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April 2017

Talking Toilets: How to Choose a New Toilet for Your Home

plumbing toilet

A toilet is something most people take for granted. The topic of toilets generally doesn't come up in casual conversation—unless the household toilet stops working.

When this occurs, suddenly the lowly toilet finds itself in the center of the spotlight at last. At this point, the questions usually revolve around how to fix it, why it still isn't working, and finally, which toilet to replace it with.

If you haven't had to replace a toilet in a long time or ever, there is a good chance you will be surprised by all of your choices. Today there is a toilet for nearly every shape and size of space. There are toilets with low-flow water-saving features. There are toilets in custom colors and styles. And there are toilets at widely varying price points.

This guide will help you sort through your options and pick the right new toilet for your needs.

Common Toilet Purchase Mistakes

Today's culture is all about choices. We have so many choices that sometimes it can feel like we have too many choices for our own good. This is never more true than when it comes to shopping for a new toilet.

The reason for this is simple: nothing is simply "standard" anymore. When you go to pick out a new toilet, you are suddenly faced with a dizzying array of sizes, shapes, heights, colors, configurations and extra features.

But when it comes to selecting home staples like the family toilet, choosing a non-conventional model can end up becoming a costly mistake when your toilet needs repairs or you decide to sell your house.

Here are some of the most common toilet purchase mistakes consumers make today:

1. Making your choice all about the cheapest price

If you can get a great deal, why not go for it? But if you are selecting a toilet based simply on the lowest price and nothing else, you risk getting what you pay for, which can be much more costly in terms of more frequent maintenance and repairs.

2. Purchasing a colorful (non-white) toilet

If you are old enough to remember the seafoam green craze of the 1970s, you already know why basic white is always the wisest choice for a toilet color. Coloured toilets, while making a comeback in some midcentury modern homes, are often dealbreakers for people because they look outdated or like a fad they’ll have to change not long after.

3. Choosing an elongated toilet bowl

While there can be an argument for some that the newer elongated toilet bowls are comfier, the common mistake here is not measuring nearby cabinet drawers, bathroom doors, shower doors, and other permanent fixtures that could become non-functional with an elongated toilet bowl blocking their way.

4. Not checking how the lid closes

Talk about things that go "bump" in the night—you definitely don't want one of them to be your toilet lid slamming shut after each midnight bathroom trip!

5. Not listening to the flusher first

Unless you enjoy the soothing sounds of aircraft taking off at close range, you will want to do a test flush before you make your final selection. Certain high-pressure models are so intent on delivering top-notch, no-clog flushing action they should be issued with earplugs for the user or heart attack meds.

6. Selecting a non-standard shape or sized toilet

While a square, rectangular, or oblong toilet bowl can be super-snazzy looking, it may also end up being difficult or costly to repair, since none of the more common parts will fit.

7. Customizing the toilet seat

So long as you will be using the toilet yourself, there is nothing wrong with customizing the toilet seat. But you don't want to buy a toilet that comes with an unusual toilet seat design, pattern, or color. Buy that feature after-market so you can put the standard toilet seat back on when you get ready to sell the house.

8. Assuming labels like "comfort seat” apply equally to all users

Toilets, like most standard household fixtures, are typically designed to be comfortable to users that fall within the standard height and weight measurements. For example, in Canada, the average male adult is 175.1 cm (5 ft. 9 in.) and the average female adult is 162.3 cm (5 ft. 4 in.). So for users who are shorter or taller than this range, a "comfort seat” might not be very comfortable at all.

9. Picking a complex toilet and bowl design

The more complex the toilet bowl and design, the more difficult it will be to clean and the more time it will take.

10. Buying a toilet with a non-insulated tank that sweats

If the toilet you select has a tank that isn't insulated, it will sweat. Not only will this increase dampness in your bathroom, which can then encourage mould and mildew to grow, but it will also look unattractive.

Two Toilet Options We Think You Will Love

Out of all the toilet brands we could have chosen to recommend, we chose these two for the reasons listed below (as well as for how they address all the mistakes above). We think you will love them both!

Entrada Toilets

The design of Entrada toilets is simple and seamless. Our customers tell us these toilets are very easy to clean. The seats are equipped with SoftClose or Washlet technology—no bumps in the night here!

UltraMax II TOTO Toilets

UltraMax II TOTO toilets are simple and elegant and include the option of an in-wall tank, reducing your cleaning chores even further. If you've ever wished you could get your bathroom space back, now you can!

Give Us a Call

We at Gravenhurst Plumbing have been in the business for 72 wonderful years. If you need help selecting and installing a new toilet for your home or workplace, give us a call!

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