What is the one thing you hate more than anything?
For me, it is trying to stop a toilet from overflowing after it has been used. It is an unpleasant experience that I prefer to avoid. Carefully considering the type of toilet and its potential customer base is important when determining which type of toilet is the right one for your replacement.
Certain types of toilets are more prone to clogging and overflowing than others. Toilets made in the early 1990’s had design flaws and gave the smaller, more efficient toilets a bad name, but those problems have been fixed now.
Toilets are made differently in either one or two piece models. Older toilets tend to use more water; this can cost a homeowner around $75.00 a year in extra water charges depending upon town charges and frequency of use. Newer toilets are offered in ADA compliant heights and in easier to clean models. Think about these 5 things when considering buying a new toilet.
#1 – Trap way size
Look for a glazed trap-way of 2 inches or larger. The plumber.com cautions that older homes may have 4-5 inch traps. The newer toilets usually have six gallon tanks but are designed to reduce water usage, taking the old number from 5 gallons to 3.5 gallons to the current by law requirement of 1.6 gallon per flush regulated by the National Energy Policy that took effect in 1994. Sometimes hooking up a new toilet to an old plumbing system can cause problems because the water pressure in the old house isn’t enough to successfully flush the new type of toilet even with the new gravity flushing designs. In these cases, considering a pressure assisted toilet versus the typical gravity flushed type.
#2 – Dimensions
Sitting on a toilet isn’t that big of a deal, but getting on and off the throne can be a problem, particularly as people get older. Including the seat thickness, with seat, you will probably want the toilet to sit around 16-17 inches high. If everyone in the home is taller, something a little higher may be more comfortable. Elongated bowls are popular but a round bowl might give you 4 extra inches of space for legroom in tight quarters. Allow at least 30 inches of “elbow” room around the bowl to accommodate movement and measure the existing plumbing from the wall to the center of the the drain pipe in the floor.
3# – Toilet Types
All gravity toilets work basically the same way, using gravity to force a flushing of the water. There are 3 types of flushing mechanisms If you want to learn more about this, see Choosing a Toilet by Plumber.com
#4 – Materials needed to install a new toilet
When you buy a toilet, depending upon whether it is a single piece, double piece, or a kit, make sure to consider that to install it, you will need the tank, bowl, innards – which are usually a flange, lever, ball, and you will also need a rubber gasket to prevent water from leaking out at the floor where the toilet and bowl meets at the floor. Some manufacturer’s sell the toilets complete with innards, and all you will need is the gasket and a toilet seat, others sell flushing kits. Different models and sizes require different innards so think about this when shopping for your new toilet. You don’t need a permit to change over a new toilet, but if you are adding water lines for a new toilet, you do need to pull a permit unless it is part of a new construction home.
#5 – Colors and Costs
Toilets come in all kinds of colors from red to green to purple and black. A white toilet, in any brand is always going to be cheaper than a colored one. Most people like to have their sink, tub or shower and toilets match in colors but there is no law about what color toilet you have to have and if you are not positive, go with a neutral color like white or beige. You can buy a toilet for as cheap as about $100.00 and as expensive as $1400, and just like anything else, you get what you pay for. Scrimping on nickels and dimes for the short haul may not be the best bet for something that you may use several times a day for many years.
When we remodeled our home, we had three bathrooms to think about. We scrimped on two of our toilets but for the main floor we went with an American Standard Elongated Extra Tall one piece model, and it cost us a little over $500. It is definitely heavier than the other two that we purchased.
For the cheap ones we spent about $140.00 each on. After about three years, I have found that the two cheaper ones lose their handles, require extra flushing, they are a pain in the neck to clean and often require plunging. When you sit on them you wonder if they can hold your weight, and I’m not that big of a girl. I can only imagine how a big guy might feel.
In my opinion, the more expensive toilet was worth every dime we spent on it. Bottom line for me? I’ve never had to plunge that one because it has enough force to flush properly! That is enough for me to love it and be glad I bought it.