Today’s dual flush toilets offer consumers the opportunity to save water and to shrink their environmental footprint. These toilets can also lower your water bill, saving you a significant amount of money each month. When selecting a dual flush toilet, however, you need to pay attention to the model’s quality and flush strength. Both make a difference when it comes to selecting the best dual flush toilet for your home.
Features to Consider When Purchasing a Toilet
The toilets in your home need to work as expected for many years to come. When installing new toilets or replacing old ones, you should consider several features of each model to determine which one will work best for your needs.
Toilet height makes a difference in how comfortable it is for the people who use it. When selecting any toilet, you need one that is easy to sit on and to stand up from. It should also allow you to comfortably rest both feet flat on the floor.
Standard toilet height is between 15 and 16 inches. Taller people find comfort-height toilets easier to use. They are between 17 and 19 inches in height. Shorter people, on the other hand, usually prefer the standard height models. ADA guidelines call for toilets between 17 and 19 inches in height.
Of course, the right toilet height is what works best for your family.
Toilets come with either a round or elongated bowl. The round bowl is the older style, and they work well in smaller bathrooms. Elongated bowls are generally 2-inches longer that round bowls. Many people prefer the elongated bowl for comfort, though it doesn’t work well in smaller spaces.
One of the main reasons why consumers look at dual flush toilets is for water savings. The standard flush for all new toilets is 1.6 gallons of water. Dual flush models have two flush levels: partial and full. It’s important to look at both when comparing models.
The EPA’s Water Sense certification makes it easy to find products that meet strict water efficiency standards. For a toilet to qualify for the Water Sense label, it must use 20% less water than the required 1.6 gallons per flush. That translates to 1.28 gallons per flush.
Most residential toilets installed in the United States are floor mounted. That means the waste drain come up through the floor and attaches to the bottom of the toilet. The toilet tank usually sits on top of the unit.
A wall hung toilet is mounted with the tank hidden inside the wall. These toilets take up less floor space and make cleaning the floor very easy. The height can be adjusted during installation to any desired height. Installation is more difficult, however, because much of the unit is installed in the wall.
The toilet you select needs to fit the bathroom’s style and your design aesthetic. You will find a wide range of toilets with looks ranging from retro to contemporary with plenty of options in between.
This part of the decision is completely subjective since design is a personal choice.
The toilet user has to have the ability to select whether to use a partial or a full flush. Dual flush models provide users with knobs, buttons, or levers to make the choice.
The biggest decision is whether the mechanism is on top of the tank or on the side. If you use the top of the tank for storage, a side mount is a better choice.
Budget is a concern in many households. The good news is that dual flush toilets have become a standard option, so you can find models in a number of price ranges. Set a budget, and look for models that don’t break the bank.
Toilets are something you expect to last for many years. Manufacturers often include generous warranty coverage with any toilet you buy. You can get extended warranty coverage, which is a good idea for more expensive models.
How Do Dual Flush Toilets Work
A common question about dual flush toilets is how do they work.
The main difference between a standard toilet and a dual flush one is how they handle liquid versus solid waste. A standard toilet uses the same amount of water to flush both. A dual flush toilet gives the user the option of a partial flush to dispose of liquid waste and a full flush to get rid of solids.
Another significant difference is how the waste gets removed from the bowl. In older model toilets, the tank releases a large amount of water into the bowl. The volume of water increases in the siphon tube at the bottom of the bowl. This pushes the waste down and out. When air reenters the siphon tube, the evacuation stops.
With a dual flush toilet, the process is a bit different. The hole at the bottom of the bowl, known as the trap way, is wider than on a standard toilet. The water entering the bowl pushes the waste down into the trap and out the drain. It uses less water for each flush. A partial flush evacuates the liquid from the bowl. A full flush uses more water to push solids down.
Consumers will see a few key differences in how the toilet works day to day:
- Dual flush toilets usually have very little water in the bowls, compared to standard ones.
- Dual flush toilets can get streaks of solid waste even in full flush mode, which means it will need to be cleaned more often.
- The larger trap way on dual flush toilets means a lower chance of getting a clogged toilet.
