We can all agree that picking the best toilet doesn’t seem an awfully important task. But on the other hand, we do spend quite a bit of time in our lives sitting on a toilet. We have to buy a toilet, regularly clean one, look out for an environment while doing our business. And most importantly, a toilet has to be nice and homely. Why?
We’ll go above and beyond to look at every aspect when it comes to choosing and buying the best flushing toilet. What to consider when buying a toilet, what are the prices, the regular problems to be aware off – in fact, we’ll go right down to how to measure your bathroom and even screw sizes you’ll need with this all-in-one comprehensive 2018 toilet guide. Oh, and by the way, in the Top5er fashion we’ll start with the 5 absolute outstanding toilets (to give you an idea what most popular toilets look like).
What to consider when buying a toilet? [Infographic]
Before going over our top 5 picks for the best flushing toilets, we’ll quickly cover the basics of picking a toilet (you’ll find the details about best ways of looking at toilets a while further).
Usually, we already have a space in bathroom reserved for a one-piece or two-piece toilet, but this is about it. We’ve taken care to give you some preview of what things to consider when buying a toilet, neatly packed into the infographics (check it out before moving on):
In short, few things to consider are how comfortably we want to sit (floor-to-seat height and elongated bowl), do we want the modern one-piece toilet or the standard two-piece and always be sure to look at the warranty – we’ll cover those in the best bowl reviews as well.
Best Flushing Toilet Of 2018 (With Reviews)
Many things come in when picking a toilet, so we make a short Top5er list of 5 absolute best toilets, based on how popular they are, what costs they entail, how easy is to clean them, how they look and so on. Below the list, you’ll find the individual toilet reviews:
Best Toilets of 2018
2018 Toilet Buying Guide – Complete All-In-One Summary
As we’ve seen going through the best toilet picks of 2018, the Woodbridgebath toilet is an overall #1 pick and hands down the most popular 2018 choice for modern bathrooms. We thought it best to look at it and learn what makes the T-0019 model such a successful toilet. This will help us better illustrate and understand the whole toilet buying guide.
We will go through all the considerations when it comes to buying a brand new toilet, down to the siphon size and the basic plumbing fixes. If we you don’t find the information you’re looking for, just do a quick comment and we’ll try to help you as best we can.
1. One-Piece VS. Two-Piece Toilet
When it comes to a basic toilet design, the first thing we should as if we want a one-piece or two-piece toilet. We have covered some of the one-piece and two-piece toilets in our list, here we’ll focus on the Woodbridgebath toilet simple because it is the best toilet of 2018:
First of, the Woodbridgebath is a one-piece toilet. Most of the toilet we use in our homes, restaurants, hotels and so on are the two-piece settings. They are comprised of a toilet tank that holds up to 2 gallons of water and a separate bowl that we sit on. This is the old-school toilet standard that is quickly being replaced by the new standard – the one-piece toilets. Why are one-piece toilets better than two-piece ones?
Well, two-piece ones are generally cheaper but harder to install (you have to put two pieces together) and harder to clean. You can imagine that there are all kinds of cracks between the toilet bowl and tank and lots of nasty stuff gets caught up there.
Woodbrightbath one-piece toilet costs about $300 if you can find a good deal, and in fact, the average cost of a flushing toilet is about $400. However, the T-0019 is an exception when it comes to pricing (a good one!). Most of the one-piece toilets cost $50-$200 more than two-piece toilets. For example, one of the most expensive toilets (costs almost $5,000) is TOTO’s Neorest and it is, of course, a one-piece toilet.
2. What makes a toilet comfortable? (Elongated bowl and 18+ inch height)
During the list of the best toilets of 2018, we have talked a bit about what makes a toilet comfortable. Considering we spend about half an hour per day being seated on a toilet, comfortability is something we should definitely factor into the equation when we’re buying a new toilet.
How comfortable a toilet is generally a subjective matter – you might find one comfy and the other one very disagreeable. Nonetheless, there are two objective things that roughly speaking make toilets more comfortable.
The obvious one is the bowl. Here we have two varieties of toilet bowls – round and elongated. The best toilets usually have an elongated bowl. As a matter of fact, all the top toilets on our Top5er list have elongated bowls. What is an elongated bowl anyway? Here are two KOHLER toilet bowls – one is round and the other is elongated:
Of course, longer bowl and requires you to reserve more space in your bathroom for the toilet. The difference, however, is quite small – you’ll need additional 2 or 3 inches from the wall. For a standard bathroom, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have a small bathroom, you might check out some round bowl toilets as well.
