Bathroom Toilet Guide For Home Remodeling Projects

Our Helpful Bathroom Toilet Guide Will Have You Sitting Pretty

When you're undertaking a bathroom remodeling project, you'll be making some choices. You'll need to choose flooring, tile, lighting, storage, ventilation, and much more. In the past, one area where there wasn't much choice, was the toilet. There weren't many different style choices, and you could have it in any color you wanted, as long as it was white!

Today, that's no longer the case. Toilets come in a number of colors, styles, and sizes. Technology has even entered the bathroom, with the newest trend; “smart” toilets. While your toilet isn't going to be the aesthetic focus of your bathroom, it does come in many sizes, colors, and styles that can enhance your design.

Check out our bathroom toilet guide. We'll explain some of the features to consider to help narrow down your options and choose the perfect toilet to meet your needs.

The Bathroom Toilet Guide: The Basics

Let's start with the basics. These are the choices you'll need to make to help narrow your search. Your contractor or designer can help you to determine some of these factors, as will your budget.


While white is still the number one choice, today manufacturers are offering toilets in a variety of colors. Before you commit to buying a color, make sure it is something that you can live with. If in a few years, you decide to change the color scheme of your bathroom, it's a lot easier to change the color of your walls, than it is to replace your toilet. Another consideration, how will a unique color effect resale value?


Whether your bathroom décor is traditional, contemporary, casual or formal, you can find a toilet to meet your stylistic needs. Since style doesn't really affect the operation of the toilet, you can feel free to choose the one that fits your aesthetic needs.

One Piece or Two

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Most toilets have separate tanks and bowls that are bolted together when the unit is installed, making them two-piece toilets. Many higher-priced toilets are constructed as a single unit. They tend to have a lower profile and are usually more stylish. One piece toilets, while they look great, do tend to cost more because of the special engineering used in creating the flushing mechanisms.

Seat or No Seat

Often, two-piece toilets do not come with a seat. Some one-piece toilets do but may come in a unique shape or specialized bolt spread. If your toilet has a seat, make sure it doesn't need a distinct seat that may be difficult to find. The most common bolt spread is 5 ½ inches.

Round or Elongated Bowl

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Finally, you have two choices when it comes to the bowl shape. As a general rule most residential toilets use a round bowl, while commercial installations are typically elongated. If you are remodeling your bathroom to age-in-place, the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the bowl to be elongated and 3” taller than standard toilets. When it comes to your home bathroom, it's really a personal choice. Many styles of toilets are available in both round or elongated versions.

Toilet Flush Options

Gravity-fed toilets work the old fashioned way and are the most reliable. When flushed, a gravity fed toilet releases the water from the tank into the bowl. The volume of water forces everything in the bowl out through the S trap, where siphoning takes over and finishes the job.

Pressure-assist toilets use a more modern mechanism. They use much less water than gravity-fed by using compressed air to force the water into the bowl. These toilets have a separate pressurized air tank within the water tank. The inner pressure tank is completely sealed. When the water tank begins to fill, the trapped air inside the tank gets re-pressurized. When flushed, the air forces the water into the tank forcing everything in the bowl through the S trap. Because less water is needed for flushing, the bowl is typically larger in order to hold more surface water. More surface water usually means less cleaning. While they use much less water, pressure-assist toilets are much noisier than gravity-fed models.

The Bathroom Toilet Guide to "Smart” Toilet Technology

One of the fastest growing segments of the toilet world is smart toilets. First released in Japan, American manufacturers had begun releasing them. If you are seeking a truly luxurious bathroom experience, the smart toilet is a great choice. Smart toilets incorporate a number of technological features into the fixture. Most offer heated seats, built-in bidet functions, lighting which is a wonderful feature if you are older and need to visit the bathroom at night. It allows you to see, without turning on the harsh overhead lights that can disrupt your sleep.

Some even incorporate sound so that you can listen to your favorite music in the bathroom! Others offer features like “smart” flush technology that use the proper amount of water to clean the bowl based on the contents. Most smart toilets also incorporate anti-bacterial coatings and offer a self-cleaning option which means you'll never have to spend time cleaning the toilet again! Smart toilets are more expensive than standard toilets, but if you are truly looking for a spa-like bath, with much less maintenance, they're worth checking out.

While not as complicated as some choices you'll need to make during your bathroom remodeling, you do have some options when it comes to choosing the perfect toilet. Our bathroom toilet guide is a good first step. The best option is to speak with your designer about your options. They can help you to understand all of your options. It's also a good idea to go to your local bathroom fixture store, or big box home retailer to see some of these options in person.

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 7/27/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.