Choosing the right toilet is more complicated than you might expect. In 2022, you’ll find an amazing variety of new toilets. As you do your research, you will quickly realize that there’s more to picking a new toilet than colour and style alone. In fact, 5 major considerations come into play: toilet size, water efficiency, comfort, usability, and quality. Learn more about these important qualities and how to choose the best toilet for your home.
Toilet Size & Shape
Your first priority when you choose a toilet will be finding one that fits your space. Start out in your bathroom by measuring the “rough-in” — that is, distance from the wall behind your toilet to the bolts part way along its base. The Standard rough-in size is 30 centimetres. If this is the measurement you come up with, you’re in luck.
The most comprehensive selection of new toilets will fit this profile. However, a small bathroom or powder room may have only a 25-cm rough-in, and old homes may have a 36-cm size. Either of these will limit your choices.
Bowl shape is also crucial. Elongated bowls measure about 79 centimetres from the wall to the bowl’s front and are roughly egg-shaped. That’s your most comfortable choice. By contrast, at only 71 cm, round bowls are a compact option that will fit nicely into a cramped bathroom. For truly space-challenged baths, aptly named “small toilets” with 63-cm bowls occupy the least amount of square footage.
Another consideration is toilet seat height. While average toilets have seats 38 centimetres above floor level, comfort height toilets (43 to 48 cm high) are gaining popularity. The taller toilets are more suitable for mobility challenged and elderly people, though they can be awkward for children and short adults to use.
Toilet Water Usage
Today’s water-saving toilets have been designed to conserve water and save you money on your Ottawa water bill. By replacing your older-model toilet, you will be substantially reducing your household water usage per flush, from 20 litres down to the 13 litres mandated by the Ontario Building Code for toilet retrofits. That’s 35 percent less water consumption.
Save even more with a low flow toilet that uses only 5-6 litres or a high-efficiency toilet, which is super eco-friendly at a mere 4 litres per flush. WaterSense toilets are independently tested for certification as efficient and water-saving.
One-Piece vs. Two-Piece Toilets
Two-piece toilets are the conventional kind with a separate bowl and tank. If you go this route, you’ll have a wider selection of styles at a lower price. Toilet repair will also be simpler since replacement parts are easier to find. (You can even replace the tank or the bowl.)
One-piece toilets, on the other hand, offer a streamlined, modern look and trim profile. Because the tank and bowl are moulded together as one single piece, they lack deep crevices, making them more sanitary and simple to clean. However, one-piece models are costlier to purchase and more complicated to fix when you run into toilet trouble.
Other Toilet Types
A wall-mounted toilet is sleek and space-saving. The tank is discreetly tucked away inside the bathroom wall, leaving only the bowl visible. Besides their good looks, wall-mounted toilets allow easy access to users of wheelchairs or walkers because they can be installed at any height. Cleaning the toilet bowl and the floor below is a breeze.
The downside, though, is that you will need a very sturdy wall to support all that weight, and a wall drain will be a must. The cost to purchase and install a wall-mounted toilet is more expensive than with traditional versions.
While you usually see urinals in commercial buildings such as restaurants or shopping malls, installing one in a bathroom at home could make a lot of sense. A urinal is wall-mounted, so it needs a minimum of space. It’s also water-saving since it can take as little as 3.7 litres per flush. Perfect for your man cave!
Bidets are not actually toilets per se. Still, we’re mentioning them here because they are intended for post-toilet personal hygiene. Sold as either free-standing plumbing fixtures or a more affordable bidet toilet seat (otherwise known as “washlets”), which can fit right onto your existing toilet, bidets work by directing a spray of water onto the genital area.
They’re often decked out with luxurious features like customizable temperature control, personal warm-air drying systems, or adjustable nozzle position. Free-standing bidets are generally installed only in new construction, or bathroom renovations are costlier than washlets, particularly if you pile on the features.
Smart toilets are a type of home automation gadget which will make your bathroom experience more comfortable and hygienic. In addition to the same features as bidet toilet seats, smart toilets can include all kinds of conveniences, such as hands-free flushing, sensors for overflow prevention and leak detection, slow-close lids, and foot warmers, to name just a few.
Popular Types of Flushing Systems
Gravity flush toilets are the traditional type, which utilize the force of gravity to flush away toilet paper and waste. They tend to be the most common and affordable toilet style with a separate tank, although they’re often not especially water-efficient using between 1.3 – 1.6 gallons per flush.
Pressure Assisted Flush
Pressure-assisted toilets provide more powerful flushing, boosted by air pressure. They score high for water savings, clog resistance, and a clean bowl. However, their main downside is that they’re very noisy when flushing.
Old-school single flush toilets have just one flushing mechanism, usually activated by pushing a handle located on the front of the toilet tank. They are convenient to repair but tend to waste water.
Dual Flush Toilets
Dual flush is a recent, water-smart improvement. Operated by two buttons on top of the tank, they allow users to choose between less water for liquid waste or a larger one for solids.
Trusted Toilet Brands
American Standard toilets combine innovation with reliable quality. Toilets to suit every family — a choice of height, round or elongated bowl, and gravity or pressure-assisted flush. “Add a bidet” kit for simple installation on virtually any American Standard toilet.
Kohler toilets boast a great range of features and designs, as well as excellent performance. Customer favourites include comfort or standard height, round or elongated bowl shape, and one or two-piece toilets.
Gerber toilets are a lesser-known brand that provides a huge selection of features and good value for your money. Meticulous attention to details such as non-kinking steel chains and corrosion-resistant parts.
Choose Expert Toilet Installation
Wondering if you should be replacing your old toilet with one of the toilets listed here? Learn how long toilets last to help you decide.
Choosing the right installer is just as essential as choosing the best toilet. We’ll help you with both. Contact Out of This World for reliable advice and expert toilet installation by our licensed plumbers in Ottawa.