Toilets are one of the most important fixtures in a bathroom. It takes a lot of decision-making, preference and taking in considerations before you could land to the best toilet type, style and mechanism of your liking.
In this post, we shall look into the types of toilets. The most popular styles and mechanisms are also explained for you to better understand how each works and which one would better fit your needs and preferences.
What are Toilets Made of And How Do They Work?
Just a bit of history, toilets could be traced back to as far as the Roman Empire but it was in the 16th century when the prototype of the first flush toilet existed, thanks to Sir John Harrington. But because of the unsanitary effect of flush toilets during that time, Thomas Crapper, George Jennings, Edward Johns, Henry Doulton, and Thomas Twyford, patented the modern flush toilets.
Basically, toilets are made of either ceramic or vitreous China. The former is the more popular material for making toilets and composes the majority of the produced toilet nowadays. The latter on the other hand is composed of various types of clays. Toilets made from vitreous China are very sturdy and take many years before they could dent or crack.
If you have been wondering as to how toilets work, here is a compressed process that will show you just that:
- You have done your thing and it is time to flush the toilet.
- Now, the flash handle shall lift the flapper.
- Next thing you know, water rushes to the bowl.
- And then gravity kicks in, forcing the water into the trapway, causing water overflow at the top of the trapway.
- This water overflow in the trapway shall cause suction, making the toilet siphon both water and waste from the bowl.
- After the flush, water immediately rushes to the tank valve to refill it for the next flush. The fill valve is connected directly to the water supply line.
- Now, just wait for the tank water to rise. It will lift the floater until the valve is filled. When the valve is filled, it will automatically shut.
See? It is not that complicated. As a matter of fact, more modern toilet types have lesser operation steps now for more user convenience.
Toilet Buying Guide
Before buying a toilet, you must have a buying guide to consider and it would be the following:
This depends on the type of toilet you will buy. The most upgraded features have the highest upfront cost. Basic ones range from $300-500. You should also allot at least $600 installation cost base price if you want a pro-installed toilet.
This determines the type of toilet that you should install. Small, compact and hung toilets are best for small comfort rooms. All the other types are good for medium to large size bathrooms.
Preferred comfort features
For this one, you need to be very specific about the toilet seat size, toilet shape and seat height. It must always be contingent on specific members of the family like kids and the elderly.
For this, you are looking at water consumption per flush. As such, look for toilets with GPF level of 1.6 gallons per flush or less or one with WaterSense Certification with 20-60% water flush.
By now, you already know that toilets are not built the same. Some are noisier than others when flushing or when the tanks are filling up. Go for toilets with a quiet flush feature.
It pays to have a toilet equipped with a powerful flush. This prevents clogging. Nevertheless, you also have to understand that powerful flushes are not very water-efficient so that is a tradeoff to really consider.
Types of Toilet
Now that we already know the basics when it comes to choosing toilets, we now have to square the different types of toilet as well as some toilet styles and mechanisms that you should know of.
A. Types of Toilet Flush Systems
There are a lot of toilet types and one category under this type would be in terms of the flush system installed in the toilet. Here are the most popular types of toilet flush systems.
1. Gravity-Fed Toilet
This one is considered as the most commonly used residential toilet in the world. This was very common in the 1990s, and we know this as the one which features a toilet tank with a floater that drops down whenever the flush is pressed.
Although the design is old fashioned, they still have probative pros. One is that they have simple structure, hence, low-maintenance. They are also found to be more clog-resistant compared to other toilet types.
2. Pressure-Assisted Toilet
The strength of this toilet flush system compared to the others is its powerful flush. Structure-wise, this is made possible by activating highly pressurized air in the tank, hence, the name. This pressurized air is the one which shall push the water into the toilet tank.
This type of toilet is best for larger household sizes or those with highly frequent usage. Perhaps, its only downside is that it is quite noisy when flushed.
3. Dual-Flush Toilet
As can be gleaned from the name, this one is equipped with two flush options: the half flush for liquid waste and the full flush for solid waste. This is now considered as the most common type of flush system for both commercial and residential comfort rooms.
One of the pros of this flush system is its high water efficiency. And although it may have higher upfront cost, they are considered to be environment friendly.
4. Double-Cyclone Toilet
This is another water-saving toilet. It is dubbed as the latest toilet type in the market. It is specifically designed to use less water on powerful flushes. You will no longer need half flush or full flush options.
Nevertheless, compared to the dual-flush, it has less water-saving function but taken all in all, it is still considered as an eco-friendly flush system.
5. Waterless Toilet
As its name suggests, it does not flush using water. It is also called the dry sanitation toilet. It is basically just an open hole and then the waste shall go directly to compost.
This is not for residential or commercial use. This is mainly installed in locations where water availability is a common problem and in less developed areas where infrastructures are of least priority.
B. Type of Toilet Style
Toilets also vary when it comes to style. These varying styles have their fair share of pros and cons. The most common toilet styles would be the following:
1. One-Piece Toilet
The best feature of this toilet style is the fact that they can be installed DIY. They are perfect for compact spaces being smaller compared to other toilet types.They are also low maintenance, and are fairly easy to clean even if they have a few hard-to-reach areas.
