Toilet Choice Overload

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Tterral

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I have been pouring through reviews on a number of sites and trying to figure out the best way to go on a new toilet in our guest bathroom - two piece, chair height, elongated bowl, great flushing power. I had stayed away from Toto at first because of the price, but the newer Drake (MS776124CEFG#01) is very reasonable ($280 in my area). The Drake is a little plain, but it sounds like it performs well. I prefer the looks of the Drake Transitional (MS786124CEFG#01), but it is around $150 more and from what I can tell, the lid is the only difference between the two. I would chose the Drake Transitional, but unless there is something else besides the lid difference it is probably not worth the $150 up charge for me - am I missing something here? The Kohlers (Kelston, Cimarron and Elliston) and American Standard Champion Pro have all been under consideration, as well. Most reviews of the Kohlers and American Standard have not been as good as the Toto reviews, although many of the disgruntled reviewers are DIY folks who probably did not have much experience, etc.

Another thing I am curious about is the1.28 GPM vs the 1.6 GPM tanks. 1.6 seems to be more popular here because we do not have water issues (yet), but I would prefer the 1.28 if they are as effective as the 1.6. Maybe that is brand specific, sounds like the 1.28 Toto models do a very good job.

Any help on the decision making would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Terry

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The 776 and the 786 are essentially the same, the difference is the tank style. Quality control on TOTO products has been good, one more reason for the good reviews. I've sold a few thousand over the years and have done many, many installs. They're good.
As far as other brands go, many have upped their game, so it's tough to find something now that would be poor. The improvements across the board have been encouraging. That being said, you would do well with the TOTO products. A safe bet.
 

jadnashua

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Designs have improved, QA/QC is a bit less so and can be spotty. A plumbing supply store as a source tends to have a bit better consistent quality as the pros won't tolerate too many defects, but they still occur on anything.

One reason why Toto toilets are more consistent is the way the porcelain is cast. A little bit more water in the clay can mean more variation in the end result. Most use a wet slip, pour it into a mold. Toto's method uses a thicker clay and it's closer to injecting it which means less moisture and better consistency between items. The clay shrinks as it dries before it can be put into the kiln as much as 20% or so.
 

Tterral

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The 776 and the 786 are essentially the same, the difference is the tank style. Quality control on TOTO products has been good, one more reason for the good reviews. I've sold a few thousand over the years and have done many, many installs. They're good.
As far as other brands go, many have upped their game, so it's tough to find something now that would be poor. The improvements across the board have been encouraging. That being said, you would do well with the TOTO products. A safe bet.
Thanks for responding, I really appreciate it! Is the tank on the Drake Transitional itself a different shape than the standard Drake, or is it just the lid that is different between the two? If the tank was a different shape than the standard “square” shape of the Drake it may be worth the money, it is hard to tell from the pictures I’ve seen. Thanks again.
 

Tterral

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Designs have improved, QA/QC is a bit less so and can be spotty. A plumbing supply store as a source tends to have a bit better consistent quality as the pros won't tolerate too many defects, but they still occur on anything.

One reason why Toto toilets are more consistent is the way the porcelain is cast. A little bit more water in the clay can mean more variation in the end result. Most use a wet slip, pour it into a mold. Toto's method uses a thicker clay and it's closer to injecting it which means less moisture and better consistency between items. The clay shrinks as it dries before it can be put into the kiln as much as 20% or so.
Very interesting, thanks for the information on the Toto porcelain casting, makes sense.

I am definitely leaning towards a Toto toilet and will likely go with either the Drake or Drake Transitional. If I go with the Drake, and not the Transitional version, I will be going with a local plumbing supply store. After looking further, I believe the Drake Transitional tank and lid are both different and I do prefer that version, just need to decide if it is worth the extra cash outlay. Unfortunately, the local Toto showroom can’t get the Drake Transitional for supply chain reasons, would have to order from a big box or online pluming supply site. I would certainly be open to any suggestions on a good place to order one of these from, if those suggestions are allowed.
 

jadnashua

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Shipping a toilet to a vendor that may be receiving a pallet load is one thing, getting one shipped direct to your home is another. That last mile with a general delivery company has little knowledge of how to handle porcelain, and fragile on the label doesn't mean much to them! That's why picking it up locally where you can check for damage before signing for it is better than getting it shipped direct to you.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I had a $6k Toto Neorest bowl show up in pieces because of that last mile.. If you order online, pick it up in store and shake the box to listen for sounds of broken glass.
 
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