If you are reading this I am sure you are doing this because you are in the process of buying a toilet for your new home. The toilet is not a very mentionable item, but certainly an essential part of a human abode. The lowliest of all fittings, yet most unavoidable! Luckily it is a one-time investment for lifelong use. And for the same reason it is necessary that you do this investment very carefully.
The following paragraphs are an attempt to present to you a short list of some available choices. This is to save you your precious time and to simplify the decision for you. But before we go further, let us decide what the qualities of a good toilet are. In other words what should make you prefer one set to another? Below is a quick comparison for the one peice toilets.
Quick Comparison Guide for One Piece Toilets
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I write down below the detailed information to the various parameters in selection of the best one piece toilet but for now lets look at the candidates. Models advertised and available in the market are numerous enough to fill many large halls, but we will short list some for you so that you don’t have to waste your time (time is money). Yet this list carries sufficient variety met most tastes and preferences. So read on to know the models we have described below.
Individual One-Piece Toilet Reviews
TOTO MS854114S#01 Ultramax Elongated One Piece Toilet
As per the specifications on net the item a one piece, high profile (Bowl Rim Height 14-5/8-inch) elongated toilet weighing 89 pounds. It has a large flush valve of 3 inch dia which allows a quiet and yet powerful jet as claimed in the specifications. The material is vitreous China in white color. Water volume per flush is 1.6 gpf which is higher than the final recommendations of watersense. As mentioned in the toilet specifications it is really meant not for a home but for a commercial location. In such places a powerful and effective flush is more important than water economy.
One year limited warranty is offered. Customer reviews are 4.5 out of 5.
TOTO MS854114E#01 Eco Ultramax Elongated One Piece Toilet
It is also a sleek, high profile one piece toilet with a seat height of 15 inch and elongated shape weighing 93 pounds. The elongated shape is more convenient than the round shape. The list price is $718 but is available at a reduced price of $315. It has large 3 inch flush valve which allows the economical sized volume of 1.28 gallon per flush (4.8 liter per flush) meeting watersense specifications. The trap way is 2-1/8 inch wide, which is larger than usual, computer designed and fully glazed, for easy and effective flushing. The item carries a one year limited warranty. It has received a review score of 4.8 out of 5.
Toto MS970CEMFG#01 1.28-GPF/0.9-GPF Washlet with Integrated Toilet G500
With a list price of $3,000, you can imagine that this must be a luxury model. Indeed it is. Weighing at 112 pounds, with physical dimensions of 28.5 x 11.8 x 25.2 inches, the Toto MS970CEMFG#01 1.28-GPF/0.9-GPF Washlet with Integrated Toilet G500 is a really a luxury toilet with almost all that toilets can offer. First of all it is a dual flush design (named Dual-Max) by the manufacturer, with choices of 1.28 GPF or 0.9GPF. Obviously, the 0.9 GPF flush is recommended for liquid waste. The integral washlet has front and rear water washing with a choice of hot or cold water and adjustable temperature and pressure of the wash jets. It also has an automatic warm air drier and an automatic deodorizer. It comes with a remote control with an illuminated touch pad with memory to accommodate preferences of two users. Opening and closing of the lid are automatic, as is the flushing operation also. While the remote control will require batteries (not specified) the toilet set itself does not require batteries which means mains power must be connected to it somehow for the remotely operated and automatic units. Luckily the material is vitreous China which is an insulator and reduces the risk of an electric shock. The shape, of course is elongated which makes its use more comfortable. Also, it carries the watersense label.
The reviews are good but not all that unanimous. One customer who had already used a toilet with similar facilities was very frustrated. Her main complaint was that the automatic behavior was not consistent. Rather, it was random. My comments are that, it is possible to ignore a small percentage of adverse comments because she may have actually got a defective piece by chance. Production cannot always be made uniform. That is what warranty is for.
TOTO MS604114CEFG#01 Ultramax II Het Double Cyclone Elongated One Piece Toilet with Sanagloss
Here is a watersense approved highly water efficient (1.28 Gpf / 4.8 Lpf) toilet weighing just 99 pounds with many endearing attributes at a very suitable price of $418.54 (reduced from the original $773). It is comfortable, with a universal height of 17-1/4-Inch for the seat with an elongated bowl. The flush mechanism is double cyclone (as explained above) and this makes for an effective but quiet flush each and every time. A very special feature is the SanaGloss extra smooth glazing and an ion barrier underneath which actively prevents waste particles attaching themselves to the bowl. It has none of the luxury frills associated with the Toto MS970CEMFG#01 1.28-GPF/0.9-GPF Washlet with Integrated Toilet G500, which is nearly seven times as costly. Yet it is a comfortable and effective toilet. Customer reviews are 4.6 out of 5 stars from a total of 156 reviews.
