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Today's Best Toilets

Federal water-use regulations in effect since 1992 restrict new toilets to no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, much less than the three to seven gallons used by older toilets. That reduced flush size is good for the environment and for home owners' utility bills, but it makes toilet selection all the more important.  Install a poorly designed toilet, and the low flush volume will result in frequent clogs or flushes that fail to clear the bowl. 

Helpful: Most toilet manufacturers offer a choice between round and elongated bowls. Elongated bowls typically cost about $20 extra, but this money is well spent.  Most men find elongated bowls much more convenient to use from both the seated and standing positions.  Select a round bowl only if the bathroom is so small that an elongated bowl would not fit well or there are no men in the house.  


If you want a well designed toilet without bells and whistles, consider...

TOTO Drake.  This is the toilet against which other toilets are judged.  It is durable and powerful, with a wide flush valve and smart trapway design that makes clogs uncommon.  Toto's unique porcelain manufacturing process results in a very sharp looking toilet, Price $249.

Eljer Titan. The Titan is comparable to the Drake in terms of reliability and flush power, though perhaps not as attractive.  It is a reasonable option if it happens to be on sale for less that the Drake.  Price $300*


Some environmentally friendly toilets use even less than the government mandated 1.6 gallons-per-flush limit. 

A few that work well..........

Caroma Caravelle. The average person uses a toilet to flush liquid waste four times a day and solid waste just once.  "Dual Flush" toilets such as the Caravelle offer users the option of a full 1.6 gallon flush or a smaller 0.8 gallon flush for liquids.  Price $350. 

Toto Aquia. Toto's well made dual-flush toilet offers 1.6 or 0.9 gallon flushes.  Price $329

Toto Eco Drake. Drake quality with a water saving 1.28 gallons per flush. Price $240.


If low cost is your highest priority.......

American Standard Cadet 3. This toilet is more reliable than others in it's price range.  Some users report minor problems such as handle rotation that requires chain adjustments, but overall, it's a solid product.  Price $195


No one enjoys scrubbing toilets, These models make the job easier.........

Toto Soiree with SanaGloss / Toto Guinevere with SanaGloss. These toilets have straight sides, ultra smooth finishes and a special glazing that combine to keep surfaces clean with limited scrubbing.  Their "Double Cyclone" flushing system use the force of the flush to help scrub the bowl.  The are one-piece toilets, so there is no tough-to-get clean gap between the reservoir and the bowl.  Price $649.

Terry Love Bottom Line Personal interviewed Terry Love, owner of Love Plumbing & Remodel in Bellevue and Bothell, Washington.  He has been a plumber since 1974 and currently sells about 3,000 toilets each year.  He reviews toilets on his web site.  www.terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm

*Prices in the article are estimated retail.