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The Complete Buyer's Guide to Toilets

While a toilet may seem like one of the more basic fixtures in your home, choosing one still demands a certain amount of your attention. Make a mistake in picking one out and you’ll regret it. So we’ve compiled the buyer’s guide below to help you make the most informed decision possible.

For the most part, toilets can be broken down into the way their flushing mechanism works. Most of you are probably familiar with the way traditional toilets work. They use water to remove refuse from the bowl.

Since 1994, all toilets sold in America are mandated to flush with no more than 1.6 gallons per time. In some states that are prone to drought, that number is creeping more toward 1.28 gallons a flush.

There are two different categories of these types of toilets: gravity and pressure. Before purchasing a toilet for your home, it will be helpful to better understand how these two versions work.

Pressure Toilets

Pressure toilets are almost always the type you find in the public restrooms of commercial buildings. They lack the china tank most of us are used to seeing on top of the bathrooms in our homes. Instead, it’s replaced by a simple lever or other device that, when pushed, flushes the toilet all the same. Often, sensors are simply used in place of the valve.

Another version of the pressure toilets replaces the china tank with a vessel that holds compressed air along with the flushing water. When the valve is triggered, this pressurized water is sent into the bowl at a high rate of speed.

You should be aware that although pressure toilets add an extra level of luxury, they can come with an element of risk. Some pressure toilets have been recalled because they have exploded. So do your research first and make sure you are picking the best brand.

Gravity Toilets

There are two different types of gravity toilets: wash-down and siphonic. The siphoning type is the most popular version in North America where either residential or light commercial applications are concerned. Chances are it’s what you’re currently using in your home.

Right after the hole at the bottom of the bowl on a siphonic toilet is an elbow shaped tube that’s referred to as the trapway. It earned this name because the water that remains after a flush gets trapped in the bowl because it can’t travel through the elbow.

This is by design, however, as that leftover water works as a buffer between sewer gas and your bathroom. The trapway is also used during the flush as it fills up with water, initiating the siphoning action that then pulls the refuse out of the bowl.

A wash-down toilet is by far the most basic. There’s no siphoning action with these toilets; water simply depends on momentum to push refuse down a much thinner hole than in other models. This can cause all kinds of unsightly and unpleasant problems.

Toilet Styles

These days, toilets come in a number of different styles to match whatever aesthetic you may favor and countless color options, too.

One-Piece or Two-Piece Toilets?

Depending on the toilet you choose, you’ll most likely either have a one-piece or two-piece model. A one piece toilet has the tank and bowl molded together.

This means there is no assembly, though that will actually end up costing you. Many actually prefer them, because they lack that crevice between the bowl and tank that can be tough to clean.

Elongated or Round-Front Toilets?

You actually have two main options where your toilet bowl is concerned. As the name suggests, elongated bowls have rims which are about two inches longer from front to back.

Most adults generally prefer this option as it provides more space to sit and get comfortable.

However, if you don’t have a lot of space to work with, a round-front design is probably more appropriate.

Wall-Hung Toilets

One type of toilet you may not be familiar with, but that is slowly catching on is the wall-hung version. While these models are more popular in Europe, they’re slowly picking up steam here.

Wall-hung toilets have their tanks installed behind the wall, where you can’t see them. The bowl itself simply protrudes forward with no connection to the ground.

Your toilet’s flush actuator is also attached to the wall, though not directly connected to the bowl. You’ll definitely want a licensed plumber to handle installation for you. However, the finished product means it’s easier to clean the floor around the toilet. Plus, the look is a unique one you can bet will make your bathroom stand out.

Many popular brands make this type of toilet including Kohler and Gerber. Toto also has a number of well-received wall-hung toilets.

Whether you’re building a home or renovating, don’t rush through the process of choosing a toilet. Pick the wrong one and you won’t be flushing much more than your hard-earned money.

At Deer Valley Plumbing Contractors, Inc. we’d be more than happy to help you make sense of all your options. For 25 years, we’ve helped people find their best option and install it too, if they need it. We’d be happy to do the same for you.

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