What’s the problem with installing a standard toilet in your home? Well, there are a few.
- It’s boring.
- Guests never want to “use” the bathroom when they come over.
- You’ve re-tightened the seat more times than you can count.
- There’s no bidet.
- Your plunger has seen better days.
And yes, the type of toilet you install in your bathroom matters. Whether you’re too tall for a standard toilet, your flush isn’t strong enough for your old pipes, or it just doesn’t suit the aesthetics you’re going for—you have options.
Yes, there is more than one type of toilet. In fact, there are nearly dozens! If you need a new toilet during your bathroom remodel or just want some bells and whistles to enhance your bathroom experience: we’re going to dive into (no pun intended) the benefits of the various types of toilets plus their pros and cons, so you can find the best one for you.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Style of Toilet
I bet you didn’t realize that installing a new toilet could require much thought and effort, but to truly get the ultimate bathroom design, it’s definitely something you want to think about.
Before heading to the hardware store or local plumber to pick out a standard toilet, there are a few big considerations to think about before doing so.
First, you’ll want to think about the size of your bathroom. For example, smaller bathrooms with little space for a toilet may not suit a larger elongated toilet. The general layout of your bathroom, especially if you’re doing a remodel, is an opportunity to consider which type of toilet you want—plus which will fit into your bathroom.
You’ll also want to think about its functionality, plumbing system, ease of installation, and cost. There are options for water-efficient toilets, bidets, or even wall-hung toilets that make mopping the floor a breeze. So before you jump to conclusions and buy a standard toilet, take a moment to think about what you really want or need.
Standard Types of Toilets, Explained
Depending on your circumstances, preferences, and the type of plumbing system you have, take a look at some of the most common types of toilets used today.
This is the most common type of toilet in North America. It relies on gravity to pull water from the tank and through the bowl, flushing waste away. Gravity-flush toilets are beneficial for many reasons. They’re quiet, require fewer parts, and are very easy to maintain. Plus, they’re less likely to experience a clog.
Pros: They are quiet and low-maintenance.
Cons: They have weaker flushing power.
This type of toilet has a pressure tank to help with the flush. This strong flush works by pressurized air forcing the water down the toilet. It is generally more powerful than gravity-fed toilets and will be able to handle heavy use or larger particles that might clog up other types of toilets.
Pros: They have a super strong flush.
Cons: Higher likelihood of clogs.
Dual-flush toilets have two buttons on the top of the tank, one for a half flush and one for a full flush. They’re designed to conserve water by giving you the option to choose how much water is needed per flush. One will be for solid waste, and the other for liquid waste.
Pros: Dual-flush toilets are eco-friendly and save water.
Cons: May not be as powerful as other types of toilets.
Double-cyclone toilets are a newer design that has quickly become popular. It uses two powerful jets of water to create a cyclone effect and flush the waste away. One of the most efficient flushes uses only 0.92 gallons per flush (GPF).
Pros: Super fast and efficient flush; uses less water.
Cons: Can be more expensive and require stronger plumbing systems.
Honorable Mention: Waterless Toilet
This may not be a common type of toilet, but it’s worth mentioning. Waterless toilets use no water at all and rely on other methods to dispose of waste, such as incineration or composting. They are mostly used on campsites, in trailers, or in other non-conventional bathrooms.
Pros: Zero water usage; it can be used in areas with water shortages.
Cons: Incineration or composting can take a long time; not ideal for everyday use.
Different Styles of Toilets
On top of the basic types of toilets, there are also various styles of toilets within each. These allow you to be more specific to certain needs or wants, while still choosing the best power flush for you.
This type of toilet is easy to clean and maintain—cause it’s no more than just a tank and a bowl. However, they use a lot of water and don’t have any mechanisms to ensure less water use during a flush.
Pros: Easy and inexpensive to install and repair.
Cons: Small trap that can clog and not water-efficient.
A two-piece toilet is the most commonly used standard toilet in the United States. It consists of a tank and a bowl connected at the base. It’s easy to install and repair but cleaning can be difficult due to the connecting piece of the tank and bowl.
Pros: Inexpensive; easy to install and repair.
Cons: Uses more water than other types of toilets, and can be hard to clean.
Wall-Hung or Mounted Toilet
A wall-hung toilet is mounted to the wall using strong mounting hardware. They’re a huge space-saver but also expensive and difficult to install. They aren’t for everyone and require a professional to install.
Pros: Saves floor space and makes cleaning a breeze.
Cons: Requires a professional plumber to install.
This type of toilet is best for small bathrooms because it’s hidden behind the wall. It saves space but also costs more to install and repair, as well as being difficult to clean on your own.
Pros: Saves floor space; easy cleaning.
Cons: Expensive installation and an unorthodox style and function.
Various Flushing Mechanisms Used
If you’re looking to choose a toilet that can lower your water bills, you may want to consider which type of flushing mechanism it has. The flushing mechanism is what can dictate how much water is used/wasted. There are three main types of flushing mechanisms you may hear about. They include:
This is the most common type of flushing mechanism and is found on most standard toilets. This type of flush uses the same amount of water for both liquid and solid waste, which doesn’t make it incredibly environmentally friendly. Also, if your handle breaks, you’re left having to finagle it to flush or replace it entirely until the toilet is in working order.
Pros: Inexpensive; easy to use.
Cons: Wastes a lot of water with each flush and is not environmentally friendly.
We mentioned dual flush above, but to reiterate, this type of flush has two buttons—one for solid waste which uses more water, and one for liquid waste which uses less. These have become quite prevalent in modern homes and also retail or commercial establishments in order to save water.
Pros: Uses less water; eco-friendly.
Cons: More expensive to install and repair.
Even more popular in public restrooms is a touchless toilet. This toilet uses motion activation to flush and can be made to be quite energy efficient as well.
Pros: Don’t have to touch a germ-filled handle to flush.
Cons: Expensive installation and maintenance and also aren’t common in standard homes.
Final Things to Consider
Before you choose which type of toilet you want, there are some final considerations you’ll want to list before choosing your new toilet.
- Consider your budget. If you are thinking about upgrading your toilet, you will want to take a peek at how much dual-flush or cyclone toilets will cost you. You can also figure out the math based on how much water you might save, thus water saved on bills, which can tally up to pay back the cost of the installation.
- Think about accessibility. If you are a taller individual you may want to consider upgrading to a larger toilet or one that sits higher like a wall-hung or dual-flush toilet. You can also look into elongated toilets that are built with tall people in mind and sit higher on the ground. The same goes for people who need walkers or wheelchairs—installing an accessible toilet is vital to making it easy for everyone to use the bathroom.
- Look at the age of your plumbing system. Older systems may need some extra oomph to help avoid clogged toilets but also avoid overwhelming it. Water-saving toilets can be a good option for smaller/older plumbing systems, while stronger flushes can help push waste down without fail.
Don’t make the mistake of DIYing the first standard toilet you found at Home Depot. Hand over the reins to the pros who can install a better, more premium porcelain throne for your home. Paladin Plumbing is here to get you the toilet upgrade you always wanted—with ease.
We can even walk you through which toilet type would be best for you. Just contact us today to schedule your installation!