Whether you’re looking to make some minor changes to your bathroom or you want to perform a complete overhaul, a new one-piece toilet is a must-have. The traditional toilet design hasn’t changed much since it was introduced in the early 20th century. However, modern one-piece fixtures have been making a splash in recent years thanks to their minimalist looks.
The best one piece toilets have a lot to offer in terms of style. These fixtures offer a sleek and compact alternative to clunky two-piece options, which is great for any washroom that’s a bit tight on space. Even if you have a massive bathroom, the modern aesthetics come with several benefits you can take advantage of, too.
The Benefits of Upgrading to a One-Piece Toilet
According to the National Association of Home Builders, roughly 81 percent of all home renovations included some work in the bathroom. While bathrooms were often considered an afterthought in the past, modern homeowners are looking for functional bathrooms that look great.
It’s estimated that a brand-new bathroom with modern fixtures can increase your home’s value by up to 3 percent. That’s a pretty impressive figure when you consider the fact that bathrooms are often the smallest room in a home.
Updating those old two-piece toilets from yesteryear can dramatically improve your space. Minimalist design is very much on-trend and shows no signs of going out of fashion any time soon.
A one-piece toilet is the personification of minimalism. Instead of using a large water storage tank that’s separate from the bowl, everything is molded into one singular piece. As a result, the toilet requires less space and produces less clutter in your bathroom.
Aesthetics aside, that sleek design that one-piece toilets are known for also has some practical benefits as well. Think about the last time you cleaned your old toilet. Chances are, there were a ton of hard-to-reach spots!
Traditional toilets have several nooks and crannies for grime to hide. This isn’t just frustrating when it comes time to clean up your bathroom, but it can also be a health hazard. Those stubborn crevices and curves are home to large numbers of bacteria and viruses. Because they’re not easy to clean, those microbes can quickly spread and put you at risk for diseases.
With a one-piece toilet, those days of difficult cleanings are long gone. Thanks to their sleek and compact nature, most one-piece toilets are quite simple in design. Whether you choose to get a fixture with clean lines or soft curves, you’re not going to have all of those spots for bacteria to hide. Most one-piece toilets are skirted, which hides the trapway and creates a larger surface area that’s free of complex design. Thus, cleaning up your bathroom is much quicker and easier.
Are One-Piece Toilets Difficult to Install?
You might have heard that one-piece toilets are a bit difficult to install. While there is some truth to that statement, it’s not as bad as you think.
Generally, the biggest issue that homeowners come across when they’re upgrading their toilet is weight differences. Despite having a more compact shape, one-piece toilets tend to weigh a bit more than your traditional fixture. Standard two-piece toilets weigh, on average, about 55 pounds. One-piece options can go up to 88 pounds.
This difference in weight all comes down to the design of the toilet. Two-piece models are engineered so that you can separate the water tank from the bowl. This comes with the advantage of easy maneuverability. But, it also forces you to sacrifice some space once everything is installed. Plus, there’s the risk of cracking the porcelain when you reattach the two components.
One-piece toilets don’t offer the luxury of separate pieces. So, it will be a bit more cumbersome and heavy as you move it to the installation space. It’s recommended that you have someone to help you to make things easier.
With all that said, the installation process moving forward isn’t much different than what you would experience with a two-piece toilet. It involves all of the same steps and can be done by anyone who has a bit of plumbing experience. Professionals should be able to get the job done without any hassle at all.
Things to Consider When You’re Choosing the Best One Piece Toilet for Your Home
Before you go out and buy the first one-piece toilet you see, there are some things to consider. Like any other fixture, the quality of toilets you’ll find on the market varies quite a bit. This is a big investment, so you need to make sure that your new toilet works for your home and needs. To make a purchase you’re comfortable with, keep the following things in mind.
Size and Height
The first thing to think about is the size of your toilet. As we mentioned earlier, most one-piece toilets are a bit smaller than two-piece alternatives. However, you can easily find larger models that will look grand in your washroom.
The key is to consider how much room you need around the toilet. Do you have any unique spacing limitations that you need to take into account? For example, some homes have walls next to the toilet. In most jurisdictions, toilets need to have at least 15 inches of space on either side. In these cases, you would need to get a fixture with a thinner profile to prevent any unwanted clutter.
When it comes to height, it’s important to compare your new toilet to the people that are going to use it most. Typically, one-piece toilets follow “comfort height” standards. This means that the seat is 17 to 19 inches off the floor. For comparison, standard two-piece toilets are only 15 inches off the ground.
Another decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a standard round bowl or an elongated one. Elongated bowls offer a couple of inches of extra space in the front. This results in an oval-shaped bowl that’s more comfortable to use.
