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Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Posted by sandy808 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 23, 11 at 10:26

We are in the process of selecting toilets for our new house and are looking for just a basic toilet that actually flushes. There seem to be complaints about them all but the American Standard Cadet 3 seems to have excellent reviews, and offer both skirted and non-skirted versions.

I feel that many toilets are overpriced and over gimmicked, which I have an ethical issue with.

The skirted look like they would be the easiest to clean....at first glance. When looking into the specs on the various brands of skirted toilets, they have open backs behind the skirt. This does not appear to me to be a great thing. You can't exactly move the toilet out to clean in there, and who would want to anyway. Sooner or later, the crud would get back in there. The American Standard skirted does not look like it fits snugly against the wall behind the skirted portion.

We did see a Kohler that fit closer to the wall, but we haven't been impressed with Kohler toilets.

Please share your experiences with the skirted toilets and the cleaning issues associated with them, as we need to get them very soon.

Thanks in advance!

Sandy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

We have the Toto Soiree which is skirted and it is very easy to keep clean. We have the Ultramax in our other bathrooms and it is definitely a bit more difficult. And those pesky nut caps coming off....hate that.

Not sure I am getting the ethical issue, though. If you think something is overpriced or has features you don't think are worth the money, then don't buy it. If enough people agree with you, then presumably the manufacturer will stop offering a product that is not finding a market.

Why is this an ethical issue?

Just sayin'......


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Not sure about your concern over my "ethics" are. I didn't say anyone else needs to think the way I do. That is MY take on the consumerism that is cleverly driven by marketing that makes people think they can't be happy without what they are offering. In most cases the molds, computer boards, etc. etc. actually do not cost any more to manufacture than something more basic.

My take is that while I can afford $8,000 refrigerators and a $3,000 toilet if I wanted them, I have a problem with the marketing hype and the greed that I perceive is out there. They don't work any better than a good brand at a lower cost. I'd rather put my money into a local craftsman who will make excellent American cherry cabinetry for my kitchen and laundry room, for example.

If someone else wants something like they are free to spend their money on it and enjoy it. This does not make them "bad". Perhaps an assumption was made that I think that way?

You are correct in stating that if I (or anyone else) has a problem with that then we don't buy and possibly the manufacturers will "get it". I do vote with my dollars. My husband and i are business people, so we are acutely aware of what goes on.

Again, that is how I feel. Never said you or anyone else had to feel that way. i only said it so that someone would understand where I was coming from and didn't suggest a toilet I need a remote control for.

I am sorry about sounding cranky here, but I've been a Garden Web member for a while now, and the trend lately seems to be that no matter what someone says, they are somewhat jumped on about it, and I am tired of it.

Thanks for your feedback. We decided to go with a basic Cadet 3 since they seem to be the least troublesome. All I want is a toilet that flushes...the first time around, and doesn't collect gunk in the nether regions. I'll make sure he torks the bolt covers down well.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

"they have open backs behind the skirt. This does not appear to me to be a great thing. You can't exactly move the toilet out to clean in there, and who would want to anyway. Sooner or later, the crud would get back in there."

dang. who knew that? I didn't. never looked in that back region. actually, hadn't looked at all in 'person', just online. My 'new' place came w/ 2 totos, so I'm good with that even if not skirted.

I wouldn't like them being open in the back.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Some people like to confront others on their usage of words, do they think they're going to make a person feel good? NOOOOO


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Hey, I was looking at a skirted Kohler tonight at Home Depot and even though the back was almost flush to the display wall, it still had an open back. I wouldn't want the open back. Still haven't found one that isn't open...even the Toto's I've looked at are open. I can imagine a small baby kitten getting stuck back there. Not to mention a dead mouse, spiders, dust, misdirected puke....

You would think they would close them in somehow!!

Wouldn't have known about the open backs without checking the installation specs.

