Best Toilets Guide For 2019 – updated guide

Finding the best toilets for our needs can be a challenge – even in 2019.

There are literally thousands of toilets on the market these days and most of them are pretty good – even the cheapies. The challenge then is finding the best toilet in terms of design, function, quality, features and price. And, where to buy that toilet because your local big-box hardware store will have a great selection of toilets, but that selection is still limited due to the space inside the store. And, as you might already know, the selection on the internet is seemingly unlimited!

That’s why we choose amazon.com as our toilet supplier of choice. Amazon carries literally hundreds of the best toilets on the market, at highly competitive prices with no-brainer inexpensive shipping costs.

The time for the DIY homeowner toilet installer has never been easier. Big-box hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have literally everything you need to upgrade, replace or repair virtually every toilet you own.

There’s no excuse for having a broken, leaking or otherwise outdated toilet. Even the cheapest of replacement toilets are usually pretty good, although there are many reasons I would never buy the cheapest anything!

Installing Your New Toilet

Most toilets can be installed by the homeowner – that’s you! If you’d rather not do that yourself, there are literally hundreds of good, local plumbers in your area who will come out to your home for a couple of hundred dollars and install your new toilet. 

Either way, by buying your new toilet on amazon.com and arranging installation gets you several major advantages.

  • You get the exact toilet you want
  • You get the best price on your new toilet
  • You have the option of saving some money installing it yourself
  • Or, you can have it installed by a professional for a small fee.

Below you’ll find our guide for finding the best toilet for you for 2019.

There are a few very important factors that should be considered when choosing a toilet for your home or office. Style, bowl shape, toilet height and price are important factors to consider when choosing the best toilet for your needs. The fact is, most toilets will do the job, and they all are water-savers – some more so than others.

The selection of styles, sizes, colors and prices and other features have never been better for the consumer, and we’re here to help you pick the best toilet for 2019 for your needs and your budget.

We do the hard research so you won’t have to. With so many brands of toilets on the market, it’s truly difficult to know what’s important in order to select the right toilet for your needs. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate toilet guide, updated for 2019.

We rate toilets by 5 main categories;

  • Style

    • 1-piece
    • 2-piece
    • Tankless
  • Bowl Shape

    • Round
    • Oval
  • Efficiency (single flush vs. dual flush)

  • Toilet Height From Floor – Comfort Height Vs. Normal

    • Tall ( 17” – 19” from floor )
    • Short ( )
  • Serviceability (ease of maintenance and repair)

  • Price

    • Up to $200
    • $201 – $600
    • $601 – $2,000

Style

The 1-piece toilet offers some style advantages over its two-piece cousins. It looks sleek and modern (left) while the 2-piece toilet (center) looks more traditional. The 2-piece is often less expensive. The tankless toilet, far right, is the most radical-appearing toilet. Tankless toilets can be a great way to conserve space in a small bathroom.

toilet styles

The 1-piece toilet offers some good advantages over its two-piece cousins.

  • No Leaks -there is no leak-prone mating surface between tank and bowl
  • Easy Installation -Installation is a breeze
  • Elegant Design – The 1-piece design is often sleek and elegant
  • Easy Maintenance – Standard internal flushing mechanisms are easy to replace

The downsides to a 1-piece toilet are few, but we’ll list them;

  • Weight – they can weigh more than a 2-piece toilet
  • Cost – They can be more expensive than two-piece toilets

As you can see, your choices for a 1-piece toilet for 2018 are great. The top picks we show are sleek and modern looking, with plenty of quality to last for years without trouble. Plus, we insist that our picks for a one-piece toilet always include an easy, fast installation and ease of maintenance.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the above toilets.

2-Piece Toilets

2-piece toilets have two separate parts – the tank and the bowl. Both are joined with a couple of bolts and a gasket. The 2-piece toilets are usually the less expensive of the three, and are usually lower in cost.

“Traditional” in appearance, the 2-piece toilet offers great value and serviceability – meaning it’s easy to get parts for and to repair.

Most toilets are of the two piece design – and for good reason. They’ve served us well over the decades and offer reliability and they come in a huge variety of brands. They also come in round or oblong bowl shapes, and you can get them in many different heights – all the way up to 19 inches!

