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Toilet Reviews - Expert Analysis and Advice

Best Toilet:

We've all had episodes with a toilet where we wish the darn thing had a more powerful flush. Household toilets used to be larger in tank size and have the capacity to clog less often with a more powerful flush. Todays low-flow toilets hold roughly 1.6 gallons in the tank (compared to the older ones that held 3.5 gallons) and I find myself flushing twice to get rid of all the waste. The #1 thing that customers want in a toilet is one that has flush power and next they want a model that doesn't waste water. You might think that those two attributes can't coexist but that is not true. We found some excellent toilets with flush power and water conservation built-in at our local plumbing store and in home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot.

Most Powerful Toilet:

There are essentially 4 different types of toilets on the market - gravity, vacuum-assist, power assist, and pressure assist. Gravity toilets are what you see in most households with and they are recommended for homeowners with less than average water pressure. A gravity toilet costs around $150 to $500 and since they are fairly basic in design have small repair costs associated with them compared to other models. One plus to a gravity toilet is that the flush is quieter than most. If you moved into a house in the last decade or so, you are probably running into the problem of a low flow toilet that doesn't always work with just 1 flush. The pressure-assist toilets can solve all your worries with the most powerful flush on the market. The pressurized air in the tank gives you the water power to flush just once. The one drawback to these types of toilets is that they can loud and scary for those not expecting the sound of the flush (especially kids). You need water pressure of at least 25 psi (pounds per square inch) in order to run a pressure-assist toilet in your house. Consumer reviews show that owners are happier with pressure assist toilets when compared to their gravity counterparts, but you will get a higher fix it bill if the pressure assist has a problem. Expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $400 on a pressure assist toilet. The power-assist toilets actually plug into a GFCI outlet which supplies the power to give the flush but they will run you close to $900 so most homeowners shy away from these. Lastly, you have the vacuum-assist toilets, which overall rate lower than the pressure-assisted toilets, but still have their uses at $200 to $375. They are great for anyone looking for a quiet toilet and a reasonable amount of power to flush. The actual toilet bowl design is typically one of two types - elongated and round bowls. Many people prefer the elongated toilet bowls for their comfort, but it comes down to personally choice. One-piece or two-piece toilets? One piece toilets are easier to clean and leak less often but are more expensive than the 2 piece variety. Two-piece toilets are cheaper to buy but harder to clean and can leak between the tank and bowl. You may be surprised to know that some homes are being built with wall mounted toilets versus the traditional floor models. Wall mount toilets are priced above $500 but they just haven't taken off as of yet. Another option are the dual flush toilets which are toted as saving water which is good for everyone. A dual-flush toilet has two flush options - one for liquid waste (.8 gallons) versus solid waste (1.6 gallons) which means you can save quite a bit of water each year if it's used properly. The top brands are TOTO, American Standard, Kohler, Gerber, Eljer, Briggs, Crane, Mansfield, and Niagara. Want to read reviews on all the latest brands and models, then we suggest going to websites like Theplumber.com, Terrylove.com, Amazon.com, and the Gardenweb.com forums which always give you a great mix of expert advice along with homeowner feedback. We also found some great consumer reviews on the Lowes.com website and their weekly flyer has them rated as well. Japan makes some great toilets with modern technology built-in and they have heated seats as well. Maybe they will take over the US toilet market like they have the car markets. In our next report we'll include some of the Japanese models as well.

RECOMMENDED - If you want to go with unbiased, expert testimonial from plumbers and home builders, then the TOTO UltraMax MS854114S ($350) is certainly a top ranked toilet which features a powerful flush, runs quiet, and a 3" flush valve to eliminate clogs. This one-piece toilet has a 1.6 gallon tank with the G-Max flushing system. Expert plumber Terry Love says the UltraMax "good looking, high performance toilet" and others on the Gardenweb.com forum say it "flushes with ease" and "won't leave you disappointed". The TOTO products can be found online at Toto.com. There you will find a list of retailers that carry their products. The Champion 4 Toilet from American Standard is another clear winner and sells at Lowes and Home Depot. This clog-free toilet will keep your plunger inactive. Sold for around $210 and gives you a quiet, yet powerful flush.

The TOTO Drake CST744S ($225) is another highly praised toilet, only it's a two-piece model. Compared to the TOTO above, the Drake CST744S is much cheaper and it will give you a more powerful flush. However, keep in mind that two-piece toilets are harder to clean, so if you are the one doing the dirty work, give it a second thought. Just 1.6 gallons used each time you flush and this TOTO toilet is great in households that have low water pressure. Check out Totousa.com for locations on where to buy. View top rated two piece toilets here.

What's the most powerful flusher on the market, the Gerber Ultra Flush 21-312 ($325) gets the nod by plumbers and homeowners alike. The Ultra Flush is considered quiet as well, which is a huge bonus considering the flushing power you get. Water pressure of 25 psi is needed in your home for this type of toilet, so get it check before you purchase one. This two piece toilet also features the Sloan Flushmate Flushometer-Tank System which removes all the waste in a single flush. You can find the Gerber toilet in almost all the major plumbing stores nationwide. You can find all the latest Gerber toilets online at Gerberonline.com. With sustainability and "green" purchases being pushed on consumers, your choice for high efficiency toilets is increasing too. The Caroma Caravelle 305 ($400) could be part of the solution in terms of conserving water but still maintaining cleanliness in the bathroom. The dual-flush toilet is definitely more expensive than the basic gravity toilets, but you should save on your water bill over the lifetime of the toilet which makes up for the additional upfront costs. Caroma toilets are from Australia but are sold in the United States. The toilet has 2 options for flushing, a .8 gallon flush for liquids and the traditional 1.6 gallons for solid waste. Take a look at Caromausa.com to see what they offer and where you can pick one up.

Top Selling Toilets:

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