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Choosing a New Toilet: When searching for a new toilet, there’s a lot to consider. Along with knowing the types of toilets available, you also need to consider toilet dimensions, shape, and function. To ensure you get the right fit and flush, take a look at our breakdown of available features.

*For this article I will be discussing North American residential toilets that are to be connected to city provided water supply and sewer system. I wont be touching on portable systems or septic systems.

Types of Toilets


Two-Piece: The most common type of toilet, this affordable commode comes in two separate pieces: the seat and the tank. This style is easy to transport and install.

One-Piece: Fusing the bowl and tank into a single unit, this sleek style offers a streamlined silhouette that’s easy to clean.

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Wall-Mounted: This low-profile toilet mounts directly to the wall, making it an ideal choice for small or narrow bathrooms. A thick wall and intricate installation can be required. Typically the height is adjustable.

Toilet Bowl Shapes

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Elongated: Pear-shaped in design, this bowl option offers additional comfort and is typically 2" – 3" longer than a round bowl.

Round: Circular in design, this bowl shape requires less room, making it an ideal choice when space is at a premium.

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Seat Heights

Seat height can impact your physical needs. Measured from the floor to the top of your seat, there are two types of seat heights: standard and chair.

Standard: Typically 15-17" off the ground, standard-height toilets are common in most households and are an ideal choice for homes with children.

Chair: Typically 17-19" off the ground, chair-height toilets offer additional comfort and are an ideal choice for those with restricted mobility.

Toilet Height is measured from the floor to the top of the toilet bowel. This will be stated in the product specifications. Heights vary enough to be noticeable. Most often, they fall somewhere between 15” and 19”, with standard toilets coming in under 17”.

The actual seat itself will add another 1.5"

Flush Types

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When choosing a flushing mechanism, consider the size of your household, along with which benefits best fit your needs.

Gravity Flush: A gravity-flush system uses the weight of the water to create flushing pressure. It is one of the most common flushing systems available, as well as one of the quietest.

Pressure-Assisted: Using an air-compression tank to forcefully push waste down, a pressure-assisted flush system is louder than a gravity flush, but significantly reduces the chance of clogs.

Dual Flush: Dual-flush toilets offer two flushing options: partial and full. Ideal for liquid waste, the partial flush saves water by using as little as 0.6 gallons per flush.

Touchless Flush: Activated by motion sensors that are mounted inside or on top of the tank, touchless-flush toilets minimize the spreading of germs.

Siphon Jet: Siphonic toilets have a curved trapway that prevents sewer gases from entering the bathroom. When flushed, water from the tank rapidly fills the trapway, producing a siphon effect that sucks out water and waste. Post-flush, an automatic valve refills the emptied tank, readying it for the next flush.

Direct Flush: Using a toilet lever that connects to an internal flush valve in the tank, direct-flush toilets allow for successive flushes, making them ideal for highly frequented bathrooms.

Quiet Flush: Like the name indicates, quiet-flush toilets flush with just the slightest bit of sound and often save water.

WaterSense: Toilets awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label use 1.28 gallons or less per flush.


Seat-Included: Not all toilets come with the seats included. If you want an easy way to make sure your seat is compatible with your toilet bowl and tank, choose a seat-included toilet.

Heated Seat: As the name states, the toilet seat is heated and is great if you live in a cold climate and the toilet seat often is cold to the touch.

Soft-Close Seat: No more loud bangs when your child puts the seat down. This feature allows the seat to gently and slowly close.

Bidet Seat: connects to your home's water supply. Electronic bidet toilet seats heat the water for you so there's no need for a separate hot water connection. However, you'll need to have an electrical outlet in your bathroom near the unit. Some seats use a tank system to hold the warm water.


To complete your toilet bowl installation, you may need a wax ring, boltsflanges, or a flexible water hose connector. Check each product's overview description to see what is included.

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Flex (flexible) connection hose.


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Ridged connection water line.

