Go look for a flushing toilet online and you will find hundreds of models from dozens of manufacturers. The sheer number of flushing toilets on the market is staggering. That can make finding one for your home very difficult.
One basic decision to make is whether to use a flushing toilet or a dry one. Dry toilets are those that use no water. The most common type used in modern homes is the flushing toilet. It’s a design that’s been around for well over a hundred years using technology that is many centuries old.
A good flushing toilet is one that does its job efficiently with a minimal amount of water. Let’s look at what features you should consider for the best flushing toilet to install in your home.
How to Choose the Best Flushing Toilet
Selecting a flushing toilet requires a bit of thought as to which features are most important. Let’s look at features you should consider when making your choice.
If there’s one thing your toilet needs, it is a powerful, efficient flush. A weak or inefficient flush means you have to push the handle multiple times to get rid of bulk waste. It also leaves behind a bit of bulk waste that you have to clean off the sides of the bowl. That’s both aggravating and a sheer waste of water.
Toilet manufacturers have come up with a number of designs and technologies to make flushing more powerful and efficient. When selecting a toilet, it’s important to investigate what technology each commode uses and how efficient it really is.
Efficient Use of Water
Flushing toilets use varying amounts of water to remove waste. Toilets manufactured for the U.S. market must use 1.6 gallons per flush or less. Efficient toilets that use 20% less water than the 1.6 gpf standard. Such toilets can earn the WaterSense certification from the EPA.
Your new toilet can last for decades with few problems. That’s why it’s important to select one that pleases the eye while also meeting your performance requirements. You will find toilets that are modern and sleek and those that are traditional and conventional.
Standard toilets are 14 to 15 inches at the rim. This is lower than the standard height of a chair seat. To make things more comfortable for taller people and those with disabilities, manufacturers make toilets at what is called comfort height, which is 16 to 18 inches at the rim. With a toilet seat added, the seat height is between 17 and 19 inches. This makes the seat height ADA compliant.
Most toilets on the market have one of two bowl shapes: round or elongated. A round toilet is the more traditional option. The rounded front does not protrude which is good for smaller bathrooms where walkable floor space is at a premium. An elongated bowl is usually two inches longer from front to back than a round one. It is more comfortable to sit on for many people, though it takes up more walkable floor space.
Price is a consideration for most people who are installing new toilets. The good news is that toilet manufacturers make models in several price categories. Some are only a few hundred dollars. They also make models that cost into the thousands. Most models fall in between the two extremes. Select a price point that works for your budget. Consider what features you need and which ones you can live without.
Manufacturers offer warranties for their products. A toilet is a rare purchase for most homeowners. Finding one with a good warranty is important to protect your investment. Some manufacturers offer one-year warranties, while others offer longer ones.
Bathrooms are often located near bedrooms and common living areas. A noisy flush can be disruptive and even embarrassing. Toilets with quieter flushes are more acceptable in residential bathrooms.
Gravity Feed vs. Pressure Assist
The two most popular types of toilet flush designs are the gravity feed and the pressure assist. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Most toilets are gravity feed models. That’s because it’s the original design for flushing toilets and it doesn’t require extra parts to work. Hit the lever or button. The flush valve in the tank lifts, releasing the water into the siphon. The water moves through the siphon and exits into the rim via a series of holes around the perimeter.
Gravity takes the water down the sides and out the drain. This pushes the waste through the drain and into the sewer. Once flushing is complete, the tank refills. A float shuts off the flow once the water reaches a designated height.
Manufacturers use variants of the gravity feed to make flushing more efficient and powerful. Toto, for example, developed the Double Cyclone that replaces the holes around the rim with two nozzles that direct the water down in a powerful spiral. The centrifugal force creates a more powerful flush, which removes waste using less water.
Most dual flush toilets use the gravity feed model. The main difference is that the user can select one of two flush sizes. The partial flush, which uses 60% to 80% of the tank volume, is good for liquid waste. The full flush, which uses 100% of the tank volume, is good for bulk waste.
Advantages of the Gravity Feed Model
- Proven technology. Flush toilets developed during the 19th century and have proven themselves ever since.
- Simple to install and maintain. A simple gravity feed toilet can be installed and maintained by most DIY homeowners.
- Affordable. Gravity feed toilets cost less than pressure assist models.
Disadvantages of the Gravity Feed Model
- Require more water than pressure assist models.
- Not as efficient at waste removal.
- Larger than most pressure assist models.
Pressure assist toilets are a much newer technology compared to gravity feed models. It delivers the water to the bowl with a blast of pressurized air. This propels the water at an accelerated rate, clearing the bowl more efficiently.
