A toilet is actually an incredibly important purchase for most people, as it plays a central role in a household’s daily life. Many people, however, pay very little attention to the toilet they buy, just buying the cheapest toilet they find, or the first one they see. A little bit of research, however, can make sure you have the ideal toilet for your household, which can make every day just a little bit better. Among other considerations, you may want to think about the size of the space, the shape of the toilet, whether you want a one- or two-piece system, and the flushing system.
First of all, know your space constraints before you set out to purchase a toilet. The last thing you want to do is to buy a new toilet, and remove the old one, only to discover that your new toilet won’t fit. Measure carefully the space you have available, and any ledges or overhangs that may bump into a new-sized toilet. Keep these measurements on you when you go to look at toilets, so that the people at the store helping you are aware of your limitations.
Most toilets come either as one-piece or as two-piece systems. One-piece systems are much easier to clean than two-piece systems, and there is no leakage between the tank and the bowl of the toilet. Two-piece systems are cheaper than one-piece systems, because the tank and the bowl are sold separately. Although the lower price-tag may seem appealing, keep in mind that leakage over time can make for a less sanitary environment, and may ruin your flooring.
Traditional toilets have round bowls, which give them a smaller footprint, and so may be ideal for areas where space is a constraint. Nicer toilets have an elongated bowl, which is more comfortable to sit on, and offers a larger water area. The elongated bowl may jut out into the open space of more cramped bathrooms, however, so pay attention to your space before going out to find a toilet.
When you're looking at the bowl, there are a few other things you may want to consider. If you are buying a toilet for a facility that needs to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other similar regulations, or if you want your toilet to be more accessible for the physically challenged, you will want to look for a compliant toilet, which has a taller bowl. For sanitation reasons, you may want to look for a toilet that has a sanitary bar included on the bowl, which will block water from building up underneath the tank. Some bowls have larger trapways and some have glazed trapways, both of which reduce the chances of clogging.
As far as the tank itself goes, there are two main types of flush system: a pressure-assisted flush and a gravity flush. Pressure-assisted flushes are louder, and tend to cost quite a bit more, but the chances of a clog are reduced immensely. Gravity flushes, which are seen more often on residential toilets, use gravity to flush, and so are much quieter. They are, however, much more susceptible to clogs, which can be problematic. Some toilets are also equipped with reduced flow systems, which can help you use less water every time you flush, saving on water costs and helping to conserve.