View Full Version : Toto Drake: no glaze in trapway?

05-08-2006, 06:34 PM
I have just bought a Toto Drake from a local plumbing supply and at this point before installing it am somewhat disappointed.
I open the packaging to find the tank lid had many diviots and casting imperfections that are very easy to see including a long casting line that runs on top from one end of the tank lid to the other.

Next the trapway has no glazing, in fact when you put your hand inside the trapway you can feel nothing but rough surface with a lot of sand particles caught up with the over spray on the outside glaze. I do not see how this helps the flow of material through the trapway.

My old toilet has glazing throught out the trapway and on all surfaces of the toilet and tank and has few defects and does not flow well. I don't want another one and it looks like this one here would do just that or worse,plus the bad quality control on looks as well.

My question: is this a bad luck defect? I know that many companies are trying to skimp on quality these days but it seems that this would reduce performance on the inside and the many defects on the outside make it look cheap but it is not @around $300 bucks including self closing lid.

Toto Drake Installation instructions (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=743)

05-09-2006, 09:09 AM
But when I see dry pinkish base material with a light glaze overspray that includes what appears to be imbedded dirt that is a problem. When you stick your hand in the trap way, the roughness is such that you can feel sharp edges, lumps, and feels like 40 grit sand paper in many places. Would that not slow down material flow as stuff gets caught on all this? There is about 3 small spots of glaze in the entire trap way.

As far as looks, I don't think it is very good, as it seems like they did not prep the tank casting very well. There is hardly any glaze on the corners, there is fish eye in the glazing. This appears like a bad Earl Schrive paint job on a car. Now in defence of the manufacture I have seen a Toto before and it looked much better than this one and one of the reasons I decided to buy one. That is why I was so disappointed to see the workmanship and quaility control on this one.

Anyway I am going to take it back today and see if this was a fluke and not the "normal, lets take short cuts and save a penny" thing.

05-10-2006, 09:17 PM
Toilet bowls are first molded in two halves. After that, the internal surfaces of the trapway are smoothed and perfected. Then the two unfired clay halves are fused together and the seams and outer surfaces of the fully formed bowl are smoothed off before the piece goes into the kiln.

All that is done by hand. If the guys at the factory are hurried or careless, then it is not done as thoroughly or carefully as it should be. And if not, you can get stuck with a toilet having imperfections such as a rough or lumpy trapway. Solid matter won't slide though it as readily as through a smooth, perfect one.

It looks like they weren't very careful making your toilet in other ways also. Maybe they were short-handed that day down at the Toto factory.

05-11-2006, 08:44 AM
Toto has factories all around the world (including the US). Out of curiosity, where was that one made?

05-28-2008, 06:35 PM
Hate to resurrect an old thread, but I have to agree with the original poster about the trapway. I just bought and installed a Drake, and it flushes fine. BUT, they advertise a "fully glazed trapway" and deliver a rough trapway. It is absolutely false advertising. I removed a Peerless elongated that came with the house (built in 2000) and it had what I would call a "fully glazed trapway", with glossy glaze all the way through. Kohler has it fully glazed. American Standard does, too (although I went through 2 Champions and found significant other defects before I gave up and bought the Toto).

The trapway is NOT fully glazed. I checked several at a local store that sells Toto and had an extensive display, and found that none had full glazing. Some had the glaze extend farther down the hole than others, but in all I could reach the end of the glaze with my fingers.

I am not pleased. But I feel like there is not a viable alternative out there right now. Kohler Cimarron doesn't clean the bowl well enough. American Standard Champion 4 has major quality problems (warped tank, poor glaze quality under the rim, patch in trap that looks like caulk applied after glazing). Gerber with the Sloan pressure assist is too noisy for the wife. And Toto shortcuts the glaze. Can't anybody do this right?

05-29-2008, 05:40 PM
The only thing that matters about a toilet's trapway is how well it flushes - not how it looks or how it feels.

Terry is just providing a FREE service by hosting this web site. I have absolutely no reason to question his comments about never yet seeing a badly-flushing Toto. He's not a Toto sales rep! Yes, he does sell Totos (and many other brands), but only to folks in the Seattle area - so not like he is making money hands over fist by promoting Toto toilets!

