Compbrella Guide to The Best Toilets
While many people downplay the importance of a toilet while they’re renovating, it literally is the most important seat in your home. It’s not as exciting and sexy as choosing showers or kitchen designs but it is a fact that no home is complete without a comfortable, powerful, and quiet toilet in the bathroom. You may think there’s nothing to it and this decision can be made at the last moment but take a moment to examine the options. Toilets today come in a variety of designs and shapes, not to mention how much more eco-friendly they are. They can feature technological perks that you’ve only seen in fancy hotels and movies, and many can actually make your bathroom prettier (when clean of course). Remember, toilets usually last a long time. You’re going to want to have something that is dependable and that will save you money in the long run.
What kind of toilet do you need?
There are two basic models of toilet:
one-piece and two-piece. Most people have two-pieces in their homes. This means the tank is connected to the bowl and not one single piece of porcelain. In terms of performance, there’s no advantage of one over the other.
One-pieces are smaller and are easier to clean though and are gaining in popularity because more people are finding them aesthetically pleasing. They have fewer nooks, crannies, and connection points than two pieces so there are less hard to clean spots where mold, germs, and other yucky things accumulate. These models are also usually a bit lower than two-pieces so they’re perfect for homes with children or disabled people. Due to their compact design, they take up less space in your bathroom leaving you with more sitting space while actually being more durable and long-lasting than a two-piece. The main disadvantage is that if a part breaks or if the porcelain cracks, replacement parts may be more difficult to find.
Two-pieces are easier to install than one-pieces. Each part weighs less than a one-piece so you can do the installation by yourself and not need a second pair of hands to assist with the heavier and more cumbersome one-piece. Because they’re a bit more “old fashioned” than one-piece models, two-pieces are slightly cheaper. They’re also easier to ship because the pieces are shipped separately as opposed to the bigger one-piece. Although cleaning is a bit more difficult than a one-piece, and you have more breakable parts, two pieces are actually easier to maintain. This is because you can always find replacement parts at the local hardware store and you get to mix and match the toilet seat, bowl, and tank designs!
Another style that is becoming more popular is wall-mounted toilets, but this also requires modifications and renovation to the plumbing system to run the pipes through the wall and not the floor.
What kind of Flushing Toilet Systems you can find?
If you’re like most people, you probably didn’t even realize that there are different flushing systems. That’s ok, we’re here to help you sort it out and choose what’s right for you. Flushing technology has improved over the years to make toilets more water-efficient while still taking care of the dirty business. Flushing power is basically the most important feature of a toilet so don’t skip this decision.
- Dual flush: Dual flush is very popular in the rest of the world and is catching on in the United States. This gives you the option to choose between a big and small flush by pressing one of two buttons on top of the tank. One is sufficient for fluids and the other for solid waste. Using a dual flush will save you a lot of money on your water bill.
- Tankless: Most tankless toilets also come with dual-flush options. Tankless toilets connect directly to the plumbing, delivering water from your pipes at a pressure high enough to flush away your waste.
- Gravity flush system: This is the most common system that we all had in our homes growing up and today. Water from the tank flows downward through the s-shaped pipes creating pressure that washes away the waste and then refills the tank. Classic, quiet, simple and easy to fix.
- Waterless toilets: If plumbing and running water isn’t available, say if you’re installing a toilet in your isolated summer cabin, self-contained waterless toilets are also an option.
What are the best toilets brands in the market?
Although you’ll see dozens of different brands when you go shopping for toilets, there are really only three brands you should choose from. These are companies that for years have created high quality, durable toilets.
- Toto: Toto is considered one of the best toilet brands due to many years of producing great products for all levels of budgets. They produce such a great range of toilets that you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s dual or single flush, a specific design, and every type of flush technology. The Drake and Ultramax are their most popular models, but look up some of their other models like Supreme and Ultimate, and you’ll see they have exactly what you’re looking for.
- Kohler: Another top industry brand, Kohlers are known for manufacturing high-quality toilets that have modern, minimalist designs that appeal to young people (or older people looking to modernize their homes). Kohler toilets come in a range of shapes, sizes, and budgets. The range of design matches the range of flushing options so you’re sure to end up with a bathroom that is both stylish and ecological.
