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Tips on Choosing a New Toilet

by Chandler Warnick

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A two-piece porcelain toilet

It performs a thankless job, but your toilet makes your life easier. That's a fact. Also a fact: Putting a little bit of time into researching the different kinds of toilets that are available can ensure you'll be satisfied with the toilet you purchase. If you're not sure where to begin your research, keep reading for some basic tips on choosing a new toilet.

Choosing a Toilet:

  1. Choose the right toilet height. Toilets usually come in a standard height (the height you're probably accustomed to) and a comfort height, which is two or three inches higher than the standard height. Unless you're buying a toilet that will be used often by children, comfort height toilets are usually the most comfortable (hence the name).

  2. Consider water-saving toilets and dual-flush toilets. Nowadays, the maximum amount of water a toilet can use during a flush is 1.6 gallons, which is far less than toilets in the past, so if you're replacing an old toilet, chances are any toilet you buy will use less water than your old one. However, if you really want to decrease your water use, consider buying a toilet that's specially designed to conserve water or a dual-flush toilet, which has a low-volume flush for times when just a little water will work and a standard-volume flush for times when you need a normal amount of flushing power.

  3. Decide whether you want a two-piece or one-piece toilet. Two-piece toilets have tanks and bowls that are separate pieces and are the standard toilet used in most homes. Two-piece toilets function well, and many people are perfectly satisfied with them; however, some people prefer one-piece toilets, in which the bowl and the tank are fused into a single, seamless unit. One-piece toilets are easier to clean than two-piece toilets, and they have a smooth profile and a sleek look that some people prefer.

  4. Choose a bowl shape that fits your bathroom. Toilets come with either round bowls or elongated bowls. As the name implies, round bowls are fairly round and work well in smaller bathrooms since they have a small profile. Elongated bowls are oval-shaped and are two or three inches longer than round bowls. Some people find the elongated bowls to be more comfortable.

  5. Understand the different flush mechanisms. For years, homes used only one kind of toilet: the gravity-flush toilet. These toilets use the weight of water to provide flushing power. The flushing mechanism is simple, which means these toilets are low maintenance, and gravity-flush toilets are perfectly adequate for many people. However, once toilet manufacturers began looking for ways to conserve water, they devised new ways to create flushing power, which resulted in assisted-flush or pressure-flush toilets. These toilets use air to increase flushing pressure, which results in a more powerful, efficient flush.

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