How Do Toilets Become EPA Water Sense Certified
The EPA certifies certain toilets with their Water Sense label. To receive this certification, the toilet must undergo rigorous independent laboratory testing. The labs test for both performance and efficiency. Only toilets that pass this testing receives the label.
Part of the testing process involved is whether the toilet clears the bowl in one flush or not. If the user must flush two or more times to clear the bowl, there is no water savings. The laboratories run vigorous tests to make sure the toilet performs well and doesn’t require multiple flushes to do its job.
When compared to older toilets, Water Sense certified models can use 13,000 fewer gallons of water every year.
A dual flush toilet offers more than water savings. It can lower water costs. According to EPA estimates, if a family of four replaced older toilets with a Water Sense certified one, they could save $90 or more per year on their water bill. Over the lifetime of the toilet, the family could save over $2000.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dual Flush Toilets
Dual flush toilets have advantages and disadvantages when compared to a standard flush toilet.
- Water conservation is the biggest advantage. Using the partial flush for evacuating liquid waste can save thousands of gallons of water every year. Conserving water is important for long-term conservation.
- Fewer clogs is a less talked about advantage. The larger trap way allows larger amounts of solid waste to evacuate efficiently. That translates to fewer clogs.
- Ease of use can be tricky. Some models are confusing as to how to do a partial flush versus a full one.
- More difficult maintenance is a hidden disadvantage. The internal mechanisms in a dual flush model are more complicated than a standard flush toilet. This means higher maintenance and repair costs.
- More cleaning required is another hidden issue. The less water used in the flush, the more likely there will be some residue left behind. It means pulling out the toilet brush more often.
The Woodbridge T-0019 Dual Flush Elongated One Piece Toilet offers a sleek modern design that will work in many decors. Its one-piece design is low profile and easy to clean with no grooves or corners. The toilet uses siphon flushing to evacuate the bowl quickly, yet quietly. It is a comfort height design, making it easy to sit on and stand up from for most family members. This toilet offers several extra features such as a soft closing lid and a rectangular button for flushing. The package includes toilet, toilet seat, water fitting, wax ring, floor bolts, and tool for tightening bolts in tight places. It is high-efficiency using 1.0 gallons for partial flushes and 1.6 gallons for full flushes, for an average of 1.28 gallons per flush. The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty for the porcelain parts against fading and a one-year warranty on the flushing mechanisms.
- Clean design that works in a lot of decor styles
- Water Sense certified
- Very quiet flushing with plenty of power
- Comfort height set
- Package comes with almost everything needed to install toilet
- In the lower price range among those compared
- Difficult to install in tight spaces
- Finish on flush buttons tends to fade quickly
The TOTO MS446124CEMG#01 Aquia IV WASHLET Elongated Dual Flush toilet offers a fully skirted design for a sleek look and easy cleaning. The manufacturer’s Dynamax Tornado flush offers strong water flow throughout the bowl. It has a special glaze applied to help keep debris and mold from taking hold inside the bowl. Special bowl design reduces water resistance for a quieter flush. The package includes a soft close toilet seat, tank to bowl hardware, tank to bowl gasket, an outlet socket, and toilet bolt caps. It has a two-piece design that uses 0.8 gallons per partial flush and 1.28 gallons for a full flush. The flush mechanism is a button placed on the center top.
- Extra high efficiency, using 1.28 gallons of water on a full flush and 0.8 on a partial
- Skirted design offers easy cleaning and a sleek look
- Bowl design helps maximize flush efficiency
- Special glaze helps keep debris from taking hold inside bowl
- Water Sense certified
- Requires special adapter for 10-inch or 14-inch rough-ins, which must be purchased separately
- Does not evacuate solid waste cleanly
- Manufacturer’s warranty is for only one year
The WOODBRIDGE T-0018/B-0735 Dual Flush Elongated One Piece Toilet offers a super powerful, yet quiet flush. The skirted design gives this toilet a sleek modern look, that’s also easy to clean with no corners or grooves. It’s a one-piece design with a low-profile tank. The toilet uses siphon flushing to keep the water and waste flowing. It is Water Sense certified, using 1.0 gallons for a partial flush and 1.6 gallons for a full flush. The seat is at chair height, making it comfortable for everyone in the family. Package includes everything from soft closing lid to the wax ring. The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty against glaze fade or staining, as well as a one-year warranty on the flush mechanism. Price is on higher end of those compared.
