Gerber toilets? height?

newhouse123August 30, 2013

not very happy with the toilets that have been installed in my house, first they are not what I picked and apparently my builder decided to install what he wanted, anyway they are Gerber brand and at my first look they seem very small and short? measured 16 1/2in from floor to top of lid. its a enlongated seat but it just seems just so low to the seat and the tank seam small . ???? what height is the best ?

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Hmmm... We had to get a Gerber for our powder room because of the rough in size - I really still don't know what that means except that our (already purchased) Toto didn't fit b/c of a floor joist in our 1917 Colonial.

I measured the overall depth of both the Gerber and the Toto, because I was worried about that. It seemed shorter to me, but they were exactly the same which surprised me too - the Gerber tank stands closer to the wall, so maybe that's why it seemed shorter?

I can measure the height to the seat tomorrow. They are definitely lower than, say, some of the newer models from American Standard or giant Kohlers. We have an American Standard Champion in our daughters' bathroom and it is definitely bigger and maybe higher. This was a powder room in an old house, so I'm actually ok with that, but I can see how if it was EVERY toilet in the house, it might bother me?

The only thing I'll add is that I did a lot of research and Gerber is actually a very well-respected brand among the industry and gets good reviews from plumbers. They are apparently more "built to last" than some models that you can get in Lowe's or Home Depot (because sometime "innovation" isn't tried and true.)

I think we have the Avalanche but I need to look back at receipts. I was worried b/c I had to get the 1.28 gpf - I'm all for saving the environment but we had a bad experience with some that weren't powerful enough so it required a double flush. I've been really pleasantly surprised by the Gerber - it's funny because I just mentioned that to the plumber the other day!

In fact, we had to move the toilet in the powder room from one wall to another (long story,) and I had the choice to go back to the Toto or stick with the Gerber... and I stuck with the Gerber.

Oh, and they are not necessarily cheaper models! Mine cost MORE than a Toto Drake!

I'm not trying to sell you on loving them. I hadn't heard of the brand and wouldn't have if I didn't need a different (non-standard) size rough in.

They do make an "Ergo Height" which I saw on the website is 17" to the seat, so maybe he actually thought he was getting you the best option?

ALL that said, if you picked out toilets, those should have been what he used! Height is a personal comfort thing - as is aesthetic appeal, so I don't see how he can't change them out if you gave him the brands/models of what you wanted.

If he just went ahead without discussing with you (happens to us ALL The time,) we had to kind of hassle with them b/c they had the price of, in your case, the Gerber in the project bid, so if we wanted something else, we had to pay the difference. That was super annoying b/c we found they low-balled us on stuff that mattered. But, I got what I wanted in the end. :)

Hope that helps - good luck!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 4:47AM
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Huh - Just checked and the American Standard Champion is 16 1/2" to the seat. Toto Drake is 16 1/2 as well. And, so is the Kohler Cimarron which is listed as "Comfort Height."

So, I guess 16 1/2" is standard?

We did order a different seat, now that I recall. Maybe that would help?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 4:52AM
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It depends on the model. I got two Gerber "Ergo height" commodes recently, an Avalanche 21-818 which is elongated, 1.6gpf, and 16-1/2" from floor to top of bowl (not seat - that's not how they usually measure, since seats usually aren't included and it varies depending on which seat you use). These work great BTW, better than the Toto Drake IMO, though I slightly prefer the Drake II which is the same height but has the excellent dual-cyclone flush and uses 1.2gpf. but costs about $50 more. I also used a Gerber Viper HE-21-519 compact-elongated 1.28gpf, which is one of the shortest front-to-back elongated bowl toilets; it's only 16-3/8" to top of rim. It flushes reasonably well, although not quite as good as the others I mentioned above. I find this height about ideal. I didn't use the Avalanche compact-elongated model, despite being a one-piece unit that included a seat in the price, because it was 17" to top of rim, too high IMO.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 7:01AM
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thanks all, the measurements were from the floor to the top of the tank bowl, 16 1/2 ...that making to the seat much lower. I will head back to my build and remeasure. I think they must be the Ergo height? The seat just seem so low, and not a comfortable height for my family. I know I had chosen 2 American standard champion 4 and also a Kohler , I remember him saying that he didnt think his plumber would istall a Kohler, Its good to get an opinion but why would it be his choice? Isnt it up to the homeowner? Can a plumber refuse to install the homeowners choice?......(akcorcoran) thanks for checking. yours.. I am just wondering how to handle this now that they are installed. I have worked so hard to get my house the way we want, and know this will bother me and be an added expense for me to change out later. ahh... what to do?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:29AM
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One thing, if it's 16 1/2 to the top of the bowl, the seat is actually higher - did you mean 16 1/2 to the top of the seat?

Anyway, what kind of plumber won't install Kohler?! That's ridiculous!

The sticky part is ... it's all about your contract. When you got a bid, that likely included X toilets. I'm guessing (since most people don't) that you didn't specify exactly which toilets those had to be. Does your contract say that they are "of the owner's choice" and then have a value?

It shouldn't be that way but it can get tricky when it comes down to different contractors/builders. Most are respectful and ask you, then likely come back to you if you've picked something that is more than the allotted allowance. The American Standard Champion is less than most of the Gerbers though - so it's not like they skimped?

If you picked a Kohler, how much do you love it? If you DO, and he was supposed to install owner's choice, then it's his problem to find a plumber that will install Kohler. I've had a number of shrug-my-shoulders-conversations, "Well, hmmmm, GC, sounds like you're going to need to find someone to do that?"

Before you have the conversation, I'd get the specifics of your contract in case it goes there. Then, since they were not approved by you and obviously not your choice, you go back to get your preferred toilets. If they do other remodels or build houses, a toilet can always be put in elsewhere. (Not as ideal if it's used for a long period of time... obviously.)

And, as you've acknowledged, it's money now or money later to change what bugs you - just have the LOWEST price on your toilets ready, figure out the model of the Gerbers and compare. We have always been fair that if what we pick is over the allowance, that we will to pay the difference.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Ok, just measured (and hubby now thinks I'm crazy,) our Gerber is 16 1/2" including the seat (it was a comfort designs, not standard.) Toto Drake was also 16 1/2. Our American Standard Champion is 17 5/8 or so. Again, comfort seat. So, there you have it.

I'm ok with Gerber for powder, especially bc we have kids, but I understand your frustration. I'd get your ducks in a row and have the conversation! You have to enforce the "Ask owner first!" policy across the board.

Let us know how it's resolved. Good luck!

PS we're not totally enthralled with Am Standard Champion - not as all-powerful as we thought it would be. Eh, it's a toilet. :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 12:13PM
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