Pull chain toilets
I thought it would be fun to add in something a bit special: a high tank or pull chain toilet! There aren’t a lot of companies selling these, but Renovator’s Supply has this model and it comes in a ton of color and material options.
The elongated bowl is made out of vitreous china while the tank is hardwood. The seat is sold separately and available in a bunch of colors, as is the tank. Flushing 1.6 GPF, these toilets are pretty environmentally friendly.
Installation is fairly easy, with the rough in being adjustable between 12 and 15 inches.
Things to think about when buying a toilet
1. One-piece vs two-piece toilets vs wall-mounted toilets
With one-piece toilets, the toilet bowl and toilet tank form one whole piece and cannot be separated from each other. Well, unless you break the toilet, obviously. The benefit to having a one-piece toilet is that it’s easier to clean there’s can’t be any leakage between the tank and the bowl and no dirt can get in between. Another benefit is that the installation is simple, as the bowl doesn’t need to be attached to the tank – it already is.
The downside to one-piece toilets is that they’re heavier to move as they can’t be taken apart and are usually more expensive than two-piece toilets.
With two-piece toilets, the toilet tank and toilet bowl come separately and need to be put together. This, as well as the fact that leakage can occur between the two halves, can be the downsides of owning a two-piece toilet. Benefits, however, are that the toilet is easier to move as it can be taken apart and that two-piece toilets are generally less pricey than a one-piece toilet.
If you opt for a two-piece toilet, go for one with a high-quality sanity bar that prevents stuff from leaking and gathering under the tank at the back of the toilet.
The last option is to go for a wall-mounted toilet, although often a better choice for new builds or remodelings as it requires different fixtures, plumbing and a different disposal system than standing toilets.
The benefit of wall-mounted toilets is that they’re super easy to clean and have fewer chances of gathering water and dirt in difficult to reach places.
2. Toilet design
If you’re looking for a second toilet to put in your basement or by the garage, the design may not matter that much, but if it needs to go in your remodeled bathroom, I’m sure you want it to fit the look.
When looking for a toilet, keep in mind where you want to place it and how it will look in that room. If you have future changes planned in your home, it might be a good idea to take those into account as well.
3. Water usage: high-efficiency toilets vs dual flush toilets
There are so many good efficient toilets on the market right now that it would be a bit of a shame to get one that uses a lot of water. Toilets account for around 30 to 40% of all water usage in American homes and getting a new eco flush toilet can cut your water spending back by no less than 25%.
If you live in a state like California, where toilets can’t use more than 1.28 gallons per flush, you don’t even have the choice and have to limit yourself to looking at just low flush toilets.
There are two types of low flow toilets: high-efficiency toilets and dual flush toilets.
High-efficiency toilets always use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush, while dual flush toilets give you the option to choose between flushing with 1.28 gallons of water (for little deliveries) or with 1.6 gallons of water (for big deliveries).
If you want to go hardcore or live in a state where you have to, go for the most efficient toilet. Otherwise, give yourself a little freedom and opt for a dual flush toilet.
Whether the noise your toilet makes is an issue, often depends on where it’s located in your home. Generally, it won’t matter that much, but if your toilet is located next to the dining room and your walls are rather thin, you might want to get a quiet flush toilet.
You don’t want to flush away the lovely ambiance of your dinner party, now do you?
It’s important to have a budget in mind when you go toilet shopping. As we’ve seen, expensive toilets aren’t always the best toilets.
There are plenty of cheap toilets or affordable toilets that have all the features and qualities you need.
So don’t let yourself be swayed by some extra bells and whistles or fancy descriptions but stick to the toilet cost you have in mind.
6. Rough in
Like just about anything else, toilets come in many different sizes and while differences may come down to just a few inches, they do matter.
Whether you want to place your new toilet in your bathroom or in a separate toilet room, it’s important to take measurements before you go out and buy one.
How do you do that? You need to measure the rough in from the center of the drainpipe to the wall the toilet will stand against.
