Factors to Consider When Buying a Toilet

Replacing your existing toilet? Remodeling your bathroom or constructing a new one? The toilet is one of the most important fixtures that you buy for this project.

Yes, the color matters and so does your budget, but more important than these is its efficiency. Your chosen toilet must perform well. Plus it must be reliable and should last for around 10 years without requiring too much maintenance at your end.

How do you select the best toilet of the available models? Read our toilet buying guide to learn various consideration factors and how they impact efficiencies.

Water Saving Technology

Your chosen toilet should use only the least amount of water to completely clean the bowl. As per the Department of Energy, toilets must not use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  But some models use a little as over 1.2 gallons of water.

So go for those toilets which are designed for greater efficiency, ideally having a WaterSense label.

The Size

If you’re replacing your toilet, the size must be the same for easy installation. Generally, the standard size is 12 inches, but you’ll also notice 10 and 14 inches model. Some models are as high as 17 to 20 inches, and are referred to as comfort height toilets.

Their height is more so that it’s easier to get on and off. Should you choose this model, ensure that it fits well in the location.


Broadly, toilets can be classified into gravity feed toilets and pressure assisted models. The former of these are more popular, but the latter are also worthy alternatives.

Gravity Based Toilets

These toilets make use of a flush valve that works upon gravity. Water flows down from the tank into the bowl and flushes away waste into the drain.  Gravity based toilets work well even if the water pressure is as low as 10 psi. Models with a wider flush valve between 3 and 4 inches are more preferable as compared to the standard 2 and 2.5 inches flush valves.

Gravity feed toilets produce less noise compared to other types. However, price can be a concern; models available at lower rates may not perform well and would fail to displace the waste.

Pressure Assisted Toilets

These toilets operate by compressing water and air together in a sealed tank to create a pressure. This is what displaces the waste into the drain line. For larger families, pressure based models are a better choice, but they produce too much noise.

Also these models work only when the water pressure in your residential supply system is 25 psi at a minimum. If water pressure is lower, you should go with a gravity feed toilet.  

While pressure assisted toilets do dispose of water effectively, they’re more expensive than other models.

Single or Double Piece Design

Most of the toilets comprise of two pieces: the tank and the bowl, which are bolted together. A single piece design is also available, but is a pricier option.

Moreover, they are more difficult to clean since the seam can attract dirt quickly.

The Color

While toilets are available in wide array of colors including lovely lavenders and blushing peaches, choose a shade that can ‘stay in the market’ for the next 10 years or so. After all, you don’t buy a toilet every single day.

White is a popular option, but as a rule of the thumb, you can go with any neutral shade.

The Shape

A bowl that is completely round takes less space than an elongated one. But the latter serves to be a more comfortable seat, providing you greater room to sit on. Elongated bowels are also available that are specially designed to fit limited spaces while offering you the desired comfort levels.

The Noise Level

We already talked a bit about this in an earlier section, but let’s elaborate.  Where is your bathroom? If it is located close to the kitchen or the family room, you would be better off with a model that doesn’t produce too much noise such as the gravity feed model.  

If the bathroom is built away from the main room, you can also go with a pressure assisted model.

Considering our tests, noise levels produced by gravity feed toilets were rated between Good and Excellent , whereas for the Pressure Assisted toilets, they were between Fair and Poor .

Added Features

Great, so you now know what type of toilet you want and what size it should be. Let’s top it with some additional features.

Dual Flush Technology

Modern toilets feature a partial and full flush for liquid and solid waste respectively. So instead of one there are two buttons on the side. While the feature is attractive, keep in mind that many dual flush models don’t have enough power meaning that you’ll have to flush twice. So choose a reliable brand that features a WaterSense label.


Trapways are bends, right behind the seat, and are hard to clean.  Concealed and skirted trapways are features of newer models in the market, and are a preferable choice. Both of these ensure easier cleaning while giving off a sleek look.

Concealed trapways come with a smooth surface whereas skirted trapways possess a clan line from the front of the toilet right to the back.

Touchless Flushing

As the name implies, these toilets can be flushed without requiring you to press a button.  Just wave your hand over the top of the tank, and there, the job is done. The feature is built in by default in some of the models.

For others, a retrofit kit is available, but it may not work with older toilets.

Water Supply Line

Choose stainless steel as the material for minimizing leaks and maximizing durability.

So did our toilet buying guide prove to be useful? Want further information? Reach out to us at A-Team Plumbing , and we’ll help you select the most efficient model within your budget.