Factors to consider when specifying a toilet
So, what makes a great toilet great?
For some, toilets are a purely functional part of a bathroom. But as plumbing professionals know, that couldn’t be further from the truth. So, what makes a great toilet great? Here are a few areas that can make or break it when specifying toilets for upcoming projects.
While the obvious proof point for performance might be in flushing power, there actually are three aspects to a toilet’s performance that should be considered:
Clear refers to how much waste the toilet can remove and is most directly considered to the flushing power of the toilet. Industry standards measure this as MaP Score — how many grams of simulated waste a toilet can remove (800g, 1,000g, etc.).
Clean refers to the literal wash of the bowl — the movement of the water to remove paper, waste marks/stains, etc. This factor also is important because a good cleaning bowl can prevent double flushing and wasting water.
Carry refers to an important aspect many don’t think of — how far down the drain/pipes the waste is carried away from the product itself. This is critical because many people don’t realize clogs don’t only happen right at the toilet site; they also can occur further down in the pipes.
One final factor to keep in mind is how performance relates to water conservation. Select WaterSense-certified toilets. Earning this certification from the Environmental Protection Agency means the product has passed rigorous performance standards that must be met even when flushing a toilet at the low flow rate of 1.28 gpf.
The look and style of a toilet isn’t often the top criteria for a plumber or contractor’s choice of toilet. However, that’s changing fast. Designers, homeowners, commercial developers, hoteliers and others are realizing the beauty of a bathroom shouldn’t stop when it comes to the toilet. Toilets can be (and should be) beautiful, too.
Here are a couple design aspects impacting the look of toilets around the country: concealed trapways and one-piece configuration.
Concealed-trapway design emerged in recent years as one way to increase the overall beauty of a toilet. By hiding the trapway, the base of the toilet automatically takes on a sleeker, cleaner look.
Just like a concealed trapway, toilets manufactured as one piece automatically provide fewer seams and crevices — a very appealing proposition to those who have to clean it. Additionally, one-piece toilets often look more streamlined and more stylized just by combining the bowl and tank.
The not-so-little extras
Performance and design clearly lead the way when making a toilet specification. However, here are a few other small features that can make a plumber’s life easier:
Ease of installation. Time is literally money for a plumber, which means getting in and out of a site with ease and efficiency is key. When it comes to toilets, the time it takes to install the product is what’s going to most greatly impact the total time on the job. Seek out toilets that don’t require any special hardware and avoid interference with the water supply — each of which will result in an easier, quicker installation.
Larger footprint. In the case of replacements and remodeling, the size and shape of the toilet’s base can mean the difference between needing a new floor in that room. Some toilets have an extra-large footprint. In many cases, these larger footprints will cover virtually any old or damaged flooring.
After-market service. Not getting called back to the job to service a toilet you just installed is the goal. But what if something does happen? Partnering with manufacturers who use brand-name, readily available parts and have knowledgeable, reliable and responsive customer service can be a vital part to the equation.
Again, your time is money which means you need others who will be there to help you through any product or parts questions — even after the installation takes place.