Now this is the purpose for which I made you read all this stuff. You want to select the best of the one piece toilets out of the short list that I have provided for you. And here is where you must realize that there is no ‘best’ in the absolute sense. Things are bad, good, or best for you according to your preferences now. Tomorrow, your preferences may change, you financial priorities may change, and what is best today may become almost the worst tomorrow. Also, what is good for you may not be good for me, and vice versa? So let us start with this understanding and look at your requirements
Do you want just a comfortable self-cleaning toilet at an affordable cost or a luxurious but expensive piece? In the latter case Toto MS970CEMFG 1.28-GPF/0.9-GPF Washlet with Integrated Toilet G500, is for you. Spend the $7000, or look for a sale and buy this toilet with extra ordinary facilities in addition to the basic function. Also, be ready to spend some amount on electrical wiring to commission the built heater and motors etc. This will also add to your electricity bill. Good luck to you. Enjoy your automatic lid opener, the automatic deodorant, the automatically raising and lowering seat, the automatic flush, the front and back washing jets at the desired hot and cold temperature!
But if I were you I would like to be practical and I would not waste so much of my hard earned money for an essential need which can be comfortably fulfilled at a much lower cost. For this reason now we exclude the Toto MS970CEMFG#01 1.28-GPF/0.9-GPF Washlet with Integrated Toilet G500, Cotton and examine the others in the list. That leaves three alternatives. To decide among these we now look at these three examining them and comparing them in terms of the above characteristics.
We look at the TOTO MS854114S#01 Ultramax Elongated One Piece Toilet, Cotton White. It uses 1.6 gallons per flush, which is too high for the final watersense recommendations. The reason for this design appears to be that it is meant for use in commercial locations, where water economy is important, but one flush cleaning must be ensured. However, the other two models on our list are equally good in claiming complete flushing, particularly the 114CEFG the double cyclone model with special ion layer repulsion to the waste particles. Therefore, whether you want a toilet for your home or for installation in a commercial public environment, I would forego the water waster 114S which consumes 1.6 gallons per flush. It also happens to have the lowest review rating of all these three which is only 4.5
Now only two candidates are left in the competition, the 114E, and the 114CEF. Both use 1.26 gallons per flush as per the final watersense standards. And both claim an effective cleaning. Looking at the review rating the 114E seems to have an advantage being rated at 4.8 compared to 4.6 of the 114CEFG. Also, the 114E is nearly a hundred dollars cheaper. So the decision seems very clearly in favor 114E. But don’t run away to buy this one. Wait a moment.
As a technical person, I will look slightly beyond that. The CEFG claims a special mechanism of cleaning dynamics which it calls double cyclone. This is actually a two jet operation giving the water a circular kinetic energy which is much more likely to interact with the waste particles and dislodge them finally sweeping them away through the large trap. In addition to this formation of a strong ion layer below the glaze, and extra smoothness of the glaze in the bowl avoid adhesion of the waste particles to the surface. I predict that the difference will be visible over a matter of years, when a fine shade difference will become visible between the 114E and 114CEFG (provided they are subjected to same use and same cleaning). Another minor difference: the CEFG has a special hinge design for the lid which avoids a seat bang. Hence, I will willingly pay an extra hundred dollars (slightly more if necessary) and buy myself a TOTO MS604114CEFG#01 Ultramax II Het Double Cyclone Elongated One Piece Toilet with Sanagloss toilet. Best of luck to you!
Various Parameters in Selecting Best One Piece
One is better than two!
You must have noticed that the heading speaks of one-piece toilets only. That is on purpose. Toilets have traditionally been made in two pieces: the bowl, and the (water) tank. These pieces are joined together during installation. Manufacturing a two piece toilet is easier, and costs less. . If cost is a consideration one may go for a two piece toilet out of the comparable choices. But note that additional hardware is required to install them together. Also installation is more complex. Improper installation may lead to water leaks, unsanitary conditions, and water wastage unless due care is taken. For these reasons one-piece toilets are preferred particularly for DIY jobs. Hence, we will confine our comparison to one-piece models although the discussion will be quite general and can help you applying the same to selecting a two piece model. Here are some of the parameters that must be understood and considered.
This is one of the two most important parameters one must consider when buying a flush toilet. You are going to flush it between 100,000 to 200,000 times in your life time. How much water are you going to literally send ‘down the drain? Assuming that the flush is set to 2 gpf (stands for gallons per flush) you will consume between 200,000 and 400,000 gallons in your life time. That is a very large volume of water. Approximately 30% of total water is used for flushing. Additional water is being consumed for bathing, washing, and other human needs.
Economy of water is an objective which cannot be overstressed. It is so important that apart from sensible people, humanists, planners and scientists, and all religions have not only advocated but stressed economy of water. This is particularly so in the Moslem religion where people were told “Don’t waste water even if you are sitting by a flowing river!”
It is because of this consideration that most developed countries with extensive resources have made regulations controlling the amount of water being consumed per flush. The US government Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has created a certain guidelines for use of household devices consuming water. Detailed guidelines are available at their website at http://www.epa.gov/watersense.
Hence, the most important criterion is economy of water which can be judged by the watersense label. This label can only be used by products which meet the watersense final specifications.
US EPI department estimates that an average house hold in USA can save approximately 13000 gallons per year by simply replacing the old inefficient toilets with water economizing toilet models carrying the WaterSense label. That amounts to $ 110 every year, and $2200 over a 20 year life of the toilet! So we repeat that by this they could save more than $2,200 over the lifetime of the toilets. This saving is sufficient, even at current rates, to buy three or four good toilets. An interesting figure at the website is that if all old inefficient toilets in the US were replaced with watersense labeled models the US could annually save the amount of water overflowing Niagra Falls in 12 days. What a saving!