Perhaps the only downside of this toilet style is that they are more expensive compared to two-piece toilets.
2. Two-Piece Toilet
This one is considered as the most common toilet for commercial and residential installations. As the name implies, this comes with a separate water tank and bowl. It has a very convenient structure, affordable and durable. But on the downside, it requires more challenges when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
3. Wall-Mounted Toilet
You will often find this toilet style in modern and minimalist residences and offices. They are also more popularly called as the wall hung toilets. In terms of structure, its water tank is built-in in the walls. As such, it requires professional installation.
If you want a space-saving toilet with powerful flush and less water usage, this is the perfect toilet style for you.
C. Flushing Type
Toilets are also categorized in terms of flushing type. You must highly consider this category if you are wary about water efficiency. Here are the most common flushing types for toilets.
1. Single-Flush Toilet
As the term implies, you only have one button here for flushing. It is the traditional type of toilet flush system out there. Although some still manufacture the single flush toilet, their popularity waned over the years because the flush itself has the tendency to break easily and water efficiency is not really an upside for this one.
2. Double-Flush Toilet
You already know this from the previous sections. But to reiterate, this one features two flush buttons. There is an upper flash which is for half flushes devoted for liquid wastes and a lower flush or the full flush for solid wastes.
3. Touchless Flush Toilet
If you want a tech savvy toilet flush, this one’s for you. It does not have levers for flushing as well as no flush buttons. The flushing is done through censors, making it a more convenient, lower maintenance and modern flushing alternative. This type of toilet is often found in commercial settings and in minimalist residences.
As the name suggests, this one operates through a flushometer valve and one which complements the tankless toilet. It also features a two-way flushing system. One is a flush which is directly installed on the bowl while the other one works through the flushometer valve. It is a common sight among industrial and commercial settings.
D. Additional Features/Options
If you dig other additional features and toilet options, it is high time that you should consider the following:
1. Smart Toilet
If you want to redefine your toilet experience, you can now have remote controlled toilets and touch screen buttons. They let you adjust bidet temperature, have self-cleaning options, flush power, and others.
2. Eco-Friendly Toilet
This one has taken residential and commercial settings by the waves. Its research and trial phase affirm that it only uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Its high water efficiency makes it one of the most sold-out toilet types in the market.
3. Home Urinal
If you want to completely save water from liquid wastes, you may install a wall mounted urinal in the bathroom. These are very common in commercial settings for high water efficiency.
This is the most popular toilet accessory out there. It is a simple plumbing fixture but its function in replacing the use of toilet paper makes it an eco-friendly feature to toilets. Bidets come as either integrated with the plumbing or separately installed.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Toilet
Of course, there are also considerations that you must take into account before choosing a toilet. Some of the most defining ones are the following:
Installing Your Toilet
When it comes to toilet installation, know that there are three types: floor mounting, wall mounting and freestanding. The most common installation is the freestanding option. The most challenging of the three, often requiring skilled and professional help, would be the wall mounting installation.
Room and Location
This consideration alludes to the space where the toilet shall be installed. This is important because the space is one of the major determinants of what toilet to install.
Thus, if you are into space-saving toilets, go for wall-hung toilets or a low-level toilet. All others are perfect for medium to large size bathrooms.
Cost and Budget
Depending on the type of toilet which you shall install, a toilet set with installation range from $600-5000. As have been mentioned, the cheapest toilets are the two-piece toilets but they are not that water efficient.
Nevertheless, if you are only looking to make basic comfort rooms, you may find toilet sets at a base price of $500 without installation costs yet.
Other Factors to Consider
Other factors to consider would be customization, especially of the features, look, color, and the like. The more fancy your added features are, the more it will cost but the more aesthetic it would also look.
Important Design Choices
There are also important design choices that should guide you in choosing the best toilet type for your needs and preferences and it would be the following:
Standard Toilet Dimensions
It is said that a standard toilet must be 27-30 inches deep, with a width of at least 20 inches and a back height ranging from 21-31 inches. At best, its seat height must be 17-19 inches.
Toilet Bowl Types
Basically, there are three major toilet bowl types and they are categorized in terms of shape.
It is the most common of the three. The standard dimension is at 18-inches so it is spacious and very comfortable.
b. Compact Elongated
It is the combination of the round front bowl and the elongated type. It has the same seat look like the round front but as comfortable as the elongated type. Most of all, it offers an extra space for the toilet seat.
c. Round front
It is the most space-efficient of the three but it is not as comfortable as the elongated type. This one is best for small and compact comfort rooms.
Outlet Trapway Types
There are also three types of trapways: the exposed, concealed and fully concealed.
This is the traditional, S-shaped trapway with toilet caps that serve as bolt cover.
In this type of trapway, the S-shape is concealed. Hence, the sides are smooth and the caps that serve as bolt covers are designed to be low-profiled.
This one is also called the skirted trapway. It is like the concealed trapway but unlike it, this one has uniformly smoothed sides plus it does not come with bolt caps.
Where to Buy Toilets Online for House and Apartments
Now that we have discussed everything about the different types of toilets in various categories, it is time to give you a rundown of where you can buy toilets online.
- Ace Hardware
- American Standard
- Home Depot
- Signature Hardware
Leave A Comment