Any bathroom renovation requires a reliable toilet that will flush wastes away. To do otherwise might mean destroying vanity cabinets, ceramic floor tiles and your peace of mind.
Selecting a toilet for your bathroom remodeling project could be easy as going down to the local home improvement store. You can pay from $49 to $3,600. Yes folks that's Three thousand six hundred dollars. Today's toilets do a lot more than flush waste water away and have come a long way since they were invented.
Most folks think that a British chap by the name of Thomas Crapper invented the water closet or toilet. While researching this article, I found out that the "crapper" (sorry I just could not resist) was actually invented by the Chinese about 2,000 years ago. You history buffs can read this fascinating story in the theplumber.com website.
Today's Features at a Glance
Toilets come with a variety of features and shapes. These include:
- One piece or the familiar two piece units with a separate tank,
- Elongated or oval bowl,
- Almost any color you can imagine,
- Seats that automatically fold down without slamming the bowl,
- Seats that are heated and have paper or plastic sheeting on them,
- Different heights, including Americans for Disability Act (ADA) compliant models, and
- Different flushing systems.
The Power of the Flush determines the Price
The mission of most toilet manufacturers is to design toilets that flush well and strong every time. Most people will gladly pay a little more for the added reliability and assurance that the toilet will not get clogged and God forbid overflow. This is especially embarrassing if you have guests.
Toto, a major toilet manufacturer, has probably one of the most reliable toilets. Toto gives you a choice of several flushing systems ranging from the standard power gravity, to G-Max and finally to the newest cyclone flushing system. The last claims to not only flush strongly but to clean the bowl as well. Despite the names of the flushing systems they are all quiet.
The last thing about the flushing is the amount of water used to flush. This is generally 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF). The toilets of old probably flushed better, because they used more water. Today's concerns with water conservation require 1.6 GPF. If you want to conserve water, Toto makes a dual flush model that gives you the choice of 0.9 GPF or 1.6 GPF.
What we did and recommend
We discussed toilets with a number of plumbers and sales people in bathroom and plumbing suppliers. All praised Toto. Kohler and American Standard were also mentioned.
There are many Highly Rated Toto Toilets.
We opted for the Ultimate Toilet with SoftClose seat. This unit has a Power Gravity flushing system [PDF]. They come with a 5 year warranty. One of the reasons we chose this model was for its low profile. Notice that the toilet on the left side
We selected the elongated bowl since we had the space. The authorities on these matters profess that elongated bowls are more comfortable. We also chose white and did not order the premium accessories. After we decided what we wanted, we found stores that actually carried this model and looked at before seriously shopping.
Toilet Bowl Sticker Shock
The Toto toilet bowl we wanted lists for $517. We certainly did not pay that much and neither should you. After researching the toilet and model that we wanted, we shopped bathroom design and plumbing supply stores.
They are usually ready to discount their prices from the Toto suggested price, so don't be shy. Ask the sales people for a written quote and make sure it includes the tax and any shipping charge. After you get that initial quote, tell them how many toilets you want. We needed eight units so they dropped the price again.
You will also want to look on the Internet. We found an Internet vendor via EBay that had a great track record. I did the same thing with them and was able to get the eight Toto toilets at a very good price- about 50 percent off list. The brick and mortar merchants here in the Washington DC area could not come near this price.