Sandy


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Sandy, You're right, there are hypes and marketing ploys coming out of the gazoo and it's annoying. It's been my "personal" opinion for a long time that manufacturers are trying to retrain the consumer to lower their expectations and accept lower quality, higher prices and design or functional flaws as the new normal.

In regards to the toilet, I wouldn't worry about the skirt. If you find one that functions the way you want it to and it doesn't have a skirt, the little extra exercise it takes to clean it is nothing different than what you've been doing thus far already right? The important thing would be finding a product that functions as you expect it to, exterior design is secondary.

When we did our bathroom a couple of years ago, we got the American Standard Champion 4 1 piece, elongated and it's worked flawlessly. The only thing I'm not happy with is we got the comfort height which I don't care for because I'm under 5 ft. :c(


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

My Toto Nexus (1.6) installed this spring is skirted and fully encased. It functions well, looks great and is easy to clean. I agree that there is a lot of hype which makes comparison shopping really difficult. However, IMHO and it is a purely personal preference, skirting is a real improvement over crooks and crannies both in terms of cleanliness and esthetics.
WRT the "open back", none of our toilets (Kohler, American Standard and Toto) are wall hung, and all have floor space between the wall and the back of the toilet: enough space for cleaning, and no issues with trapped critters or crud.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

We chose the Cadet 3 this time, just because we had picked those in our last remodel and they were great toilets.

What gets me with toilets is the way they're all made with the bottom piece shaped like an intestine. What's up with that? Why can't it be shaped like a seashell or something?

I briefly considered Totos because of the skirting but they were quite a bit more $$ and like I said, we've had no problems with the Cadet 3s. I didn't know they made Cadet 3s with skirting or I would've done that, for sure.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Very interesting and timely thread since I am in the process of choosing toilets right now. I was considering buying the Toto Vespin II with a full skirt, does anyone have any experience with this particular toilet? Is it open in the back?


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

janealexa, we have a Toto Vespin II sitting in its box but it won't be installed for a month or so. I tried to reach in to feel it up (too heavy for me to lift out) and the skirting wraps around the back about 2 inches or so on each side and then there is a narrow opening, with the interior unglazed. I maybe be able to get you a photo in a day or two if you still are interested.


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Thanks zartemis, a photo would be very helpful!


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I have a Toto Carlyle and for me the opening in the back is a non-issue.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

janealexa, here is the back of the Vespin II where you can see the opening. It's interesting that they supply small cover pieces for the side access but not for the back. If a vent hole is needed, it could be smaller.

Also note that there are still some complex surfaces to clean in the back.


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Rosio, I really did LOL when I read your post: "Why are toilet bottom pieces shaped like intestines? hahahaha. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it. I agree, why can't they be shaped like a sea shell or something. I also thought this was so odd when I first saw it a few years ago and thought it must be someone who has never cleaned a toilet in design production having their way with us.

Yikes, I never looked behind my Devonshire or Memoirs. Maybe I won't just to feel better. No kitten in my house and my Golden Retriever doesn't seem interested in hiding toys back there, yet! Maybe you could put something over it yourself? A little plexi glass cover or something like that?


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Thanks so much Zartemis, that really helps!


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Hi There-

I am looking for a skirted, one piece, fully encased (no back opening) power flush toilet. I don't want to spend more than $500.00.

I have found some for that price but I can't tell if the back is open or not? I want a skirted for cleaning convenience but if the back is open it defeats the purpose! Your help is so appreciated!

I like the Toto's but there aren't any photo's of the backs.

Ok Thanks!


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Is the back of the Toto Soiree fully encased? I'd love to see a photo. I am looking for a one piece skirted toilet that has no opening in the back or anywhere. Thank You!


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

rosico: "What gets me with toilets is the way they're all made with the bottom piece shaped like an intestine. What's up with that? Why can't it be shaped like a seashell or something?"