I too say very positive things about the brand - simply because I have one, and am very impressed by the design and quality of the unit, compared to the others I've installed and/or used over the years. Just trying to help others make a good choice about a household "appliance" that, if you select properly, should be a once in a house's lifetime purchase; if you choose a bad one, you'll kick yourself every time you use it, or when you pay to have it replaced!

05-30-2008, 10:34 AM
Maybe it doesn't need to be fully glazed, I don't know. All I know is that I am spending money on something that is difficult to exchange if it goes bad a few years down the road, and I want to align as many variables in my favor as I can. And trapway glazing is one of those variables. Smoother would seem better, logically.

I have checked several Am. Std. units in a couple of different "big box" stores and found the ALL fully glazed. I checked a few Kohlers, and found them all fully glazed. I checked the cheap Peerless toilet I removed a couple of weeks ago and IT was fully glazed. I checked almost one dozen Toto's (we have a store in Houston that has an elaborate display of Toto's) and found NONE fully glazed.

From this I can deduce that Toto doesn't think a glossy glaze is necessary. I have to take it on faith that they are right. This, in spite of the fact that it is obviously a cost-cutting measure, in spite of the fact that it goes against logic, and in spite of the fact that ALL the other toilets I have inspected are fully glazed. Why can't Toto just fully glaze the trap and remove the question altogether? Sure, no toilet is perfect, but they'd be darn near perfect if they'd just address this one detail. How hard can it be? I am already holding my nose about buying a toilet made in Veitnam, can't they make it just a bit easier to justify by upping the quality a smidge?

05-30-2008, 09:12 PM
Perhaps those of you concerned with Toto's glazing, or apparent lack thereof, might want to contact Toto directly to ask about it, through their website. (Address I used from there is: custservice@totousa.com)
I have emailed several questions and have had prompt and courteous replies.

05-31-2008, 08:15 AM
I had a customer drop by to look at the TOTO Aquia yesterday, the Aquia uses the Plastic trapway.
Update, he came back on Saturday and bought the Carlyle that uses the plastic trapway. Sanagloss in the bowl, and the skirted bowl.
He was very proud of the porcelain production in his home country of Vietnam. He said the clay there was of good quality and that tile and other porcelain pieces are manufactured for export around the world.
I have also heard that the clay in Georgia is also very good.

08-19-2008, 10:53 AM
I just picked up my Toto Drake, and the trapway is rough, not glazed - just like the original poster described. On the bottom is stamped "Made in China".

Is it possible that the China made ones are not fully glazed, while those made elsewhere ARE fully glazed??

Has anyone bought one that is actually fully glazed and feels smooth when you reach underneath it into the trapway (before it's installed)?? If so, then where was yours made?

I also just checked the Toto website spec sheets for the Drake and the Ultramax. It's interesting that the Drake spec sheet says only "glazed trapway" while the Ultramax spec sheet says "100% glazed trapway".

What's going on here?

BTW, did anyone ever get any answers from Toto that explains it to their satisfaction?

Original poster: Does your toilet say Made in China? Did you ever install the non-fully glazed trapway toilet and how has it been working for you?

Some other things I noticed is:
- There is also no glazing under the bowl rim (around the holes where the water comes out).
- The glazing on the back side of the tank is minimalist (not that it's really required there, but possibly more evidence of them cheaping out)
- The trapway has obstructions molded into it, in addition to the non-glazing

08-19-2008, 11:46 AM
Glazing on trapway run from totally visible with heavy glaze, to single coat clear glaze which is barely visible.

Performance seems to be the same between the bowls.

That's based on selling a few thousand bowls every year.
You can worry about it, but I'm not.
It's all good.

08-19-2008, 05:09 PM
Nobody returns Toto toilets.
I sell thousands a year, and nobody returns them.
What part of almost 0% returns do you not get?

They do return Cadet 3 toilets though.
And Champion 4
and Koher Cimarron
And Gerber Ultraflush (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28088)

08-19-2008, 08:05 PM
American Standard Champion 4 has major quality problems (warped tank, poor glaze quality under the rim, patch in trap that looks like caulk applied after glazing).

