How much do you know about toilets? No, really. When it comes to choosing a new toilet for your powder room or master bath, there may be more options than you’d suspect. It’s not just about the shape of the water tank or the style of the lever: it’s about the type of toilet itself. So today, let’s learn
We should probably also note that we’re talking specifically about seated flush toilets, but there are many other designs in the world. These include vacuum toilets – typically found in airplane and passenger train bathrooms—dry toilets, and portable toilets, to name just a few.
Sidebar, seated flush toilets are often referred to as ‘Western’ toilets because they’re primarily used in the West. You’ll usually find seated flush toilets in North America, Oceania, Western Europe, and beyond. Squatting flush toilets are commonly used all over Asia and in sub-Saharan African countries and certain areas in Southern Europe, like the Balkans. Still, you’re likely to find ‘Western’ toilets in more populated, metropolitan Asian cities thanks to the so-called “toilet revolution.”
Now that we’ve flushed that one out, let’s get back to the main event!
Some additional need to know info: flush toilets dispose of human waste, moving it from the chosen receptacle through the drainpipe to a separate location. A toilet found in the average American home probably has a cistern—that is, the water tank above the bowl. When you flush, the water in the bowl gets rapidly sucked away and is replaced with the pristine water from the cistern.
The most common toilet for U.S. homeowners is the two-piece toilet. With this product, the bowl and the cistern are built separately, sold together, and then joined during installation. Because two-piece toilets have been around for quite a while, manufacturers have perfected the blueprints, making them easy to mass-produce and inexpensive to purchase. In addition, since these units come in two parts, it’s relatively simple to repair a malfunctioning piece or replace a broken one. You can buy this type of toilet as a floor-standing model or a wall-mounted unit.
However, two-piece toilets also tend to be large, bulky, and heavy. Although their separate pieces make them more convenient to move, it can still be tricky to maneuver the parts and secure them into place. Deep-cleaning a two-piece toilet can also be quite the undertaking. Because of the nooks and crannies, two-piece toilets can be a magnet for grime and bacteria.
The one-piece toilet functions very similarly to its counterpart, the two-piece. The biggest difference is, of course, the fact that it has 50% fewer individual pieces.
Because it’s one big piece, there are fewer crevices for bacteria to grow, making it more hygienic and generally easier to clean. On the whole, it’s also slimmer, sleeker, and more contemporary looking than the heavy-set two-piece and is less hassle to assemble. And best of all, it’s more durable and long-lasting than the other option. Although it is a bit more expensive than the two-piece, some homeowners think the benefits are worth it.
On the downside, an easier assembly can be somewhat negated because this unit is heavy. The single porcelain piece significantly decreases maneuverability, and if the unit gets damaged, it’s more likely that you’ll have to replace the whole thing. It’s also only available in the floor-standing model.
Remember earlier, when we explained the bowl and cistern breakdown? Well, the wall-hung toilet is different from the other two on this list because only the seat and flushing mechanism are visible in the bathroom. Of course, the cistern has to be there to make the toilet functional, but it’s hidden inside the wall.
Wall-hung toilets are aesthetically pleasing, streamlined, and perfect for bathrooms with limited space or for the homeowner who just likes something a little different! They can be hung on almost any wall, provided that it’s near a water source. They offer a clean look and feel to any bathroom.
They do come with their share of cons, though. They’re quite a bit more expensive than other models, and if repairs are needed, it’s much more difficult to access the pertinent parts. Plus, if you’re replacing a traditional toilet with a wall-hung unit, you’ll need special plumbing accommodations to install your new model.
Whatever your preference for picking your porcelain throne, we hope this simple guide makes your selection easier. For more toilet insight, let J.T. McDermott answer your questions; we’ll help you put the ‘loo’ in so-loo-tions!
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.