The inside of a pressure assist tank is a bit different. Instead of the entire tank filling with water, the water goes into a pressure vessel inside the tank. As the pressure vessel fills, it compresses the air inside. A high-pressure valve holds the water and air in place.
When the user presses the lever or button to flush, the high-pressure valve releases the contents of the pressure vessel. The compressed air pushes the water out at a much faster flow rate than a gravity feed model. The high-speed water clears the bowl quickly, often with less water.
The efficient use of water and the clearing power of the flush make the pressure assist toilet a popular choice for businesses. While pressure assist toilets have been available for residential use for decades, it’s only been in the last few years that technology has brought the cost down to where most property owners will consider it.
Advantages of Pressure Assist Toilets
- Efficient flush. They can push more bulk waste out of the drain.
- Water efficient. A pressure assist toilet typically uses 20% less water than a gravity feed model.
- Smaller. Some, but not all, pressure assist toilets are smaller.
Disadvantages of Pressure Assist Toilets
- Cost more. A pressure assist toilet will cost more than the more conventional gravity feed models.
- Requires professional installation and maintenance.
- Noisy. The pressurized flush produces more noise.
The Best Flushing Toilets
The TOTO CST744E#01 Eco Drake combines effective flushing technology, efficient water use, and a budget friendly price. Its high-profile tank and classic style makes it work in almost any bathroom style you might have. The elongated bowl makes it more comfortable for those using it. This toilet offers a standard height seat, with the rim measuring 14.625 inches above the floor.
The E-Max uses a wide valve to expel water from the tank into the bowl. It increases the flow rate into the bowl which clears the waste into the drain faster. The toilet has a powerful flush that is ultra quiet, perfect for residential installations.
Because of the E-Max flushing technology, the TOTO CST744E#01 Eco Drake uses only 1.28 gallons per flush, 20% less than the standard 1.6 gallons per flush. Due to its water efficiency, it carries the WaterSense certification, while also being compliant with CALGreen and CEC requirements.
The toilet kit includes the hardware to attach the tank to the bowl, as well as the toilet bowl caps. The buyer will need to purchase the toilet seat, wax ring, mounting bolts, and water supply lines separately. Toto warranties this product for one year.
- Efficient E-Max flushing technology clears bowl quickly
- Uses 1.28 gallons per flush
- WaterSense certified, compliant with CALGreen and CEC requirements
- Buyer must purchase toilet seat, wax ring, and mounting hardware separately.
- One-year limited warranty
- Conventional two-piece design
The WoodBridge T-0001 toilet brings modern design, water efficiency, and powerful flush technology to the forefront. The most striking thing about this commode is its modern sleek look. The one-piece design offers a low-profile tank and an elongated bowl. Its skirted design hides the trapway and makes it easy to keep the fixture clean and sanitary with minimal effort. The comfort height seat make it easy for adults and those with disabilities to get up and down.
Its dual flush technology makes this commode extremely water efficient. The partial flush uses 1.0 gallons, while the full flush uses 1.6 gallons. It averages 1.28 gallons per flush. It’s earned the WaterSense certification due to its efficiency.
To make the most use out of the water, the WoodBridge T-0001 uses a siphon flushing mechanism for a powerful flush that’s super quiet. The bowl and trapway are fully glazed which helps clear the waste away with minimal clogs and streaks.
Another plus for this toilet is that it includes all the parts needed for installation. The soft-closing toilet seat is already pre-installed. It even comes with an installation manual for those who want to do the work themselves. The manufacturer also includes a five-year limited warranty against fading/staining of the glaze and a one-year warranty on the flushing mechanism and soft closing toilet seat.
- Sleek one-piece modern design
- Quiet, efficient flush
- Full glazing through the bowl and trapway for a clean flush
- Efficient use of water, 1.0 gallons for partial flushes and 1.6 for full flushes
- WaterSense certified
- Includes all the parts needed for assembly
- Decent manufacturer’s warranty
- Can be difficult to source parts
- Difficult to install
TOTO CST244EF#01 Entrada
The TOTO CST244EF#01 Entrada offers a transitional design at a very affordable price. Add in the water efficient, powerful flush and you have a toilet that’s a good match for almost any bathroom.
The clean lines of the two-piece design make it an excellent addition to bathrooms in many styles including traditional, transitional, and contemporary. Its high profile tank has smooth rounded lines with the chrome lever tucked on the left side. The elongated bowl at Universal Height makes the seat more comfortable for a wider range of users. It’s design is ADA compliant, which make it a good choice for taller individuals and those with disabilities.
Toto includes the E-Max flushing system in this particular commode. It uses less water to complete a bulk waste flush. A three-inch flush valve releases 1.28 gallons per flush which powers the waste down the drain. Due to its water efficiency, this toilet has earned the WaterSense certification, while also being CEC and CALGreen compliant.
