Choosing The Right Toilet

You might be surprised to learn this but there’s more to choosing the right toilet than just looks. The size and function of a toilet are also important.

The Perfect Fit

With thousands of toilets out there you can reduce your choices with a rough-in distance. This is the distance between the wall to the sewer drain for the toilet. A rough-in is typically 12 inches with many toilets fitting into this range. There are also toilets designed for a 10 or 14 in rough-in.

Many people find that an elongated toilet bowl is the most comfortable but you can save space in a small bathroom with a round bowl. The longer toilet bowls can measure to being around 31” from the wall, while a round fixture will be no more than 28”. Round bowls tend to cost less and save you more money too.

You also can’t skimp on the comfort when it comes to toilet height. Manufacturers have begun making toilets that are a little bit bigger than the standard 14” fixtures. They feel much more comfortable for taller people. They also make the bathroom more accessible by allowing less mobile toilet-goers to sit down and stand up easier.


There are a number of different types of toilet available. You can buy a two-piece toilet, where the tank is affixed to the top of the bowl. This is the most common and affordable type. You can also buy a one piece toilet where everything is integrated together. It costs a little more but it’s easier to clean because there is no seam. You can also add some drama to your bathroom with a wall-mounted toilet. They are usually the most expensive kind however as they require a strong wall and you may need to open up the wall to maintain them.

Flushing Technology

After choosing the size, shape, and style of your toilet you need to find one that flushes properly. Even the most elegant toilet means nothing if it can’t flush well.

Prior to 1994 a toilet would typically use 3.5 gallons of water per flush. Congress changed that when they required toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Unfortunately the first of these low-flush toilets did a bad job and the stigma has been around ever since. There are now low-flush toilets that do a good job through the use of gravity or a power-assisted flush.

As with any kind of product out there some toilets are just better than others. You should visit a showroom and discuss your options with a salesperson to find an efficient model. Salespeople aren’t going to sell you something that doesn’t work because they know you’ll complain and they’ll get in trouble.

If you’re interested in conserving water and reducing your utility bills there are also dual-flush technology toilets on the market. They use a split plunger-style flush mechanism that fits onto the tank. You can push one button to release 0.8 gallons of water or push both to release all 1.6 gallons. It could save you up to $2,100 over the life of the toilet.


A bidet looks like a toilet but is used for personal hygiene and they’re quite common in European bathrooms. Many people choose to add a bidet to their bathrooms because it looks fashionable and can increase the value of a property. Bidets can also be helpful for people who struggle to get into a shower or bath properly.


If there’s no room in your bathroom for a bidet then you can also find a toilet that comes with a bidet function. You can find soft-closing toilet seats which ensures the toilet seat goes back down and goes down softly without slamming. You can also buy heated toilet seats. They may not actually do anything other than making your trip to the bathroom more comfortable but isn’t a bathroom supposed to be comfortable?