Author Topic: Help me choose a new toilet  (Read 5444 times)

Petuniajo

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Help me choose a new toilet
« on: October 19, 2016, 04:33:49 PM »
We have some exceptionally old toilets in our house that are on their last legs, and we are planning to replace both in the near future. We feel totally comfortable doing the job ourselves, but I'm really overwhelmed by the options when shopping for a toilet!

Most of all, we want something that will last a long time, although I also care about efficiency. But I don't know how to tell when increased price is worth it, or what "features" we should care about. I kind of like the idea of dual flush (low flow for #1, stronger flush for #2), but is that really worth it? Also, I've heard the low flow toilets these days are much improved, but how can I know?

Finally, while I know we want to choose the regular (not "comfort") height, do you all have strong opinions about oval vs. round? Or other things I should be thinking about?

If anyone can recommend a specific toilet, all the better :)

LaineyAZ

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 05:09:40 AM »
One thing I stumbled across was that there are models specifically built for smaller spaces.  So they look and fit almost exactly like a regular sized toilet, but they're just that tiny bit smaller that makes a difference in a small bathroom.  I did that for 2 bathrooms in my house and was glad I did.

Would also recommend the elongated seat vs. round.

Papa bear

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 05:38:05 AM »
You might not have many options anymore for regular/normal height.  The last time I went to purchase a toilet, there were maybe 2-3 choices, while there were a dozen different "comfort" height. 

I HATE comfort/chair height toilets.  I ended up with a basic round, normal height, single flush toilet.  It's efficient but there is nothing fancy or special about it at all. And I love it that way.


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Drifterrider

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 06:40:11 AM »
We have some exceptionally old toilets in our house that are on their last legs,
If anyone can recommend a specific toilet, all the better :)

What exactly does that mean?  All the moving parts can be replaced.  How does a toilet every get to "on their last legs"?

I usually buy American Standard because it is a toilet.  It doesn't need "features".  Its a toilet.

Daley

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 07:10:23 AM »
Terry Love has a great website with toilet reviews, and it's where I learned to  seriously respect Toto toilets. His site is invaluable for research.

This next bit assumes you have a standard 12 inch rough-in for the toilets. If you don't, all bets are off, and the recommendations are worthless.

This said, we needed to replace a toilet a few months ago on a budget (which excluded buying a $400+ toilet), and I did some digging around and some research. There are some plumbers who complain about the things, but apparently the Lowe's house brand Aquasource AT1203-00 is a Consumer Reports Best Buy toilet at only $99, and has a lot of positive reviews - though it is an ADA compliant "comfort height" bowl. We couldn't fit that model in our bathroom due to the length, but the cheaper non-ADA compliant Project Source T803 did at $88. Before buying it, I looked at the bowl, drain and tank design, and everything was identical to the AT1203 with the T803 design wise... and despite the sales person insisting the Project Source was "contractor garbage" all the while only talking up $300+ toilets, I took the chance. We love it, we can't kill it or clog it, we don't have "dirty bowl" problems, and it works great. We were convinced for a while we'd need to spend $400+ on a Toto for this sort of HET toilet that didn't clog, but the $88 model surprised us. The downside at the price is the quality of the fasteners (not solid brass, just brass plated), but you can upgrade to solid brass for everything for well under $10. The seat included is also cheap and shoddy, but easily replaced/upgraded as well for another $10-15. Of course, YMMV, and you can't return an installed toilet for a refund, but it's worth a look and some research.

If you're looking at price solely though and had the thought that if the cheap Lowe's toilets are that nice maybe the HD ones might be as well... not so. The HD toilets at the same price points aren't near as nice and do have a warranted reputation for clogging and other problems.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 07:17:30 AM by I.P. Daley »

Petuniajo

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 07:44:42 AM »
Terry Love has a great website with toilet reviews, and it's where I learned to  seriously respect Toto toilets. His site is invaluable for research.

This next bit assumes you have a standard 12 inch rough-in for the toilets. If you don't, all bets are off, and the recommendations are worthless.