The toilet does not have a toilet seat, wax ring, or mounting bolts included. The manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty.
- Efficient E-Max flushing system has a powerful, quiet flush
- Uses 1.28 gallons per flush, 20% less than standard toilets
- WaterSense certified and CEC/CALGreen compliant
- ADA compliant design
- Transitional design works well in many spaces
- Lowest price in our comparison
- Does not include toilet seat, wax ring, or mounting hardware
- One-year limited warranty
The Toto CST744SF.10#01 Drake brings maximum flushing power and universal height to any bathroom installation. Its two-piece design brings minimal design together with a traditional aesthetic.
The Universal Height rim makes this toilet more comfortable for people who are taller and those with disabilities. The elongated bowl makes it a comfortable place to take a seat.
To give this toilet maximum flushing power, Toto deploys its G-Max flushing system. It uses a 3-inch flush valve to bring water down forcefully through an extra large siphon. This forces water and waste down though the extra-wide trapway for efficient clearing and cleaning. The toilet uses the standard 1.6 gallons per flush.
The manufacturer includes a one-year limited warranty for the toilet. The buyer will need to purchase the toilet seat, wax ring, and mounting hardware separately.
- Efficient powerful flush using G-max flushing system
- Universal height seat makes it easy for people who are tall or have disabilities
- Tank fills quickly
- Does not include toilet seat, wax ring, or mounting hardware
- Conventional, two-piece design
- One-year limited warranty
Efficient, powerful flushing and a transitional design are hallmarks of the Kohler K-3589-0 Cimarron.
The Kohler AquaPiston allows water to enter the flush valve quickly, which draws the water down into the bowl at a smooth consistent flow. There’s a 3:2 ratio between valve intake and outlet that brings together the power of gravity to make flush performance more efficient. It uses the 1.6 gallons per flush standard.
This toilet’s look is curved and minimal with a high-profile tank. Its transitional look works well in almost any bathroom style. It has an elongated bowl that’s at comfort height, making it more comfortable for a wider range of users.
The manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty on this toilet. It does not include the toilet seat, wax ring, or mounting hardware.
- Quiet flush using the AquaPiston technology
- Transitional look works well in many bathroom styles
- Comfort height seat with elongated bowl
- One-year limited warranty
- Buyer must purchase toilet set, wax ring, and mounting hardware separately
- Not water efficient
- Flush can leave waste behind
- Highest price in our comparison
The Best Flushing Toilet is
In our comparison, the WoodBridge T-0001 is the best flushing toilet. Its modern design, efficient dual flush mechanism, and all-in-one package makes it the clear winner. It’s a toilet anyone would be proud to have in their bathroom.
The siphon brings the water from the tank into the bowl in a powerful flush that keeps the bowl clear of liquid and bulk waste. Its dual flush feature makes it very water efficient. The partial flush uses 1.0 gallons per flush and the full uses 1.6 gallons per flush. Its partial flush is powerful enough that it can be used for most purposes. A fully glazed bowl and trapway keeps waste from lingering after the flush. Its efficiency has earned it the WaterSense certification.
Besides its powerful flush, the WoodBridge T-0001’s most striking feature is its modern, low-profile design. The rectangular tank and full skirt give this toilet a distinct look that works well in almost any bathroom design. Its easy to keep clean because it has no corners or grooves to worry about. The comfort height seat and elongated bowl makes it comfortable for most users.
This toilet includes all the parts needed to complete the installation. It has a pre-installed toilet seat, a wax ring, floor bolts, and instructions. It includes a hand wrench to complete the installation in tight spots.
WoodBridge offers one of the better warranties in the industry. They include a five-year limited warranty on fading/staining of the glaze and a one-year warranty on the flushing mechanism and soft closing toilet seat. In comparison, Toto and Kohler offer only a one-year limited warranties on the toilets we compared.
The price of the WoodBridge fell in the mid-range of those we compared. While two of the Toto models were significantly less, they didn’t include all the hardware needed to do the installation. Plus, they didn’t have the modern one-piece design with an easy to clean skirt. The dual flush water efficiency makes the WoodBridge model well worth the extra cost.
Installation of the WoodBridge is more difficult than the other toilets in our comparison. However, it comes with installation instructions and a tool to help with the work required. Most DIY enthusiasts can tackle the installation without professional assistance.
One downside to the WoodBridge brand is that it can be difficult to source manufacturer parts. However, universal design parts can be used for most toilet repairs.
A powerful, efficient flush is critical for any toilet that you buy. Since toilets are items you don’t buy very often, it’s important to get a toilet that does the job, made with quality parts, that will last for decades to come. The design needs to fit into your bathroom and work with any updates you make in the future.