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Standard Solutions: Can’t Flush Your Troubles Away? Here’s How to Buy the Right Toilet

By Barbara Schmidt

After doing weeks of exhaustive research on toilets, one thing became clear: the general public makes its toilet purchases based on style. A common perception is that all toilets work with the same functionality and quality. But with hundreds of toilets to choose from, designers and homeowners should consider the brains as well as the beauty of their bathroom’s throne.

The Truly Forgettable
True or false? You can flush your toilet and walk away without having to think twice. How many flushes are you using to effectively empty the bowl? Over one-third of Americans experience regular problems with their toilets according to research conducted by American Standard. Ever since the federal mandate for low consumption of water or 1.6-gallon capacity, many issues have materialized over clogging and cleanliness, and the double flush has become a common occurrence.

Down the Drain
There are several types of low-consumption flushing systems, but only a couple of them command the majority of the market: pressure-assisted and gravity-fed. The pressure-assisted flushing system harnesses pressure from the water supply to create a louder, powerful flush. The other type of flushing system uses the force of gravity and siphon action to empty the bowl. Gravity-fed toilets have a quieter flush than pressure-assisted toilets.

Both systems offer great performance if purchased from a quality manufacturer. Look for innovation in design like American Standard’s Champion® Toilet featuring America’s Best™ Flushing System. The Champion’s new Flush Tower™ works by gravity feed with a 2-3/8-inch trapway. This trapway is the largest in the industry, and when I visited The Home Depot, they showed me the power of this toilet by performing a flushing demonstration using 30 golf balls. After witnessing that, I can honestly say that this is the most effective gravity-fed system I’ve seen.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All
How much room do you have for your toilet? There are a variety of sizes, so measure the width, depth and height of your available space. Toilets can bolt to the floor 10”, 12” or 14” away from the wall. There are round fronts and elongated fronts. The round fronts fit in smaller spaces. However, some homeowners find the elongated fronts more comfortable.

Don’t Fall In
Have you ever visited an older home and noticed how short older toilets are? That’s because on average our population is growing taller. Toilets now come in different heights, so consider what would be comfortable for you and your family. An added bonus is that many of the models are tall enough to be ADA-compliant.

Bottom line? Slightly taller toilets are easier to use and more comfortable. Also, the super short Baby Devoro™ toilet made specifically for children. This pint-sized version is also low-consumption and can be easily replaced with a grownup version later.

Haute Couture Toilets
That’s right; every toilet has special design features to consider. There are one-piece and two-piece toilets. The one-piece toilets are more expensive to manufacture but their flushing systems do not operate any differently than a two-piece toilet. One-piece versions are sleek in design without all the crevices of a two-piece design and installation. Notice the simplicity of the American Standard Savona™ toilet where the EasyClean™ design has eliminated seams and squared corners.

The New Black Is White
Fashion drives a lot of purchases in our world, but apparently not in the toilet arena. What is the most popular color choice for toilets? White by far. Off-white is a distant second, and black is a distant third favorite choice, but there are other colors available if you’re looking for some contrast. Consider pale blue, green, gray, tan or pink! As color boldly enters our world again from our white-on-white foray over the last decade, feel free to color your world, your bathrooms and your toilets!

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