learn more about them here.
A urinal is a perfect way to separate male and female bathroom usage. They're a sensible choice for people looking to improve hygiene too. If you share a living space, and are sick of toilet seat arguments, these are a sensible solution. They come in many shapes and styles which we explore further through the link above. May require professional installation.
The type of flush mechanism installed can have an effect on both performance and efficiency. That's why you should take time to research and choose wisely to ensure it will suit your everyday needs. Navigate through the options below to learn more about them.
Often found in older homes, and arguably the most common mechanism, single flush systems utilize the same amount of water in every flush. The quantity of water used depends on a number of factors. It could be as much as 5.0 GPF if it's quite old, or 1.28 GPF if it's new.
There are some advantages to models with this system installed. The first being that replacement parts are easier to find when something goes wrong. The second advantage comes from an accessibility or aesthetics point of view. Some buyers will prefer having a trip lever over the buttons that are usually found on dual mechanisms.
However, on average, these single flush mechanisms also consume a lot of water. So if you're after something economically friendly, your money may be better spent elsewhere.
Products that have a dual flush system usually have two separate buttons or trip levers. They're designed to give people the option of using a more powerful flush to rid the bowl of solid waste, or a water saving one, which could be better used for liquid waste. They are generally seen as a better choice for the environment, and can help you save on your monthly utility bills.
A low flow model, also known as a high efficiency toilet, uses less water than your standard full flush. They meet WaterSense standards of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and will make water savings over the course of a year. Whilst many standard 'full flush' options operate on a 1.6 GPF, many of these work on significantly less like 1.28 GPF, and in some cases 0.8 GPF. If you need to be convinced further, the Conserve H2O website show how big a difference this makes across a year, per person.
Niagara tend to be a popular choice in this regard, who are well known for their environmentally friendly products and conservation.
These products include a flushing valve that utilizes gravity to move waste from the bowl through the waste outlet. Generally, the wider the flush valve, the better the bulk waste removal performance. Some common sizes can be anywhere from two to four inches in width. These are a potential choice for those wanting something with lower noise levels.
Water and air combines to produce pressure that pushes waste from the bowl. These can be a sensible investment for those with a busy family household.
Siphonic styles usually operate on smaller trapways such as two inchers. This will ensure that the trap is able to effectively utilize their sucking siphonic action.
Typically used for more compact toilets, these often operate through a four inch trapway and an open rim bowl design. And because some models that utilize it have a larger trapway, it's much harder to clog up.
For a more hygienic and convenient way to flush the loo, a touchless model could be ideal. They usually come with sensors built into the tank that will sense when someone hovers their hand over the top of the tank and by doing so, it will automatically flush. This removes the need of physically touching a trip lever with your hands and can speed up the whole process.
An ideal solution for someone who is either a germaphobe or looking for convenience. After all, those flush levers and buttons can be a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria.
Often used in basements and as a way to get around fitting completely new plumbing fixtures, upflush models utilize a macerator and a pumps to change solid waste in the bowl into something more manageable for smaller pipes to push upwards.
Saniflo is a market leader here, and they are well suited for rooms where you want to avoid tearing up the flooring and fitting a whole new plumbing system. Check out the guide in the link above for more information.
The rough in measurement refers to the distance between the wall behind the tank and the center of the waste pipe. Unfortunately, not all homes are the same, so they tend to vary. The most common tends to be 12 inches, so in many cases, this is referred to as the standard measurement. You can learn more using our guide, or if you already have the measurement, navigate through the menu below to find our favorite toilet in each category.10 inch
Products with a rear flush remove waste from the bowl from the pipe outlet at the rear. You may associate this style with the wall mounted options, but that's not always the case, plenty are available on the market which are attached to the floor too.
Products with a floor outlet are ones which waste passes through a pipe underneath. They are among the most common units found simply because this is how most homes plumbing systems are set up. Because it has a larger market, you will find the most amount of choice in terms of styles, mechanisms, brands, and bowls whilst browsing through these products.
Some toilets come with a bowl in a variety of different shapes, and they can play an important role in the decision making process. Some will be designed to be more comfortable whilst other shapes will save space for smaller bathrooms. What you pick should come down to the size of a room in which it's being installed. Discover three of the more common ones and their attributes below.