This is an important consideration if you have limited space. Most building codes state that there should be at least 24 inches in front of the toilet. If you’re looking to make your bathroom ADA compliant, you’ll need even more space.
The good news is that all modern toilets are designed to be as efficient as possible. According to federal law, toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. That’s a good improvement over some of those older two-piece toilets from a couple of decades ago.
If you want to save even more, look for the WaterSense label. This indicates that the toilet uses even less than the federal standard. Most will use about 1.28 gallons of water per flush, which can create some great savings on your water bill.
Many manufacturers also offer dual-flush models. Essentially, they allow you to control your water usage based on the type of waste you’re trying to flush. Some models can use as little as 1 gallon for the half-flush function.
Now, one-piece toilets are already designed to be easy to clean. However, some brands have made these toilets even more low-maintenance through some useful features.
One example would be the coating. Stain and scratch-resistant coatings prevent waste from affecting the finish of the toilet. Plus, they can protect the fixture from any abrasive cleaners.
Toilets with dynamic flushing systems are great, too. Basically, these toilets are designed to push water through the bowl in a cyclone pattern. This helps to prevent waste from sticking to the bowl, keeping the toilet clean.
Finally, there’s the seat itself. Oftentimes, the seat is the most difficult part to clean. Getting around those hinges is never fun!
Luckily, quick-release seats are available. They snap off of the toilet entirely, making it easy to provide a thorough clean every time. As an added perk, you might also find that these toilet seats have a soft-close feature to prevent slamming.
5 of the Best One Piece Toilets
This toilet from Woodbridge looks like it came straight from the future. It features clean lines and a full skirt. Aside from a shallow curve around the bottom, there are no stubborn cleaning spots. The entire unit is smooth, sleek, and very easy to clean.
In total, the toilet is just shy of 29 inches long. The increased length is due to the elongated shape of the bowl. While it may be too long for small bathrooms, the extra space does make for a comfortable user experience.
Hiding within the modern porcelain walls of this toilet is a dual-flush system. It uses 1.6 gallons for a full flush and just 1 gallon for a half flush. The toilet holds that WaterSense seal of approval. Flushing the toilet is very simple thanks to the modern buttons. Located on top of the tank lid, the buttons are covered in a chrome finish.
The great thing about the toilet is that the entire thing is glazed. Most toilets don’t apply a smooth finish to the flush system. However, Woodbridge did to ensure that the system stays clean and doesn’t clog. The siphon flush delivers water around the entire perimeter of the bowl. While it may not be the strongest flush out there, it certainly gets the job done without wasting a ton of water.
- Elongated bowl for comfort
- Available in two neutral finishes
- Dual-flush mechanism
- Flushing system is fully glazed
- Seat is approximately 17 inches off floor
- Soft-close seat with stainless steel hardware
- Similar size as traditional toilets
- Comes with five-year limited warranty
- Discrepancies in shape of bottom edge
- Flush isn’t as powerful as some other options
- Installation can be tricky
- Thin seat might not provide adequate support for heavier users
If you want a toilet that’s going to impress guests, consider the St. Tropez toilet from Swiss Madison. It has a very modern design. The tank is surprisingly thin, allowing the unit to fit nicely against the wall without looking cumbersome. It’s obvious that Swiss Madison put a lot of thought into the design of this one-piece fixture.
Not only does it have a skirt for easy cleaning, but it has some nice subtle design features that add convenience. These include a small curve behind the trap to accommodate floor trim and cover pieces to keep the anchor bolts out of sight.
Beyond its good looks, the toilet is also very efficient. The dual flush system only uses 1.28 gallons for a full flush. Less than a gallon is used to get rid of liquid waste! The efficiency doesn’t stop there. Rather than using a series of water holes to deliver the tank water to the bowl, there are two larger outlets. They’re strategically angled to create a cyclone of water, which Swiss Madison dubs the Tornado Flush.
To help you out on cleaning day, the seat is removable. With a press of a button, you can pop the entire seat and lid off to access those tight spots around the hinges. The seat uses soft-close hinges as well to prevent accidental slamming.
- Very thin water tank
- Full skirt for easy cleaning
- Dual-flush system
- Uses 1.28 gallons for a full flush and 0.8 gallons for half flush
- Quick-release seat
- Soft-close hinges
- Elongated bowl
- Tornado Flush
- Comes with one-year limited warranty
- Tends to spray water out of bowl when flushed
- Susceptible to clogging
- Low water level in bowl
- Can be difficult for some to access anchor bolts during install
- Proprietary lid system makes replacement difficult
You don’t have to sacrifice flushing power to save water. This toilet from Zurn is a great example of how careful engineering can lead to innovation and efficiency. At face value, the fixture is very traditional. You’re not going to get the same modern flair that other one-piece toilets offer.
There’s no skirt and the trapway is fully exposed. As a result, there are some hard-to-reach spaces that could be a hassle to clean.