The second less obvious contributor to toilet comfortability is floor-to-seat height. ADA regulations require all toilet seats to be 17” to 19” from the floor. Experience shows that some people find 17-inch height less comfortable. A general rule here is that best toilets as far as comfort is concerned to have 3. a floor-to-seat height of 18 inches or more.
Side note here: producers many times talk about floor-to-bowl height which is not the same as the floor-to-seat height. The seat thickness is the difference there. Why do they do that? Well, quite often the toilets are sold without a seat, so they can’t really talk about floor-to-seat height, can they. An easy calculation is to add a 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch to the floor-to-bowl height and we’ll get the floor-to-seat height. This is because a regular toilet seat has a thickness of about 1 inch or a bit more.
3. Eco-friendly And Saver Toilets
When it comes to great toilets, they also have to be great at conserving water. About half of the water we use in our home is used in the bathroom and the biggest water drain in the bathroom by far is the toilet. This only means that we can save quite a bit of water if we’re smart when it comes to choosing a toilet.
How much water does one flush of toilet use anyway?
Not too long ago, even the best toilets used even up to 5 gallons of water per a single flush. Today, the best toilets use innovative technology to reduce the water consumption to about 1.6 GPF. This a result of stricter ADA requirements and not only saves us big time on water bill; it is primarily designed to protect the environment and enables us to have a better control over our water consumption.
As a matter of fact, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formed a so-called ‘WaterSense’ label. It is quite a nifty label that is connected with all kind of products which use 20% less water than an average product.
In the case of toilets, if a producer like TOTO or KOHLER can achieve a 20% reduction in water flush volume, they can use the WaterSense label on their products. The innovation in the toilet industry has allowed for the creation of water-saving toilets with different systems like HET and G-Max flushing system (that’s the one in the best TOTO toilets).
20% less than average GPF brings the water consumption down to 1.28 GPF or less. What is important to remember, however, is that dual-flush toilets can be exempt. For example, the small flush in the best dual flush toilets can be as little as 1.0 GPF but the big flush is usually 1.6 GPF which is too much to be given a WaterSense label.
Which Brand To Choose? Summary Of Best Toilet Brands
When it comes to picking out the best toilet, we usually look for the main features like one-piece toilets or water saving technology, but we don’t really give much consideration as far as toilet brands are concerned.
So which toilet brands are safe choices? Let’s start with the 3 big ones:
Probably the most well-known brand of toilets is a Japanese company TOTO. While two other best toilets producers KOHLER and American Standard focus is dispersed on a variety of products, TOTO is more of a specialist, especially for toilets.
The thought that Japan makes the best toilets is really all because of TOTO toilets. They have a 100-year tradition of making the best toilets in the world.
Automation in toilets such as hands-free toilet seat and seat warmers is something TOTO is well known for. The inclusion of electronics in toilets, however, does come with a bit of cost – building electronics into the toilets does present a greater probability for toilet fails. On top of that, when you have to fix electronics-rich TOTO toilet, you can hardly do it by yourself. A plumber is a must and in some cases, an electrician is needed as well.
KOHLER is a well-known American company that designs and produces one of the finest toilets on the planet. The heart of KOHLER is their engineering department and KOHLER toilets have a status of well-put-together toilets. When you think about the many ways toilets can break down, you might get a headache. The whole point of well-designed KOHLER toilets is to ease these concerns with the best-engineered toilets.
Of course, KOHLER is a very diversified company and doesn’t focus exclusively on toilets as TOTO does. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a well-engineered American-made toilet, KOHLER is the perfect brand to choose from.
American Standard Toilets
The third biggest best toilet brand is American Standard. Despite being the only company behind the top 3 toilet brands with less than 100 years of tradition, you can see American Standard toilets in many restaurants and public places. Why?
Reliability. American Standard toilets are usually a safe bet even if you are a bit rough with them. As you might imagine, public toilets really need to be reliable and efficient. Of course, if you buy one of American Standard toilets, don’t flush all kinds of stuff down the toilet – here is a neat list of 11 things you shouldn’t flush down.