- American Standard: This company has stood by Toto and Kohler for years, manufacturing top of the line dependable toilets. It offers you many styles of bowls and flushing options. Notable models include the Cadet and Colony series, each coming with unique features and specifications that will make this toilet a pleasure to use.
5 Tips that will help you shop better for toilets
- Look for the best flush rating. You’re looking for a toilet that is efficient and will save you water and money. High-efficiency toilets can save thousands of gallons of water each year, saving you lots of money.
- Sit down and take a load off. If you’re going to the store, don’t be embarrassed to sit on a toilet and check if it’s comfortable or not (but don’t actually use it, shop clerks frown on that). Make sure you and your family will be able to sit and do your business in comfort. You don’t want a toilet that is too tall for your children or too short for you. Likewise, measure the space you’re going to place the new toilet in so you buy one that fits and also leaves space for you to move around and doesn’t cramp you in.
- Choose a bowl you like. Toilet bowls usually come in round or elongated forms (there are also square bowls however these rarer and tend to more expensive). Elongated bowls are usually a bit more comfortable while round bowls take up less space. Many brands also produce bowls that have anti-bacterial glazes that keep bacteria from staining the porcelain and passing on to other people.
- Seat yourself. Most toilets don’t actually come with a seat for you to sit on. This may seem annoying and a way to get you to pay more money but you should look at it as another opportunity to create a comforting experience in an environment most people don’t find glamorous. Choose a seat that compliments your bathroom design, maybe a cool fun design that will help you potty train your kids or just one that looks cool to you. Seats need to match the shape of the bowl: round or elongated. Beyond that, you can pick up one in a variety of materials including real wood, wood molding, cushioned vinyl, and plastic. One great option is slow closing toilet seats that don’t slam down. Today you can even purchase toilet seats that function like bidets or heat up (helpful in the winter), and even air dry and deodorize. These may sound like luxuries, but when you’re talking about the most important chair in the home, a little luxury is appreciated.
- Don’t skimp. I know you’re probably also renovating the rest of the bathroom and costs are piling up, but a toilet is not the place for you to save money. It’s an absolute necessity that needs to be comfortable, durable, and dependable, otherwise, you may end up with leaks and odors filling your home. Saving now can mean costly repairs in the future when something goes wrong,
Compbrella Pick for Top 3 Toilets
Best Overall: American Standard 2988101.020 – This sleek two-piece with round bowl design will fit just right in your smaller bathroom. It has a concealed trapway that makes cleaning quick and easy and also includes a slow-close seat so you won’t wake anyone up when you start banging around in the middle of the night. American Standard’s FloWise technology creates an efficient flush that uses 20% less water than standard toilets and its EverClean finish will keep stains and odor-causing mildew away.
2nd Best: WOODBRIDGE T-0019 – A luxuriously designed one-piece, this toilet will give your bathroom a clean, modern, sleek look. The one-piece design makes cleaning easy with no corners and nooks for bacteria to hide. The Woodbridge uses Siphon Flushing for a powerful flush that is quiet and won’t clog the system. Its slow-close seat uses a stainless steel hinge that is easy to adjust and fix or clean should the need arise. Woodbridge believes in their toilet so much they’re offering a five-year warranty on the porcelain.
Best Value: TOTO CST743S#01 Drake – If you’re looking for high quality from a trusted brand at a value price, look no further. Toto toilets are known for their quality materials and design and this is no exception. This two-piece features G-Max Flushing that produces a powerful and quiet flush and has a round bowl and large water surface for extra comfort.
Why you should trust us
Compbrella was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with over twenty years experience working in retail, electronics, and e-commerce. Over the years, we have spent endless hours writing and revising consumer guides, interviewing customers about the products they enjoyed using, and talking to an untold number of technicians about why some products fail and others don’t. We draw from our own experiences about what products a household needs and what we use in our everyday lives. If we’re reviewing a product, it means we one of us has it in their home and thinks it, or a different version, would be a great addition to your homes. We stand by our recommendations because we make them to each other first.