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From its creation in the early 16th century, the flush toilet is now an essential part of everyone’s home. Modern toilets come in many shapes, sizes and colors. While most of us don’t give it much thought, you can truly customize your toilet to your bathroom needs.
There could be many reasons you’re looking to invest in a new toilet, such as a bathroom remodel or preparing for a home sale. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about choosing the right toilet for your home.
Above anything else, the purpose of a toilet is purely for its function. You want to make sure your toilet meets your family’s needs. Start by measuring your bathroom and evaluating the space where you want your toilet to go, as you want to make sure your new toilet will fit in your bathroom. Here are a few factors to consider.
Toilets generally come in two different heights. Standard height is most common, about 14” to 15” tall. Comfort height toilets are between 17” and 19” tall. Installing a comfort height toilet makes it easier to sit down and stand up. These are also ADA compliant toilets, with the height being exceeding 16.5”. Comfort heights are easier for seniors and people with back problems to use as well.
There are three common bowl types when it comes to toilets; compact elongated, elongated and round-front. Elongated is the larger of the three, providing about an extra 2” to the bowl area compared to the round-front shapes. Compact elongated toilets are shorter, so they reduce the amount of space needed, but keep the general shape. Round-front is a smaller bowl, generally good for families with young children or smaller bathrooms.
Two standard flushing systems exist. A gravity flushing system is what you’ll likely find in most residential homes. This flushing type uses the force of gravity to remove waste when the lever is pushed. Since there are fewer parts needed, toilet repairs tend to be minimal and inexpensive.
Pressure-assisted flush systems are the more expensive option. This system uses a tank within the larger tank to create air pressure, forcing water into the bowl. This system is a good choice for families wanting to reduce clogs. However, because there are more parts, it can require more maintenance.
Look & Feel
Now that you have considered the factors in toilet function, let’s think about how the toilet will look in your bathroom. There are many styles to choose from to match your comfort and look of the bathroom.
Common household toilets are two-piece models, where the bowl is bolted to the tank. These toilets are less expensive than their counterparts. One-piece toilets are sleek, easy to clean and simple to install because all of the parts are attached to the model. However, one piece toilets tend to be a bit more expensive.
Wall-hung toilets are becoming more trendy as people are looking for ways to save space and create a contemporary look in their bathroom. These models tend to be expensive and take plumbing modifications to mount to the wall.
Seats & Lids
A new lid and seat can easily update the look, feel and function of your toilet. Over time and use, toilet seats and lids can become cracked and faded. The seat and lid shape always depends on the style of toilet bowl. A new toilet will come with a seat, but this can easily be exchanged for a separate attachment in various colors and materials. Never attach a toilet seat that does not match the toilet bowl. This can damage the toilet.
The most common seat you’ll find is vinyl or plastic, coming in an array of colors to fit your style. If you’re bathroom has a natural look, try going with a wood or bamboo seat and lid. However, be aware that wood styles tend to take specific cleaning products and maintenance.
Tired of hearing the toilet lid slam? It could be time to install a slow-close lid along with the rest of your toilet upgrades.
Generally, it’s best to stay neutral when picking out a toilet, sticking to white or off-white. Colors, like pink or green, can make a bathroom look dated.
If you’re going for a contemporary look in your bathroom, black is always a sleek option to include. Though, this style is more expensive than the neutral color alternative.
If you’re looking at installing a new toilet, consider high-efficiency options. Save water and money with a toilet that conserves water. The federal standard of water used per flush is 1.6 gallons. Older toilets can use anywhere between 6 and 7 gallons per flush. High-efficiency EPA WaterSense toilets ensure that the toilet is at least 20% more efficient than other counterparts. When looking for a new model, look for the WaterSense label, to be sure you’re getting the right quality.
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New technologies are turning the toilet from an ordinary appliance to an extraordinary bathroom necessity. If you’re opposed to the idea of touching a handle after you’ve used the facilities, Kohler’s touchless flush kit might be just what you need. This add-on works with most gravity flush toilets.
Are you tired of using the bathroom in the middle of the night, only to hurt your eyes with the sudden lighting? Consider using the motion-activated GlowBowl, a nightlight that attaches to your toilet. This unique product includes seven different colors and a dimmer switch, so you can choose your preference.
If you ever wanted to own a bidet, but can’t justify the cost, think about attaching an electronic bidet seat to your current toilet. There are many models for different sized seats and functions currently on the market. These can easily be installed as a quick DIY project.
A toilet is an often overlooked item that can really make a difference in your bathroom. By taking the time to think about your family’s needs, you can find the perfect toilet for your home.
Ready to install your new toilet? Call a pro today and get up to four free estimates from plumbers in your area.