They’re a necessary part of life and an integral component of every bathroom. Call ‘em what you will, the commode, the loo, or the “can”; toilets are an important decision for your bathroom remodel or new home construction and should be researched properly. How you test them is completely up to you!

Or just leave it up to the folks at Consumer Reports, whose team of engineers put them through a series of tests including dumping marble-sized plastic beads, weighted sponges and filled water bags in to measure how well each flush handles the simulated waste. Their recent tests revealed key differences in flushing ability, even across different models of the same brand. To simulate a bathroom’s worst nightmare, they deployed a measured mix of baby wipes, sponges, plastic balls, and water-filled latex sleeves to see whether a toilet would clog. These tests also gauge how well the flush cleans the toilet bowl and moves waste down the drain line. Top performers leave the bowl pristine and carry waste far down your drainpipe, reducing the likelihood of clogs.

TYPES OF TOILETS

While there are many features to consider when buying a toilet, including height, bowl shape, color, style, and flushing technology, most toilets fall into two basic types: gravity-feed and pressure-assisted. Gravity-feed toilets are consistently the market leader, but pressure-assisted models have much to offer as well.

Gravity-Feed: As their name implies, these toilets have a flush valve that relies on gravity. Water drops from the tank into the bowl to move waste down the drain. They can work with as little as 10 pounds per square inch of household water pressure. Models with a beefy 3-, 3½-, or even 4-inch-wide flush valve typically deliver more thrust than those with a 2- to 2½-inch valve. Have your contractor check manufacturer’s specifications for the flush valve.

Pros: These toilets flush more quietly than pressure-assisted models. For the most part they work every bit as well as the best pressure-assisted models, and with far less noise.

Cons: Models that perform comparably to pressure-assisted units typically cost as much, while lower-priced models might not be able to move waste as well as pressure-assisted toilets.

Pressure-Assisted Toilets: As water compresses air within the sealed tank, it creates pressure that thrusts waste forcefully down the line. A pressure-assisted toilet is an especially good choice for large families, but it does have a noisier flush.

Before buying, be sure that your home has at least 25 pounds per square inch of water pressure, the minimum required for a pressure-assisted toilet to work properly. You can check with a $10 gauge that connects to an outdoor spigot.

Pros: Pressure-assisted toilets generally dispatch solid waste with few clogs.

Cons: They can be noisy to the point where the loudest ones emit an emphatic “whoosh”. They can also be expensive.

BOWL SHAPE

When the decision comes down to bowl shape, says Fixr.com, an elongated bowl may be more comfortable for some, but space could be an issue in smaller bathrooms. In general, elongated bowls are more expensive, and are more associated with modern design and updated features like a dual flush option.  Traditional round bowls may be harder to use and keep clean. They can also have a less forceful flush. A mix of the two, compact elongated bowls, are offered by some manufacturers.

TOILETS OF THE FUTURE

Jbidet.com looks to Japan for the latest in toilet technology, where engineers have successfully incorporated bidet function into the system. The Toto Washlet G400 is a leading combination toilet bidet offering an extremely comfortable seat designed at Universal Height for a wide range of users. Then the experience only gets better: When you walk up to the toilet, the sensor will detect your movement and open the toilet seat lid for you. It has a deodorizer that starts to work to eliminate odor once you sit down. Then a pre-mist will wet the bowl to prevent dirt from sticking. After you stand up, the toilet will flush automatically. And then the toilet seat lid will close automatically. It also has a heated seat with adjustable temperature and customizable bidet spray. The Toto Neorest 700H takes it even further with a nightlight, e-water sanitation system to clean the bowl after every flush and a dual flushing system that saves significantly more water.

Whether you go high-tech or keep it simple, there’s a great toilet system for your house out there, and it’s all part of the high-quality home remodel and construction services that J. Sweet Construction has been offering for 20 years, with honesty and integrity. Give us a call today to discuss your next project!