You wouldn’t think there would be very much to consider when buying your first toilet. After all, every house has at least one and they pretty much have a single function, so, what’s to think about? Surprisingly, there’s more to the toilet then most people think – Here are several important things you should know when buying your first toilet:
1) What is the length of your rough-in? This is the measurement between the toilet drain on the floor and the wall where the tank will be. Generally, this is 12″, but it could be up to 2″ less or more than this depending on the age of your home. This information is really important if you want your new toilet to work with your current plumbing.
2) What are the measurements of the area/room where the toilet will go? Is it separately enclosed? If so, what is the distance between the back wall and the enclosure’s door? From side to side?
3) Do you want a round bowl or an elongated (oval shaped) bowl – you’ll need the measurements of the area/room where the toilet will be to help with this decision, but a round bowl is usually less expensive than an elongated bowl, though not as comfortable because of its smaller size. Replacement seats for the elongated bowls are generally a bit higher in cost too, but they don’t need to be replaced as often since this shape tends to be more universally sized so the seat doesn’t move around as much under our weight.
4) What style of toilet will fit in your area? A toilet with a separate tank referred to as a “two-piece” is generally what we see in most bathrooms; there is the “one-piece” toilet, where the tank and toilet are all one piece. This one is higher in cost but allows you to have an elongated seat in smaller spaces; there is also a “wall-hung” toilet which is really convenient for cleaning around and under, but requires special wall thickness to hold its weight and the drain needs to be in the wall rather than on the floor, so, you’ll need to consider the cost of possible construction and new plumbing if you don’t already have a wall-hung toilet.
5) You’ll also want to consider water saving toilets and flush power – yes, flush power! Water saving toilets will usually be identified as such and can save money on your utility bills. Flush power is the flow’s ability to remove waste and avoid clogging. You can find the flush rating on the manufacturer packaging, the higher the number, the better the flush – this is important if you are trying to conserve water.
6) Finally, you’ll want to hire someone to install your new toilet, or wrangle a (strong) family member to help you if installing it yourself because the average toilet weighs anywhere from 70 to 120 pounds