Everything You Need to Consider When Buying a Toilet

There’s a lot to think about before buying a toilet. I mean, did you know that the average person spends about 3 hours and 9 minutes sitting on their porcelain throne every week? Some even a lot more (I’m not naming names).

That’s all the more reason for your commode to be comfortable, functional, and styled in the manner that you deserve. Fortunately, these days there are endless toilet options for your consideration. Below, we’ve simplified the most popular designs and flushing capabilities so that your toilet-buying decision is pain-free. 

Consider Shape When Buying a Toilet

When buying a toilet, choosing the best shape of a bowl for your home varies on your personal personal preferences. Before purchasing, consider the amount of usable floor space you’d like in your bathroom. Another important factor is comfort.

The most common household toilet bowl shapes are elongated, compact elongated, and round-front. Let’s take a closer look at all three.

1. Round Toilets

A round-shaped toilet usually measures anywhere from 25 to 28 inches. It gives you more room in a smaller space. If your bathroom is tight, this is the one for you. This bowl shape also works well if you’re a more petite person or if your children are potty-training. 

buying a toilet - round-shaped toilet
Round-shaped toilet

2. Elongated Toilets

Most people consider the elongated toilet to be the most comfortable, especially if you need to sit on the pot for longer periods of time. Hey, we’ve all been there. The added comfort is due to its longer, oval shape as compared to the more circular bowl shape with round toilets. Before buying a toilet that’s elongated, keep in mind that small children will prefer a more compact style.

buying a toilet - elongated toilet
The elongated toilet is the deepest of the three types and probably the most comfortable.

3. Compact Elongated Toilets

To get the best of both comfort and style without sacrificing too much space in your bathroom, a hybrid style like a compact-elongated bowl may be the toilet for you. The compact-elongated commode has a smaller tank which allows for the same feel as elongated and works well in a tighter space.

buying a toilet - compact-elongated bowl
Elongated but still compact toilet shape.

Consider Flush Types When Buying a Toilet

Toilets come in three flush options: gravity, pressure-assisted, and dual. Let’s take a look.

1. Gravity Flush

The gravity flush system uses the water in the bowl to create pressure that forces everything down through the trap (the S shape that you see coming out the back of most toilets). Each flush cleans your bowl because of this system. 

buying a toilet - gravity/pressure-activated flush
Gravity-fed vs pressure-assisted flush options

It is also one of the quietest because it relies on gravity and little mechanics to complete the flush. 

2. Pressure-Assisted Flush

A pressure-assisted flush uses a combination of gravity and pressure to create a powerful flush. Some advantages of this flush type include a minimal amount of water usage. The one downside of pressure-assisted is the noisiness of the flush. 

3. Dual Flush

A dual flushing system offers two flush options with two buttons to save water. You may also see a dual flush with a normal toilet lever and a hidden trip lever that activates the eco-flush. This flush type was designed to help conserve water by letting you choose either a partial flush for liquid waste or a full flush for solid waste.

Interested in buying an eco-flushing toilet? Dual-flushing system on a toilet. Notice the buttons on the right and left.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Toilet

1. Rough-in Size

Before you or your plumber replaces a toilet, make sure to measure the rough-in size. The rough-in is the distance from the actual wall (not the molding attached to the wall) located behind the toilet to the center of the outlet pipe (where waste leaves the toilet). This is how you will determine the correct size toilet before you bring it home.

2. Price (Installation Costs)

The type of toilet installation you go with — either one-piece, two-piece, or wall hung — will make a cost difference of about $200 dollars.

  • One-piece toilets are easy to install because it’s all one unit but they do tend to be more expensive because they are newer. 
  • Generally, a two-piece toilet, which separates the bowl and the tank are the easiest and least expensive to install.
  • Wall mounted toilets tend to be on the pricier side because they require opening the wall, rerouting the waste pipe and patching up the tile underneath the toilet to install.


Call 1-Tom-Plumber for Help

Don’t hesitate to contact or call 1-Tom-Plumber at 1-866-758-6237 if you’re buying a toilet and need repair, replacement, or installation services. We handle all emergency plumbingdrain cleaning and drain clearing, and water damage problems immediately, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines.

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