With American Standard newer toilets you can also see a few electronics being used to construct the toilets but they don’t go as far as TOTO when it comes to high-tech toilets.
Swiss Madison Toilets – Smaller Brand But Great Design
Swiss Madison is an up-and-coming company but it is really focused bathroom design, and boy, what a design it is! They offer toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs and that’s it. Without the diversification bigger brands are known for, the Swiss Madison can concentrate on creating the best toilets easier.
Where this is most apparent is the exceptional toilet design. As you can see from the photo on the right, the design of Swiss Madison toilets is edgy and modern. In turn, this gives the whole bathroom a youthful look.
Their best-selling toilet is called Swiss Madison Ivy. It’s pretty much one of the most eco-friendly toilets; it implements dual Tornado flush in order to use as little water as possible.
What is more, it also has a dual flush which brings down GPF to 0.8/1.28. That means you’re using 50% less water with a small 0.8 gallon flush than you would with a standard 1.6-gallon flush. Oh, and it does look amazing, you can check out the Swiss Madison Ivy here.
How Much Does A Toilet Cost? Price Ranges + Installation Costs
Toilet prices have a very broad range. You can buy a toilet for as little as $200 if you’re looking for a cheap toilet. On the other hand, some toilets can cost well over $1,000.
The most apparent cost is the price of the toilet itself.
When choosing a budget toilet, you’re probably looking at traditional two-piece toilets with at least 1.6 GPF and a standard look. With increasing toilet budget, you’ll notice that more toilets are one-piece toilets, have a lower GPF (if they are WaterSense, that means 1.28 GPF or lower) and maybe even a dual flush.
What really separates luxury toilets from high-end toilets is the design and electronic integration. Especially the electronic integration such as auto open/close lid, auto flush and remote control operation can bring the cost of the toilet well over $1,000. Add bowl heating, warm air dryer and maybe even warm water washer with adjusted pressure control and you’re looking at a high-tech toilet masterpiece but the price of the toilet will rise substantially.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Toilet?
Installation costs associated with anything that requires a plumber can be quite high. When trying to find out how much does it cost to install a toilet in your area you have some options. You can go through the yellow pages, simply google it or even ask the toilet producer like KOHLER or American Standard if they offer a toilet package with installation and ask how much the toilet+installation costs.
On the other hand, a very well-written site Angielist who did their own research with experienced plumbers, found the cost of toilet installation to be in the $125-$260. This is considerably below the Homeadvisor’s quoted prices for toilet installation cost but it at least gives you an idea how much is a reasonable quote for a toilet installation. The range can help you a bit when talking to a plumber and he or she quotes you an unreasonable price for the installation.
Can You Install The Toilet By Yourself As A DIY Project?
Well, nobody is stopping you to install the toilet by yourself. The good this is that the supplies are relatively cheap. A toilet siphon or two will cost you $10 or so. You’ll also need a wax seal to prevent leaking which costs less than $10. If you decide to DIY toilet installation, you’re looking at about $30 in costs and you can check out the DIY Network for some instruction.
Toilet installation can be a bit complex but if you’re the technical guy, it can be quite an interesting project. However, it’s important that your toilet DIY project doesn’t damage the floor or cause unnecessary leaks. You’ll probably need to call in a plumber to fix such toilet problems and the point of doing a DIY toilet installation is to avoid paying the plumber in the first place.
Toilet Warranty Standards
Toilets are built to be as durable as possible. A toilet should be replaced only every 20 years or so. And, after all, the cost of the toilet is quite high and you should always check the warranty that comes with the toilet.
Usually buying a toilet is quite risk-free because they’re built to last for ages. We’ll cover the common problems with toilets below but they can be quite easily fixed. What can’t be fixed is if we get a defective toilet right from the production line and this is exactly why the warranty is the most important for.
KOHLER, for example, is a company that offers a 1-year limited warranty with most of their toilets. American Standard, on the other hand, can offer some great warranty on specific toilets.
Here is an example of an exceptional warranty for the #3 on our list – American Standard Champion-4 toilet. Here is an excerpt from American Standard product warranty page:
This toilet comes with a limited lifetime warranty on chinaware, a limited 10 year warranty on all mechanical parts of the toilet and a limited 1 year warranty on the toilet seat if included with product.
As you can see, the toilet warranty is actually a warranty on specific parts like chinaware, mechanical parts (that’s usually flushing system) and toilet seat.