Round bowl styles will take up less space and are well suited to people looking to remodel small to medium sized bathrooms. Their compact nature can be an asset for many not wanting to overwhelm the surrounding space. The right one can make a big difference.
Elongated bowls should be the go to option for those wanting a more comfortable model. They tend to be bigger and consume a bit more space, but they offer a more natural seated position that is comfortable for users.
Square units are suited to people wanting a unique style. They're not the most comfortable available, but the exterior is quite often unique and can bring the look of your bathroom up a few points. A nice way to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
A skirted bowl hides the trapway, and makes it much easier to clean, as well as improving overall aesthetics. It also limits the amount of exposed piping and mechanisms, keeping them safe from damage, and improving overall durability.
As the name would suggest, these style tanks utilize floor space well by squeezing into a corner. We recommend consumers wanting to purchase a corner toilet to avoid it if possible. The amount of choice available to you will make it difficult to pick a suitable size and fit for your bathroom. However, if you're left with no choice, they come with a triangular tank that can really work well in minimizing footprint whilst leaving space for things like sinks and showers.
There is lots of sanitary ware in the indsutry that are now compliant with the ADA standards. This means many brands are designing products to be more accessble for people with disabilities. Of the changes being made to meet the criteria is increasing the seating height. These styles are known by a range of different terms across the industry including right height and comfort height.
The leading brands on the market have a number of things going for them. The first being the amount of positive consumer feedback they receive. The second, offering solid designs that encompass many budget ranges. We have listed some well known names below.
Founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler, in Wisconsin. It actually started life building plows and other farm instruments. Eventually, this changed to the bathroom fixtures and sanitaryware that you see today.
They offer consumers a fantastic variety of commodes to choose from. They have units that fit any rough in size, plenty of choice in bowl size and height, plus a unique take on the external design of products.
Flushing performance is another area where they excel, consistently achieving high ratings on the MaP scale on many of their products. But don't just take our word for it, they have a solid reputation in the bathroom industry, and have plenty of customers around the world. The positive feedback and consumer reports found across the web should be a good indication of quality, reliability, and how durable their products are.
Popular collections include Corbelle, Memoirs, Numi, Santa Rosa, and Veil, and they more often than not provide a excellent range of economically friendly units that save plenty of water each year. So, if you're looking to keep the gallons per flush ratio low, this could be a manufacturer worth keeping an eye on.
Another big brand from this industry. American Standard produce a large number of bathroom fixtures and ranges that look great and come in varying degrees of functionality. They produce some excellent residential toilets.
They are known to innovate too, with some great flush mechanisms, coupled with new technology like hands free flushing, and ActiClean self cleaning toilets.
Perhaps what stands out the most, is the fact they aren't particularly expensive when compared to competitors on the market. Affordability is certainly something a consumer is looking at when researching, and this is certainly a selling point.
Some popular choices users buy include the Town Square, VorMax, Edgemere, Cadet, and Colony.
TOTO are arguably market leaders when it comes to building strong toilets that stand the test of time. There people first innovations help them achieve such a reputation, with designs centred around being comfortable and efficient, whilst retaining a powerful flush.
A good example of there tech prowess is found in their DYNAMAX tornado flush. This effectively swirls water 360 degrees around the bowl and cleans all of it fromevery angle, ejecting waste, and eliminating bacteria and mold build up.
Our favorites include the Ultramax, Drake, Neorest, Aimes, Aquia, and Carlyle. Although there are plenty more collections to choose from, each with designs that present consumers with new advantages.
Working with various kitchen, bath, and shower fixtures, this is a brand that isn't always given the reputation it deserves. At least where their loos are concerned, they typically come with good MaP results, which says alot about there flushing performance.
Some people will no doubt be looking for USA made products. Mansfield will no doubt be an option, with some great styles and ranges that feature solid flush ratings, and top notch designs.
If you're looking for units that are aesthetically pleasing, Duravit could be an excellent choice. It's clear that a lot of thought goes into the design process as more often than not we find ourselves appreciating what they look like and how contemporary they are. They provide some terrific product ranges too.
