Tips on Finding the Best Toilet For Your Bathroom
Shopping for a toilet is rarely an exciting venture – after all, many of them look much the same. Whether you buy a toilet for £100 or £1000, both will do the job, but you ultimately get what you pay for. Size, height and functionality are all key points to consider when choosing a toilet for your bathroom, as well as those who are going to be using it on a regular basis. In this expert guide, we’ll take you through the different options and factors to consider before you make the investment.
Shape, Height and Style
Before you head out to buy a new toilet, one of the first things you need to do is measure your bathroom space, specifically where the toilet is going to go. The most important measurement to take is the rough-in – the distance between the wall and the floor drain. This is usually around 12 inches; perhaps 10 or 14 inches for older homes.
Next, consider what bowl shape you’d prefer. Elongated bowls are popular because they’re more comfortable, but round bowls take up less room and are usually cheaper. There are also more modern variations, such as rectangular bowls.
Most toilets come in one of three variations: two-piece, one-piece, or wall mounted. The first is the most common: this is where the tank and bowl are separate, and it’s what you’ll find in most traditional bathrooms. With a one-piece toilet, the tank and bowl are fused together, which offers a sleeker, more stylish look for contemporary homes. Wall hung toilets have no foot or base, which makes them easier to clean underneath – and a better choice for people with walkers or wheelchairs.
Gravity Feed vs. Pressure-Assisted
In terms of flush, most toilets fall into two basic categories: gravity feed and pressure assisted. Gravity feed toilets are still the most commonplace, but pressure assisted is worth considering, especially if you have a large family. So, what are the differences you may ask?
As the name implies, gravity feed toilets have a flush valve that relies on – you guessed it – gravity. Water falls from the tank into the bowl, moving waste down the drain. The benefit is that they flush much more quietly than a pressure assisted toilet, but if you want one that performs to the same level, you’ll almost certainly end up paying more.
By contrast, with a pressure assisted model, water compresses the air within a sealed tank, creating pressure that forces the waist down. A pressure-assisted toilet is a wise option for a household with many people, but the downside is the flush is much noisier.
Low Flush and Water-Saving Toilets
It’s fair to say that the toilet is one of the most important items in your home – even if it’s not the most glamorous. Aesthetic considerations like colour and style are important but just as important is how well it functions, and how much water it uses. A good toilet should generate enough power to effectively clear the bowl with one flush, while also conserving water as much as possible.
The initial round of ‘low flush’ toilets to come onto the market wasn’t all that – yes, they used less water per flush, but people had to flush several times to get enough power out of them, which sort of missed the point. Now, these water-saving toilets are much more powerful, with a range of design improvements that enable them to create a stronger rush of water while using less of it. What’s more, you can opt for a dual flush cistern – an. 8-gpf button for liquids and a 1.6-gpf button for solids – which means you can get that extra power if needed.
Look for water-saving toilets with good online ratings, and if efficiency is a priority for you (as it really should be for all of us), consider getting a pressure-assist model.
Better, Faster, Stronger
Who says innovation doesn’t apply to the lavatory? As with everything else, there are always people at work to make the modern toilet perform better, last longer, and work harder. What’s more, you can also find elevated toilets that are approximately 2-4 inches taller, for those who struggle to get up and sit down.
More and more, we’re starting to see a trend in toilets with slow-moving or soft close hinges, which lower the seat and lid gradually, rather than slamming shut. In addition, self-cleaning toilets are entering the fray, removing the need for one of the home’s least desirable domestic chores. And, if you want a really fancy toilet, you can opt for one with a high-tech antimicrobial glaze that gives it a super smooth finish while simultaneously inhibiting bacteria growth.
Some Final Thoughts on Choosing a Toilet
Generally speaking, boring is better. If you opt for something quirky or unusual, you may start to wish you hadn’t further down the line. For example, say you opt for something ultra cool and custom – when you come to replace those parts some years later, you’re going to need to spend much more than if you’d opted for something mainstream. Likewise, a bright pink toilet might seem like a fun option now, but when you try to sell your house some years later, potential buyers may well find it offputting.
Finally, just avoid cushioned seats altogether. They tend to be fraught with problems, they break easily, and they do not age well. Wood and plastic toilet seats are a safer bet.