Toilet Supply Lines: Sub-division builders often install the cheapest material at every turn of the build to minimize costs and effectively increase their profits. Same with toilet installations, you will find a ridged water line instead of a flex hose. Some will argue that the ridged line looks better, I personally do not agree. However, the flex hose is mush easier to install, its stronger and it has the ability to move when the toilet moves. For example, when someone sits down or perhaps leans backwards, there's always potential for the bowl and reservoir to move. If this happens with a rigid connection, there is a greater risk of leaking.

So when replacing the toilet, if there is not already a flex hose installed, go ahead and put one in. The likelihood of the ridged hose aligning with the new toilet's connection is slim, and there may already have been enough of a disturbance during removal of the old toilet, to cause the ridged line to leak.

The cost is minimal at around $7.50 CAD for a 16" long flex hose. You may not need one this long; measure the distance from your shutoff valve to your toilet and add 3 inches.

(The residential toilet supply line connection size in North America is 3/8" at the valve, and 7/8" at the toilet connection.)

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Flex Hose

Toilet Seals: The toilet seal creates a water tight connection between the toilet and the toilet flange on the floor. The flange should be sitting 1/4" above the floor tile. In some case the plumber has installed the flange flush with the floor tile because the plumber didn't wait for the flooring guy to install the tiles. In this case, a larger wax seal is used, or a flange adapter is used.

Some new toilets have a wax free toilet seal included with the toilet. Wax-free toilet seals are made out of a heavy duty rubber, so they're flexible enough to shimmy into the flange without smearing a wax ring. Wax-free seals can also be reused. As long as they're still attached to the bowl in good condition, you can reinstall the toilet without replacing the seal.

However, the seals that are included with the toilet are usually of very poor quality. It is recommended that a wax seal or a universal hybrid wax/rubber seal be used. 


$2.50  to $4.50

$3.50 to $18.50

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Rubber Seal - Don't Use These

Wax Seal

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Universal Hybrid Seal

In my opinion, the WAX seal will always be the best option. It is not as easy to work with as it can become messy if you are not paying attention to what you are doing. However, when installed properly, its a guaranteed seal from the liquid being flushed and gases from the sewer system.

You can purchase a 3-pack wax seal kit by Oatey from Home Depot for $6.50 if you are planning on changing multiple toilets in your home.

3 Most Popular Toilets


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These toilets are all Two Piece, Elongated, WaterSense units, and have a 16.5" comfort height.

The Glacier Bay is a dual flush unit and has the lowest GPF at 1.27. However, it does not have a soft close toilet seat/lid.

The American Standard is also a Dual Flush and has a soft close seat. However, has the highest GPF of the three at 1.59.

The Kohler is a single Flush but with a GPF of only 1.28. It is also the heaviest of the three at 109 lbs, compared to the G.B. at 87 lbs and the A.S. at 94 lbs. Some may argue that this could be an indication of sturdiness and quality.

The Next Level in Toilet Technology

The following comments are my own personal opinions based on the research that I have done. I do not own any of these smart toilets nor have I've used these units.

The KOHLER VEIL  K-5401-PA-0    $7954.00 CAD

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  • Compact, streamlined one-piece intelligent toilet with integrated personal cleansing.

  • Elongated bowl offers added room and comfort.

  • Comfort Height® feature offers chair-height seating that makes sitting down and standing up easier for most adults.

  • Tankless design with direct water supply.

  • Stainless steel wand offers adjustable spray shape, position, water pressure, temperature, pulsate, and oscillate functions.

  • Front and rear wash modes provide warm water for cleansing.

  • Self-cleaning function uses UV light and electrolyzed water systems to sanitize the wand surfaces.

  • Warm-air drying system with adjustable temperature settings.

  • Automatic deodorization system.

  • Heated seat with adjustable temperature settings.

  • Motion-activated, hands-free opening/closing of seat and cover.

  • Quiet-Close™ elongated seat allows seat to close quietly.

  • LED lighting illuminates the bowl to serve as a nightlight.

  • English-language touchscreen LCD remote control.

  • Emergency flush supports up to 100 flushes during power outage with simple touch-button activation.

  • Dual flush offers a choice of 0.8 or 1.28 gpf (3.0 or 4.8 lpf).

  • Included components: Complete toilet and seat, supply stop valve, braided inlet supply hose, power cord, and remote control.



