Toilet Basics

Question: How often do you think about your toilet?
Answer: Probably not often enough … well, at least during a design project, that is!

Today’s toilets don’t just flush … they offer heated seats, cleaning wands, sound systems, and chroma-therapy. But you don’t need a luxury bathroom to have a well-designed, high-functioning toilet. And even if you don’t need all the extra fluff, you’ll still want to pay attention to the details. For instance, do you want comfort height? How about an elongated bowl? Flushing technology? Dual-flush vs. standard flush? Wall-mount vs. standard installation? One-piece vs. two-piece? And the list goes on and on. Let me help break it down for you …

Most toilets are now offered in comfort height, which feels more like chair height and enables the user to stand up with greater ease. I would recommend comfort height in most applications with exception of a child’s bath. An elongated bowl is more popular than the standard round front in terms of comfort, but not every space has the extra inches to devote to the protruding toilet seat, so keep that in mind. As far as flushing technology is concerned, Kohler offers thorough information on this topic. Most toilets are moving towards the 1.28gpf (gallons per flush) system, which is much more efficient than the 1.6gpf models of old. There are plenty of dual-flush options on the market as well, but have your checkbook handy, as these come at a premium! When tight on space, consider a wall-mount toilet – not only do these models look great, but the tank is hidden in the wall, so there’s less mess to clean up. And while we’re talking about cleaning, a one-piece system is a little easier to clean than a two-piece model, however, they are more costly as well.

So now what? Start by talking to your designer and plumbing showroom representative who can offer ideas on style, comfort, and functionality that fits your needs. Here are some helpful links: