Top 7 Best Rated Toilets Compared & Reviewed
A toilet doesn’t get much attention until it lets you down, but you’ll spend more than a year of your life sitting on one, and that’s a lot of time to spend with an uncomfortable, water-wasting fixture.
From energy efficient toilets to sleek, easy-to-clean and trouble-free designs, this toilet review will familiarize you with the different types of toilets and the advanced features that make now the perfect time to upgrade.
Don’t circle the drain! Come along as I compare the best rated toilets for efficiency, comfort, flushing power and more.
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- Our Top 7 Best Flushing Toilets For the Money:
- #2 Best Rated Toilet: KOHLER K-76301-0
- Our Take on The Kohler Toilet Brand:
- See How our Top 3 Best Rated Toilets Compare:
- The Only Best Toilet Buyer's Guide You'll Need
- 7 Tips for Finding the Best Toilet
- Toilet Terminology
- Types of Toilet Flush Systems
- Troubleshooting Common Toilet Problems
- Best Brands of Toilets
- Warranties and Rebates
What Type of Toilet are You Looking For?
See our Top Rated Toilets
See our Top Rated Portable Toilets
Not everyone has the room for elongated toilets – so when researching, choose a round bowl over an elongated bowl.
See Our Top Rated Compact Toilets
A compost toilet uses natural materials like: wood chips, or lavender, it then breaks down your waste into a useful compost.
See Our Top Rated Composting Toilets
Our Top 7 Best Flushing Toilets For the Money:
#1 The Best Toilet Goes To: TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II
This two-piece, gravity flush model is engineered with precision to save water without sacrificing performance. It’s Water Sense certified by the EPA and saves 20 percent more water than standard 1.6 GPF designs.
The hole-free rim, CeFiONtect glaze, and patented dual-nozzle Tornado Flush technology helps the bowl stay consistently cleaner with a vigorous, centrifugal rinsing action. The elongated seat is a comfortable 16 inches high and with the seat of your choice is ADA compliant for those with disabilities.
#1. Q: What’s the rough-in size?
A: The rough-in size as measured from the back wall behind your existing toilet to the middle of the cap that covers the bolt attaching it to the floor is 12 inches.
#2. Q: What makes CeFiONtect glaze special?
A: Untreated ceramics have a rough surface. CeFiONtect, also known as Sanagloss, is an ultra-smooth glaze applied to the ceramic before it’s fired, resulting in long-lasting protection again stains and microorganisms.
#3. Q: Will regular bowl cleaners damage the finish?
A: Avoid gritty powders, chemical thinners, or solutions with benzene. TOTO recommends using mild detergent and a soft brush.
Our Thoughts on the Toto Drake II:
The Drake II has a lot going for it and user experiences have been mostly exceptional. It flushes with gusto and cleans like a dream. The loud glug-glug noise it makes when draining is a little off-putting, but it beats clogs.
Why then, for the premium price, is the warranty period so short? TOTO has been in the bathroom fixture business for nearly a century and has earned a reputation as a best toilet brand, but a handful of Drake units have been plagued with quality control issues, and while I suspect it’s no more than among other brands, a longer warranty period on par with similar models would improve buyer confidence.
Overall, it’s pricey for its traditional styling, but I wouldn’t worry about performance. It’s truly a power flush toilet without needing costly pressure-assist technology.
#2 Best Rated Toilet: KOHLER K-76301-0
Like the Drake II, this Water Sense certified, gravity-flush model uses only 1.28 GPF. Kohler’s Class Five flushing system is competent, and the 16.5 inch height and elongated seat are both comfortable and ADA compliant.
What makes this Kohler stand out is the concealed trapway that eliminates the hard-to-clean drain pipe outline on the outside of most toilets. Instead, it features a smooth, flat surface that along with the low-profile domed bolt caps makes this model an absolute pleasure to clean.
#1. Q: How large is the rough-in?
A: 12 inches
#2. Q: Is everything needed for installation included?
A: The toilet seat, wax floor seal and water supply line must be purchased separately.
#3. Q: How tall is the base?
A: The base measures 16.5 inches. With the seat installed, it’s ADA compliant.
Cleaning the base of a traditional toilet is a miserable chore, and this design eliminates that. The exterior lines are not only a breeze to clean; they’re sophisticated and even luxurious for the budget-friendly price.
Our Take on The Kohler Toilet Brand:
Among efficient toilets, the canister-style flushing mechanism is one of the most powerful on the market, so clogs won’t be an issue, but the bowl cleaning action isn’t quite as good as the Drake II’s. The Class Five flushing system releases more water at a higher rate of speed than a traditional valve and while that sends bowl contents away quickly and effectively, moving water has less contact time with the bowl and may leave unwanted evidence behind.
Like the Drake II, the warranty is also remarkably short, especially for a brand with the market presence of Kohler, but for a third less money, it’s forgivable.
#3 Woodbridge T-0001 Dual Flush Elongated One-Piece Toilet
If you want to save water, but worry a high-efficiency toilet won’t have the flushing power you need, look at this model by Woodbridge. It’s equipped with a dual flush system averaging 1.28 GPF between use of the high-volume, 1.6 gallon option when you need it and the low 1.0 gallon option when you don’t.
The modern styling features a fully skirted trapway for easy cleaning and like most dual flush toilets; flush buttons are located on the top the tank. Best of all, it comes as a complete kit with everything needed to install it.
#1. Q: How tall is the base?
A: 18 inches with a seat attached
#2. Q: Can children reach the top-mounted flush buttons?
A: The shorter than average tank is an easy reach for everyone.
#3. Q: What does the installation kit include?
A: A pre-installed, soft-closing toilet seat, wax ring, floor bolts, hand wrench and an installation booklet
Our Take on The Woodbridge T-0001 One-Piece Toilet:
If you like a clean, modern silhouette, this toilet is aesthetically perfect and effortless to clean, but this may be a case of form and function passing like two ships in the night.
The dual flush is a great concept, but the difference between the two volume levels makes less of a difference than anticipated. The special siphon design is a plus. This funnels more water through the bowl where it’s needed most, making the results on the low level so good that the high-volume option is like a putting a turbocharger in a Yugo.
Add user complaints about sticky flush buttons and a fussy installation process with little room for error, and what you have is a capable, quiet flush toilet with costly options that don’t improve performance. By the book, this should be a celebration-worthy toilet. In reality, it’s a little underwhelming.
#4 Best Toilet Brand: TOTO MS604114CEFG#11 UltraMax II
From the protective Sanagloss glazing and Water Sense certification to the powerful cyclonic flushing system and the ADA complaint base height, this TOTO has features similar to the Drake II, but in a one-piece unit that eliminates the tough-to-clean space between the bowl and the tank.
With fewer parts to integrate, it’s easy to install and while it doesn’t come with everything you need in the box, TOTO includes a thoughtfully engineered, soft-close toilet seat constructed with durable, high-impact plastic and a hinge system that closes quietly and gently.
#1. Q: How much does the toilet weigh?
A: 99 pounds
#2. Q: Can the seat be adjusted or replaced?
A: Yes, it mounts with two top bolts like a traditional toilet seat and can be adjusted or replaced as needed.
#3. Q: What’s the toilet seat made of?
A: High-density molded plastic
Our Thoughts on This TOTO Toilet Model:
I’ll warn single installers — at a hundred pounds, this baby’s heavy. Two people are a must for safety, but compared to two-piece models, the actual installation is painless. A well-engineered, soft-closing toilet seat is included and there are few small parts, so the worry that poor quality control on a single component will turn installation into a nightmare is eliminated.
I’m still going to take TOTO to task over the abysmal one-year warranty on this model, but must admit — it’s so well made you’ll probably never need it. For its features, it’s pricey, but it may be both the best one piece toilet and the strongest flushing toilet money can buy. If they concealed the trapway, it might be the best toilet period.
#5 Best Flushing Toilet: American Standard Town Square
This elegant, two-piece model by American Standard functions as well as it looks. It’s Water Sense and ADA compliant and among efficient toilets, it one of the few that both flushes well enough to prevent clogs and keeps the bowl sparkling.
Like TOTO, American Standard also uses a glaze additive, EverClean, to discourage staining and bacterial growth, but they take it step further by extending it to the exterior of the fixture. All units include a slow-closing seat that mounts with a single, quick-remove mechanism for easy removal and cleaning and it’s backed by a full 10-year warranty.
#1. Q: What’s the rough-in?
A: 12 inches
#2. Q: How tall is the base?
A: The rim is 16.5 inches off the ground, 19 inches with the seat.
#3. Q: Is the flush loud?
A: The sound of the flush is comparable to a standard toilet, but it refills quietly.
What’s Our Take on The American Standard Toilet Brand:
This model is more of a jack of all trades than a specialist. It isn’t the top performer in every category, but it’s aesthetically appealing and includes the user-friendly features homeowners want most.
The large diameter flush valve virtually guarantees clog-free performance, and a unique rim that traps air in its chamber creates a pressurized downward flow of water that helps keep an already stain-resistant bowl even cleaner. I like that.
The hidden trapway and quick-release seat make cleaning a cinch, and it comes equipped with a kid-safe, soft-close seat. Wrap it all in a confidence-inspiring 10-year warranty and you have perhaps the best value on the market as well as a top contender for best toilet.
#6 Best Value Toilet: Niagara 77001WHCO1
This two-piece Niagara is a budget choice, but it’s a solid performer among energy efficient toilets. The Stealth flushing system uses vacuum assistance to help solids discharge effectively using just 0.8 gallons per flush, saving up to 35 percent more water than a traditional 1.6 GPF toilet.
The top-mounted button flush is easy for kids to use, and it’s ADA-compliant for comfort. For single installers, the two-piece construction is convenient and Niagara backs this model with a lifetime warranty on the vitreous china and 10 years on other parts.
#1. Q: Is this model pressure-assisted?
A: The Stealth flushing system is more vacuum-assisted than pressure-assisted. When water fills the tank, air is pushed into an air transfer tube. When flushed, water leaves the tube and air is pulled up from the trapway, creating a vacuum-assisted pull that accelerates the flow of water and waste.
#2. Q: Is this a quiet flush toilet?
A: Yes, it’s virtually noise-free.
#3. Q: Does this toilet work with a septic system?
#4. Q: What’s the rough-in on this model?
A: 12 inches
What’s our Take on The Niagara Toilet Brand:
Despite the vacuum-assisted design, this isn’t the best flushing toilet, but at less than half the price of other models, it’s a solid performer when budget matters. For multi-unit housing, the ultra-quiet flush, ADA-complaint height and water-saving features are a huge plus. If you’re installing more than one of these, the two-piece construction makes it an easy-one-person job.
What I don’t like about this model is the potential for clogs if your home’s discharge drain is atypical or less than 3 inches. This is the minority of homes, but it can take you by surprise if have an older building with plumbing that isn’t quite the norm.
My other quibble is the trapway. It’s particularly convoluted and tough to keep clean. The trade-off, however, is a luxury-level warranty at a budget-friendly price and that makes this toilet an excellent overall value.
#7 American Standard 2034.014.020 Champion One-Piece Elongated Seat Toilet
American Standard calls this one-piece model the “undisputed leader in high performance toilets” with good reason. Its 4-inch Accelerator flush valve and large, fully glazed trapway can handle masses up to 70 percent larger than its competitors while using a respectable 1.6 gallons per flush.
It’s efficient, ADA-complaint and like other American Standard toilets, features EverClean porcelain to help keep the bowl clean and sanitary with less effort. To top it off, the Champion is backed with a 10-year worry-free warranty.
#1. Q: What’s the rough-in?
A: 12 inches
#2. Q: How tall is the base?
A: It’s 16.5 inches installed. With the addition of a toilet seat, it will meet the 17 inch height required for ADA certification.
#3. Q: Is this toilet Water Sense certified?
A: No. Water sense certification requires gallons per flush be 1.28 GPF or less. This model uses 1.6 gallons.
American Standard is another best toilet brand with a quality reputation, but this model let me down. It’s the best one piece toilet for pure flushing power, yet despite handling a bowl full of Mothballs in testing, it lacks cyclonic bowl cleaning action and the results can be messy.
My other complaint is the trapway. An enclosed trapway is a value-added feature that’s becoming a must-have and for the price, frankly, I expect it.
For those living in states where water use regulations are tight, the lack of Water Sense certification matters and given the sub-par bowl cleaning on this model, I suspect the same results could be achieved with a more usage-friendly design.
If you want a power flush toilet, this is it. If you want a highly efficient toilet that takes less effort to keep clean, look at a TOTO.
This toilet review looked at different types of toilets for every need, and they all perform admirably, but there are clear differences in flushing capability, water usage and overall comfort including both sitting height and ease of cleaning that define how good it will be for you.
See How our Top 3 Best Rated Toilets Compare:
After a considerable amount of time and effort in researching and reviewing each toilet brand for user ratings and feedback, we compiled our top three toilet picks. Let us know what you think…
#1. The Niagara 77001WHCO1 Stealth 0.8 GPF Toilet
I’m a sucker for value and although it’s not the most full-featured toilet on the list, it’s quiet, comfortable and manages to save a ton of water while flushing like a more expensive model.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I’ll give it a:
- 4.2 for flushing
- 5.0 for water usage
- 3.5 for comfort
#2. The TOTO MS604114CEFG#11 UltraMax II One-Piece Elongated Seat Toilet
It doesn’t beat the American Standard Champion for pure power, but it’s the best flushing toilet when bowl cleaning capability is considered. For the price, I’d like to see a concealed trapway and a better warranty, but the overall quality is superb.
It gets a:
- 4.8 for flushing
- 4.5 for water usage
- 4.0 for comfort
#3. The American Standard 2817.128.020 Town Square Concealed Elongated Seat Toilet
Top toilets need both top-notch performance and convenience features. This isn’t the strongest flushing toilet, but it discharges more than capably and the sleek design, enclosed trapway and cyclonic flushing action take the sweat out of keeping it clean.
It’s not a perfect score, but it’s my overall winner with scores of:
- 4.6 for flushing
- 4.5 for water usage
- 4.8 for comfort
There you have it. I hope this has been time well-spent for you and makes your buying decision easier. You and your new toilet are going to be good friends for a while and making the effort to choose wisely is worth it.
The Only Best Toilet Buyer’s Guide You’ll Need
Shopping for a toilet is tough. The selection is dizzying and if you haven’t purchased one in a while, it’s critical to understand more about different types of toilets and toilet flush systems to avoid making a costly, uncomfortable mistake.
If you’ve looked at toilet ratings and best toilet reviews, but still find the technical jargon intimidating, this buyer’s guide is for you. From evaluating toilet manufacturers to reviewing features on the best brands of toilets, I’ll explain how things works and show you how to choose a toilet that’s perfect for your home.
7 Tips for Finding the Best Toilet
Before you start shopping, here are seven things to consider.
#1. Toilet Flush Rating
This reflects how much waste a toilet can discharge in a single flush. Manufacturers and consumer watchdog organizations both test toilets, but the gold standard for proving a fixture’s capability is Maximum Performance, or MaP testing. These tests are voluntary and results aren’t found on every label. We’ll cover the importance of this rating and how to find it in the next section.
#2. Standard Flush or Dual Flush Capability
Standard models use the same amount of water for each flush. Dual styles have two settings — a higher option for a hearty flush and a lower option that saves water when flushing liquid-only content. Single flush toilets are typically less expensive, easier to clean and cheaper to repair, while the relatively new dual flush technology is designed to save water and lower energy costs over time.
#3. Comfort Rating
Standard toilets have an average sitting height of 15 inches. Models that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines are between 17 and 19 inches. Only businesses, owners of multi-unit buildings and certain organizations must consider regulations with regard to toilet height, but because they’re more comfortable to use for the tall and elderly, ADA certified comfort height toilets are increasingly popular.
#4. Measure Twice, Buy Once
Ensuring your new toilet will fit in your space is a top priority. The most important measurement is known as the rough-in. This is the length from the wall, not the baseboard, to the center of the bolt holding the toilet down. Keep reading for more information about rough-in challenges in the next section.
#5. One-piece versus Two-piece Toilets
Both types of toilets work the same way and each has distinct advantages.
One-piece toilets eliminate the space between the bowl and the tank and are easier to keep clean. With fewer individual parts, they’re aesthetically clean and less fussy to install, but they’re also more expensive, very heavy for a one-person installation, and a sturdy wall is required. If you’re tackling a toilet installation alone, a two-piece model is recommended for safety.
#6. Pressure-assisted or Gravity-fed Flushing Systems
Gravity-fed systems use only the weight of the water in the tank to produce flushing pressure. Pressure-assisted toilets use pressurized air behind a column of water to move waste more effectively, especially in low-flow toilets. No electricity is required.
To encourage lower water consumption, some municipalities offer rebates when you swap an old water guzzler for a new, high-efficiency toilet. Rebates average $40-$100 per unit and each program has different requirements. Before buying, check with your local water utility to see how you can purchase a toilet that qualifies.
Toilets have jargon all their own. These definitions will help you sort it out.
When water-saving toilets were first introduced, consumer complaints were plentiful. The law regulated how much water toilets could use, but not how effective they had to be. Not only did this result in clogs, but also vanishing water savings as double-flushing became the norm. Enter the Maximum Performance, or MaP rating.
Ratings were first established by mutually interested consumer protection groups. Participation is voluntary on the part of toilet manufacturers, and testing takes place in independent laboratories, but it’s safe to assume that most makers don’t put subpar toilets through testing.
Tests consist of flushing both real-world media and toilet paper — not golf balls, potatoes or other items featured in marketing schemes — to determine how much a toilet can discharge by volume in a single flush. Currently, the maximum rating is 1000 grams, or a whopping 2.2 pounds, and any rating of 500 grams or more is considered to be excellent. Results, as well as more information about how to interpret toilet ratings is available on the MaP website.
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act outlined a new set of design standards that makes bathrooms accessible to everyone. Commercial organizations and in some areas, new multi-unit construction must adhere to some or all of these rules, but homeowners are rarely limited.
Standard toilets have a sitting height of about 15 inches with a seat installed. ADA certified toilets must reach a height between 17 and 19 inches. So, if residential toilets aren’t required to follow ADA rules, why do manufacturers emphasize this certification? Because ADA certified toilets are safer and more comfortable for most people.
Since these rules are not something the majority people are familiar with, compliant toilets are typically labeled as comfort height, while others have proprietary designations like “Right Height.” In most cases, it means the same thing — that the toilet meets ADA height standards.
WaterSense is the Environmental Protection Agency’s certification program for toilet efficiency. To be WaterSense certified, models must pass independent testing showing they use 1.28 gallons of water per flush or less. That’s 20 percent less than the required maximum of 1.6 gallons for new toilets and much less than the 6 gallon models found in many older homes.
According to the EPA, toilets account for about 30 percent of a home’s indoor water consumption. By replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense certified models, they estimate the average family could save up to 13,000 gallons of water and up to $110 in energy costs annually.
Regular versus Macerating Toilets
Regular toilets use gravity to pull waste through a drain to the sewer or septic tank. This works because the drain line is below the level of the toilet.
If you want to install a toilet in a basement or other location where there is insufficient gravity to help waste flow naturally, you’ll need a macerating, or up flush, toilet. These models send waste to a special macerating tank mounted behind the toilet where blades liquefy the waste. The tank contents are then pumped through an auxiliary pipe that feeds into the main drain line.
Macerating toilets are more expensive to buy, maintain and repair than standard models, and you’ll incur the expenses associated with running new plumbing, but if you need a bathroom on a level lower than your home’s main drain line, it’s an attractive solution.
The rough-in reflects the distance from the center of the waste outlet pipe in the floor to the wall. In most homes, this is 12 inches, but occasionally, due to the construction of the toilet or unique architectural features, you may have a 10- or 14-inch rough-in.
There are several measurements you should take before purchasing a new toilet, but this is one is the most important. Stick with me for a tutorial in the next section on how to measure your space for a new toilet.
Specialized Surface Finishes
Toilets are made from a variety of materials, but most residential models are made of vitreous china, also known as porcelain. Porcelain is just clay and water, but when fired in high heat, it becomes a hard, durable material. Unfortunately, it’s also porous and rough.
To ensure a smooth finish, porcelain is glazed, but after a few years of regular use and cleaning — especially with gritty cleansers and stiff brushes — the glazing can wear thin, allowing stains to set in and odor-causing bacteria to stick to the toilet bowl wall.
To avoid this, better manufacturers apply special treatments to the porcelain to smooth it out before firing. This creates a permanent, specialized finish that’s both stain- and odor-resistant. Common brand names include Sanagloss and EverClean.
Round vs Elongated Bowl Shape
Round bowls are the standard, but elongated shapes are catching up fast. Both have their pros and cons.
At an average of 28 inches, a round bowl is shorter, so it’s a good choice for small spaces. Round bowls are particularly good for petite persons and children, and because they’ve been around so long, they’re less expensive.
Elongated bowls run up to 31 inches — a full three inches longer. If knee space in the bathroom is tight, that’s a significant difference, but otherwise, the elongated shape has a few clear advantages.
It’s a better fit for larger people and puts more open space where men need it most. The generous surface area gives toilet seat makers flexibility to add more curves, improving comfort and ergonomics.
Because of the larger open space in the front of the bowl however, toilet training small children can be a challenge, but adapters that fit over the seat to make it smaller are available and in some cases, create a sitting surface that’s even more stable and kid-friendly than its round cousin.
Finally, the larger bowl holds more water and that’s an advantage in two ways. It can accommodate more water per flush to help discharge waste without splashing, and the larger water volume tends to help keep the bowl cleaner.
Types of Toilet Flush Systems
If the purpose of a toilet is to discharge waste, then choosing the right flushing system is your top priority. There are two types of flushing systems — gravity-fed and pressure-assisted. Both types come with single or dual flush options. Here’s what you need to know.
Gravity Flush Systems
Gravity flush systems are the most common. Take the cover off the tank on gravity flush toilet and you’ll see plenty of water and a traditional flap valve. When flushed, the sheer weight of the water in the tank sends it barreling through the valve and into the bowl where it sweeps contents away.
Gravity flush systems have a few advantages. They’re not complicated and are therefore, less expensive. That goes for replacement parts as well. If your toilet malfunctions off-hours on a weekend, most department stores carry what you need to fix it for about ten bucks.
Gravity flush systems are also quieter, sometimes by far, and that makes a difference when a toilet is stationed over someone’s bedroom. The majority of quiet flush toilets have gravity-fed systems.
A pressure-assist flush, or high pressure toilet, works differently. It collects water in a narrow cylinder and draws pressurized air in above it. When flushed, the air pressure pushes the water out with greater force and in theory, lowers the risk of clogs. Take the cover off the tank and you’ll see no water or flap valve, just a plastic cylinder. This has its pros and cons.
If you want the strongest flushing toilet, a pressure-assist model is a good choice, and because water is confined to the cylinder, it eliminates messy and potentially damaging condensation on the outside of the tank. For disabled or elderly persons for whom manual plunging is impossible, a high pressure toilet is less likely to clog. It’s a more expensive system, but if you need to call a plumber for every back-up, the price difference you pay upfront may save money and hassle in the long run.
Where pressure-assist systems disappoint is with sound and repair cost. If you have one, forget using it discreetly. A pressure-assisted quiet flush toilet is rarer than Bigfoot. Repairs to some models may also be costly, and if you need parts in a pinch, good luck finding them at a big box store.
Dual Flush Systems
Single flush systems discharge the maximum amount of water possible with every single flush. Dual flush systems offer two different options — a full flush for packages and a partial, water-saving flush for liquids. This sounds like a great option and in some cases, it can be, but with two cautions.
First, some dual flush systems are not WaterSense certified and won’t qualify for rebates. These tend to be high pressure toilets that consistently deliver more than 1.28 GPF regardless of which level is used. Other toilets use an average of the 1.6 GPF high option and the 0.8 or 1 GPF low option to obtain WaterSense certification, but if the low option proves to be too low in the real-world to avoid consistent double-flushing, water savings evaporate.
Second, dual flush systems use either a bi-level pneumatic handle or a set of two push buttons to flush. Buttons are usually mounted on top of the tank and for some people, that’s convenient, but they can be hard to reach and depress fully for children, and if you need to flush halfway through finishing big business to avoid clogs, reaching behind you is like playing a game of Twister.
A pneumatic handle with two pressure-sensitive options is an effective solution, but practically speaking, they tend to malfunction more than traditional handles and also take more force to depress.
Measuring Your Space for a New Toilet
Carefully measuring your space for a new toilet before you buy will help you avoid costly mistakes. Several dimensions are important, starting with the rough-in.
To check rough-in, measure the distance from the wall behind your existing toilet to the center of one of the two bolts that secure it to the floor. These are located on each side of the toilet and are covered by decorative caps for easy cleaning. Don’t angle the tape, and don’t measure against the baseboard. You can’t see it, but this measurement equates to the center of the drain hole under toilet.
Twelve-inch rough-ins are the most common, but there’s an exception to every rule and once in a while, you’ll run into one that measures 10 or 14 inches. In this case, your selection of toilets may be limited, but a professional assessment by a licensed plumber may reveal additional options.
It’s also important to consider other measurements to ensure the model you choose doesn’t leave you short on space. Most residential building codes require at least 15 inches of clearance from the center of the toilet to the nearest wall or fixture and for comfort, experts recommend 40 inches. There should also be a minimum of 21 inches of knee space in front of the toilet. Today’s largest toilets can exceed 30 inches in depth, requiring a total area of at least fifty inches — more for universal access including wheelchairs.
Troubleshooting Common Toilet Problems
Toilets that Run Constantly
If your toilet runs longer than it should after flushing, two common problems may be the culprit — a flap valve that doesn’t seal properly or a fill valve that needs adjustment.
Most types of toilets have a rubber flap valve that over time, deteriorate and warp. When that happens, the flap doesn’t seal properly and water leaks by. If you’ve ever jiggled a toilet’s handle to try to stop continuous running and wonder why it works sometimes, it’s because the jiggling action helps re-angle the flap and in some cases, it’s enough to create a good seal.
How To replace a bad flapper:
- Turn off the water the supply.
- Drain the tank.
- Disconnect the chain from both the flapper and the flush tower.
- Replace the flapper and reconnect it to the flush tower.
- Refill the tank.
If the problem isn’t the flapper, the fill valve may need to be adjusted. Look in the tank. Ideally, water should sit about an inch from the top of the overflow tube. If it’s too high or too low, use the bi-directional screw on the valve to adjust it. Turn it one way to raise the water level in the tank. Turn it the opposite way to lower it.
It’s seems spooky, but phantom flushes are usually the result of a bad flapper that allows enough water to leak from the tank that it lowers the float and causes a spontaneous flush. The good news is that when you’re done impressing friends with your otherworldly toilet; save yourself a plumbing bill by replacing the flapper using the steps outlined above.
If you get a weak gurgle when you flush, or have to double-flush regularly to make solids discharge, check the water level in the tank. If it’s low, there may be insufficient water building in the tank between flushes. Use the adjustment knob as outlined above to raise the level.
If that doesn’t do the trick, it’s possible the flapper is closing too soon, preventing the full volume of water from flowing through the valve. To keep it open longer, shorten the chain. A slack of 0.25 to 0.5 inches is recommended.
If neither of these fixes work, it’s possible you have a clog somewhere in the system. This could be a simple mechanical clog caused by waste or the chew toy your dog dropped down the drain, or worse, by roots or mineral buildup in your sewer pipe.
If you suspect a clog, try a plunger first. If that’s not successful, a plumbing snake or auger might do the trick. If the problem persists, it’s worth calling a plumber before considering chemical treatments that can be both dangerous and harmful to your system.
Best Brands of Toilets
Only select manufacturers make the types of toilets you’ll consistently find at the top of best toilet reviews or best toilet brand lists. Here are three that make the cut.
TOTO’s been around since 1912 with manufacturing plants in the United States and abroad. Their motto? Take pride in your work, and strive to do your best. They have a team of nearly a hundred engineers and designers committed to research, water sustainability and people-centered design and it shows in their array of full-featured toilets, consistent part and accessory support and reputation for top-notch customer service.
Innovative features include:
- Water-saving technology
- Sanagloss stain-resistant glazing
- Tornado Flush anti-clog, bowl cleaning technology
- Universal seat height and SoftClose seats that won’t pinch tiny fingers
How much is a toilet by TOTO? Surprisingly, whether you need a quiet flush toilet or the strongest flushing toilet, you can expect to find choices that are both cost-competitive and excellent overall values.
Kohler is a family-led company with over 140 years of experience in bathroom fixtures and more. Founded in Wisconsin by John Michael Kohler in 1873, the Kohler Co. prides itself on both modern design and product lines for every need. They make many different types of toilets including more options for 10- and 14- inch rough-ins than any other company and are one of the few for which next-generation intelligent toilet technology is a priority.
Top Kohler toilet features include:
- Clog-busting Aqua Piston flushing system
- Concealed trapways eliminating the nooks and crannies that make cleaning a chore
- High-efficiency, water-saving designs
- Intelligent toilet extras including deodorization, heated seats and self-cleaning technology
How much is a toilet by Kohler going to set you back? They make a high-quality model for every budget, and while the price of an intelligent design is commensurate with its features, the average residential model is similar in price to offerings by American Standard and TOTO.
#3. American Standard
American Standard is anything but an ordinary company and it remains a best toilet brand after more than a century. Headquartered in New Jersey, American Standard has changed a lot throughout the years, but remains committed to making a quality product and supporting the local community.
Top American Standard features are:
- EverClean stain-resistant glaze
- VorMax bowl cleaning action
- ActiClean self-cleaning technology
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
How much will a toilet by American Standard set you back? That depends on your needs. They’re currently the number two seller of toilets in the United States and pride themselves on making quality economy toilets as well as styles for the luxury market.
Warranties and Rebates
Warranties vary greatly among manufacturers from a year to a lifetime. While coverage is important, it may not necessarily reflect initial quality, and it pays to consider both user experiences and reputation first.
Some types of toilet flush systems including pressure assist styles and models with highly proprietary technology could cost a lot to repair if they break down prematurely, so it’s wise to give the warranty greater weight in your buying considerations.
Traditional, gravity flush toilets are less likely to malfunction and if they do, repairs can be made on a dime. If all else is equal, a good warranty counts, but it isn’t as critical with simple models.
When researching warranties, be sure to read the fine print. Some warranties cover the porcelain for longer periods than mechanical parts. Others require you ship broken toilets for repair or have other restrictions that are both cost-and effort-prohibitive.
Rebates are a good incentive to purchase a new, energy-efficient toilet even if yours isn’t on its last leg yet. Since programs come and go and qualifying models change frequently, it’s best to check with your water utility before you buy. Some rebates may require participation in water use monitoring programs and may apply only to certain models.
Recap — How To Choose a Toilet
Looking for the best toilet seems like a lot of work, but I’ll try to make it easier with a quick recap.
To choose a toilet you’ll be happy with long-term:
- Consider your needs carefully using the information in this guide.
- Define your budget.
- Measure your space twice, and then measure it again.
- Check for rebate programs in your area.
- Narrow down models of interest and research user experiences.
- Clarify warranty and delivery details.
- Get help on board for the installation.
Our Final Thoughts:
All that’s left to do now is to congratulate yourself on a job well done, and prepare yourself to be amazed with the comfort, performance and water savings you deserve from a quality new toilet.