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American Standard Champion Toilet Review: “5 Best Toilets” Picks

"Top 5" Spot
 #3
Wrench wRatings
Bronze Wrench; Workhorse
Options
High Efficiency Green Wrench Value
Features
EverClean
10 yr warranty

5 Best Toilet Picks: American Standard Champion Full Review American Standard Champion 4

In the plumbing industry, American Standard is synonymous with performance and reliability at an affordable price. Their Champion line was the first high performing 1.6 gpf toilet introduced by an American manufacturer, and we plumbers flocked to it. It's a decision that no one I know has ever regretted.  The only reason I gave this #3 instead of #2 is that I've actually had a Cimarron in my house for 4 years, so I felt I have a broader experience base from which to vouch for the model.  

I had a tough time deciding between AS's Champion line and Cadet line for this spot. Both meet the performance and reliability markers, and the Cadet line has many more configurations available. In the end, I stuck with the Champion because it is the only model in the running for my Top 5 that comes with a 10 year warranty. While I specifically selected my picks because I would expect any of them to go 10 years without service, this is the only one which actually makes that guarantee on each and every unit. 

American Standard Champion MaxThe Champion has always been, and remains, a standout for reliable flushing over the long haul. It feels like I keep repeating the same thing, but that is indeed the first and most important thing to say about them! Their maP score of >=1000 for both 1.28 and 1.6 gpf is as good as any out there, and they keep it up for years and years. (MaP flush scores are done by independent labs and test the amount of bean curd shaped like, ahem, solid waste which a toilet can flush at one time. Kinda' funny when you think about it…) 

Not content to rest on their laurels, American Standard has continued to improve their "secondaries" with their PowerWash rim flushing, and all Champions now come standard with their EverClean coating. It also has a nice large water spot (meaning the waste normally hits the water, not the bowl itself.) These combined go a long way toward helping keep the bowl clean. While that may not seem huge when selecting a toilet, it really does make life easier if you are the one who has to keep it clean. 

In the style department, the Champion is my only Top 5 to offer a couple of different styles (shown here): the classic Champion 4 and more traditional Champion Max. All are available in a basic selection of common colors. Something kind of fun: they have an optional wood tank lid in 4 finished for a unique look in the right setting. A drawback: the Champion is only offered in 12" rough in. The good news: they do offer the hard to find round front ADA model, so this is another great option if that is what you need. If you are looking for more style options or an alternate rough in, try American Standard's Cadet line.

Installation has always been relatively easy, and they have redesigned it with the claim of making it even easier to install. I haven't tried this out myself, but the kit now includes a hollow core nut driver for tightening the tank to bowl nuts, and that really is nice. If you don't have one of your own, it's a long and tedious affair to tighten them with a wrench because space is tight. The EZ bolt cap system looks a little flimsy on paper, but is probably fine for most installations. The back up nut for the bolts is always a good thing (especially for newbies–it can be easy to knock the bolts out of place when setting the bowl, resulting in frustrating resets when they pull through while tightening.) And they do include a set of standard bolt caps if you need to use standard bolts for some reason. 

Bottom Line: I'll say it again: performance and reliability—and they are the only ones to guarantee it for 10 years. It gets my "Bronze Wrench" (Top 20% of class) and my "Work Horse" ratings—it's stood the test of time in the field, over and over. The EverClean coating is a really nice addition; it didn't get my "Better Moustrap" only because I haven't seen it action myself yet.

Color Note: American Standard's white is a little less bright then most other manufacturers. There is a noticeable difference, so if you don't have American Standard for your other bath fixtures, understand this ahead of time. If the fixtures are not right next to each other, it is less noticeable. Having a fairly high contrast with the color of the wall behind it also minimizes this effect.

Option: High Efficiency—The 1.28 gpf (gallons per flush) version of the Champion. It has all the same features and benefits, and the same high maP scores. What is the real difference? Obviously, it will use less water every time it is flushed–good for the earth and your pocketbook. My only two cautions:

  • All 1.28 and lower toilets are relatively new to the market, so performance over time has yet to be seen.
  • If you are replacing a toilet in an old building–pre 1950s or so–people sometimes have problems with their lines clogging. Plumbing lines were installed a bit differently back then, and piping that worked fine for the old 3.5 gpf toilets sometimes doesn't carry all the waste down with only about one third of the water, resulting in recurring nuisance clogs. 

Bottom Line: the High Efficiency Champion makes the best choice in most cases, unless you have very old piping, particularly when you have a household member that regularly produces large waste amounts at one time.

By The Numbers: Model Details 

NOTE: Before buying any toilet, check out our Toilet Basics to determine the configuration you need.  Make sure to measure for your rough in; don't be tempted by the lower price to put in the wrong size—it creates leaks and problems down the line!

 

Model Shape/ Height GPF maP Flush Score Rough In MSRP Discount eFaucet $*

Champion 4 2023.214

Round/ Standard 1.6 >=1000 12" $368 $202.84

Champion 4 2018.214

Elongated/ Standard 1.6 >=1000 12" $395

$260.66

Champion 4 2002.014 Elongated/ ADA 1.6 >=1000 12" $465 $306.85
Champion Max 231BA.104 Round/ADA 1.28 >=1000 12" $318 $209.85
Champion Max 231AA.104 Elongated/ ADA 1.28 >=1000 12" $349 $230.14

Or find the best price on Amazon below. Just type model number in search box:


 

*Discount price as of 5/2014 through eFaucets.com. Products and pricing are solely under the control of the vendor.

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