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9 Types of Toilets

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The toilet was an afterthought for decades. There were minor variations in style, but most people just took whatever toilets came with the house.

Much more attention went to paint colors, floors, and other bathroom features.

These days, however, people know how important getting the right kind of toilet is. Modern toilets look and work much better than toilets in past generations.

Toilets more frequently dictate the style of the bathroom’s design, and there are even smart toilets with integrated technology that makes going to the bathroom faster, cleaner, and more fun.

Choosing the right toilet will impact how much you love your bathroom and the value of your home.

Finding the best shape, height, and style of toilet is something that deserves your attention.

Here are nine types of toilets and what sets them apart.

1. Dual Flush Toilets

Dual toilet flush button close-up in the restroom

Dual flush toilets are catching on slowly in the United States, but they’re very popular in many countries overseas.

With a dual flush, you have two different push buttons on your toilet instead of a single handle. Each button will draw different amounts of water into your toilet bowl.

It’s a great way to save water. Going number one needs less water to flush, while you may need more for a bowel movement.

If you’re trying to conserve water or save money on your water bill, then a dual flush is a great option. The main drawback of these toilets is that they often cost more to purchase and repair.

2. No-Touch Toilets

Interior of modern restroom are ceramic toilet bowl with electronic control and sensors for automatic flushing

Yes, you can buy and install a toilet you never have to touch with your hands.

Right now, you can buy a toilet equipped with sensors in the seat that sense when you approach the bathroom, sit on the toilet, or finish your business.

The options for smart toilets are fantastic. You can find toilets that spray scents after use, have heated toilet seats, and even come with lights shining down into the bowl to help you see at night.

Premium features, of course, come with higher price tags. However, if you are ready to invest in a modern bathroom, you can change the entire bathroom experience.

3. Two-Piece Toilets

Lovely bathroom with two-piece toilet, wooden cabinet, towel on door knob

This type of toilet is likely the most common in the U.S.; you probably see them in most houses you visit.

So, unless you’ve upgraded your toilets, you likely have them in your house.

Two-piece toilets are popular because they’re easy to maintain. You don’t have to pay for an entire new toilet if something goes wrong with one piece. They’re also easy to install or replace.

4. Single-Piece Toilets

white modern single piece toilet with paper roll, plant on white brick wall background

As you may guess from the name, single-piece toilets are usually made of a single piece of porcelain. They aren’t as tricky to install because everything is encapsulated in a single piece.

They are, however, usually smaller than two-piece toilets, so you may sacrifice some performance.

Nevertheless, they’re great for smaller bathrooms or corners where a larger toilet won’t fit.

5. Wall-Hung Toilets

Superior washroom with wall hung toilet and black tiled floor

You’re likely to see many wall-hung toilets installed if you visit higher-end hotels, airports, and other places with modern bathroom designs.

These toilets appear to be floating off of the ground because they are attached to the wall, not the floor.

So when you flush, the water goes into plumbing behind the wall rather than down into a drain under the toilet.

Wall-hung toilets are more expensive than toilets with floor drains. They are also complicated to install. They are, however, easy to clean because you can sweep and mop underneath them.

6. Upflush Toilets

Upflush toilets are the perfect solution for people who need a toilet option without underground pipes or drains.

With an upflush toilet, the matter and water go into a macerator toilet unit that moves everything where it’s supposed to go with every use.

In addition, they’re mobile, so you can convert essentially any room into a functioning bathroom.

7. Composting Toilets

Composting toilet in a RV bathroom

Ok, so not too many homeowners will want to deal with a composting toilet. These are not typically the permanent solutions you want in your bathroom.

A composting toilet is much more popular among the camping community, homesteaders without indoor plumbing, and people who live in motorhomes.

A composting toilet looks like a toilet that you can carry around. It’s made of plastic or recycled materials and weighs much less than a porcelain toilet.

A composting toilet uses a lower compartment with sawdust, mulch, peat moss, or some other bulking material that catches human waste.

The materials eliminate odors and help process the matter.

If you’re considering using a port-a-potty, a composting toilet is another viable option if you want to have a toilet inside while you build or renovate your house.

8. Gravity Flush Toilets

Gravity-flush toilets are popular for homeowners because they’re easy to clean and perform very well in the long-term.

These toilets operate with a water tank that dumps water into the toilet bowl when you push the flush button. The water washes all the waste down into the trap quickly.

Usually, gravity-flush toilets are much quieter than standard toilets. They also have fewer parts, which makes them easier to fix.

9. Back-to-Wall Toilets

back to wall toilet and bidet on parquet floor in modern bathroom with black and wooden walls

Back-to-wall toilets look a lot like wall-hung toilets, except they have a base that sits on the floor.

Similar to wall-hung toilets, the water tank is located behind a wall, so they’re typically a more minimal feel, and people love them because they look sleeker.

Depending on your model, these can work with either floor drains or pipes.

How to Choose the Best Kind of Toilet?

While it’s tempting to lead with styles you love, you’ll rue the day you installed a toilet that doesn’t flush well or constantly needs repairs.

Nothing is worse than a toilet that won’t flush, gets clogged all the time, or gets dirty easily.

Instead of focusing too much on style, emphasize performance first, then go from there.

Of course, you always want a dependable toilet that does the job more than anything else.

Choose a few styles you’d be happy to live with. Then, read flush ratings to see how much water passes through the bowl and the trap with each flush.

Whenever possible, read as many customer reviews as you can to learn from others’ experiences.

Couple choosing toilet ceramics in the shop

Then, think about how much time you spend in your bathroom. However silly it may sound, the right toilet can bring you a lot of joy.

People who spend thousands of dollars on toilets rave about how great it is to have a self-warming toilet seat or a bidet that washes them clean after every use.

Invest in a good toilet if you have the budget. It will pay off.

Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for rebates if you buy a water-efficient model like a gravity flush toilet or some other water-saver. Check to see if you can catch a break on the price.

If you’re paying a premium, you may want to hire a professional company to install your new toilet for you.

However, most people who are handy around the house can handle installing a lovely new two-piece or single-piece toilet. They come with instructions and can be up and running in less than an hour.

Buying a new toilet will change your whole bathroom experience!


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