When I had 2 of those patches in the trap leak in one week on the original Chumpian... That was the end of Am. Std. for me! I looked at it before installing it and said It can't leak! They would have rejected it!:mad:

Still holding on "0" Defects and "0" Callbacks on Toto Toilets.:cool:

08-20-2008, 07:12 AM
All I know is that I bought two Drakes in late 2003 for another house we were in, and they were glazed smooth in the trapway and under the bowl rim and on the back of the tank, and overall the quality seemed better than this one. Perhaps they work the same, I do not know. I would have to test them side by side (as it were), perhaps under the same test conditions as they did for the MaP testing. The MaP testing, by the way, was done only on the Drake elongated (900 grams), not the Drake round front. Not sure if the trapway is any different between the two versions or not. They also don't specify whether the trapway is smooth or rough on the test units, nor do they specify date and place of manufacture of the test units. I'm an engineer; inquiring minds want to know, though likely it will never be rigorously tested.

08-20-2008, 07:47 AM
I have a Drake in our showroom from 2002 and it does not come with a "Fully" glazed trapway and neither does the regular rim.
I sell on average 1500 a year and i have had one call back from a bowl not flushing.
It was brand new and the guy snaked it and used a garden hose and flushed it out and it would flush properly.
I took it back smashed it open and then called him and asked if he was missing a roll of teflon tape as i found one in the trapway.

That is the only call back i have ever got on a Drake.

08-28-2008, 03:04 PM
This thread is hilarious! How many of you stick their hand in a toilet trap to check out the glazing?

All that matters is how the toilet performs. Or does it flush everything without clogging etc ? No matter how much you spend on a toilet it is still a friggin TOILET !

The Toto Eco Drake I installed in July is great. It works with no issues and uses a minimal amount of water.

Now if the bowl was not made in "China" vs. the tank made in USA I would be totally satisfied.

08-28-2008, 08:59 PM
I just bought a Toto Drake round bowl a few weeks back for a major
bath rennovation---so far, so good. A quick, quiet, powerful flush...

I did quite a bit of research on toilets before the purchase and
some other manufacturers of less effective toilets boast of their
"fully glazed trapways", so that was one of the first things I checked
on the new Toto as I unboxed it. Was a little disappointed with the
"roughness" of it as others mentioned, but have had no trouble thus far...

I ran across this site while researching and until then, had never heard
of Toto. Was impressed by Mr. Loves' experiences with them and the
five or so pages of testimonials to their "plunger free" operation. Found
a local supplier here in Indy who stocked them and now have a Toto "throne"... And the plunger has been moved to the garage...

Also, I did notice some minor casting imperfections, but was sure
impressed on ease of installation, no leaks, and factory set tank water
level was right on the mark... John

12-05-2008, 06:14 PM
I received my Toto Eco Drake today.
The trapway is fully glazed, but not with the white glaze the covers the visible exterior parts of the bowl and tank, and the porcelain has not been sanded so it feels rough. I think this is where the confusion is - it's rough but it is glazed.

Just like the the inside of the tank - it's glazed but not smooth.

I seem to remember my parents when they did ceramics - the objects were fired at low temp, then sanded smooth and glazed. Toto is only sanded on the visible surfaces and the final thick/white glaze too is only applied on the visible surfaces. (just inside the throat on the bowl mine transitions from smooth white to rough porcelain.)

No complaints here, just filling in what I see.

(FWIW - bowl made made in Vietnam, tank in USA).

12-06-2008, 09:16 PM
FWIW, I just bought and installed a Drake in Ontario. It was made in China and the trapway looked unglazed to me.

12-06-2008, 10:17 PM
FWIW, I just bought and installed a Drake in Ontario. It was made in China and the trapway looked unglazed to me.

Because of the color, the roughness or ??

I had to use a flashlight on mine - only then did I see that it was glossy'ish.

07-20-2009, 09:58 AM
After reading this and other forums on toilets to replace our old 7+ gal. American Standard toilet, I took almost everyones advice and bought a TOTO Drake in the ADA height.

I am very happy with toilet quality and flush power, as well as the large "pool" of water in the bottom of the bowl compared to the little puddles other low flow toilets have, HOWEVER, I am a bit disappointed in the INTERNAL GLAZING job on these Drakes...

On mine (YMMV), the glazing seems to stop when you leave the bowl and enter the trap area and the bottom opening also does not seem to have any glazing on the porcelain surface where the waste dumps out and down the drain.