A brand that falls under KOHLER's umbrella. However, it does have its own unique ranges that give buyers a number of choices in how it operates, what it looks like, and much more. Plenty of affordable options too.
Another big name with smart designs for everyday family use. What's more, they can serve people with a small budget well. Reputable, and many consumers use them for all kinds of fixtures and hardware for the washroom.
Those among you wanting to achieve low water consumption within your bathroom may want to browse through what Niagara have to offer. You can shave money off your water bills by making the change to one of their environmentally friendly options. These are known to go as low as 0.5 gallons per flush. That's impressive even by the Environmental protection agencies Watersense criteria.
They have a solid range of one piece and two piece products centred around keeping water usage low. Nano, Sentinel, and Phantom are just a few of the labels under their umbrella, and they are also well known for their quiet, flapperless models.
Producing excellent, european styles. Not quite the same exposure as other names in the states, but some great options to pick for people with unique tastes.
An Australian based company, focusing on eco friendly sanitaryware. Known for their dual flushing technology, and simple, but contemporary designs.
An alternative choice for those looking to improve the theme of their bathroom. They produce beautifully crafted one piece designs that are good for the environment and modern. Product ranges include Key West, Bradenton, Amberly, Boca Raton, and Provincetown.
If your looking for a touch of individuality, the designs provided by Swiss Madison could be exactly what you've been looking for. They describe their products as being well made and durable, whilst keeping the aesthetics that set them apart from their competitors. Some of their more popular collections include St Tropez, Sublime, Monaco, and Concorde.
Before you figure out which model above you're going to be buying, give some thought to the amount of money you're willing to spend. Different price points offer varying quality and performance levels, so that will be something to keep in mind. Generally, you get three main ranges, a lower, mid, and upper range.
Under $150 - You shouldn't expect too much from anything under the one hundred and fifty dollars mark. You can expect to find the basic functionality built in, but quite often you will find they fall short in specific departments, either through design, flush, or waste removal ability. You shouldn't expect anything that scores highly on the MaP flush scale either. This means there is a greater likelihood of blockages.
Under $400 - This is probably the range that fits most peoples requirements. They usually come with the right features for home use whilst remaining reasonably affordable.
Under $600 - If you're wanting something of the highest quality, this is the price range to browse through. We don't recommend going higher than this simply because these products tend to include the average persons WC needs.
With proper care, cleaning, and maintenance, you can improve the longevity of your toilet. If properly looked after, they can last for well over a decade. There are methods and features to make this easier. We cover each of these in the link above.
Depending on where your waste outlet is located, installation can be quite easy as long as you know what you're doing, and have the correct measurements. Our guide will talk you through the basics to give you a head start. Click here to get started.
There are many kinds of toilet seats ranging from standard to slow close, heated to padded. But it's not just the specs of a seat you should be keeping an eye on. That's because many products I have come across whilst conducting my research online don't include a seat. This is something important to keep in mind as the additional expense and time taken in finding one adds up.
From soft close and padded, to standard and d shaped, we look at what the industry has to offer in detail.
Once seen as more of a fixture of luxury, or fancy toilets, bidets are becoming much more commonplace as people begin to appreciate their benefits. They tend to be a more hygienic alternative to just using paper, plus, they're easy to use, and usually come with some fantastic functions.
Typically, the higher tier options will include various spray settings and powers, alongside the ability to warm up the seat. All of this can add up to a better bathroom experience, and one that is far more convenient too.
However, with the inclusion of additional technology, you can expect them to cost a fair amount more than traditional seating.
Whichever product you end up choosing, just remember to scrutinize as much as the buying guide above does, and you can't go far wrong. Most options aren't necessarily the most expensive or popular, but they are the best at what they are designed to do in our opinion. When shopping, I like to make a mental note of functions you want included, alongside a rough budget level. I find it helps me buy within my means whilst getting something as close to my criteria as possible.
Can't find what you're looking for or confused about an abbreviation? You can check out our frequently asked questions or the terminology pages. We wish you luck in finding a toilet suitable for your bathroom requirements. The resources above should provide you with sufficient information and knowledge to get started.