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Toilet buying may seem straightforward, but there are some important things to consider. Measurements, price, bowl shape, toilet design, toilet height, and flush type are all important considerations when purchasing a new toilet and can be found in this toilet buying guide.Toilet Guide

Toilet Buying – Measurements

Toilet buying requires you to know the measurements of the area where you’re installing your new toilet and your feature preferences before you head to the store to buy a new toilet. Measure from your wall to the center of the bolts at the base of your existing toilet. This will give you the rough-in measurement for your drain location. The measurement is usually 12” (standard rough-in distance). Most toilets you’ll find can fit a drain if it is about a 1” difference from the standard rough-in, but if the distance from the wall to the center of the bolts in your toilet is 10” or 14”, you will need to find a toilet specific to that rough-in distance. These toilets should be available to purchase at most plumbing supply houses or through special order at your local home improvement store.

Toilet Buying – Price

Whatever toilet you choose needs to fit your budget. Prices vary greatly, depending on the number of features offered. $150 can get you a high-quality toilet, but features like an elongated bowl and comfort height will drive up the price.

Toilet Buying – Bowl Shape

There are two bowl shapes: elongated and round. Elongated bowls are oval shaped, have a bigger seat, usually come with more options, and take up more space (about 2” more in the front than a round toilet). Round toilets are a circle shape, take up less space, but are generally considered to be less comfortable. Measure your space before you buy to find out what bowl shape fits best.

Toilet Buying – Toilet Design

There are three basic toilet designs: one piece, two pieces, and wall mount.

  • One-piece toilets are more expensive than two pieces, have a sleeker look, and are easier to clean because they have fewer crevices.
  • Two-piece toilets are the most commonly found in stores, are the most competitive in price, and offer the most options.
  • Wall mounted toilets are uncommon, require a different rough-in, more expensive, and are usually only used when replacing a wall mounted toilet. They are, however, the only toilets you can sweep under.

Toilet Buying – Toilet Height

Toilets are offered in two different heights: comfort height and standard height.

  • Comfort height is the Americans with Disabilities Act required 17” from the floor to the top of the seat. This height is becoming more frequently offered because it is very comfortable and easier to get off of than a standard height toilet.
  • Standard height toilets are 15” from the ground to the top of the seat.

Toilet Buying – Number of Flushes

  • In the past, low flow toilets had to be flushed twice to get the job done. Toilet designs have improved significantly, and now low flush is a great option. Dual flush toilets offer both a big flush and a water-saving flush option. The big flush uses 1.6 gallons of water, while the partial flush can use as low as 0.8 gallons.

Check with your water company prior to buying a toilet. Many companies offer rebate programs that can save you money if you purchase an efficient toilet that meets certain criteria. This is worth checking into, so you purchase the right toilet to qualify for a rebate.  If you need any help with toilet buying, call Carter’s My Plumber at 317-859-9999.  We have expert Plumbers trained in toilet buying!

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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