Are You Looking to Replace Your Toilet? Here’s How to Pick the Right Model for You
Posted by Sumant JHA
Picking out a new toilet isn’t the most exciting thing about home renovations, but it plays an important role in your daily comfort – not to mention your water use.
Toilets can be affordable and offer easy installation but exploring all your options can be daunting. Here’s everything you need to consider when picking out a new toilet.
When Should You Replace Your Toilet?
Discussing the latest in toilet technology isn’t exactly dinner conversation, but they’re a necessary component of virtually every home. Though toilets last a long time, they reach the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced eventually.
Here are some signs that your toilet is getting old and may need to be replaced:
It’s over 25 years old
It has a leak or visible crack
It’s constantly running – the “never-ending flush”
Your water bills have increased with no obvious cause
It clogs constantly
It stopped flushing
You’re bringing in plumbers for repairs all the time
Toilets have issues sometimes, such as running excessively or clogging, and it may be a quick fix. But if the problems occur all the time, it could be a sign that you’re ready for a new model.
Here’s what you should look for in your new toilet:
The Right Size
Before you can shop for a new toilet, you need to know what space you’re working with. Bathrooms have different layouts and designs, so it’s good to measure to ensure you’re getting the ideal fit.
The rough-in space is the most important, which runs from the wall behind the toilet to the bolts that attach the bowl to the floor. These measurements should be done with your current toilet installed. Most rough-in spaces are about 12 inches, but you may see 10 inches or 14 inches.
Note the rough-in measurement, as you will use it to choose the right fit for your new toilet. Make sure the new option is the same size or smaller to ensure it fits.
Choose Your Toilet Design
Toilets come in a variety of designs, including:
If you want a sleek upgrade that’s easy to clean, one-piece toilets are a great option. These are pricier, but the bowl and tank are in one seamless unit for easy cleaning.
Most toilets are two-piece toilets with a tank that’s bolted to the toilet bowl. These are more affordable and easier to install, but they’re more challenging to clean.
Do you want more space on your toilet? Elongated toilets are just the answer. The bowl of an elongated toilet has about two extra inches of space, so it’s more comfortable for some people. However, it’s important to make sure that your bathroom is big enough for a larger toilet.
Wall-hung toilets are all the rage. These toilets mount to the wall instead of the floor, giving you open space below the toilet to keep the floor clean and clutter free. These take more work to install, however, so they’re best for an initial bathroom design or major renovation, rather than a quick toilet replacement.
With both contemporary and retro options, round toilets are a great upgrade for your bathroom. Both the bowl and the seat are round, giving you a unique look and more space in a smaller bathroom.
You can get a toilet with a bidet or a toilet seat with a bidet, both of which keep you fresh and clean. They have a water feature for hygiene, as well as some added features like warm air to get you dry.
Explore Toilet Features
Once you choose a toilet design, you can pick from features like:
The standard toilet is around 14 inches or 15 inches off the floor. If you’re tall and want more space, you can find toilets with 17 inches to 19 inches of extra space from the bowl to the floor.
Tired of hearing the heavy toilet seat slam onto the bowl? Soft-close seats eliminate this issue with a quieter, gentler drop. They’re a great choice if you have small children that may get their fingers stuck between the seat and the bowl as well.
Also a good choice for families with children, antimicrobial coatings have a smoother finish and keep your toilet from harboring bacteria between cleanings.
The Department of Energy WaterSense certification ensures that these toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water or less. This is especially important in California, which requires toilet use 1.28 gallons of water or less. You’ll also save on your water bill.
You can make your everyday bathroom a little cozier with a heated toilet. These seats typically have adjustable temperatures to make sure you’re warm in winter and cool in summer.
Choose a Flush System
The next step is choosing the flush system you want for your new toilet. Here are your options:
Gravity flush, which uses gravity to pull water
Low-flow, which conserves water during flushing
Dual flush, which adjusts for fluid or solid waste
Pressure-assist, which minimizes clogs with added pressure
Siphon jet, which combines jet spray and water pressure to move water out