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Here's How to Choose the Best Bathroom Toilet

Here's How to Choose the Best Bathroom Toilet

Toilets are an essential part of any bathroom. Whether replacing an outdated toilet or installing a new toilet, it’s a good idea to choose a model that suits your home. From function to fashion, there are more features to consider than you might realize! 

Some important questions to ask yourself before buying a new toilet include: What size is your bathroom? What height, bowl shape and flush type do you prefer? Is water efficiency important to you? Who is installing it?  

This toilet buying guide will set you on your way to a perfect flush every time.

Common Types of Toilets

Toilets come in a choice of one-piece or two-piece models. Both have their advantages that suit different preferences and uses.

Two-Piece Toilets

Two-piece toilets are the most common type. With a separate connected tank and bowl, this type of toilet tends to be easier to maneuver and comes in a large range of styles. 

Advantages 
  • More options for height, style and rough-in 
  • Easy to maneuver pieces for a simple installation 
  • Mix and match tank and bowl 
  • Easy to ship 
  • Low-flush water saving options 
  • Generally, less expensive than one-piece toilets
17" White Dietrich 4.8L Elongated Bowl Toilet with Slow Close Seat
Item #3274006
Sanibest Pro 4.8L White Lined Elongated Bowl Toilet, with Pump
White 16-1/2" Studio Dual Flush Round Toilet
Reliant 4.8L White Round Toilet

One-Piece Toilets

One-piece toilets feature a bowl and tank moulded together as a single unit. The tank usually sits lower on the bowl than a two-piece toilet. The compact model is great for smaller spaces. One-piece toilets also tend to be sleek in appearance, making them well-suited to contemporary bathrooms. 

Advantages 
  • Easy to clean since there is no seam between the bowl and tank 
  • Compact design is ideal for smaller spaces 
  • Sleek style great for contemporary bathrooms 
  • Extremely durable and heavy-weight, due to the one solid piece 
  • Faster to install as no assembly is required 
  • Low-flush water saving options 

NOTE: While one-piece toilets are more durable, if something breaks in the tank section, replacing the entire toilet is necessary. With a two-piece toilet, you can replace the tank and bowl separately.
3/6L White Elongated Dual Flush Toilet
1 Piece Sanicompact Toilet with Pump
Cosette 1 Piece Dual Flush 15-1/2" White Elongated Toilet
16.5" White 1 Piece 4.8L Mila Elongated Toilet with Slow Closed Seat

Popular Toilet Flushing Types

Once you have decided on a type of toilet, consider the different types of flushing options.

Single-Flush Toilets

  • Deliver a consistent flush every time 
  • Most commonly come with levers found on the side or front of the tank
 
 
 
 
Evolution2 16-1/2" 6L White Lined Elongated Toilet
 

Dual-Flush Toilets

  • Choose between a light or full flush for improved water savings 
  • Two buttons are typically located at the top of the tank but you can also find ones with a side mounted push button and lever
 
 
 
 
3/6L White Elongated Dual Flush Toilet
 

Touchless Toilets

  • Motion-activated by placing your hand over the sensor 
  • Minimizes exposure to and spreading of germs 
  • Battery operated
 
 
 
 
​Studio Activate 4.8L 16.5" White Round Electronic Flush Toilet with Slow Close Seat
 

Toilet Bowl Shape and Height — What’s Right for You?

Next, decide what toilet bowl shape and height will be most comfortable for you and your family.

Round vs Elongated Bowls

  • Round bowls take up less space, making them popular for smaller bathrooms 
  • Elongated bowls are about two inches longer, offering adults more thigh support and greater comfort 
  • Compact elongated bowls feature an elongated toilet bowl but take up the same space as a round bowl

Standard vs. Comfort Height

Toilet height is measured from the floor to the top of the bowl, not including the seat. Ideally, you should be able to easily sit down and stand up and comfortably rest both feet flat on the floor while seated. 

  • Standard-height toilets are typically 14-15 inches in height, making them ideal for children and users of average height 
  • Comfort-height toilets are 16 inches in height or higher and are designed for people with disabilities but are also ideal for taller users and people with leg and back issues

Choose a New Toilet to Fit Your Lifestyle

You are going to have your toilet for the long run, so think about what toilet makes sense for your living space and lifestyle.

Water-Saving Toilets

Low-flush toilets are a water-saving and cost-effective option. They use a lot less water when flushing than full-flush toilets and deliver the same performance. When buying a toilet, look for the WaterSense label to ensure it is certified to meet strict criteria for performance and efficiency.

Space-Saving Toilets

In city living, smaller homes or condos are often designed to maximize space with less square footage. Homes with smaller guest bathrooms, or powder rooms, require space-saving options as well. There are toilets that are designed to perfectly fit into these spaces. 

