Are all toilets created equally? In need of a new one...

theresseJuly 16, 2010


In a perfect world I'd find a toilet that had a somewhat period look (1913) but also has good reviews/good warrantee.

I was hoping to keep it under $300.00. Is that unreasonable of me? Know of any good toilets? It doesn't have to be old-fashioned looking but preferably not modern.


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I am equipping my house with TOTO toilets across the board. They basically set the standard for flushing power and frankly, thats the one thing a toilet should do well: Flush the largest log you can lay.

If you want to do your own research, look up flushing power of toilets on google or toilet reviews. I came up with TOTO across the board. That plus my friend also swears by them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Hi Theresse,

I've been looking at toilets too, and recommend you go online and read the Consumer Reports article and ratings from August 2009 (and I think they have a video on their website.)

In your price range, there are definitely toilets that rank near the top - the top choice was the American Standard Champion 4 - it does not have a period look but it is somewhat plain and could probably blend in fine.

I just posted a question about the Cadet 3 flushing system by American Standard. It got ok rankings from Consumer Reports, but the toilet I wanted is by Porcher and uses that "system" to flush. People who replied to my posting all reported being very happy with the Cadet 3 flush!

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:46AM
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CUWCC tests toilets with simulated "loads".

Here is a link that might be useful: California Urban Water Conservation Council

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:14AM
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Here is another good source for toilet reviews by someone who installs them for a living. (I have no connection with this site other than that I've found it useful.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Terry Love Toilet Reviews

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 3:16AM
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Take a look at the Toto Promenade. I had one installed in my 1919 house and it doesn't look out of place. I've had it a year and it works great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Toto Promenade

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Just stumbled across this thread and wanted to add more info.

First of all, there is a rating mentioned by another poster above. It is really worth checking out. They use a soybean paste to simulate human bulk waste.

The Toto toilets actually don't have the highest ratings there - most are rated for 600 -800 grams of waste.

A lot of American Standards and Kohlers test out at 1000 grams. Just something to think about.

ALSO, in terms of the look of a vintage toilet, what about the Kohler Portrait, Kathryn, Devonshire, or Memoirs toilet? The shapes of these make them look very vintage. The list price is more than $300 but the online retailers have them for a lot less.

I have been researching toilets and chose a Toto for one bathroom b/c we wanted a washlet. I also bought a Kohler for another bath. And lastly, I bought a Porcher toilet that uses the American Standard Cadet 3 system, b/c it fit the space and was the right price and the Cadet 3 got great reviews.

Unfortunately, none of these are installed yet, so can't tell you how they work.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 8:00PM
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All the major brands have toilets with acceptable performance. You have bigger problems if you need a toilet that can flush (1000g) 2.2 lbs. I haven't seen a 1.6gal toilet yet, that could flush larger loads without needing a second flush. Even though the material is gone the streaking would require a second flush for most users. Streaking and water surface area are way more important than amount of material flushed in real world setting. If I was in the market, I would look for toilets that seak to address this problem. I know the Toto double cylcone was developed for this, but their are probably competitors too. I have no experience with them yet. I also wonder if the washlets will gain favor in the future.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 10:19AM
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We have just installed two Toto toilets within the last year and I'm thrilled with both. One has the double-cyclone flushing and the premise is good but I'm not all that convinced it is better than their standard G-max or E-max flushing systems. I chose them for the great reviews, the great customer service, the streamlined look and the fact that they never clog. We will be installing a third one with a washlet in the next year or so and we will be a Toto toilet house!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 10:40AM
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I have the champion 4 from american standard. Worth every penny!

Here is a link that might be useful: great toilet

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 4:52PM
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I never knew choosing toilets would be such a chore. We need 3 for our new home. I want one piece and covered trap. Today we went to look again and my DH will not buy Toto because he sees a plastic piece in the tank that he doesn't think will last. No amount of convincing will work. Next choice is American Standard. DH is insisting on "pressure assist" flushing because he says with 1.6 gallons of water we will need the pressure assist to flush. Any help would be appreciated?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 7:59PM
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trinitybay- kind of a thread hijack there, but I'll go ahead and answer. One is to read the links above. The CUWCC report is my go-to for performance results- it's been updated continuously since 2003.

As for convincing your "unconvincible" DH, well there are some people like that. They're generally missing out on what's out there by not having an open mind. Often it costs them lots of $$ (thinking about a co-worker who just replaced HVAC but wouldn't consider a dual fuel system to save operating costs).

As for the Totos, between my parents and I, we have 4 now. They range in age from about 8 years (Ultimate) to #4 that went in last weekend (Drake II). We have never had a mechanical problem with any of them, little plastic piece or not. They generally work well, with the one-piece ones (Ultimate and Ultramax) being slightly more picky about how you flush a "big job." The Drake and new Drake II (1.28gpf) two-piecers seem to flush better, I presume b/c they're taller (more water height before flush).

On the need for pressure assist- I'm assuming your DH said this because he thinks 1.6 gpf toilets don't work over the "better" toilets from before low flow was required. Hooey. If he thinks no one out there has managed to improve how toilets work and use less water in the past ~17 years, he needs to crawl back under his rock.

FYI, my Dad took some convincing to get the Drake II over another one-piece. He got that notion b/c my grandmother, who in her later years couldn't see and broke all kinds of stuff, kept managing to make the tank-bowl connection leak on her toilets (along with breaking the mechanisms).

There are definitely still poor-performing ones out there, but there are lots of resources (see links above) to figure out which to avoid.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 1:52PM
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thull - I did go to all the threads above and certainly was not trying to hijack this thread. I will think twice about posting on this board again when I get an answer like " "he needs to crawl back under his rock" about my DH. Call me sensitive but I was looking for help not sarcasm.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:05PM
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Sorry to have offended you. The basic advice is sound.

You posted that your DH ruled out Totos at a glance based on some internal part, and that he said you had to have a pressure-assisted toilet (more typical for commercial than residential) b/c 1.6gpf wasn't going to work otherwise.

Both are extreme misconceptions that led me to react obnoxiously. There are literally thousands of Totos out there that have been working for years without a mechanical problem. Three of the four between my parents and my homes are 5+ years old. Don't put some sort of in-tank chlorine cleaner, and follow the other instructions and it'll last forever.

If you read the reports in the links, most of the models tested are not pressure assisted. Basically, what that means is that instead of a tank that fills/drains by gravity, there's a closed tank that pressurizes to line pressure against air and uses that pressure to flush. In the reports, there's a pretty good set of models that work fine by gravity with 1.6gpf, 1.28gpf, even dual flush down to 0.9gpf.

Also, I've heard people complain that flushing a Toto is loud. A pressure-assisted toilet in a home would be louder.

If you're DH is willing to read some of the reports/forums and do a little research, maybe he'll change his mind. If not, oh well.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 11:55PM
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I think if your DH talked to the techs at Toto he might change his mind. Their customer service is second to none and their toilets get great reviews consistently. Check out Terry Love's website to see which toilets he recommends. Toto is at the top of his list but there are other brands there too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Terry Love Top Rated #1 Toilet

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 10:37PM
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Don't take it from me, Ask the expert "Jo"

Ya gotta love it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jo the Plumber

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:29PM
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