Most North American toilets work on the siphon (sometimes spelled syphon) mechanism: when the rising water on the toilet side of the pipe pushes the air bubble at the top of the inverted "U" of the exit passage past a critical point, the material in the toilet bowl is literally sucked out of the bowl. There are some non-siphon ("wash-down") toilets, notably the Australian-made Caromas, but the great majority of North American toilets use the siphon technology that needs the inverted "U."

janealexa: "I was considering buying the Toto Vespin II with a full skirt, does anyone have any experience with this particular toilet? Is it open in the back?"

We have a Vespin II that we installed 18 months ago. Yes, it has an open back, which is very close to the wall behind it. Even if one were armed with a well-placed mirror and strategically used a flashlight, there is no way that anybody can casually look in there; from the appearance standpoint, the open back might as well be a fully enclosed back. (There is enough space to get a vacuum cleaner attachment tip in there, however, should you want to do so, but the cleaning would be "blind.") I suppose that theoretically rodents could get in that space, but it would not be a very hospitable space for raising a rodent family (cold, loud noises, no flat spaces, fair amount of local foot traffic, etc.). If I were a rodent mom, I should much prefer the furnace ducts.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

The Soiree is not fully skirted around the back. When we were first looking at it, I wasn't sure I liked that--didn't quite love the entire toilet "design" (aesthetics), but we got them anyway (we have three Soiree's) because the Soiree had all of the features we'd wanted.

Cleaning it, while maybe not quite as 1-2-3 as a fully skirted (front to back) model, is still quick and easy. The overall look or design has grown on me, and I do like how they look in our bathrooms.

HTH!


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

My 1965 American Standard toilets (with the many-gallon flush) are fully skirted. I wish I'd kept the white one and reused it when we remodeled but DH wanted an elongated bowl. Oh well, I kept the turquoise one in the 1st floor bath :)

But ... Have you looked at the Porcher toilets? They are really pretty, and instead of a wide skirt they have a narrow one. I wanted them for these baths but wimped out under pressure from my plumber (just because he'd never installed a Porcher before). A coworker got them, though, and says they are great - super flush and the bowl stays clean.


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Thank You everyone.

I did look at the Porcher but they are open in the back. =(

Does anyone have a Toto Aquia 412, 416 or 464? The people at Toto say they are closed in the back. However I cannot be convinced unless I see a photo of this. Nowhere on the web do they have 360 degree views except for toiletsthatwork.com. However they do not have these models listed.

Does anyone have the Toto Aquia one piece skirted toilet?

This supposedly is enclosed in the back as well but I am not convinced.

http://www.buyplumbing.net/Toto-MS654114MF-01-Aquia-Elongated-One-piece-Toilet-Cotton.html

Thanks All!


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Does anyone know if this has an open back? I have been researching like crazy. I spoke to TOTO representatives and keep getting different answers!

http://www.totousa.com/ProductDetail.aspx?productid=1076


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Viviglam: "Does anyone have the Toto Aquia one piece skirted toilet? This supposedly is enclosed in the back as well but I am not convinced."

May I make a completely off-the-wall (no pun intended) suggestion? If you are looking for a dual-flush toilet and are not satisfied with the choies among skirted one-piece designs, maybe you should look at the other extreme, a two-piece high-tech industrial look dual-flush toilet that is so wide open, it probably is is easier to clean than a skirted one-piece. See the link below for one such toilet that flushes as well as an Aquia, using less water in the economy mode of the dual flush than even the Aquia does.

Here is a link that might be useful: Open high-tech style


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

we have a toto nexxus which is skirted and i love it. much easier to clean than nonskirted toilets!

it isn't perfectly skirted all the way around, but it isn't open in the back like a cave!! there's no way rodents would be dying back there or bugs collecting, or kittens playing and getting stuck! (at least no more than any other toilet!!) but, there isn't the same nasty cleaning issues that you have with a nonskirted toilet-esp if you have boys!


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

I have 3 "Cadet 3's" in my house and one Toto Drake. The Cadets stay way cleaner and I much prefer them to the Toto (where the bowl looks dirty every three days).


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Hey busybee3!

