How To Choose a Toilet

Written by: Erica Spangler

Toilet Styles

The toilet is one of the most used and appreciated fixtures in the bathroom. When deciding which toilet is best for your home, here are some helpful ways to search.

Flush Type

The National Energy Act of 1992 required all toilets sold in the United States after January 1994 to use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf).

Gallons Per Flush Chart
Dual Flush Technology

Dual-flush toilets

  • Two different flush types
  • Low-flow for fluid waste
  • Higher-flow for solid waste
  • Save up to 67% water annually
  • Typically more expensive
Shop dual-flush toilets
Low Flow Toilets

Low-flow toilets

  • Every flush uses less water
  • Typically 1.28 gpf
  • As low as 0.8 gpf
Shop low-flow toilets
Gravity Flush Toilets

Gravity flush toilets

  • Most popular type of toilet
  • Gravity and water weight generate flush
  • Great for inexpensive future repairs
Shop gravity flush toilets
Pressure Assisted Toilets

Pressure-assisted toilets

  • Commonly for commercial use
  • Less prone to clogs
  • Provide cleaning action during flush
Shop pressure-assisted toilets
Siphon Jet Toilets

Siphon jet toilets

  • Water "jet" pushes water into trapway
  • Water pressure "pulls" water from bowl
  • Fewer clogs and leaks
Shop siphon jet toilets

Configuration

Another important decision is choosing between a one-piece and two-piece toilet.

One-piece toilets

  • Tank and bowl integrated into one piece
  • Easier to clean
  • Tank is more stable
Shop one-piece toilets

Two-piece toilets

  • Most popular option
  • Tank and bowl are two separate pieces
  • Typically more affordable
Shop two-piece toilets
Toilet Configuration

Bowl Shape

Elongated Toilet Bowl

Elongated

  • Most popular bowl shape
  • Oval bowl shape
  • Typically 18 ½ inches
Shop elongated toilets
Round Toilet Bowl

Round

  • Great for small bathrooms
  • Round bowl shape
  • Typically 16 ½ inches
Shop round toilets
Toilet Bowl Height

Bowl Height

Comfort height toilets are slightly taller than standard toilets, making it more comfortable for average-sized adults and those who have trouble sitting and standing. A toilet with a seat anywhere from 17 to 19 inches tall is considered comfort height, and standard height toilets are approximately two inches shorter.

Other Features

Insulated tank

This option is helpful for homes in high-humidity climates. Insulated tanks help prevent condensation from forming, which can cause premature wear on the surrounding walls and flooring.

Shop insulated toilets

Trapway

This is the path the waste water travels when leaving the toilet during flush. It provides a liquid seal to prevent any backflow of sewer gas without affecting the flow of sewage and waste water. Trapways can be S-shaped or elbow-shaped.

Soft close seat

This is a fantastic option that’s ideal for households with children. Soft close seats (along with the lid) close slowly to prevent smashing little fingers, instead of slamming down on the bowl.

If your new toilet doesn't include a seat (and many don’t), this is a great option.

Shop softclose toilets

Antimicrobial coatings

Just a few manufacturers offer this feature, which give the toilet a smoother finish, keeps it cleaner overall, and makes it easier to clean.

American Standard calls it Everclean; Toto calls is Sanagloss; and Kohler has an anti-microbial agent formed into its seats.

Note: Not all toilets come with toilet seats. Shop Toilets with seats or shop toilet seats.
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