Which Is Better: Round Or Elongated Toilet?

Not all lavatories are created equal and alike. Some toilets appear to be significantly prolonged than others. Some seem to be more comfortable, while others are not. Also, some toilets require a larger space compared to others. But in general, a toilet can either be round or elongated, each having its own set of benefits and drawbacks. So, this guide seeks to clarify everything about round or elongated toilet designs. Read on!

Round Or Elongated Toilet Design?

Are round lavatories preferable to elongated lavatories? Or are elongated lavatories better round lavatories? Which toilet is the best to purchase? Now, you are lucky as we get to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of round and elongated toilets and help you decide.

The shape and length of the toilet’s bowl are the primary differences between a round and an elongated toilet. Whereas the bowl of the round toilet is circular and with an approximate length of 16.5 inches, the bowl of an elongated toilet appears to be oval with an approximate width of 18.5 inches. Also, elongated toilets require larger space and are more comfortable than space-efficient round toilets.

Round and elongated toilets are the most popular toilet designs in the United States. However, in Europe, different types of lavatories exist with unique bowl shapes. They include:

  • D-shaped lavatory bowls.
  • Square lavatory bowls.

But if you’re residing in the United States and want to purchase a toilet, round or elongated toilets would be the best choices.

Pros and Cons of Round Toilets

So, what makes round toilets superior to elongated toilets? Or why should you prefer to purchase a round bathroom over an elongated toilet? Let us see some of the pros of round toilets to help you make an informed decision.

Round toilet
Round toilet

The Pros:

  • Space efficient
  • More convenient for children
  • Inexpensive

The cons:

  • Not convenient for adults
  • Traditional/old design

Pros and Cons of Elongated Toilets

If you are thinking about purchasing an elongated lavatory, check out the following pros and cons:

Elongated toilet
Elongated toilet

The Pros:

  • More convenient for adults
  • Modern architecture
  • More choices to pick from
  • Simple to clean

The Cons:

  • Not convenient for children
  • Expensive
  • Heavy and require large space

Overall, purchasing a lavatory for your bathroom is like one of those once-in-a-lifetime purchases. It’s important to consider all options before committing your cash to a specific toilet. Besides, purchasing a lavatory for a child’s bathroom differs from buying a lavatory for an adult or a handicapped bathroom.

Government agencies also have statutory obligations that washrooms and toilets must meet. So, there are multiple factors that influence your decision to purchase a round bathroom or an elongated toilet.

How to Measure a Toilet to Differentiate Elongated Vs Round Toilet Models

Although it is easy to tell if a lavatory is elongated or round, it is always a wise idea to double-check. It could also come in handy if you ever need to substitute a toilet seat. It will keep you from purchasing the incorrect size.

You must be aware of three significant dimensions for a toilet seat while measuring a toilet’s dimensions. These include the bolt spread, width, and length. However, the length is the most crucial of the three dimensions.

In the United States, the bolt spread dimension is typically 5.5 inches. The bowl’s thickness determines the width of the toilet bowl. To get accurate dimensions, always measure your lavatory starting from the center of its bowl.

The length is the gap between the middle of the two lavatory seat holes and the front of the bowl. To determine the length, first, detach the lavatory seat. Place the edge of your tape measure in the middle of the holes. Then stretch it towards the front of the bowl. Elongated toilet bowls are typically oval-shaped and have lengths of about 18.5 inches. Round toilet bowls are circular in shape with lengths of about 16.5 inches

Head to Head Comparison Between Elongated Vs Round Toilets

Now, let us look at the differences between round and elongated toilets. Perhaps, this will assist you in ensuring that you purchase the right unit for your bathroom.

Regulatory Requirements

There exist certain regulation laws you should follow before installing your toilet in a municipal space. For most public buildings, the distance between the front door and your toilet bowl must be at least 21 inches. If it is an ADA-compliant lavatory, it ought to be 48 inches away from the front wall and at least taller by 2-inches than a normal lavatory. Also, the length between a round and an elongated lavatory should have a range of 2-inches. Thus, if you have a short bathroom, the best choice for you is the round toilet.