This said, we needed to replace a toilet a few months ago on a budget (which excluded buying a $400+ toilet), and I did some digging around and some research. There are some plumbers who complain about the things, but apparently the Lowe's house brand Aquasource AT1203-00 is a Consumer Reports Best Buy toilet at only $99, and has a lot of positive reviews - though it is an ADA compliant "comfort height" bowl. We couldn't fit that model in our bathroom due to the length, but the cheaper non-ADA compliant Project Source T803 did at $88. Before buying it, I looked at the bowl, drain and tank design, and everything was identical to the AT1203 with the T803 design wise... and despite the sales person insisting the Project Source was "contractor garbage" all the while only talking up $300+ toilets, I took the chance. We love it, we can't kill it or clog it, we don't have "dirty bowl" problems, and it works great. We were convinced for a while we'd need to spend $400+ on a Toto for this sort of HET toilet that didn't clog, but the $88 model surprised us. The downside at the price is the quality of the fasteners (not solid brass, just brass plated), but you can upgrade to solid brass for everything for well under $10. The seat included is also cheap and shoddy, but easily replaced/upgraded as well for another $10-15. Of course, YMMV, and you can't return an installed toilet for a refund, but it's worth a look and some research.

If you're looking at price solely though and had the thought that if the cheap Lowe's toilets are that nice maybe the HD ones might be as well... not so. The HD toilets at the same price points aren't near as nice and do have a warranted reputation for clogging and other problems.

This is super helpful--thanks Daley! We don't care about fancy features (unless someone here is going to tell me there is something that I really DO need to care about... hence my post since there seem to be TONS of toilets/options out there), but want something that will be sturdy and last a long time.

We have some exceptionally old toilets in our house that are on their last legs,
If anyone can recommend a specific toilet, all the better :)

What exactly does that mean?  All the moving parts can be replaced.  How does a toilet every get to "on their last legs"?

I usually buy American Standard because it is a toilet.  It doesn't need "features".  Its a toilet.

One of the toilets works better than the other. This one we have replaced several pieces that have provided temporary fixes (the recurring problem is that it slowly drains and then will "flush" itself after a while), but we can and have fixed it; the fix just never seems to last (my husband has done the replacements, not me, so I can't tell you the details).

The other one has been more of a pain. It only flushes if you hold the handle down for about three seconds, but lately that is extremely hit or miss and it probably only really flushes about half of the time. We've tried fixing a few things but I'm pretty sure the toilets are original to the house built in 1967 (one is avocado green and the other is brown) and I'm ready to just call it a day. You are right that we probably *could* keep replacing pieces, but at this age and the ongoing repairs, I'm ready to just spend the ~$100 each to replace them and call it a day. Feel free to revoke my mustache...

SomedayStache

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2016, 07:52:21 AM »
If we ever replace our toilets (though I don't know why we would - but in your case the colors might drive me to do so!) I want the following criteria:

-concealed trapway for easier cleaning
-NOT comfort height because have you seen those unicorn pooping rainbows commercials?
-Regular round style just because I don't like the elongated

RelaxedGal

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 08:04:26 AM »
We have two toilets in our house.  The newer one is a American Standard Cadet 3 White 1.28-GPF (4.85-LPF) 12 Rough-In WaterSense Elongated 1-Piece Chair Height Toilet (https://www.lowes.com/pd/American-Standard-Cadet-3-White-1-28-GPF-4-85-LPF-12-Rough-In-WaterSense-Elongated-1-Piece-Chair-Height-Toilet/50204833).  It is OK.  I'm not a fan of the "chair" height, because my feet dangle.  I bought a squatty potty (pooping unicorn!) just so I can rest my heels when I pee.  It flushes well, but not as well as our other.

Our other toilet looks like it's no longer made, its also an American Standard compact elongated (same front to back depth as a round front toilet, they move the back of the seat closer to the wall), but a 2 piece and IIRC 1.6 gpf.  LOVE that thing, I think we've clogged it only 3 times in the past 6 years, and those were all "How in the world did you do THAT?" moments.  I have a 5 year old.

I think the older/better one was about $100 at Lowes at the time, and came with a flimsy seat which we promptly replaced.  The equivalent on the Lowes website now is https://www.lowes.com/pd/American-Standard-Cadet-3-White-1-6-GPF-6-06-LPF-10-Rough-In-Round-2-Piece-Standard-Height-Toilet/50057615 which is a 1.6 gpf, standard height, round bowl.  I can't find a "compact elongated" on their site, so if you're fitting into a small space I agree that round is the way to go.  The elongated bowl version sticks out into the room 2 more inches.

Daley

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 08:29:38 AM »
This is super helpful--thanks Daley! We don't care about fancy features (unless someone here is going to tell me there is something that I really DO need to care about... hence my post since there seem to be TONS of toilets/options out there), but want something that will be sturdy and last a long time.

