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Toilet Buying Guide

It's time to buy a new toilet

Posted 12:57 November 28, 2017
Last Updated 13:01 December 19, 2017

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White toilets are the most common, but today most manufacturers offer a variety of color choices. Before deciding on a color, make sure you're ready to live with that color. If in a few years you want a color change, it's much easier to change the surrounding wall colors than to change and replace your toilet. You might also want to consider resale value when choosing a unique color.


Do you want to a look that's traditional, contemporary, formal, or casual? Styles don't usually affect the a toilet's operation, so choose a style that best suits your preference.

Gravity or Pressure

Gravity-fed toilets work the old-fashioned way and are the most reliable. After flushing, water drops down from the tank and into the bowl by gravity. When enough water drops down into the bowl, the overwhelming weight forces everything in the bowl down and out through an S-shaped trap. Siphoning action then takes over and completes the job.

Pressure-assist toilets were invented to flush toilets using far less water. They add compressed air which forces water into the toilet bowl. Pressure assist toilets have a separate pressure (inner) tank inside the cosmetic outer porcelain tank. The pressure assist tank is entirely sealed. When the inner pressure tank begins to fill with water, all air trapped inside the pressure tank becomes compressed. When activated, the pressure-assist action pushes water out of the tank forcefully into the bowl, effectively pushing the contents of the bowl out through the S-shaped trap. Because less water is needed inside the tank, the toilet bowl can be made bigger and can hold more surface water. A toilet bowl with a larger water surface usually requires less frequent cleaning. Pressure assist tank parts are not interchangeable with gravity flow tank parts. The two tank types are completely different.

Pressure-assist toilets are much noisier and are usually more difficult to repair than conventional gravity models. The design of gravity toilets is much more simple.

One-piece or two-piece

Most toilets have separate tanks and bowls that are installed by bolting them together. These are called two-piece toilets. Some higher-end toilets are made as one-piece. They have a lower profile and are generally considered (by some) to be much more stylish. Style is a preference and yours may vary. One-piece toilets tend to cost quite a bit more than two-piece toilets because of the special engineering used in creating the flushing components and mechanisms.


The distance from the finished wall to the center line of the drain pipe (the point where the toilet bolts connect to the floor flange) for most toilets is 12 inches. It is not uncommon to find older installations that use a 10 inch rough in, although almost all homes in the Las Vegas valley use today's standard of 12 inches. However, measure your rough in distance before buying a new toilet. If your home has a 10 inch rough in, you will need a toilet is is designed to fit that size.

With a seat or without a seat

Most two-piece toilets do not come with a toilet seat. Some one-piece toilets do, but they often have very unique shapes or specialized bolt spread dimensions. If you buy a toilet without a toilet seat, be careful that the toilet you purchase does not need a uniquely-shaped design. You will also want to pay attention to the distance between the bolts that mount the seat to the bowl of the toilet. The most common dimension for toilet seats is 5-1/2" when measured center-to-center. Toilet bowls that have seat bolt distances different than 5-1/2" or that are uniquely shaped could present a problem in the future when you need to buy a new seat.

Round bowl or elongated bowl

Most toilet bowls in US residential installations are round; almost all toilets used in commercial installations are elongated. The Unified Plumbing Code (UPC) developed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) states that toilet bowls for public use shall be elongated. ADA (American Disabilities Act) regulations also require toilet bowls to be elongated and 3" taller than normal toilet bowls. For residential use it really comes down to a design choice, style choice, or practicality. Today both round and elongated bowls are widely available. Elongated bowls provide an additional two inches of space in front. Toilets with elongated bowls are slightly more expensive than round bowls and are usually preferred by men. If room space is a factor, a round bowl might make the difference between being able to close the bathroom door or not.

All Trades in Las Vegas, Nevada can help you install your new toilet. We offer fast, same day service. We treat our customers with the highest level of respect. We know your time is valuable. Contact us today and find out why we are one of the highest rated plumbing companies in Las Vegas.

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