Round toilets are two inches shorter than elongated toilets. Elongated lavatories are 18.5 inches long, while round toilets are 16.5 inches long. Thus, replacing an elongated seat with a round toilet seat is impossible. On the other hand, an elongated toilet can get replaced with a round toilet. To achieve this, be certain of similar rough-in dimensions. In terms of the overall height, you can opt for low-profile designs.

Bathroom Space

Round lavatories are the best choice for individuals with smaller bathrooms. They are also convenient for a child’s bathroom. But if your bathroom has ample space, then go for an elongated lavatory.

Lucky enough, current toilet manufacturers are producing elongated toilets that require minimal space as that taken by a round toilet. However, the rough-in measurements and comfort of such elongated toilets remain the same as before.


A brand of an elongated lavatory with particular specifications and features is more costly than a round lavatory of the same brand with similar specifications and features. Aside from the shape, many factors influence a toilet’s price. However, plumbers normally charge an equal amount for installation, whether you bought a round or elongated toilet.

Traditional Vs Contemporary Designs

While elongated lavatories appear to be of modern design, round lavatories are considered traditional. Round lavatories are more common in older homes, while elongated toilets are more common in newer homes. Most individuals seem to agree that lavatories are more visually appealing than round lavatories.

Ease of Cleaning

An elongated lavatory is slightly easier to clean than around the toilet due to its shape. Even though this is a minor factor to consider, you should go for the elongated design to make your work easier during cleaning.


Perhaps this is the biggest turning point for many clients. An elongated toilet provides more comfort than a round toilet. Its shape and length offer a large surface area, making it convenient for many individuals. However, children prefer round toilets to elongated toilets for fear of falling inside the big bowl.

Design Options

It’s obvious that getting a round toilet will be a hard task. The rationale is that there exist many types of elongated toilets in the current market today than round toilets.

Best Elongated Toilets On the Market

If you are interested in purchasing an elongated lavatory, below are the two best choices you can go for:

1. Best Overall: TOTO ULTRAMAX II

Toto UltraMax II is a one-piece water-efficient single flush elongated toilet. It comes in a variety of colors and uses only 1.28 gallons of water per flush. However, it produces a powerful flush due to its versatile flush system. The gap range between the floor and top to its bowl is 16.25 inches and its seat height is 17.25 inches, making it ADA-compliant.


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2. Best Two-Piece Model: TOTO DRAKE

Toto Drake is a comfortable height, two-piece elongated toilet. Although it has a higher water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush, it is pocket-friendly compared to Toto UltraMax II.


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Best Round Toilets

If you are interested in purchasing a round lavatory, below are the two best choices you can go for:


Kholer Wellworth is a two-piece round toilet provided with a comfortable height.  Its single flush is decent as it uses Kohler’s Class Five flushing technology, thus driving 1.28 gallons per flush. This water-efficient Kholer Wellworth is available in several colors, including black, almond, white, and biscuit.


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Having a dual flush, American Standard H2option is a two-piece round-front lavatory that comes with a comfortable height. It is readily available in linen, white, and blue. Water consumption ranges between 0.92 and 1.28 gallons per flush. Due to the presence of an additive, its surface is ever clean.


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Round Vs Compact Elongated Toilets

If you have a small bathroom and still prefer a toilet with comfort, the compact elongated lavatory is the best choice. It has a comfortable height and can fit in a small space. Moreover, it is simple to replace your old round lavatory with a compact elongated toilet provided the rough in measurements match. Its extended height and unique shape provide a large surface area that offers support for your thighs.

Below are examples of the best compact elongated lavatories:

  • Toto Eco Ultramax
  • Saniflo Sanicompact
  • Kohler Santa Rosa
  • Toto entrada
  • Swiss Madison st Tropez

Wrapping Up

As round lavatories are becoming obsolete, elongated lavatories are becoming more popular. Round, old lavatories are mostly seen in old institutions and homes. Luckily enough, compact elongated toilets have proven a viable alternative to round lavatories. You can also opt for wall-mounted elongated lavatories that look stylish and consume a little space.


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