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Most people think that toilets are pretty standard items, but they actually vary widely in size, form, and function. Of course, the main reason to get a new toilet is so that you can bring the old one out front and bash it to pieces with a sledgehammer. But you can’t do that until you have a new one selected, bought, and installed. So if you’re puzzled about how exactly to get to the good part of the whole toilet replacement process, read on.

Before deciding on your dream toilet, be sure to consider your ‘rough-in’ distance, which is plumber speak for the distance from the wall to the center of your sewer drain.  The standard is around 12 inches but can range from 10 to 14 inches. You can measure this with a tape measure if you have a toilet that makes the main drain visible. The rough-in determines the size of the bowl and how large a basin it can house.  Most toilet bowls are elongated but round bowls can save some space in small bathrooms.

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Standard Toilet – Photo Courtesy of

Toilet height is the next thing to consider. The average is 14 inches, but if your family is tall you can raise that up a bit for comfort and convenience .  Taller toilets also assist users with mobility issues and increase access by making it easier to sit down and stand up.

There are many styles of toilet. Traditional toilets are two-piece with a water tank attached at the rear on top.  One-piece toilets, on the other hand, are single-mold pieces, and are generally more expensive, but easier to clean because they have no seams or gaps.  Wall mounted toilets add some flair to your bathroom but can be expensive to maintain and cost more to install if your wall does not already have an appropriately placed beam for the tank to be mounted on. Future maintenance can require the wall to be opened up eventually.

Do not forget to consider the flush. New innovations in toilets mean that low flow does not necessarily mean low power. Also look out for dual flush models, which allow you to save even more water by having a .8 gallon flush mode and a 1.6 gallon flush mode.  Over the course of its lifetime this could add up to considerable savings for a family of four.

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Dual Flush – Photo Courtesy of

If your still interested in learning more about commodes go to Choosing the right toilet.


Post Author: VanRossun