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Toilet Reviews: Best Toilets in Every Price Range

Part One: Pick the basics

Go directly to my "Top 5 Toilets"

How do you pick the best toilets? What on earth do you even look for? We want them to flush— how complicated can it really be? Go to buy one, and the choices are daunting. Rough ins, flushing systems, bowl shapes, sanitary coatings–what does all this mean to you?

Not to worry. Girl With Wrench brings you toilet reviews: by a real plumber with actual, honest opinions! Learn what gives the best bang for the buck in every category: economy, mid-range and high end. Understand what type of toilet you need, what various flushing systems offer, and how style enters into the equation.

In a hurry? Skip ahead to our handy Toilet Ratings for quick reference.

​Ok, before we start, you need to know what type of toilet you need for your space and preferences. Look over our table below, and select which combination of the three basics you want or need. This is the place to start. Already know? Skip ahead to our next section. 

 

Toilet Basics
 
Bowl Shape Rough In Height
Round: This is the household "standard."  Umm, the bowl is round. This takes up the least amount of floor space, but is less comfortable than elongated. It is also the least expensive (less material… most common)

​How to tell what you need: ​Measure from the wall (actual wall, not baseboard trim) to the center of the bolt caps.  This is your "rough in." They all have some play: + or – 1/2" is very safe; you may be able to get up to 1" of play if you have finesse.

12 inch rough in: This is standard, and what all toilets are unless otherwise specified. (Your measurement wall to bolt cap center: 11-1/2"-12-1/2")

Standard: Uh, your regular toilet height. Definitely the best for small children to use, and conveniently the lowest priced.​
​Elongated: The most desirable option for most buyers. Uh, the bowl is oval, or "elongated"–rather than round.  This provides a larger seating area, and is correspondingly more comfortable.  It also, however, generally has a larger "footprint" (or takes up more floor space.)  And is usually a few dollars more. Not a big deal for a homeowner, but a builder buying hundreds of toilets at a crack will want the couple dollars in savings.  If space is tight but you want the comfort, look for a model described as "compact elongated" or something similar–they are designed to use the same basic footprint as a round front, with an elongated seating pattern.

"Oops" toilets: Other than 12" rough.  If your measurement is significantly smaller or larger than above, you need a 10" or 14" rough model. This cuts down your selection significantly! You MUST find one specified to be 10" or 14" rough in.  Do NOT try to make a 12" rough work–you are asking for leaks down the line either way. 

10 inch rough in: ​Wall to bolt caps: 9-3/4" to 11"

14 inch rough in: Wall to bolt caps: 13" or more

If you are between measurements noted above: It's your call. Installation of the tighter model will require finesse. Go for it if you have it. If not, go the safe route and it may be little far from the wall.

​Comfort or ADA Height: Again, the  preferred option for most adults.  Significantly greater comfort, especially for tall people, those with bad backs and knees, and of course the handicapped. They cost a little more than standard height.

 


 

Part Two: Quick Reference of Toilet Reviews

 

Ok, now you know what kind of toilet you are looking for: let's say a 12" rough-in, elongated bowl, ADA height.  There are still literally hundreds of choices, so what's next?  There are three basic things to consider when choosing a toilet:

​Function: ​How well does it flush? How often does it need repairs, and how hard is it to repair? How much water does it use per flush?  Does it have other features, such as automatic flushing or a bidet seat?

​Aesthetics​: Is it styled to match a particular decor–for example, very modern or traditional? Or is it classic and versatile? What colors are available?

Price​: This is where the rubber meets the road.  Do you want something cheap but reliable?  Or are you building the perfect master bath and want something absolutely stunning that virtually kisses you on the cheek when you are done?  Both are out there, and I'll tell you the best bang for the buck in every price range.

 

"Wrench wRatings" Guide
 
     "Wrench wRating" Key

Explanation of Ratings System

"Wrench Wratings" Golden Wrench

Golden Wrench Value: Far exceeds others
         in its class 

Silver Wrench

Silver Wrench Value: Best in its class 

Bronze Wrench

Bronze Wrench Value:  Top 20% in its class

Green Wrench ValueGreen Wrench Value: Eco-friendly without 
         sacrificing performance 

Work Horse  Work Horse: Tried and true with high reliability 

Best Bang Best Bang: Best bang for the buck in its class 

Better Mousetrap  Better Mousetrap: Useful innovation which 
         performs as promised

         No wRatings: I don't have first hand 
         
experience to form an opinion.

​I WILL NOT PUT ANY PRODUCTS ON THESE PAGES I WOULD NOT TRY MYSELF!  

​If it is here at all, that means I think it would be a good choice in it's price range, even if I haven't worked with it myself yet.

I've broken the products down into three main categories by price: Value, Mainstream and Upscale.

All ratings are based on my OWN EXPERIENCE.

If there are no Wrench wRatings, it simply means I don't have enough experience with that product to have my own opinion.  It may be terrific, but I won't apply any ratings unless I have first hand experience.

 

 

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