Single Flush1.6GPF: This is the old watersense standard now being replaced by the 1.28 GPF standard. This amount of water must be able to remove 350 gm of solid waste completely.
Single Flush1.28GPF: 1.28 GPF is equivalent 4.8 liters per flush (4.8 lpf). This is the new watersense standard being adopted by US. Many states encourage the adoption of this standard by allowing rebates or discounts on purchase of toilets with carrying the label of watersense compliance to new standards.
Dual Flush: Dual flush level is another scheme for economizing wastage of water in the toilet. A smaller amount of water is sufficient for cleaning liquid waste (urine, e.g.), than for cleaning the solid excreta of a normal human being. So, a short flush can be used for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste as necessary. With adults, it is liquid waste which has to be flushed more often. Thus a dual flush mechanism is expected to be an effective economy measure. EPI have also issued standards for dual flush toilets which relate the average of water flushed in two large and one small flush to the 1.6GPF standard. Small flush is suitable for disposal of liquid waste, while the larger flush necessary for solid waste of at least 350 gm.
Pressure Assisted Flush: In the interest of perfect cleaning some toilet designs use water flush assisted by air pressure. While it may give a good cleaning, it will cause turbulence in the bowl and may spill some needle-tip droplets onto the user’s body. Also it is very noisy.
Toto Flushing Mechanisms
- The Emax Flush Mechanism
This mechanism by Toto actually corresponds to the 1.28 GPF (4.8 LPF) single flush system coupled with large than usual diameters for the flush valve and trap.
- The Gmax Flush Mechnism
This one corresponds to the 1.6 GPF (6LPF) flush again with larger than usual sizes for the flush valve and the trap.
- The Dual-max Flush Mechnism
This one corresponds to the dual flush mechanism again with larger than usual sizes for the flush valve and the trap.
- Double Cyclone System
This is really a water inlet system applied by Toto in some models. Two water jets, rather than two holes allow a circulatory motion of water into the bowl for better cleaning. The circular motion tends to slide the waste particles off the surface of the bowl more effectively.
The main purpose of a toilet is essential hygiene. Hygiene demands that the toilet be completely and effectively flushed after use by even a large sized human. There is no advantage in saving a little water if cleaning is not instant and complete. In fact, the purpose of the toilet is lost. It is expected that 350 gram of solid waste must be flushed completely and totally in a single flush of 1.28gallon. The risk in this parameter is trace amounts left sticking to the bowl. Over time they will cause pollution and bad smell, apart from un-esthetic scenes, and possibly, a slow discoloration..
Effectiveness of cleaning is influenced by the hydrodynamic design of the bowl and water injection. A circulating motion of water within the bowl is generated to make cleaning more effective. Also some toilets release pressurized water, while others rely on gravity force.
The quality of the glaze in terms of smoothness and planeness avoids residues sticking to the surface.
Apart from the surface finish some manufacturers are providing for layers of ions under the glaze to actively repel the matter.
Trap size has an important effect on the flush dynamics. A larger trap will allow faster flows with greater kinetic energy, and hence, a better loosening effect. Also, it will avoid any semisolid matter sticking and blocking the flush. The disadvantage is that in a house with very young kids who just learned to walk there is every possibility of your jewelry going ‘down the drain’
The sound of flushing water is music to the ears of those waiting outside a public toilet. However, in a private toilet one does not really want to give a gun salute on successful evacuation. The toilet should a low noise one.
The cover and the seat are lifted for cleaning. Once they are lowered, they fall with a thump. Some designs avoid this through artificial friction in the hinge.
If you can save about 20% on the cost, that is not bad. Some states allow a rebate on purchase of a water efficient toilet and you should check the state rules and whether the rebate applies to the model you are thinking of.
Of course a young person has little time to waste in the toilet, and would like to rush back to active life. But there are sick and old people. Old and sick people may have to sit for longish periods. And maybe you get old in the same house. And of course, you may have heard of one or two in your acquaintances who carry newspapers and novels to the toilet. For the sake of all these people, and also generally, the toilet must be comfortable to sit on. The height of the seat is quite important, and models are available with adjustable seat. An important design factor is the elongation. An elongated bowl should be generally more comfortable to sit on when trying to empty your bowels. You will find that most of the favorite models these days are elongated.
This factor is not very significant, but if the bathroom is generally clean and bright, the toilet should also match, at least in color and shade. During the design of the toilet structure, producing smooth contours on the outer surface does not really cost much. Colors and glaze finish are added in the manufacture process and will generally not cost much. It is a different matter that a good looking design will fetch a more than proportional price.
Price is mentioned last, but certainly it is a very important consideration. Often it will be a limiting factor due to budget constraints. I suggest you give due consideration to cost. Out of toilets of equal merit we should buy the cheapest one. And do not go for frills which are available ‘for just a few extra dollars’. Pay only for your real needs and preferences.