I stick my fingers into the bowl drain and it feels ROUGH and unglazed. I reach my fingers into the bottom opening and it too is rough and feels unglazed. This is in contrast to my old AS water hog that is baby-butt smooth no matter how far in my fingers go.

It probably doesn't matter, I just expected MORE from a toilet this expensive... At least glazing all throughout the waste path... Mine was made in Vietnam...

But it does flush STRONG and SURE... Just my review of the Toto Drake toilet...


07-20-2009, 10:12 AM
After reading this and other forums on toilets to replace our old 7+ gal. American Standard toilet, I took almost everyones advice and bought a TOTO Drake in the ADA height.


I stick my fingers into the bowl drain and it feels ROUGH and unglazed. I reach my fingers into the bottom opening and it too is rough and feels unglazed. This is in contrast to my old AS water hog that is baby-butt smooth no matter how far in my fingers go.

Hopefully your "inspection" was pre-use. ;)

07-20-2009, 10:17 AM
Take two baby wipes, throw one on the mirror and one on the textured wall.

Now tell me which one falls off quicker.

Do you really want the inside of the drain to be that smooth.
I've seen some that have that smooth glaze, but paper will stick to the sides.

Swimmers use a Shark Skin like suit that is rough, so it goes through the water quicker.
Race cars dimple the outside of the body.
Golf balls use dimples.

And you want smooth?

07-20-2009, 10:26 AM
I see your point... but this roughness was not dimples... it was sharper with peaks.

Like I said, it probably doesn't matter, but if the bowl is smooth I don't see how smoothness throughout the waste path would not be a good thing...


Take two baby wipes, throw one on the mirror and one on the textured wall.

Now tell me which one falls off quicker.

Do you really want the inside of the drain to be that smooth.
I've seen some that have that smooth glaze, but paper will stick to the sides.

Swimmers use a Shark Skin like suit that is rough, so it goes through the water quicker.
Race cars dimple the outside of the body.
Golf balls use dimples.

And you want smooth?

07-20-2009, 12:40 PM
I sell a few thousand of these a year, exactly like you describe.

The rough trapway works better then the smooth trapway.

Do you want to look at the inside of your toilet waste hole.

Or spend less time plunging?

07-21-2009, 04:03 PM
I hear you about the unglazed portions of the trapway, but they work well and if the bowl stays clean, and doesn't plug like the last one while saving water then who cares. I have seen many older water hogs with fully glazed trapways and i marvel at them as i toss them in the dump because a client is fed up with high water bills and constant plugging. For what ever reason todays toilets do not seem to have a fully glazed trapway, ALL brands, not just Toto. I guess it's a cost saving practice. Much like how they never seem to glaze the back or bottom of tanks on 2 piece toilets? Anyways, thats great that the Toto Drake has worked out for you. Isn't the comfort height ADA version worth the extra money? My back and knees sure can tell the difference! Go Seahawks!


07-23-2009, 06:46 AM
In the CR article, it indicated that most toilets reviewed are already at ADA height. I find that hard to believe, knowing that Toto offers the ADA model. Exactly what are the different height measurements? Is the Toto ADA model taller than the minimum required height for ADA qualification?

07-23-2009, 08:30 AM
Not sure of the exact measurement, but with seat, the height must be in the order of 16" or more. There may be an upper limit as well.

07-23-2009, 09:11 AM
Consumer Reports

Here's something they don't test for.


TOTO, has less then 1%

All other brands, you better take a couple you can sort through to get one complete non defective tank and bowl.

I sell all of the brands, and it's a real crap shoot whenever I sell something like Kohler, American Standard, and Gerber.

The Consumer Reports #1 Rated Dual Flush (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30226), the Gerber Ultraflush is coming back 40% of the time with non-working tanks within the first year.

Oh, that's right, Consumer Reports only flips the lever a few times with sponges and writes "their" report.

Did you notice that most of the toilets on the report are the same?
They rate the same toilet over and over again.

They have the Kohler Cimarron (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4834)four times
Three of the two piece version and one of the one-piece version
The Cimarron will plug more then manuy other toilets in household use.
They may flush sponges, but what does that even mean to the average housewife?
Is that what we buy toilets for? Flushing sponges?