  • Dual-flush technology allows you to choose between a full or partial flush.

  • Pump-assisted flushing for strong flush performance.



  • Standard 12" (305 mm) rough-in.

TOTO NEOREST   700H  $6950.00 USD


An integrated toilet with technologically advanced WASHLET, this Neorest is a truly remarkable combination of ecology and luxury. Meeting both ADA and Universal Design needs, people of all ages and abilities can enjoy all of the Neorest innovations, including TOTO's Tornado flushing system, eWater+ Technology, remote control, spray modes including WonderSpin® and WonderWave®, automatic flushing and CEFIONTECT, an extraordinarily smooth, ion-barrier surface to help keep the bowl cleaner longer.


  • CEFIONTECT Ceramic Glaze


  • Automatic Lid Opening and Closing & Automatic Flush

  • Air Deodorizer & Heated Seat

  • Remote Control Operated

  • EWATER+ on wand and bowl

  • Nightlight

  • Skirted Design

  • Universal Height

  • ADA Compliant

  • Rough-in 12"


First and foremost, my advice is never to go cheap on a toilet. Anything under $125 should be a red flag. Also don't install used toilets. After a toilet has been used, and then the water is drained, the seals dry out and start to leak. It's cheaper and more efficient to buy a new toilet rather than fix up all of the components of an old toilet.

The three toilets above are the most popular toilets sold in North America, with the highest positive user reviews, (1000+ reviews with 4+ stars out of 5). They all have their place, and anyone of them would be a good buy.

If budget wasn't an issue, I would have the KOHLER Elmbrook in every bathroom.

However, If I was a multi-millionaire, I would have the KOHLER Vail smart toilet in at least my master ensuite. Otherwise, I just don't see how I could justify spending $8k on a toilet.

The American Standard Cadet 3 is a nice looking toilet. One of the setbacks is that the flush buttons have to be held down until the toilet has flushed out the bowel. This may be an issue with children as they have a tendency to punch it and go.

The Glacier Bay All In One will perform a complete forceful flush with a quick push of the button. One setback about the Glacier Bay is that there is less water in the bowel area. This is normal, however, it can be an issue for keeping the toilet clean in certain specific uses. This is also the case for most wall mounted units.

NOTE* - Do not use the Clorox cleaning pucks (or anything similar) inside the toilet reservoir. These cleaning and disinfectant products will destroy the seals and very quickly start to degrade the functionality of the toilet mechanisms. Limit cleaning and disinfectant products to use in the bowel and exterior, never in the reservoir.

Touchless Flushing: In all the research that I have done, these residential units are just not where they need to be in quality. There has been complaint after complaint about these devices resulting with most people swapping them out to go back to a regular flush system. This may be a system that will start to see some competitive evolution as the demand has increased for touchless sanitary options. However, as of Feb 2021, there isn't any big-name reliable units available for the home.

Elongated vs Round: Elongated toilets are much more comfortable, and they look better. However, make sure that you have the room to install an elongated toilet. You will need to have a minimum of 24" clearance in-front of your bowel. Some powder rooms are a tight fit and having the elongated bowel is not an option.

Wall Mounted Toilets: I like the wall mounted units, they have a sturdy construction and are super easy to clean, especially since nothing is touching the floor. Brands to consider would be Kohler, Toto, Geberit, and Foremost. However, these units should be installed during the building process, otherwise extensive renovations would be required to replace a floor mount with a wall mounted toilet.

Wall mounted units are good for high traffic areas or as a basement bathroom toilet. (Sometimes the drain line running under the house is not deep enough to install a floor mount toilet. The requirement would be that the top of the drain pipe be 8" below the surface so that there is sufficient room to fit the elbow and flange.)

Final Thoughts:

With all that is said and done, and working with a reasonable with budget, I would install the toilets as follows

Master Ensuite - The KOHLER Elmbrook

The Bathroom Used by Kids - The GLACIER BAY All In One

The Main floor Bathroom used by Guest - The wall mounted unit if feasible, otherwise the KOHLER Elmbrook

Basement Bathroom - Wall Mounted or GLACIER BAY

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