The main thing to remember is that warranty is a standard consideration when buying a new toilet. Everybody gives you some kind of warranty, just make sure you read the small print and you’ll be able to compare different toilets as far as the warranty goes as well.
Basic Problems With Toilets (And How To Address Them)
Problems with toilets can be quite annoying but usually there is a quick way how to fix non-functional toilets. If you look around the web about how to fix problems with toilets, you’ll find some great instructions at dengarden that include a lot of photos (useful when DIY fixing a clogged toilet for example).
Just to give you some quick directions, we’ve listed 3 most common toilet problems you’ve probably already faced and how to fix them (and if and when call in a plumber for a hand):
#1 Running Water or. ‘Phantom Flushes’
The constantly trickling water is probably the most common toilet problem. After a flush, the water just doesn’t stop trickling little by little from the tank down to the bowl – you can ever hear the water running.
It’s a quite annoying problem that, if not treated readily and properly, can boost your water usage considerably. Luckily, there’s an easy way to solve it yourself.
From the toilet tank diagram above, you can clearly see how the water from the tank enters the bowl via that pink piece (#6). That is a flapper that is usually causing the leaky water problems. If you have a bad flapper, it’s insufficiently closing the water stream. The running water in the toilet bowl that we see is caused by the flapper’s inability to completely shut off that water stream.
How to fix it? Just replace the existing bad flapper. They’re quite inexpensive – you can get a good flapper for $10 over at Amazon. Just be sure that it is compatible with your toilet.
#2 Clogged Toilet (Try Yourself Before Calling A Plumber)
We all hate a clogged toilet but we also know it has to be fixed. Sometimes we can do unclog the toilet ourselves, but in some cases, the clog is so persistent that we need to call in an expert.
How to deal with a clogged toilet?
There are several methods and they’re not really hard. The first one is the plunger; everybody knows how to operate and it can be effective in some cases. The second one is using a straightened wire to try to pick the clog and flush it down with the next flush. Straightening out an old coat-hanger is one technique of getting a wire but you can also buy appliances that are specifically designed to unclog toilets.
The third DIY option is less mechanic in nature. It involves using chemicals that are poured into the toilet water and sink in deep to reach the clog. They unclog the toilet by partly dissolving the clog which is torn apart by the next flush. Drano Max Clog Remover is an example of such a chemical liquid but there are many others. This one has a 4.3/5 Amazon star rating so it’s safe to say it help the majority of people with their clogging problems.
#3 Leaky Seals – Which 4 Places To Check?
Not as common a problem as running water or clogged toilet, but a leaky toilet is something that can be more damaging than both of those combined. If we’re not careful, the toilet can flood the entire bathroom before we notice.
In theory, it’s not that hard to fix a leaky toilet. There are 4 places where there can be a leak – we have to check each of them and either tighten the valve/seal or replace it. Here are places where a faulty seal will cause the toilet to leak:
- The big seal between tank and bowl. When you flush, there is a jet of water under the tank. You can fix it by replacing the seal when you empty the tank. (Tip: turn the tank upside down and you’ll have an easier access to toilet seal replacement)
- The small mounting bolts seal. These usually need to be tightened and if that doesn’t work out, replace them.
- The base of the ballcock seals. More often than not, these have to be replaced.
- Most important one to check – wax seal beneath the toilet base (located on a plastic flange). A deficient or broken wax seal is the least pleasant problem of a leaky toilet. All the water that gets released there can rot the floor and even caulking doesn’t help because it only traps the water there. Unfortunately, if you have a faulty wax seal, you’ll need to remove the whole toilet to completely remove and replace wax seal. Important: call the plumber. Too much can go wrong if you don’t fix it correctly and the costs of repairing the bathroom floor and tilling are much greater than a plumber’s bill.
Hope You’ll Enjoy Finding A New Toilet
Hopefully, we’ve given you some things to think about when choosing a new toilet. As we’ve learned, it actually quite an important and interesting part of bathroom design. Besides that, it is the one we spend most of the time sitting on in the bathroom and that uses up quite a bit of water.
In any case, always look for durability and water conservation when it comes to the best toilets. You want an elegant piece that will serve you for 20 years or more and will not be a drain on your water supply and will be friendly to the environment.
Even something like picking a perfect toilet can be fun!