Glad to help! The only other thing I might add is a gasket recommendation. The green SaniSeal waxless gasket from Home Depot made for one of the nicest toilet installs I've done in my life (it also comes with solid brass closet bolts), and is the only non-wax mechanical gasket I'd personally recommend outside of Fernco, which are hard to find in local brick and mortars. That said, I'm not a plumber by trade, so again, YMMV... and I also don't know how long it'll actually last real world but it's sealed well thus far.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 08:33:53 AM by I.P. Daley »

Spork

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 12:18:06 PM »
Terry Love has a great website with toilet reviews, and it's where I learned to  seriously respect Toto toilets. His site is invaluable for research.


Came here to say this and it was already said.  This has always been where I start.

TriCiCi

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2016, 01:19:32 PM »
+1 for a Toto.  Installed one in my condo 10 years ago.  Only ever used a plunger once. ;-)

BlueHouse

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 01:30:57 PM »
Elongated are considered standard now.  Round are for small bathrooms. I find the round to be very comfy, but my house came with elongated. 
I have dual flush and for me, it doesn't make much difference because I don't always flush after #1.  If I had a full house, I guess it would matter.
I love the idea of the straight skirt down to the floor (not sure what it's called) for ease of cleaning/no dust buildup around the base

Consider looking into a bidet.  I could talk about bidets all day long and never get tired of it.  They're a game changer.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/just-hooked-up-my-very-first-bidet/
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Drifterrider

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2016, 12:12:27 PM »
(my husband has done the replacements, not me, so I can't tell you the details).  That could be the problem

(one is avocado green and the other is brown)

The colors alone are justification to buy new ones.

Petuniajo

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2016, 12:20:34 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help and advice!

Yes--I will be THRILLED to have nice, plain white toilets. If the ugly ones worked fine it might be a different story, but I'm just not willing to keep repairing them given how old and ugly they are. I'm even going to replace the matching ugly sinks even though only one is actually broken (but still functional) with nice white sinks. I will still be left with an avocado green tub, but that I can live with as it is mostly covered by the shower curtain.

Mel70

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2016, 10:03:17 AM »
Following. Planning to replace toilets soon.

bacchi

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 01:32:27 PM »
If you need a better recommendation for future. I can suggest you go with the TOTO. Its a far better than American Standard.The Toto has not had one problem. it has a quick flush and is less noisy than the American Standard. It has really very high flushing capacity, For this reason, Toto toilets are known for not clogging as often as standard toilets. For this side, TOTOs are different from other toilets.  Personally, I love their ideas. And I believe that everyone can be satisfied after using TOTOs.

Is that from an ad?

I have 2 Mansfield toilets. Inexpensive, 2 piece, standard look. They work great. The internals weren't standard but I replaced the guts a few years ago with a dual flush system.

It's a toilet. Don't overthink it.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2018, 01:41:08 PM »
If you have kids and or people that don't know the right amount of  toilet paper I would only go with a Toto. Never worry about a flush!

CutTheFat

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 06:23:39 PM »
American Standard Golf Ball Toilet the one that says you can flush a bucket of golf balls!  Lowes and HD should have it.  I recommend this toilet 100%.  The kids used to clog our old toilet on a regular basis.  This toilet we have had for a few years and it doesn't clog!

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2018, 02:54:37 PM »
This may not be an issue with you, but 20 yrs ago or so, we were shopping to replace a toilet. There was nothing wrong with it, we were just remodeling and it didn't go well with the room. I live in the part of Ohio known as 'the Black swamp' and all we could find were water saver toilets. We're on well water and have never had an issue with too little water (and I've lived on this road my whole life 59 years!)

I went up to Canada for dog shows quite a bit and stopped at a Home Depot just a few miles over the bridge. The salesman told me they sell a lot of them to Americans for the exact same reason! It's still working just fine.

Fishindude

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2018, 10:22:54 AM »
Definitely get elongated bowl, ADA height.
Stay away from the real low water use ones unless you like to see skid marks.

reverend

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Re: Help me choose a new toilet
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2018, 05:17:21 PM »
This website will help you select features you want in a toilet;
http://www.map-testing.com/map-search/?Search=Search#result

A side note: YOU might not want an elongated toilet, but a lot of people do. Particularly men. I don't know a single guy who wants his junk touching porcelain!

For women - a larger opening means less missing by your guy, right? :D

A friend actually picked up two of these toilets from Sam's Club for $88 each: https://www.samsclub.com/sams/het-2-piece-toilet-finisia-toilet/prod9570001.ip?xid=plp:product:1:1.

They came with the slow-close seat and rim and flushed real well. The only issue I have is that the #1 and #2 buttons aren't distinct enough for me to be sure which one I'm supposed to push.