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10 Types of Toilets to Consider for Your Bathroom Remodel

by Meredith Hirt

Forbes Advisor

Thursday July 8, 2021

While they might not be the most talked-about room in the house, bathrooms are an integral part of your home. They're home to necessary amenities like sinks, showers and, of course, toilets.

We may not spend much time thinking about toilets, but they're an essential element of our days. Whether you're planning an entire bathroom remodel or are just looking to replace your current toilet, learn about the 10 basic types of systems, styles and flushes to find the right one for your home.


Toilet Systems

Gravity
Referred to as gravity, gravity fed, gravity flow and gravity flush, this is the most common type of toilet in residential homes. This model is very basic, using gravity to move water and waste out of the bowl. When the handle is pushed to flush the toilet, a chain is pulled inside the tank to lift the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank, and this opening causes the force of gravity to push the wastewater in the bowl through the piping and into the sewage system.

Gravity toilets are also the least expensive; although they range from $100 to $600, most options are available on the lower end of the spectrum. Since they are so simple, they're generally easy to fix on your own, and if expert maintenance is needed it will cost less than it would for other types. Common issues related to the workings inside the tank can easily be corrected by DIY once you've identified the problem.

Pros

  • Inexpensive to buy
  • DIY or low cost repair

    Cons

  • The chain can easily become detached from the toilet handle inside the tank
  • Can clog more often than other types
  • Can waste water


    Pressure-Assisted
    Until relatively recently, pressure-assisted toilets were only found in commercial locations. Due to an increased focus on environmentally-friendly consumerism, they are becoming a more common option in homes because they use less water than gravity toilets.

    Pressure-assisted toilets have a secondary tank inside of the main one that creates additional air pressure to force the flush while keeping more water inside the bowl. A pressure-assisted flush is stronger than that of gravity toilets, which makes it louder (think of toilets in communal restrooms like offices, malls, and rest stops) but also, less likely to clog.

    The cost of a pressure-assisted toilet is similar to those on the higher end of the gravity toilet spectrum, around $350 to $650, but can be more expensive to repair.

    Pros

  • Less likely to clog
  • Uses less water

    Cons

  • More expensive
  • Louder flush


    Dual-Flush
    A dual-flush toilet is another water-saving option. They are a combination of gravity and pressure-assisted flush, offering users the option of either. The "half flush," or gravity option, is intended for liquid waste, while the "full flush," or pressure-assisted option, is the choice for solid waste.

    Because of the two types of flush systems, a dual-flush toilet is more expensive than either type on its own, and costs an average of $475 to $720. Although they conserve water, the lower level of water in the bowl can cause them to get dirtier more quickly. The low flow is also not suitable for old plumbing or bathrooms that aren't used frequently.

    Pros

  • Uses less water

    Cons

  • More expensive
  • Not suitable for all plumbing
  • May need to be cleaned more often


    Double-Cyclone
    A double-cyclone toilet also uses less water than the gravity toilet, but is not yet a commonly available option. These toilets use two nozzles along the rim on the interior of the bowl, instead of the usual rim hole, to assist in flushing.

    This type of toilet costs approximately $480 to $590, but it might be harder to repair or find replacement parts for since it's not a popular option. Due to the centrifugal force used in the flush, it can help keep the bowl cleaner.

    Pros

  • Uses less water
  • Can stay cleaner

    Cons

  • Hard to repair


    Toilet Style

    One-Piece
    A one-piece toilet is one where the bowl, tank and trapway (the section that connects your toilet to the wall and plumbing) are all fused together. They can be smaller in size and easier to clean than two-piece toilets, but are also more expensive, with basic models going for $200 to $400, and high-end models costing up to $1,500.

    Pros

  • Easier to clean
  • Smaller in size

    Cons

  • Can be more expensive


    Two-Piece
    In a two-piece toilet, the toilet tank is separate from the toilet bowl and trapway and it must be assembled. They have more nooks and crannies to clean, but they last longer and tend to be more efficient. They can also be slightly less expensive, going for under $100 or up to $1,300 on the high end.

    Pros

  • Last longer
  • Can be less expensive

    Cons

  • Harder to clean


    Wall-Hanging
    Wall-hanging toilets are not common in residential homes, but they are a very modern design. They take up less space in the bathroom because just the toilet bowl is visible, while the tank is installed behind the wall. This makes them easier to clean as well.

    A wall-hanging toilet requires a more complicated installation, and they are more expensive upfront and in terms of repair. This type of toilet can range from $500 to $2,000.

    Pros

  • Take up less space in the bathroom
  • Easier to clean

    Cons

  • More expensive


    Flush Style

    Single
    Single-flush is the most common type of flushing style in residential toilets. You simply depress the handle and the toilet flushes. Because this uses the same water pressure for every flush, it can waste water.

    Pros

  • Simple to use

    Cons

  • Can waste water


    Double
    A double-flush mechanism can give dual-flush capability to other types of toilets. A soft press is used to flush liquids and a firm press is used to flush solids. They are a more eco-friendly option, but are more expensive to install and are harder to maintain.

    Pros

  • Uses less water


    Cons

  • More expensive
  • Harder to maintain


    No-Touch
    Although not typical in homes, no-touch or auto-flush toilets are common in commercial spaces. They use a sensor, typically on top of the tank, to generate a flush, thus avoiding contact with unsanitary surfaces. While it is generally more expensive to purchase a toilet with this feature built-in, battery-operated options can be self-installed to replace a traditional flushing system.

    Pros

  • Minimizes contact with germs

    Cons

  • Expensive built-in feature