When it comes to remodeling the restrooms at your facility, upgrading the toilets can add some serious wow-factor. Long gone is the boring, standard commode that seems more of a necessary evil than a statement of style. Nowadays, there are so many characteristics to consider: bowl shape, height, mounting, one or two piece… and the list goes on. But not only does the “porcelain throne” you select underscore the decor of your facility, it adds to the efficiency and operation. So without further ado, here’s your guide to picking right toilet.
The first thing to consider is the overall design and look of your facility. Is your building super modern and sleek? Traditional and charming? Or basic and industrial? A typical business restroom with multiple stalls might feature the familiar no-lid, metal handled toilets, but the reality is that there are styles, designs, functions and price points to meet any need.
Once you have an idea of the style direction you want to go in, you can dig further into which type of toilet makes the most sense for your facility. Generally speaking, there are three basic types of commodes:
- Two-piece: The two-piece is the classic bowl-and-tank look that most of us are familiar with. These toilets have a traditional look, are an economical choice, and feature parts that are widely available. However, they can be difficult to clean because of all the nooks and crannies.
- One-piece: Many one-piece toilets still retain the classic toilet shape, with the tank above the bowl, but are built in a single piece for easy cleaning and a more modern look. They can be more expensive, but they add a lot of style and — because they often have smaller dimensions — can be space savers.
- Wall mount: A wall mount toilet takes more up-front investment because the tank resides inside the wall and the drain must be installed there as opposed to the floor. Wall mounts are best for new builds or total remodels. They are typically pricier than the other styles, but are easy to clean, and can be very handicap-accessible.
Space and Specs
The third consideration is size. Toilets come in sizes that correspond to industry standards, though more custom options are sometimes available. Before deciding on a toilet, you’ll want to measure the “rough-in” — the space from the wall to where the toilet base will be mounted over the drain. In most homes, the distance is 12 inches, though older homes and some businesses may have a distance of 10 or 14 inches.
Beyond the rough-in, you’ll also want to decide on how high the seat should be. Again, most toilets come at a standard height of 14-16 inches, depending on the rim style, but some are also available at a “comfort height” of up to 19 inches. Comfort height toilets are usually only installed in spaces where users may have mobility issues or other physical disabilities.
In the ‘90s, federal regulations mandated that no more than 1.6 gallons of water could be used for a single flush to reduce water waste. This led to less effective toilets and more clogging issues for many people. However, technology and design breakthroughs have resulted in a wide variety of flushing options that contribute to the style and efficiency of your toilet.
- Flush Mechanism: Traditional toilets feature a lever or handle, while more modern options might feature a button. In some water efficient toilets, the button is divided into two options — one for liquid waste and one for solid. This reduces water usage while still ensuring efficient and effective flushing with minimal clogging.
- The Law of Gravity: Most toilets feature a gravity-based flush mechanism, which uses nature to help pull waste down into the drain. Pressure-assisted models are also available, which gives waste an extra push in addition to utilizing the force of gravity. However, they can be harder to mount, more expensive, and may not even be a possibility based on your measurements and available space.
- Automatic: Many industrial toilets now feature automatic flushing mechanisms which contain a motion sensor and trigger a flush when someone rises from the seat. While these are often very efficient and hygienic, there can be issues such as sensitive sensors triggering too many flushes, wasting water and spreading germs.
- Rebates: Some of the most efficient models of toilets may offer a rebate or incentive, so be sure to check into that if conservation is essential for your facility.
- Flow Rate: Consider the gallons per flush (GPF). A low flow toilet can shave up to $90 off your water bill annually, multiplied by all the toilets in your facility — which could add up to some major savings.
While toilet talk may not seem like the most exciting topic, they can add subtle style, increase efficiency and save resources and money throughout your facility. As always, if you need help selecting the right toilets for your space, we’re here to guide you through it!