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How to choose the right toilet

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Deciding on a toilet is not the most glamorous part of your bathroom project but it's a decision that requires careful consideration. Size, function and budget will guide your choice.


There are 3 sizes you will need to determine for a new toilet: rough-in size, bowl shape and toilet height. The rough-in size is the distance from the wall to the middle of the toilet’s sewer drain. The standard rough-in is 12 inches but there are also 10 and 14 inch models. It’s easier to choose a toilet with the same existing rough-in size. Toilet bowls are available in rounded and elongated shapes. The elongated bowl is more comfortable for most people but if you have limited space, a round bowl can save up to 3 inches in floor space. The standard height for toilets is 15 inches but taller models are available. Heights of 17 or 19 inches are easier on backs and knees, making them a better choice for people with mobility issues. Note that taller toilets are not the best choice for small children.


Most single flush toilets today are designed to conserve water and are rated by gallons-per-flush (GPF). For homeowners interested in conserving even more water, consider dual-flush technology which offers greater control over how much water your toilet uses per flush.


Toilets come in standard two-piece, one-piece and wall mounted designs. Two-piece and one-piece will fit most bathrooms while the wall mount will require a reinforced wall to mount the toilet. Your budget will determine your toilet style choice.


Today’s standard toilets have soft-closing seats that ensure the seat is never slammed shut. High end options include heated seat, automatic flush, self-cleaning, nightlight and smart technology.


The overall look of your toilet will be affected by the trap profile. A visible trap is the most common and shows the outline of the curving trapways on the toilet base. A concealed trap is smooth at the base, provides a more modern look and is easier to clean. The contemporary profile of a sleek skirted toilet conceals the trap and the rounded outline of the bowl.

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