  • Round-front toilets are a popular choice in tight spaces where every extra inch counts 
  • Low-profile toilets are ideal when space above the toilet tank is limited. They are usually under 28 inches in height

Tankless Toilets

Traditional toilets feature a tank behind the toilet bowl and use gravity to aid in the flushing process. When you flush, a valve at the bottom of the tank opens, allowing the water in the tank to flow into the bowl. It pushes the dirty water out through a siphon at the bottom of the bowl. 

Tankless toilets hook up directly to your house's pipes. Generally, they are powered using only the force of water entering from the supply line. 

  • Tankless toilets are smaller than traditional toilets 
  • The pipe supplying the water is installed inside the wall or under the floor for versatile customization 
  • These toilets shouldn’t leak , making them more environment-friendly 
  • Tankless systems refill faster between flushes

Portable Toilets

Portable toilets are great for RVs, cabins and other places where plumbing isn’t easily accessible. With a variety of portable toilets to choose from, you’ll be surprised at how comfortable they can be. 

  • RV toilets include full-size adult seats and a foot pedal. The plumbing connects to your RV’s water tank and uses gravity to help flush 
  • Portable toilets don’t require any plumbing. They generally include a holding tank and water reservoir with a hand pump for manual flushing
Visa 18L 2 Piece Portable Toilet
Traveler White Portable Toilet
Passport 8L Portable Toilet
White Portable RV 310 Toilet

Go in Comfort with the Right Seat

When you purchase a toilet, you’ll want to confirm if it comes with the seat included. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to find one that coordinates. Alternatively, maybe the toilet works well, and you’ve decided to replace the toilet seat only. A new seat is a good way to update an existing toilet without committing to a full replacement.

Things to Consider When Choosing a New Toilet Seat

  • Make sure to choose a toilet seat that matches the shape of your toilet. The two most common toilet seat shapes are elongated and round 
  • To ensure the correct size, measure your current seat from the hinge bolt to the front of the seat 
  • Soft -close seats and lids close slowly and quietly without slamming 
  • Some seats feature quick-release hinges for easy removal and cleaning 
  • You can find toilet seats that come with built-in potty seats for children 
  • Bidet attachments bring added functionality to the toilet without requiring a separate piece 
  • Other features to look out for include deodorizing toilets seats, easy-clean/anti-bacterial surfaces and lighted toilet seats for easy use in the dark 

Generally, toilet seats come in either plastic or wood.  
  • Plastic seats are durable and easy to clean 
  • Look for quality plastic seats that resist chipping and scratching 
  • Consider splurging on a heated seat for added comfort in cold weather – great for cottages or cabins 
  • Moulded wood seats are naturally warmer than plastic 
  • Wooden toilet seats have a traditional look and can come in a variety of wood types and finishes 

CONSIDER: The more common a toilet bowl shape is, the easier it will be to find a replacement. Updating parts over time is easy when you choose standard rather than non-standard parts.
White Plastic Slow Close Regular Toilet Seat
White Dual Moulded Wood Round Plastic Toilet Seat for Children and Adults
White Round Toilet Seat, with Lid and 2" Lift
Bamboo Wood Toilet Seat, with Brushed Nickel Hinge

Replacing a Toilet? Here’s How.

To ensure your new floor-mount toilet fits your space, determine the rough-in measurement. This is the distance between the floor drain and the wall. While the most common rough-in is 12 inches, some houses may have 10 and 14 inch rough-ins. Determine the rough-in by measuring from the wall behind the toilet to the middle of the bolts on the base. 

Step 1. Clear the area and turn off the water supply. 

Step 2. Remove water from the tank and bowl. 

Step 3. Disconnect the water supply line. 

Step 4. Remove the floor bolts. Rock the toilet back and forth to break the wax seal, and lift it out of the way. (For a two-piece toilet, remove the tank and then the bowl.) 

Step 5. Prepare the floor and toilet flange for the new one. Scrape the old wax ring from the flange with a putty knife. Plug the floor drain with a rag to prevent emission of sewer gases. 

Step 6. Place the toilet upside down. Install a new wax ring on the toilet and new flange bolts on the drain. 

Step 7. Remove the rag from the drainage hole. Lower the toilet over the anchor bolts. Rock it back and forth to press the wax ring in place. Attach the nuts to the bolts. 

NOTE: Tighten the bolts gradually, alternating sides. Avoid overtightening the bolts as it can cause cracking. 

Step 8. For a two-piece toilet, install the gasket on the tank and mount the tank to the bowl. Slide the bolts into the holes and tighten the nuts underneath. 

Step 9. Reattach the supply line and turn the water back on. Flush several times to check for leaks and tighten connections if necessary. 

Step 10. Install bolt caps and toilet seat and you’re done!
IMPORTANT: Toilets are heavy, so use caution when lifting and ask for help if you need it. 

Now that you’re up to speed on everything a new toilet has to offer, it’s time to take the plunge. 

Check out our selection of toilets and toilet seats to create a comfortable, stylish and always-efficient bathroom.
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