- Sleek low-profile one-piece design
- Full skirting makes it easy to keep clean
- Offers powerful flushing at a low noise level
- Comfort height seat level makes it comfortable for taller members of the family
- Style rectangular button
- Includes almost everything needed for installation, including instructions
- Installation is difficult in tight spaces
- Installation requires more than one plumber
The Toto CT418FGNo.01 Aquia Wall-Hung Dual-Flush Toilet offers sleek off-the-floor design that works in a contemporary or minimalist bathroom. The height of this toilet can be adjusted at the time of installation, making it a good choice for those who are taller or who have disabilities. Manufacturer applied special glaze to prevent debris from sticking to inside of bowl. Elongated bowl is more comfortable than round styles. This toilet uses 0.9 gallons per partial flush and 1.6 gallons per full flush. The package includes nothing but the bowl. Consumers need to purchase tank, toilet seat, and flush button separately. Though cost is low for bowl, the extras that need to be purchased place this toilet in the higher end of the price range. Manufacturer offers one-year limited warranty.
- Wall-hung design works very well in small bathrooms
- Sleek design works well in contemporary spaces
- Easy to keep floor clean with wall-mount design
- Strong flush
- Package does not include toilet seat, tank, or parts for installation, all must be purchased separately
- Low price only includes bowl
- Difficult to install, especially in tight spaces
- Need to clean stains multiple times per week
The HOROW HWMT-8733 Small Toilet was designed and built to fit in tight spaces. It’s a good choice for small bathrooms and powder rooms. Compact one-piece design offers sleek lines that work well in almost any decor. It uses siphon flushing for a super powerful, quite flush. The toilet has a self-cleaning glazed surface for easy maintenance and cleaning. It comes with soft closing seat and wax ring for easy installation. This unit uses 1.28 gallons for partial flushes and 1.6 gallons for full flushes. The price for this toilet is in the mid-range of those compared. The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty against glaze fading or staining and a three-year warranty on both the flushing mechanism and the soft close lid.
- Compact design is ideal for small bathrooms or those with tight spaces
- Seat height is at 16.5″, exactly between standard and comfort height
- Super quiet flush
- Comes with most parts required for installation
- Easy to install
- Looks out of place in larger bathrooms
- Not as water efficient as other models
And the Winner Is….
The Woodbridge T-0019 Dual Flush Elongated One Piece Toilet is the clear winner in our comparison. It offers a sleek modern, one-piece design that works well in many interior spaces. It avoids the connection issues that can arise with a two-piece design, like those from Toto.
What really stood out for the Woodbridge T-0019 is the fact that almost everything is included for installation. It included the toilet seat, wax ring, bolt covers, and more. That means no unexpected trips to the home improvement center. In comparison, the Toto CT418FGNo.01 Aquia Wall-Hung Dual-Flush Toilet required the purchase of a tank, a toilet seat, and the parts to install it. That easily doubled the price of the product.
It’s comfort height seat makes it a good choice for almost any family. The soft close seat prevents it from slamming against the porcelain, while also keeping fingers from getting pinched.
This toilet is Water Sense certified, as is the other Woodbridge model. Neither of the Toto models nor the Horow design were certified. For those who want to save on water, this certification is critical. It shows the manufacturer is willing to put their design to the test.
The manufacturer’s warranty wasn’t the best. That went to the Horow compact toilet. However, both Woodbridge toilets came with a five-year warranty on the glaze and a one-year warranty for the flushing mechanism. That is much better than the one-year limited warranty offered by Toto.
What set this model apart from the other Woodbridge model was the lower price. The designs were similar, as were the positives associated with each. However, the price difference was significant. For those who want to save some money, the Woodbridge T-0019 Dual Flush Elongated One Piece Toilet is the more affordable choice.
One of the most significant issues with this toilet is that installation can be tricky in tight spaces. However, that is common in many toilet installations. The only toilet in our comparison that was easy to install in tight spaces was the Horow compact model.
The best dual flush toilet will give you water efficiency at an affordable price. In our comparison, the Woodbridge T-0019 is our choice