The standard rough in measurement is 12″ but for older toilets, this can vary from 10″ to 14″.
If you buy a toilet that has a different rough in than the toilet you have now, you’ll need to cover up existing holes and drill new ones. Some toilet brands offer kits that help you install a new toilet with a different rough in, but they need to be purchased separately.
This only goes for standard toilets, though, as the waste disposal system of macerating toilets is different.
7. Macerating vs standard toilets
Standard toilets have an S-shaped waste pipe as they send the waste down into the sewer, a cesspit or another wastewater system.
Macerating toilets, on the other hand, first grind whatever’s being flushed into a mush, which is then being pumped into the waste disposal system.
Because macerating toilets don’t depend on gravity or a suction system, they can be placed level to the waste pipe or even below it.
This advanced system, as well as their flexible placing options, make macerating toilets more expensive than standard toilets.
The standard toilet height is 14 to 15 inches high measured from the ground up to the top of the toilet bowl, the seat not included.
This is fine for small and average height people, but taller people, elderly people and people with physical problems often prefer a higher toilet.
To adhere to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, toilet seats need to come 17″ to 19″ above the floor, which, for most seats, means the toilet needs to measure at least 16.3″ up to the top of the bowl.
When you need or prefer a high toilet, look for a toilet that is ADA-compliant or that as categorized as a Right Height or Comfort Height toilet.
9. Flush type
There are various types of flushing you can choose from gravity flush systems, pressure-assisted flush systems, and macerating toilets.
A gravity flush toilet depends on gravity to pull the water from the toilet tank into the toilet bowl, thus sucking whatever’s in there down.
A pressure-assist toilet has a tank that’s divided into several tanks which fill up with water in such a way that air pressure builds up.
When you flush, the pressure pushes the water down the bowl to get rid of whatever’s in there. Because of the blast created by releasing the pressure, these toilets tend to be a bit louder than the ones with other flushing systems.
10. Elongated or round toilet bowl
Toilet seats come in many sorts of materials, but the most important choice to make in regards to your toilet seat is whether you want an elongated one, or a round one.
Most manufacturers won’t include the seat in the toilet price and with some models, you have the option to choose whether you want an elongated or a round seat with your toilet.
Regardless of what kind of seat you choose, you’ll have to make sure it fits on the bowl and thus get either a round or an elongated bowl depending on your seat preference.
Elongated toilet seats are oval-shaped, being a few inches longer than round seats.
Some people find them more comfortable, but they do take up a bit more space so that’s something to take into account. An elongated seat might, for example, fit in the room but block the door from being able to open entirely.
I’ve never seen this in anyone’s home but I have in so many cafes and restaurants around the world. It’s not that great.
11. Tanked vs tankless toilets
Most toilets come with a tank, although it’s not always visible. Some wall-hung toilets, for example, have a tank system that’s tucked away in the wall.
They require a little more break work if you want to place them in an existing and not a newly built bathroom, but they can be interesting if you have limited space.
Macerating toilets can be truly tankless when they pump water directly into the bowl to then suck it out, straight into the macerator.
12. Compare toilets and read reviews of toilets
A lot of toilets will offer all or almost all of the features you’re looking for and still be different, so make sure to compare them and read reviews of toilets you’re interested in online, like the ones I’ve put together here for you.
You don’t want to get into analysis paralysis either, though, so don’t overdo it with the research.
I understand that you’ve got other things to do and reading about toilets all day might not be the best way to spend your time, which is exactly why I’ve done the work for you in here and have listed the top of the line toilets in different categories as well as what I think is the best toilet ever – okay, at least up until this very moment.
Taking into account all variables discussed above, such as price, flushing power, comfort and height, the Toto MS604114CEFG#01 Ultramax II comes out as the best toilet on the market right now.
If you’re looking for a specific kind of toilet, I hope the different reviews in this guide have helped you with that, as well as the overview of the top ten toilets.
Now go out there, have a sit and pick your throne.
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