So great to hear! I ordered a Toto Nexus a day before I got your reply! Yep it's the only one I found that was fully enclosed even though it has some recessing.

I had to compromise - all in all it still looks much easier to clean than a regular toilet and it doesn't have an open back.

I did want a one piece though. Is it difficult to clean where the gap is between the tank and bowl?

How's the flush? I am getting the 1.6

Can I ask you another question? I was able to look at the 360 degree view on toiletsthatwork.com but their thumbnails for magnifying the different angles isn't working. For some reason I thought I saw a black hole underneath the tank on the side right above the bowl.

Is this an opening?

Thank you for your time!


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I want to thank everyone for taking their time to reply to me. It is MUCH appreciated!!


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vivglam, i am very happy with the flush-very effective... and the 'waterspot' is large... i had seriously considered an aquia, but decided against it because of their very small waterspot and had read complaints about that.

the nexus has 2 very small recessed areas on the right and left of the base at the very back near the floor where the bolts and covers are... about 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" deep. they are so far back that nothing collects in them, except alittle dust i guess. then, above them are recessed shelves which are simple to wipe down and also far enough back that the stay 'clean'. also, the gap area between the base and tank is easy to clean.

ok... so i tried and succeeded in taking a picture of the side of the back of the toilet, so here you go... i cannot seem to size pictures, so pardon the large size.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Hey busybee3 thank you!

Very thoughtful of you to answer my questions and send a pic of the recessing.

Looks good!

I am sending you a link to toiletsthatwork.com that has three dimensional views of toilets.

May I be so bold to ask for pics of the sides and rear where the tank meets the bowl?

It is kinda hard to see on toiletsthatwork.com because their thumbnail selections to magnify aren't working.

There looks like there is a black hole on the right side or some other things going on?

For the life of me I do not understand why they don't have three dimensional views of all toilets online.

This is the only website that does- but it is limited and their thumbnails aren't working!

Thanks for your time! =)

When you click on the link scroll down to find the Nexus. It's the 19th toilet down. Before you click on the Nexus you can rotate it on the main page.

You will see all the views. I am telling you this because once you click on it you cannot rotate it to see different views. The thumbnails aren't working to see the different angles. It only works on the main page.

Ok thanks again!

http://www.toiletsthatwork.com/


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Are these the images you were trying to see?


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Hi dekeoboe - yes! =)

You are so thoughtful! Thanks for taking the time to post them here.

I could see them by moving the arrows on the main page. However when you click on the Nexus photo to enlarge the thumbnails - it isn't allowing me to magnify them. The ones you posted are larger than the images on the main page however.

Were you able to access the thumbnails and magnify them?

I still cannot tell what that black spot on the right side is.

It's making me a little crazy! ;-)

Anyway - thank you so much! Definitely clearer!

-V


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

ok... i see what you're refering to... there is not a hole there- maybe that's a cap or something to where the plumbing attaches?? here is another photo which gives you an idea of what it looks like... hard to take a good pic back there because the toilet is in its own little room...

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

lol...looks like the painter got alittle paint on the toilet back there that i haven't noticed before!


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Viviglam - No, I was not able to get the thumbnails to work either. However, I could two finger click on them and get the image to open in another window/tab and I could copy the image address to post it here. (I am on a Macbook, so I don't know what keys you would need to use if you are not on an Apple computer.)


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

Cool thanks! And because of my request you found some misdirected paint! =)

So that gap isn't hard to clean?

Anyway thanks for all your diligence and your thoughtfulness in assisting me with my research!

Well my Nexus will be here on July 16! Amazon.com

I also ordered the Soiree lid. They say that this lid will fit all the Toto elongated toilets.

