Friday, July 3, 2009

Favorite Toilet

I’ve specified a lot of toilets over the years and my hands down favorite for the past 3 years has been the dual flush Aquia Toilet by Toto.  (I’ve specifed so many of these, i know that i can fit 3 of them in the back of my car!)  Nothing beats its combination of sleek skirted design, high efficiency and price.  

Priced as low at $379, plus seat, the next best candidate for a stylish looking efficient toilet is easily in the $800 and up range.  So if you’re replacing multiple toilets and style or budget is a concern, this is my top choice every time.  The skirted design conceals the trapway and anchor bolts, giving it a sleek contemporary look and making this super easy to clean.  I’ve always hated the way conventional toilets look with the porcelain base contoured to the shape of the trapway, always a pain for cleaning and they just look unattractive. 

Despite the fact it can look intimidating as it appears right out of the box, the Toto Aquia is easier to install than it looks. I’ve witnessed homeowners who’ve never installed a toilet before, assemble and install one of these in less than an hour and additional units in only 15 minutes, commenting that its really a simple, ingenious design.

Its a high profile (30”h), 2 piece toilet with elongated bowl and flush controls on the top of the tank, so the only downside to this particular model is because of its height, its not suitable for applications when your vanity countertop continues over the back of the toilet unless your vanity is in the 36"h range.  Otherwise, you can check out the low profile Carolina model with a similar skirted design. 


If you’re replacing a toilet, check the rough-in dimension of your existing toilet.  Most toilets are made for 12” rough-in installation but often in condo’s the rough-in location is only 10” and can't be easily changed with a concrete subfloor.  They do make extenders which can be used on some models to adjust the rough-in, but not all.  Make sure the model you chose is compatible.

If you don’t currently have wall tile or wainscotting behind the toilet and you plan on adding this, take that into consideration when measuring the rough-in.  You should always allow for space between the back of the toilet tank and the wall.

Elongated or rounded front?   Elongated bowls have an 18-1/2” seat depth,,,rounded fronts have approx. 16” deep seats.  The overall depth of the toilet will vary from 26 - 28” for rounded fronts and 29” to 31” for elongated bowls.   In standard size washrooms or large washrooms there’s no reason to go with a rounded front, or as i call them ‘stubbies’, I always think its inappropriate to use compact stubby toilets in large washrooms, i see this a lot and think what’s the point?  It just looks skimpy when you use a space saving toilet in a room with ample space.  Go for comfort and get a regular size bowl.   Use the rounded fronts only when space is limited and every square inch is needed.

How much space do you need for a toilet?  You should always allow 30” min. clear width, or 15” from the centre of the toilet to adjacent walls or cabinetry.  And ideally you should try to have a least 24-30” of clear space in front of the toilet, in small spaces 24” is livable, and in really tight quarters you can get away with as little as 18” which is the minimum distance allowed by code. 


The self closing seat is a must, especially in households with men and children!  Men, love this feature, but beware, once they get used to this,,,they’ll be slamming down toilet seats wherever they go, expecting them all to gently and silently self-close.   

Designer shut-off valves.  Soon as your plumber is finished complaining about having to install a fancy Toto toilet,,,,make sure to tell him you want one of these too. ; )  And while you're at it, you can't have a designer shut-off valve without some some nice stainless steel supply flextube.   These little details are something I always specify, its the perfect finishing touch that will take your brand new bathroom up a notch.  Most plumbing supply showrooms don’t stock these so allow 2 weeks for delivery.  The ones below are by Rubinet, available in a contemporary and traditional cross style and various metal finishes.


Bathroom photos above by:  Carol Reed

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carole,

    I realize this is a 2 year old post but, I have been scouring the internet for a good-looking, affordable toilet and I found this post! May I ask where you picked it up?

    Thanks - Dina


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