Toilet Buying Guide

Updated June 2023

Tired of your old, leaky, water-guzzling toilet? If you’re in the market for a new one, there are a lot of options to consider.

Bowl Height:
The distance from the floor to the top of the toilet bowl rim makes a big difference. The trend is to buy taller 16-18” ADA-compliant or “comfort height” toilets. Other options include the standard 14-15” height, a low 10-14” child height, or a super tall 19″ height.

One or Two-Pieces:
Two-piece toilets have separate tank pieces and bowl pieces. Although they are most common and less expensive, they are more difficult to clean. One-Piece toilets are smooth and easy to clean, but come with a higher price and are quite heavy. Speaking of cleaning, consider choosing a “skirted” toilet that has a smooth base – instead of the usual visible pipe outline which can collect dust and grime. Below is an image of a one-piece skirted toilet.

While colored toilets are coming back into style in some situations, we suggest sticking to a pure white toilet. This way you can find replacement parts easily, and your toilet will stay in style for years to come.

Flush Handle:
Most toilets place the flush handle on the left side of the tank. If your toilet will be up against a wall, make sure there is enough room to reach the flush handle. If this could be an issue, purchase a toilet with the handle on the opposite side or a dual-flush button on the top of the tank. While we’re at it, consider adding a flush lever that matches the rest of the finishes in your bathroom. It will really tie the room together!

Make sure to measure the distance from the wall to the flange bolts on the base. Commonly, toilets are twelve inches, but they can vary. If you purchase a toilet with a larger rough-in distance than your previous toilet, you might have problems with installation.

Bowl Shape:
Elongated bowls are replacing round bowls in most homes. They are much more comfortable and hygienic for adult use. Yet, elongated bowls can be problematic in small bathrooms. The extra length can get in the way of cabinet drawers and doors. If you are considering replacing your round toilet with an elongated one, make sure you have at least two inches of extra room at the front of the bowl to spare.

Toilet Seat:
Most toilets do not come with a toilet seat because there are too many options available! The most important feature to focus on is whether you need an elongated or round seat depending on the bowl shape. After that, the options are endless. Choose a traditional seat, slow close, night-lighted, heated, potty seat, or Washlet®! Each option comes with pros and cons depending on your preferences.

Most new toilets come with an energy-efficient rating. The old toilet you are replacing can flush up to 5 gallons with each use. Modern, efficient toilets use as little as 1.28 gallons (or even 0.8 for a partial flush!), saving you hundreds of gallons of water and saving on your water bill each year.

While you’re at the store…
You will also need a few items for installation. A new wax seal is a must, a new water supply line may be needed, and some tools to put it together – an open-ended wrench, screwdriver, rag, gloves, and a garbage bag.

How to Install a Toilet