Here is the link:

http://www.homeclick.com/toto-ss214-soiree-elongated-softclose-toilet-seat/p-237397.aspx


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Thanks dekeoboe. I am actually on a Mac too. =) I will try your maneuver. Thanks again! =)


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no...it's easy to clean! now, it's not like it's a stove or something with grease splattering everywhere--then it might be a pain! lol
but, alittle dust or something wipes up easily and there is a slight lip that makes it easier to wipe unlike some AS toilets in our house that are perfectly flat... and the toto lid itself(forget exactly which one we have) provides a real barrier between what's going on in the toilet and the tank...not really any space when the seat is up unlike some other toilet seat lids... if vomit was spewing everywhere like someone spoke of in an earlier post, as long as the toilet seat was up, i think the gap would stay clean!
ok- that's much more than i've ever examined/thought about any toilet before!!! lol


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

LOL. Thanks busybee3. I know I have never talked about toilets so much in my life!

Ok so all areas under and around the gap can be cleaned? I am so OCD. I swear. If there is a part I can't clean it freaks me out a little.

Like when males misdirected - ahem - well - pee might splatter and get in the gap.

You are awesome! Thanks!


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

viviglam: "I also ordered the Soiree lid."

Yes, the SS214 is the most formal -- and the easiest to keep clean -- of the Toto soft-close toilet seats. We ordered and installed one for our Toto Vespin II when we installed the Vespin II 18 months ago, and the SS214 was very satisfactory for well over a year. It now sits in a box in our attic, because we upgraded to an Inax Clessence advanced toilet seat. It was a major upgrade, but worth every penny.


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Thanks herring maven for all your assistance in my research. =)

I did look at the Inax Rio Grande. I know you said it has a very wide opening in the back but I couldn't quite grasp it from the photo.

I am curious about the Inax Clessence toilet seat too. I will look it up.

Well my Nexus is on its way and I hope it is as impressive as everyone says.

Is your Inax Clessence seat on your Toto Vespin II?

Do you have an Inax toilet?

Thanks again!


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Viviglam: "I am curious about the Inax Clessence toilet seat too. I will look it up. ... Is your Inax Clessence seat on your Toto Vespin II? Do you have an Inax toilet?"

As specialized as the GardenWeb forums are, there is another place on the Web that has an even more narrowly focused forum just for toilets, and it is an invaluable resource. Under a different moniker there than the monicker that I use here, a couple of weeks ago I posted a description -- including a photo -- of our set-up where, yes, the Inax Clessence advanced toilet seat is mounted on our Toto Vespin II. See the link below.

In the same post I linked to a separate posting that I had made in the Terry Love forum in which I had reviewed the early (1979-1982) rivalry between Inax and Toto when advanced toilet seats first were introduced to the Japanese market, and the humorous competing television campaigns. Terry Love edited that earlier post by embedding the videos that I had only linked to, and you may get a kick out of watching them. (I also explained there how the Toto and Inax design philosophies diverge.)

We have not installed any Inax toilets here yet, but the toilet in the bathroom adjacent to our bedroom dates from the very early days of the 1.6 gpf era, and the flushing mechanics were still not fully sorted out in those days. (That is, it very often requires more than a single flush to finish the job.) We expect to replace the toilet soon with a dual flush ADA height toilet and -- if we were doing it today -- the Inax Rio Grande would be our top choice. When we get around to it, we already have our Toto SS214 toilet seat, now stting in a box in the attic, to mount on the new toilet.

Here is a link that might be useful: A post in the Terry Love forum


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the toto lid itself, when up, provides a great barrier so pee doesn't splatter/leak onto the back part of the toilet and into the gap... other toilet seats we have have a ~1/2" gap at the bottom (when up) so the back part of the toilet gets messy from boys---because of the way the toto seat is made(essentially no gap at the bottom)this doesn't happen so cleaning the 'gap' really isn't much of an issue! (but, of course as with any seat, you need to clean the seat itself!)


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RE: Skirted Versus Non-Skirted Toilets

BusyBee3 and Viviglam: I have found providing the boys in my home the "opportunity" to clean the toilets improved their aim immensely. The adult was not so bad, having 20 years of experience hearing me out on the topic. The 10 year old is allowed to use one toilet in the house and he cleans it, and I inspect his work.


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