The Gerber Ultraflush (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28088)is on four times
three times with the tall bowl and three different tanks, the 1.1, 1.6 and dual flush (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30226)
And once with the short round bowl and 1.6 tank
I have a hard time selling a Gerber Ultraflush a second time to a customer.
I get almost no repeat sales with these.

Most of the former number picks from Consumer Reports are no longer being manufactured. They were that bad.

The toilet (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4833) with the most complaints, is this years number one pick (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29870).
That makes total sense with Consumer Reports track record.
They couldn't see quality if it bit them.

TOTO manufactures many of their products in America (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32281&highlight=buy+american)

07-23-2009, 10:56 AM
American Disabilties Act (ADA) states a toilet need to be between 17"-19" including a seat.

Toto's ADA toilets are 16-1/2" their "Universal Height" is 16-1/8".

So it also depends also on the thickness of the seat being used.

Gary Swart
07-23-2009, 11:55 AM
The concern about the roughness in the Toto trap way reminds me of a story I believe to be true, that happened a number of years ago. It seems a famous European luxury automobile maker wanted to put an automatic transmission in their cars for the first time. They decided to copy a very successful American transmission. (Now right away you know this is a very old story!) They purchased a transmission, completely disassembled it, and began to carefully copy the parts. It seems that they came to some discs that had a rough finish. Of course, even though the parts were hidden away inside the transmission case and owners would never see them, they couldn't have less than the best, so they reproduced these discs and polished them to a mirror finish. Result? The transmissions wouldn't engage. The roughness of the discs were necessary for the transmission to engage. I can't swear to it, but I think it was Rolls Royce that bought Chevrolet transmissions. Me thinks you look too hard for something to find fault with if you are feeling the inside of a toilet trap way when the toilet is working perfectly. :)

Toto Shopper
12-02-2009, 06:30 PM
I am wondering if anyone ever checks the toilet over for imperfections when they unbox their toilets. For example Toto advertises a fully glazed trapway! What does that mean exactly?
When we were inspecting our new, not yet installed Toto Drake,I found it not to be glazed INSIDE the holes sides and top. So when you look straight into the hole, the part you can see, it is glazed and then when I put my hand into the small hole, the one where the water enters , it is not glazed anywhere except the opening, the sides and top inside the hole are not glazed. Similarly in the larger hole where the waste material is flushed through the bottom of the trap is glazed as far as I can feel although it does get "pimply" rather then smooth as far as I can stick my hand through. Again sides and top of that hole are also not glazed.
Is this defective? or are all the same? I phoned the store but they don't seem to be in the habit of checking these details just selling them and I am then going to assume that people just install assuming all is well with their toilet.

If someone has time to respond I'd really appreciate the feedback.

12-02-2009, 11:54 PM
This is a frequently discussed topic on these boards. Pretty much all the Toto's are going to be like that. Just because it feels rough, does not mean it is not glazed. Supposedly, that roughness in the trapway helps to prevent toilet paper from sticking to the sides of it, which if it were to occur, could potentially result in more clogs. Hopefully Terry can chime in and help ease your fears. You can also do a search on these boards, and you will find several posts asking that same question.

05-10-2010, 01:36 PM
I had a customer in California cancel an order on a Toto because the bowl and tank were made in China.
Strange. Toto has very good quality control in China.
Ever heard of the expression, set out your best fine china?

He should have ordered the CST454CEFG Drake II if he wanted it made in the USA.

TOTO uses a drier clay method of production, and uses pressure molds.
I always get a perfect round trapway with the Toto.
I've never had to return a TOTO for a bad trapway.

If they have a bad one, it must get pulled before it ever gets shipped.
Less then 1% returns on Toto.

06-28-2010, 01:02 PM
I had asked Shingo Watada about the trapways on the Toto.
I got this email from him,

I asked our lead engineer, Depash Patel for porcelain products why our trap-way is unglazed. Major reason is for the better flushing performance, among other things.

Kind of confirms what I thought about them too. They seem to clog less if they are a little rough.

A super smooth trapway clogs up.

When you throw a baby wipe on a mirror, it sticks.
When you throw it on a textured wall, it falls off.


06-29-2010, 05:22 PM
Fully glazed does not necessarily mean smooth.