Tankless Toilets

Have you ever wondered why toilets usually have a tank?

The tank is designed to store a large amount of water that’s used to move waste out of the toilet and through the sewer lines in one flush. The toilet bowl uses a siphon, which is essentially a tube in the bowl, to pull contents out of the bowl in one quick motion with the large volume of water.

Normal household water feeds just don’t  have enough water volume to work without water stored in a tank to effectively move waste products effectively out of the bowl.

But tankless toilet designers are pretty clever these days, putting the high household water pressure to work to move waste out of the toilet without that gallon or so supplied from a tank.

Once solely used in commercial applications, the tankless toilet is gaining wide acceptance for household use. Some experts predict that tankless toilets could one day become more common that toilets with a tank!
Bowl Shape

There are two general bowl shapes.

  • Round (or close to round)
  • Elongated (or close to oval)

round toilet vs. elongated toilet

Many people find that an elongated bowl is more comfortable, but that is subjective and is different for everyone.

Round Bowls Are Better For Small Bathrooms

If you have a small bathroom, a round toilet takes up less space than an elongated version. Just a few inches could make all the difference. This is where measurements can really help. Most toilets have a consistent dimension from center of drain to back of tank (usually about 12 inches). The rest of the depth of a toilet is out front.

Another thing to think of is aftermarket seats. For the elongated toilets, seats can be more expensive than for the round varieties plus there may be less choice. If you walk into a Home Depot or a Lowe’s, the vast majority of replacement seats are round.

Dual Flush Toilets

After Congress passed the Energy Policy Act (1992), all toilets sold in the US were mandated to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Love it or hate it, that law had a dramatic effect on the design and the operation of the toilet for years to come.

Early low-flow toilets had massive flushing problems, as much of the solid waste products did not go down with just one flush. In fact, they clogged quite regularly. And they frustrated their owners as I can attest!

Those used to the generous (and effective) 2.5 gallon flush were notably upset with the new commodes.

But the great news – technology did catch up with the law. Nowadays, the low-flow toilet is, for the most part, is an excellent flusher.  And all of the toilets we recommend are top quality flushers that you won’t have a moment’s trouble with.

But there is even a more efficient toilet – the dual flush toilet.

The dual flush toilet has two flushing modes – a full flush of up to 1.6 gallons and a second option that can flush 1 – 1.2 gallons.

The selection for the flushing modes can come in many forms – sometimes with a sophisticated lever, some toilets will have push-buttons, one for each flush type. I own a push-button dual flush and it works quite well – no problems and we love it.

You can read exactly how a dual flush toilet works here.

“Comfort Height” Toilets Vs. Normal Height Toilets

Toilet height is always measured from the top of the seat down to the floor.  A “Comfort Height” toilet (tall) can measure anywhere between 15 inches and 19 inches, with most falling 17 inches – 19 inches from floor to seat top. You might call a tall toilet “chair height.”

The “standard” or normal toilet height is 17 inches and below, commonly 16 inches from floor to seat top.

Why do toilet heights differ so much?

People come in many different sizes – and so do toilets. Shorter people (5 feet 4 inches tall and shorter) prefer a shorter seat height (16 inches tall or less) because their legs are shorter. Taller people (greater than 5 feet 4 inches) would rather use a taller toilet for comfort.

Older folks who might have a difficult time getting up from a sitting position often prefer a taller toilet to ease bathroom trips.

Handicapped people prefer taller toilets because they are easier to use from a wheelchair.

Serviceability (Repairs)

As with any purchase you make, knowing how your next toilet will last and how easy repairs will be should be a priority.

Most of the top brands including American Standard, Kohler, Toto and other major toilet brands have good basic designs and lots of years of history designing and building toilets.

Even though the modern toilet is a model of elegant simplicity, there are a few working parts that do wear out avter a few years.

The one part most commonly replaced on toilets with a tank is the main toilet valve – that valve that allwos water into the tank after a flush and shuts it off at the right level.

The next most replaced item is the flapper valve that holds the water in the tank and is opened when the lever or button is activated during a flush.

The best toilets have easily replaceable main valves and flapper valves, often in the form of a kit.