Plumbing Tips: Choosing The Perfect Toilet

Choosing a new toilet entails more than finding one that flushes well. There are many things to consider when purchasing a toilet, and a little research will go a long way.

One trip down the plumbing aisle at your local home improvement warehouse will reveal that there are many things to consider when purchasing a new toilet. Manufacturers aside, toilets vary in size, shape, and color, so choosing the perfect toilet for you will depend heavily upon your style preferences, personal needs, and budget.


Just like the people who use them, toilets vary from conservative to contemporary and come in a variety of colors. A round-front toilet is more compact and better suited for smaller spaces. A toilet with an elongated bowl provides extra room and more comfort. A high-profile tank gives the toilet a more traditional look, and a low-profile tank is a more understated look.

Toilets are made in one-piece or two-piece units. Traditional two-piece toilets are built from a separate tank and bowl that are bolted together. One-piece toilets (actually constructed of many pieces) appear to one seamless piece. A benefit of this style of toilet is that the sleek design has fewer places for dirt and germs to hide. One-piece toilets are more expensive to make; thus they are more expensive than two-piece units.

Toilets are available in a rainbow of colors. White is the least expensive, but if you have the desire and the budget, you can probably find a toilet in any color to suit your bathroom decorative needs.

If you are decorating an entire bathroom and want your fixtures to match, consider buying a toilet that is part of a suite. Manufactures create these suites of fixtures that have a consistent look. If you are replacing only the toilet, make a note of the style and color of fixtures in the room like the sink, shower, and bathtub so that you can choose a new toilet that coordinates with what you already have in place.

Flushing Systems

All new toilets sold in the U.S. meet federal water efficiency standards, limiting them to using1.6 gallons in a single flush. Older toilets can use up to 7 gallons of water per flush, so it's clear how the new efficiency standards can affect household water use. Due to the reduced amount of water allowed per flush, toilet manufacturers have worked to perfect flushing systems that will be both efficient and effective.

Gravity-fed flushing systems rely upon a siphon-action and the force of gravity to create the flushing action. Pressure-assisted flushing systems provide a faster and more powerful flush, but tend to be louder and more expensive than gravity-fed toilets.


Modern technology has not avoided the bathroom, and you can now buy toilets with built-in deodorizing systems, heated and remote controlled seats, and automatic flushing. Some ecologically-friendly toilets will even let you choose the level of the flush (light or heavy) to allow you to save additional water, when possible.

Do Your Research

Before purchasing a toilet that you will be using for years and years, do your homework and look into the brands and options available. Plumbers or plumbing supply stores, hardware stores, builders, friends, and the Internet are great places to research toilets. Remember that high-end brands may be more expensive due to their design, not necessarily due to a higher quality flushing system. Compare brands and styles and even try out a few before you stroll down the plumbing aisle and make your choice.

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