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Thread: Best CHEAP toilet?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member MOV's Avatar
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    Question Best CHEAP toilet?

    Hi all...

    My wife and I just bought a house, so we're low on money and are prioritizing the handful of repairs that need to be made. At or near the top is fixing up a downstairs bathroom currently featuring orange walls and a tan, plastic, "lazy" toilet that has to go.

    Given our monetary situation, a $200-300-400 toilet is simply not an option. We checked out Lowe's, Home Depot, and Menard's and found the same result -- cheap toilets starting at $44 TOTAL ($22 tank, $22 bowl). We're taking a stab in the dark that that would be nothing but trouble, but money is the key here.

    Reasonably, looking at our budget, we could probably afford $100 tops, total, for the bowl and tank combined. Home Depot had a handful in that range and lower -- a few American Standards, some "toilets-in-a-box", and a couple others (can't remember the brands or models, but they probably line the first few shelves of the low-priced toilets at any Home Depot or Lowe's).

    So needing to fix up this bathroom ASAP but not having the budget for a multiple-hundred-dollar toilet, would anyone be able to provide advice for plopping $50 to $100 down and getting a respectable toilet?

    Any help would be great. Thanks!
    Last edited by MOV; 12-05-2005 at 11:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Take your pick. Hope for the best. Buy a good plunger.

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    DIY Member RRW's Avatar
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    You should go back to Terry's page and carefully examine his reviews of different models and makes. Maybe you can find a clue in there. If not, I think he has links to other review pages for you to try out. Good Luck, RW

    PS - If you keep an eye out you can pickup used perfectly good toilets along the street from replacements people do. I got a nice beige square front Eljer that way, still don't have a use for it. Bet the people who put in low flows wish they had the old one back in many cases!

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I remove and dispose of many cheap toilets.

    As long as you don't mind plunging toilets, there are many choices.

    I just don't like selling those.

    I removed all three Mansfield builder toilets from my daughters home on her request.
    I remove Just about every brand there is, American Standard, Kohler, Crane, Eljer and others.

  5. #5
    dc_homeplumber
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    If the water-savings aspect is of no concern to you, you can install a regular (non-water saving) flapper in a newer toilet with better flushing results. I have seen this done in the Kohler Wellworth, the American Standard Cadet and a couple of the less expensive American Standards. They flush almost as well as their 3.5 gallon predecessors but the purpose is defeated.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member bnbhoha's Avatar
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    I have the Western ARis, I think I saw it somewhere here on Terry's site for $99. Not a bad 1.6gpm toilet.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member MOV's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I guess plunging is not a big deal to us, as that's how it is in my apartment now. We have 1.6gpf American Standards (don't know the model) and we've lived here for 2 years plunging several times a week, if not flushing numerous times.

    Waste is not an issue (has never clogged or been a problem with that), but too much toilet paper is, and that's what always clogs it.

    So, seeing that we simply CAN'T afford to invest in a nice $300 never-clog toilet, I suppose we are fine accepting one like we have now.

    So our biggest concern, I suppose, would be getting one that doesn't leak, doesn't run, doesn't have parts that come loose or break. (i.e. I've read here about the American Standard Champion that everyone has had problems with).

    That's the kind of thing we want to avoid; we can deal with plunging. Is there a particular ~$100 one that might be preferred for at least its construction/parts quality, if nothing else? I know we can't get much and have to sort of hope for the best, but may as well try to get the best one we possibly can for our money. Thanks!
    Last edited by MOV; 12-07-2005 at 10:13 PM.

  8. #8
    DJ2
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    Default Cheap Toilets

    I've had good luck with installing about a half dozen cheap toilets. I would usuually buy the 2nd cheapest one at the big box store.

    Trouble is that the brands come and go. The cheapo isn't there next time I need a toilet so I have to play toilet roulette again.

    Oddly enough I started having trouble with toilets when I took it up a notch to the American Standard and Eljer brands. Two in a row were duds so I switched to a Toto Drake.

    Soooooooo, my experience has been good with the cheapos and with Toto but not with the name brands in between. Gp figure.

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I say if your going to go cheap go all the way and get the very least expensive you can find, But get the top of the line plunger

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member MOV's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    We close on the house this Wednesday, so we're officially ready to take the plunge now (d'oh... pun not intended ). As we researched toilets and browsed through the aisles and pamphlets at *******, Home Depot, and Loews, we found our budget gradually increasing. You don't want to get a cheap toilet and pay for it later through parts, repairs, running, leaking, extra flushing, etc. Next thing we knew, we were leaning towards a Vacuity for $177 + tax = $188.

    But thanks to the advice here and some Googling, we were able to find a Toto Drake (round) for $215 with free shipping. Once we found ourselves drifting toward the ~200 range, it only made sense to lay down the extra $40 to get a Drake, given all the recommendations here.

    So thanks for the advice everyone. One last question -- any difference between the round and elongated Drakes, besides personal preference in seat comfort?

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Guys often fine an elongated bowl easier to use...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member MOV's Avatar
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    I know... I just wondered if it meant any difference in water surface area, and therefore flush quality, etc.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I'm selling 80% elongated in the aftermarket.

    Reasons for a round bowl? A home built in the 20's with no space.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member MOV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry
    I'm selling 80% elongated in the aftermarket.

    Reasons for a round bowl? A home built in the 20's with no space.
    Heh, thanks. We just liked that it was $15 cheaper, but maybe elongated is the way to go.

    Thanks for the advice everyone. Now as long as we know we are clear to use a new Drake upstairs and an older toilet moved from upstairs to downstairs without needing one that "flushes up", we'll be in good shape.

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