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- Lighting 101
- Lighting Glossary
- Light Bulb Types
- Lamp Photometrics and Software
- Ceiling Fans FAQ
- Recessed Lighting Tips
- Landscape Lighting Tips
- Lighting For Older Adults
- Plumbing Glossary
- Toilet Buying Tips
- Custom Shower Guide
- Steam Shower Guide
Toilet Buying Guide
Typically a toilet consists of a bowl and tank. The bowl serves as a receptacle for waste, the tank holds the water used to flush the waste out of the bowl.
Toilets require water supplied in sufficient volume and pressures to enable them to function properly.
The standard distance from the finished wall to the center line for most toilets is 12 inches, this distance may vary from 10 to 14 inches. You should know this dimension before you make your purchase.
Types of Toilets
Flush mechanisms currently on the market now:
- Gravity Flush Tank
Toilets that have a water tank that works on the gravity principle. Water is released into the bowl and out through the S-shaped trapway, where a siphoning action pulls the waste out of the bowl. Gravity Flush toilets are the most popular. Improved design has resulted in many good performing models.
Similar to gravity flush. Two plastic tanks within the toilet tank that hold only 1.6 gal. of water between them, and they are configured in such a way that when the toilet is flushed, a vacuum is created that powers the water into the bowl to produce a more efficient flush.
Uses compressed air within the tank to propel water to the rim and siphon jet creating a powerful "push-through" flush. They tend to be louder and more expensive than gravity toilets, but have a reputation for good performance.
Electrohydraulic toilets are the latest in hi-tech. Using electric motor(s), pumps(s), and controllers to assist the flushing action by monitoring and controlling the flush and dictating the exact discharge from the tank into the bowl.
- Dual Flush
Dual-flush toilets have two buttons, one for solid waste, and one that flushes at less than 1.6 gpf for liquid waste. Some dual-flush toilets are washdown models.
Wall-mount toilets are fastened to the wall, do not have tank, and can be set at almost any height. Since the toilet itself is mounted to the wall, rather the floor, bathroom cleanup is easier.
While they can be used in almost any type of decor, they are most often used in a contemporary or modern setting.
Most residential tankless toilets are actually wall-mount toilets with the tank hidden within the wall itself. These units provide a sleek, clean look without resorting to smaller fixtures or sacrificing design options. Since the toilet tank is built into the wall, an additional 6" to 9" of floor space can be gained (depending on the bowl shaped selected).
The flush actuator is generally mounted above the bowl but some manufacturers, such as Grohe, offer a remote unit that can be placed on the wall within 6' of the tank.
Standard toilets mount to the floor and have a short pedestal base below the bowl. They adapt well to almost any type of decor. There are many choices in floor mount models: round or elongated bowl, one or two piece, and a variety of bowl heights. Always sit down on a toilet before buying it to make sure the height and size are comfortable.
Toilets come in a variety of heights from 10" to 18" (measured from the bottom to the top of the rim, not including the seat).The standard toilet is 14 1/2" - 15" high, which most people find too low to be comfortable.
Most toilets are two-piece, having a separate tank and bowl. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and even patterns. Gravity flush one-piece toilets have the tank molded to the bowl, and they are generally considered more stylish than traditional two-piece toilets. They are also more expensive. One-piece construction prevents leaks between the bowl and tank. Noise levels are also lower than traditional toilets.