Over the years we have replaced a lot of toilets. Some have been for remolding purposes and in those cases the customers wanted a certain "look" or a specif type of toilet. Most of the time a toilet is replaced because it is not working properly or it is old and the customer wants a toilet that "flushes better" or is" Eco friendly" IE: uses less water.
Whatever the reason for replacing a toilet people tend to pick the toilet that costs the least amount of money. After all, other than "looks", a toilet is a toilet, right?
This is not surprising considering a cheap toilet goes for about $150 and a high end toilet goes for over $600. Thankfully there are a lot of toilets that fall into the mid range price that will do a great job and hold up well. The cost of labor to install a good toilet will be no more than to install a "Cheap Toilet".
If you are thinking of going to the "Big Box Store" and buying the "Cheap Toilet", I would advise against this for a couple of reasons:
A cheap toilet will cost you more in service/repairs over the years.
A cheap toilet will use more water.
A cheap toilet will need plunging more often.
Most plumbers will NOT guarantee a cheap toilet.
On the other side of the coin:
A good toilet will cost more to buy initially .
A good toilets parts will cost a little more when it needs repair.
Things you should consider when choosing a toilet:
#1 How strong or powerful is the flush? Yes depending on the type of toilet and how it is made there are MAJOR differences in how a toilet will handle the waste.
#2 Eco friendly or regular toilet? You should realize that the size and length of your main line, as well as how the toilet is vented and if you are on a septic tank or city sewer ,will all play a part in this.
#3 How comfortable is the toilet? Height and size/type of bowl play a big part here.
#4 Where is the toilet being installed? Is there enough room for the toilet, or does it need special plumbing?
Below are "Before and After"pictures of a toilet replacement and the reasons why we choose this particular toilet for this customer.
This is the standard "Cheap Toilet" bought on sale at the box stores. In picture #1 you will see that it is crooked and that the tank is away from the wall. Since the toilet and tank are in two pieces every time the person sat down they would lean against the tank. Because the tank is away from the wall (the original plumber put the floor flange in the wrong place) it had no support and that caused the tank to lean and the toilet to leak between the toilet and tank when the toilet was flushed. In picture # 2 you can see that it is a "round bowel" toilet, small and lower to the ground, which did not feel comfortable to the customer. In picture number # 3 you can see it is the normal toilet gravity fed by a standard flapper valve, that would let water run if not seated properly and it has a standard water valve with the ball float. The reason for replacing this toilet is because the waste got hung up a lot and the customer got tired of plunging it. This is a classic "Cheap toilet" The one the box store sells on sale for about $150...
We replaced this toilet with a toilet that roughly costs TWO times what the other toilet cost.
As you can see in picture #1 this is a ONE piece toilet. So even though the tank does not touch the wall for support it does not matter because there is no gasket or bolts between the toilet and tank to leak. In addition this toilet is a little higher and has an elongated bowel making it more comfortable while seated. In photo #2 you can see there is no lever to flush the toilet. If you look closely it has two buttons on top of the tank. So when you go number 1 you hit the left button and the toilet uses less water and when you go number 2 you hit the second button using more water. In any case the toilet still uses less water than the "cheap toilet" above no matter which button you choose. The reason for this is that the toilet itself has a larger waste channel built into it. In addition it does not use tiny little holes around the rim ( like the cheapo toilet -that get clogged) to fill the bowel but rather one large hole. Picture #3 also shows that is has a better ballcock (valve that fills the tank) and a larger/ better built flush valve. This toilet uses both gravity and a siphon design to accomplish a flush that will suck the dimples off your butt, verses the cheap toilet above, which uses gravity only to pull waste down.
In the end this toilet costs about $200 more to purchase than the cheaper toilet and the cost to replace any parts may be more.
But in the long run, they have a toilet that is built better saving service costs.
They have a toilet that wont leak from the tank saving water damage costs.
They have a toilet that is much more comfortable.
They have a toilet that Flushes MUCH better. So that's a lot less plunging and calling the plumber.
Yep , it wasn't easy talking my wife into letting go of an additional $200. But let me tell you it has been sooooo worth it. She hasn't complained to the plumber yet:)
G.L. The guy that touches all the icky stuff so you don't have to. :)
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