How to Choose the Best Toilet for Your Home: A Buyer’s Guide

The toilet: a throne of porcelain that graces every modern home, a marvel of plumbing that we rarely give much thought to… until it’s time for a replacement.  Then, faced with a bewildering array of choices and technical jargon, the simple task of selecting a toilet can transform into a daunting quest. Fortunately for you, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the world of toilets and choose the perfect one for your needs.

The Humble Throne: A Brief Introduction

Toilets are the unsung heroes of our bathrooms, silently performing a vital function in our daily lives.  While their core purpose remains unchanged for centuries, toilet technology has come a long way.  Gone are the days of outhouses and clunky contraptions.  Today’s toilets offer a variety of features, styles, and functionalities to suit every homeowner’s needs and preferences.

Types of Toilets

When it comes to toilets, the first critical decision is understanding the different flushing mechanisms available. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

1.      Gravity-Flush Toilets (The Classics): 

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These are the most familiar and widely used toilets.  They rely on gravity to do the dirty work.  Water accumulates in the tank, and when the flush lever is pressed, the water rushes down the rim of the bowl, carrying waste away.


  • Simple design, making them reliable and easy to maintain.
  • Generally the most affordable option.
  • Widely available in various styles and brands.


  • Can use more water per flush compared to newer models. This might not be a significant concern in areas with ample water resources, but for drought-prone regions or those aiming to be more eco-friendly, water usage is a factor to consider.

2.      Pressure-Assisted Toilets (The Power Players): 

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For those seeking a more robust flush, pressure-assisted toilets might be the answer.  These toilets incorporate a pressurized tank that uses compressed air to create a powerful surge of water during the flush, effectively removing waste and preventing clogs.


  • Powerful flush performance, ideal for households that have experienced clogging issues in the past.
  • Can handle solid waste effectively, making them suitable for families with young children.


  • More complex design compared to gravity-flush toilets, potentially leading to higher repair costs if the pressurized tank malfunctions.
  • Generally noisier than gravity-flush toilets due to the pressurized air mechanism.

3.      Dual-Flush Toilets (The Eco-Warriors): 

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As the name suggests, these toilets offer two flush options – a full flush for solid waste and a partial flush for liquid waste.  This innovative design conserves water by allowing users to choose the appropriate flush based on their needs.


  • Environmentally friendly and water-saving, especially beneficial in drought-prone areas or for homeowners aiming to reduce their water footprint.
  • Can potentially lower water bills in the long run.


  • Requires users to be mindful of which flush button to use, which might take some getting used to for some people.

4.      Power-Assisted Toilets (The Luxury Flush): 

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If money is no object and you demand the ultimate flushing performance, power-assisted toilets might be tempting.  These toilets use electricity to create a powerful flush with the help of an electric motor.


  • The most powerful flush option available, ensuring virtually no clogs, even with challenging waste removal.
  • Ideal for commercial settings with high traffic.


  • The most expensive option on the market due to the added electrical components.
  • Requires an electrical outlet nearby for installation, which might not be readily available in all bathrooms.
  • Higher maintenance costs compared to other types due to the electrical components.

5.      Wall-Mounted Toilets (The Sleek Statements): 

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These toilets ditch the traditional floor-mounted design and instead mount directly onto the wall.  The tank is concealed behind the wall, creating a minimalist and modern aesthetic.


  • Space-saving design, ideal for smaller bathrooms.
  • Easier to clean floors around the toilet due to the lack of a base.
  • Creates a sleek and modern look in the bathroom.


  • More expensive installation compared to floor-mounted toilets due to the need for a sturdy wall to support the weight and the additional plumbing required.
  • Repairs might be more complex due to the concealed tank.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Toilet for Your Home

Now that you’re familiar with the various types of toilets, it’s time to discuss the factors that will influence your choice. Here are some key aspects to consider:

a.      Waste Removal Performance: 

This might be the most crucial factor, especially if you’ve battled stubborn clogs in the past.  For powerful waste removal, consider pressure-assisted or power-assisted toilets.  However, if your plumbing functions well and clogs aren’t a frequent issue, a well-designed gravity-flush toilet might suffice.

b.      Water Efficiency: 

With rising environmental concerns and water scarcity in some regions, water usage is a significant consideration.  Dual-flush toilets are champions in this category, offering significant water savings compared to traditional gravity-flush toilets.  Look for toilets with a WaterSense label, indicating certification by the Environmental Protection Agency for meeting water-efficiency standards.

c.       Bowl Shape and Height: 

Toilets come in two primary bowl shapes: round and elongated.  Round bowls are more compact and space-saving, while elongated bowls offer increased comfort, especially for taller individuals.

When it comes to height, standard toilets are typically 14-15 inches tall from the floor to the rim.  However, comfort-height toilets, which sit 2-3 inches higher, are gaining popularity.  These can be more comfortable for people with mobility limitations or those who simply prefer a higher seating position.

d.      Rough-in Size: 

Before diving headfirst into aesthetics, it’s crucial to ensure the new toilet fits your existing plumbing.  The rough-in size refers to the distance between the drainpipe center in the wall and the center of the toilet flange (the hole in the floor where the toilet connects).  This measurement is typically either 12 inches (standard) or 14 inches (less common).  Measure your existing rough-in size before purchasing a new toilet to avoid any unpleasant surprises during installation.

e.      Noise Level: 

While not necessarily a deal-breaker, noise level can be a factor, especially for toilets in frequently used bathrooms.  Gravity-flush toilets are generally the quietest option, while pressure-assisted toilets can be noisier due to the pressurized air mechanism.  Power-assisted toilets might also have a slightly louder flush due to the electric motor.

f.        Budget: 

Toilets range in price depending on the type, features, and brand.  Gravity-flush toilets are typically the most affordable, while power-assisted and wall-mounted toilets come with a higher price tag.  Determine your budget before starting your search to narrow down your options.

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Beyond the Basics: Additional Considerations

While the core functionalities are essential, some additional features might influence your decision:

  • Single vs. Double Flush:  As mentioned earlier, dual-flush toilets offer water-saving benefits but require users to be mindful of which flush button to use.  Single-flush toilets are simpler to operate but use more water per flush.
  • Elongated vs. Round Bowl:  This boils down to comfort and available space.  Elongated bowls provide more legroom and might be preferable for most users, but round bowls can be a space-saving option for smaller bathrooms.
  • Self-Cleaning Features:  Some toilets boast self-cleaning features like a special glaze or jets that minimize the need for manual cleaning.  While convenient, these features might come at a premium price and might not eliminate the need for regular cleaning altogether.

Installation: DIY or Pro?

Installing a toilet can be a DIY project for experienced homeowners who are comfortable with plumbing tasks.  However, if you’re unsure about any aspect of the installation or have complex plumbing, it’s best to hire a licensed plumber.  They have the expertise and tools to ensure a proper and leak-free installation, saving you time, frustration, and potential water damage down the line.

The Final Flush: Choosing Your Perfect Throne

Selecting the right toilet doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  By considering the factors outlined above and matching your needs with the available options, you can find the perfect toilet that balances functionality, style, and budget.  Note that the ideal toilet is one that offers efficient waste removal, conserves water if that’s a priority, and provides comfort and ease of use for everyone in your household.  With this knowledge in hand, venture forth and confidently choose the throne that best suits your bathroom kingdom!


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