What Different Types of Toilets Exist? | Roto-Rooter
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What are the Different Types of Toilets?

January 26, 2018

What Different Types of Toilets are Available for My Bathroom?

Shopping for a new toilet? You’re probably surprised (and possibly a little overwhelmed) at the wide variety of options, features and benefits of modern-day toilets. It’s hard to imagine a household fixture/appliance with such a primitive purpose could be so advanced!

To choose the best toilet for your home, review Roto-Rooter’s list of common toilet characteristics in order to make the most informed purchase decision.

One-Piece vs. Two-Piece
The vast majority of toilets in homes today are two-piece, meaning the tank is manufactured separately from the bowl, and the pieces are put together during installation. Two-piece toilets can be cumbersome, making installation difficult for the novice do-it-yourselfer to accomplish alone. However, because two-piece toilets are so common, they are relatively inexpensive to buy, repair or have a plumber install.

One-piece toilets are easier to install but more expensive than their two-piece counterparts. They are often more sleek and modern-looking in comparison to two-piece toilets and use the same amount of water per flush. One-piece toilets can be ideal for small guest bathrooms or children’s bathrooms, as they are easier to clean, take up less space, and sit closer to the ground.

Floor vs. Wall-Hung
As with the standard two-piece toilet, the vast majority of toilets in homes are floor-standing models. Wall-hung toilets are more common in commercial establishments, but they can be useful in homes with limited space in the bathroom. Wall-hung toilets don’t have tanks, leaving only the bowl and flush plate intruding into the bathroom. And since most homes are built with the waste pipe in the floor, you may have to pay a plumber to significantly alter the plumbing in order to accommodate a wall-hung toilet.

Wall-hung toilets are the more expensive choice. Models tend to be significantly higher priced than traditional floor toilets. Plus, the use commercial-grade flushometer systems to flush waste from the bowl, making repairs difficult or impossible for an inexperienced homeowner.

Gravity-Feed vs. Pressure-Assisted
The average two-piece floor-standing toilet you’re already familiar with has another feature you already know about, even if you didn’t know what it was called gravity-feed flushing. Simply speaking, when you push down on the flush handle, water drops from the tank into the bowl to move waste down the drain.

Flushometer and pressure-assisted toilets works a little differently. Flushometers rely on raw water pressure while pressure-assisted toilet utilize compressed air to force waste down the drain. Pressure-assisted toilets use far less water than a traditional gravity-fed toilet. If you’ve ever flushed a toilet on an airplane, you can probably recall the whoosh sound made by the flushing mechanism.

Pressure-assisted toilets are more expensive than their gravity-fed counterparts, but can present a significant reduction in water usage for conservation-minded households. Another factor to consider is noise--pressure-assisted toilets are loud. If you have a bathroom near a common space, this may be an undesirable feature. And at least one brand of pressure-assisted toilet had a significant recall in recent years after their air tanks ruptured causing the porcelain outer tanks to explode!

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly toilet without the noise, a dual-flush toilet might be the right choice for your home. Dual-flush toilets have two buttons or lever options. One button delivers a low power flush using less water to wash away urine. The second button deliver the full flush power of the toilet to rid the bowl of solid waste. Over time, dual-flush toilets will conserve a lot of water.

Standard vs. Comfort Height
Standard toilet bowls usually come to 14-15 inches in height. Comfort height (or seat height) toilets reach between 17 and 19 inches in height. The taller toilet seat can be more comfortable for individuals to use, especially if they experience limited physical mobility. At the end of the day, toilet seat height is a matter of preference.

Round Bowl vs. Elongated Bowl
When it comes to bowl shape, the decision-making factor is usually comfort. Some people find an elongated toilet bowl more comfortable. However, smaller bathrooms may necessitate a round bowl to save a little bit of space.

Luxury Factors
Who says a toilet has to be purely functional? Smart technology is invading our homes, and toilets are no exception. If you’re hoping to take your toilet experience to the next level, look for hands-free flushing, heated seats, built-in bidet functionality, automatic overflow protection, self-cleaning and self-deodorizing features, and even toilet bowl nightlights for those midnight trips to the bathroom. The Japanese have enjoyed these luxury toilets for a generation, but they are still rare in American homes, partly because they require a nearby electrical outlet to power the luxury features.

The bathroom is a very important room in every home—and it’s essential that the plumbing work correctly. Homeowners everywhere count on Roto-Rooter for all aspects of bathroom plumbing, including repair, replacement and installation. Give us a call at 800-768-6911 (1-800-GET-ROTO) or schedule a service with Roto-Rooter online. In addition, check out our free plumbing tips & videos for advice on maintenance and quick fixes of your bathroom plumbing system.

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