Fortunately, the toilet makes up for its lack of design with its powerful flushing. It’s a dual-flush system that uses 1.6 gallons on a full flush and 1.1 gallons on a half flush. While some dual-flush toilets don’t perform that well when it comes to eliminating solid waste, Zurn used a unique pressure-assist feature to make up for the lack of water.
It’s very similar to the kind of thing you would find on public toilets. Within the water tank, you’ll find a smaller tank. This additional tank helps to build up air pressure. Regardless of the type of flush you choose, that pressure helps to blast the water through the bowl and get rid of any stubborn waste that wants to stay behind.
- Dual-flush system
- Uses up to 1.6 gallons for full flush
- ADA-compliant design
- Uses 1.28 gallons for a full flush and 0.8 gallons for half flush
- Pressure-assist flushing mechanism
- Elongated bowl
- Doesn’t include a seat
- Takes on a traditional design
- Exposed trapway can be difficult to clean
- Cheap plastic anchor covers
This one-piece toilet from Horow is purposefully made for those with small bathrooms. It takes up very little space. In total, it only has a footprint of about 25 inches long by 13.5 inches wide. The thinner profile makes it a suitable option for bathrooms with tight walls and very limited space.
From a design standpoint, the toilet is simple. There are no harsh curves or cutouts. The toilet is skirted and features smooth surfaces all around to make cleaning a breeze.
Even with its compact size, the toilet is fully capable of taking care of waste. The trapway and flushing system are all glazed. This helps to prevent waste from sticking and creating stubborn clogs. Accompanying the efficient trapway is a dual-flush system. It uses a siphon to make the most out of the limited water supply.
- Only 25 inches long and 13.5 inches wide
- Round bowl and seat
- Tank is less than 7 inches deep
- Dual-flush toilet uses only 1.6 gallons for a full flush
- Chrome-covered flushing buttons
- Skirted design
- Fully glazed flushing system
- Soft-close seat
- Flushes quietly
- Comes with a five-year limited warranty on porcelain and three-year warranty on flushing system
- Might not be the best option for heavier users
- Toilet seat is made of thin plastic
- Can look a bit awkward in larger bathrooms
Kohler is no stranger to the toilet market. This brand is well-known for creating high-quality fixtures. This one-piece model offers a distinct look to your bathroom. Rather than taking on a minimalist design, it manages to combine the design features of a traditional toilet with the unique flair Kohler is known for.
The bottom of the toilet features a traditional pedestal with an exposed trapway. Thus, it may not be the easiest fixture to clean. However, the tank has a more streamlined design. Thanks to its one-piece nature, there’s a smooth transition between the bowl and tank. This can help make the cleaning process a bit more efficient.
Like most of the toilets on this list, this model is WaterSense-certified. It uses 1.28 gallons a flush, which is less than the federal requirement. It’s important to note is that this is not a dual-flush toilet. It uses a normal metal lever.
One thing we like about this Kohler piece is that it uses the brand’s AquaPiston flushing canister. This is a unique alternative to standard flaps. When you flush, water enters the canister from every angle and is routed to the bowl. The 360-degree water collection system provides more flushing power to eliminate waste without having to worry about clogs
- Elongated bowl
- Comfort height
- Only uses 1.28 gallons per flush
- Comes with soft-close seat
- AquaPiston flush
- Available in several color options
- Comes with a one-year limited warranty
- No skirt
- Weighs more than 100 pounds
- Exterior can be difficult to clean
- No dual-flush functionality
- Cheaper plastic hinge and anchor covers
The Best Pressure Assist Toilet Is
As you can see, there are plenty of great one-piece toilets for you to choose from. Every one of our recommended picks is great for upgrading your bathroom and providing some distinct style to your home.
With that said, we have to choose the T-0019 toilet from Woodbridge as the winner of this roundup. From a pure style standpoint, this toilet offers the most radical change when compared to a two-piece fixture. It has a full skirt and sleek lines for easy cleaning. However, the overall footprint of the toilet is very similar to what you’d find on a two-piece model. It’s not as compact as the Horow or Swiss Madison toilets. But, the familiar footprint does make it an easy upgrade for most homeowners.
When you’re looking at this toilet’s functionality and performance capabilities, it does well across the board. It carries the WaterSense seal, has dual-flush functionality, and delivers water efficiently to keep your bowl clean. For these reasons, it beats most of the competitors. Thanks to the strategic design of the flushing system and full glazing, it even surpasses toilets that offer more flushing power, such as the models from Zurn or Kohler.
Overall, the Woodbridge product is one of the best one piece toilets that you can buy. It offers all of those benefits we went over earlier and more. Plus, it looks great and will fit right in with any modern decor. What’s not to like?