Toilet Buyer’s Guide: Read This Before You Purchase This Essential!

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  8 min read

Privy, netty, commode, latrine, dunny, loo, head – it doesn’t matter what you call it, this is hardly going to be the most glamorous subject you’ll encounter.

Still, finding the right toilet to suit your home and family needs is an important undertaking with a lot of information involved, and we mean to assist you in doing it right!

Toilets are an essential part of every bathroom. Having the perfect one in your bathroom can greatly improve your bathroom decor. There are many different types and styles of toilets you can choose from to find the perfect one for your home, so let’s go over the basics.

Choosing the Right Toilet Bowl: Round vs Elongated Options

There are two standard types of toilet bowls available, round or elongated. They are generally made from vitreous china. Choosing which bowl is right for your needs is the first thing for you to consider, and will help to narrow the selection down considerably.

Bowl height is another important consideration. There are basically two types: standard, which is usually 14-15” high, or chair height (ADA approved), which tend to be 16”-19” high. The latter are great for taller people and folks with back or leg problems, too.

A couple of additional features you might want to be on the lookout for when shopping are sanitary bars and trapways. Sanitary bars block liquids from collecting under the tank at the back of the bowl, and the trapway is the snakelike tubing found on the sides of toilets that water flows through. The larger the trapway, the less chance you have for clogged toilets!

Toilet Styles Breakdown: One-Piece, Two-Piece, and Wall-Hung Toilets

This particular choice will matter not only in how your system looks, but also how it fits into your bathroom, how easy they are to clean, and the level of noise they produce.

Understanding Flushing Systems & Tanks: A Guide to Efficient Toilets

Most toilets have the same water capacity, and as of 1994, all of them are federally mandated to use 1.6 gallons or less of water per flush – as opposed to the previous 3 to 7 gallons used by older models. When it comes to flushing, a reliable toilet that produces enough power to clean out the bowl is key, but that does not necessarily equate to being expensive.

There are two standard types of flushing systems:

A crucial thing to keep in mind is that the toilet’s flush valve, which rests inside the tank at the very bottom, should be as large as possible so as to make for a more powerful flush. Smaller valves tend to catch, keeping water flowing even after it is no longer necessary and being wasteful.

Selecting the Perfect Toilet Seat: Comfort, Material, and Design

While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bathroom interior design, toilet seats can actually be a fantastic way to liven up the room and coordinate with existing décor.

Shapes will depend on the type of toilet you purchase, materials being comprised of real wood, cushioned vinyl, polypropylene and molded wood composition, to name a few. Some can be contoured for more comfortable seating, and many attractive designs offer heating options – just make sure the sea you choose fits your system!

Toilet Installation Essentials: Navigating Rough-Ins for Your Bathroom

A final but vital step is to find out how much room you’ll have available for the toilet rough-in. Standard measurements require 12” between the wall and the floor drain, but it could be anywhere from 10”-14” in total, especially in older homes.

You can figure out your existing rough-in distance by measuring from the bolts in the middle of the base to the wall, and if you are replacing the toilet, use those measurements when making your final choices.

Conclusion: Your Journey to the Perfect Bathroom Continues

And there you have it – your comprehensive guide to buying the right toilet for your home. Remember, the perfect toilet not only complements your bathroom’s style but also meets your functional needs. But why stop here? Your journey to creating the ideal bathroom doesn’t end with just a toilet.

Each of these guides is designed to give you clear, actionable advice, just like this one. So, whether you’re planning a full remodel or just a few updates, its my hope they are all you need to make your bathroom the best it can be!


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.