What is the Best Toilet?

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What is the Best Toilet?

I’ve had lots of clients ask me “what is the best toilet” for their bathroom remodel.  I suggest the following toilets:

  • Kohler® Highline® Comfort Height® Two-Piece Elongated Bowl, 1.28 gpf toilet, Concealed Trapway – About $418 retail.
  • Kohler® Cimarron® Comfort Height® One-Piece Elongated Bowl, 1.28 gpf toilet, Concealed Trapway – About $768 retail.
  • Toto® UltraMax® II Universal Height One-Piece Elongated Bowl, 1.28 gpf toilet – About $805 retail.
  • Toto® Washlet® C200 Elongated Front – About $715 retail.

Orange County Water District

These toilets are my top choices for all of Central and South Orange County, California.  Why is this relevant?  Simple, every geographic area gets their water from different sources and treats it differently.  For Central and South Orange County, the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), Metropolitan Water District (MWD), Orange County Water District (OCWD), Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), South Coast Water District (SCWD), Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), El Toro Water District (ETWD), Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD), Trabuco Canyon Water District (TCWD), and the City of San Clemente (COSC) are the major suppliers (there are additional smaller suppliers – Orange County has 28 different water districts).

All these water suppliers receive their water from:

Orange County Water Supply

  • The Orange County Groundwater Basin—Orange County’s largest source of drinking water. This 270-square-mile basin provides approximately 75 percent of the water supply to more than 2.5 million residents in north and central Orange County.

  • Imported water from Northern California.

  • Imported water from the Colorado River.

  • Other local ground water sources unique to South Orange County communities.

I recommend the above toilets because Central and South Orange County have some very hard water and the processes used to treat the water is tough on plumbing (pipes and fixtures).  It’s for this reason I urge you not to simply Google “What’s the best toilet”.  You will not get the best results doing this.  So, again, this information is for Central and South Orange County!

Okay, so why should you take my advice?  Well, consider the following:

  • During the last 45 years remodeling, I’ve installed and experienced 1,000’s of toilets – I know flushing, performance, and function.

  • What is The Best Toilet?I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. There are simply no better subjects for testing toilet clogging. If a toilet can be totally stopped up, kids, especially boys, are undisputed champions!  I’ve used so many brands and models in my house, I know what works.

  • Through my customers, I’ve heard every complaint, issue, and concern regarding their toilets. They tell me what they hate, what does not work, and of course, how easy they plug up!

What are the major complaints regarding toilets?

  • Too low to the floor!

  • Bowl/seat is to small!

  • I can barely close the door! The toilet hardly clears the door when I close it!

  • It smells – I can’t seem to get it clean!

  • It never stops filling or shuts off!

  • My husband can’t seem to hit the hole! (Okay, I can’t help you here – but try Cheerios for practice aiming).

A few ground rules and important facts before we get started (I’m going to be honest and direct going forward – if you value truth and honesty, read on):

  • All toilets will clog if you put too much stuff in them.

  • Clogged ToiletThe type of toilet paper you use will have a huge impact on how much you can place into the toilet before it clogs. Toilet paper that has more than one layer and/or advertise ultra or super plush, strong, absorbent, or clean will clog a toilet much faster.  Typically, more than 2-3 wads of toilet paper in the bowl can create a clog.  A wad is defined as about 4 linear feet.

  • Human waste can be thick, gooey, long, and stiff. Toilet manufactures primarily use special clay and humans to test their toilets.  However, all people are different.  Their genetics and diets play a huge role in human excrement.  For some, several flushes are needed prior to using toilet paper.  For others, one flush takes care of everything.  Very important:  Pay attention to the volume of material in the toilet.  Flushing several times both before and after wiping can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars in yearly repairs.

  • Toilets are for human waste (urine, fecal matter, vomit) and toilet paper. Toilets are not substitute trash cans or alternatives for the garbage disposal.

  • Never put sanitary products (tampons, pads, panty liners, wipes) or diapers into the toilet.

  • Never use a coat hanger, metal snake, or auger to unclog a toilet.

    1. Toilet PlungerUse a good quality rubber plunger to unclog a toilet (the kind with a round wooden handle and rubber tapered plunger at the end – called a Durable or High-Efficiency Rubber Forced Cup Plunger). Here is the link for the correct toilet plunger: Toilet Plunger.  Flush the toilet twice after the clog completely clears the bowl and trapway.

    2. The proper way to use a plunger is to cover the bottom hole fully and push with short bursts of force (typically about 6). Remove plunger, repeat if necessary.

    3. If your plunger has any cracks in it, get a new one.

  • Once a month, use Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach in the bowl. This keeps hard water deposits under control; removes blood and fecal staining; removes urine staining due to medications and supplements; cleans the siphon jet (or jet hole – that smaller hole in the bottom back area of the bowl).

  • Use Lime-Away® once a quarter with a Scotch Bright® Dobie™ to eliminate the hard water ring in the bottom of the bowl at the water line.

The Kohler Highline Comfort Height Two-Piece Elongated toilet is my top recommendation.  Here’s why:

  • What is the Best Toilet? Kohler White Highline ToiletGreat price and it really works – it works exceptionally well. The rubber components inside the tank have a high tolerance for the chemicals used to treat the water in Orange County.

  • Toilets with elongated bowls are more comfortable than toilets with round bowls. Elongated toilets allow more of your bottom to be exposed through the seat in a more relaxed position.  Your legs will not be tight together, making using the toilet much easier, comfortable, and far easier to clean yourself (front and rear).

  • Class Five® flushing technology offers virtually plug-free performance and rinsing power for a clean bowl.

  • It is hard to clog. And when it does clog, typically a plunger easily unclogs the toilet.

  • By holding the handle down, more water is discharged when there is extra material in the bowl. This is a big benefit.  Many water saving toilets do not have this function.  This extra benefit is not advertised, so you will not find it in the specifications.

  • Nicely priced for all its performance.

  • See Highline Toilet for specifications.

  • The Highline now comes in 16-1/2” (Highline Comfort Height) and 19” (Highline Tall) heights. The 19” model is an excellent choice for those who have trouble getting down lower due to back, knee, leg, and/or stability concerns.  This taller model provides ultimate accessibility and ease of use when assisting someone in cleaning themselves while on the toilet.

  • Pay the few extra dollars for the Kohler Cachet® Quiet-Close™ elongated toilet seat. The lid and seat go down gently and it removes without any tools, which makes cleaning super easy.

My second choice is the Kohler Cimarron Comfort Height One-Piece Elongated toilet.  Here’s why:

  • What is the Best Toilet? Kohler Cimarron white 1-piece toiletMost of the same characteristics of the Highline except it does not come in the tall model (19”).

  • The one-piece design offers superior cleaning. This design creates a strong siphon during flushing and has 90% less exposed seal material than a 3-inch flapper, for leak-free performance.

  • Has the AquaPiston canister. This allows water to flow into the bowl from all sides (360 degrees), increasing the power and effectiveness of the flush.

  • See Cimarron Toilet for specifications.

  • Here too, pay the few extra dollars for the Kohler Cachet® Quiet-Close™ elongated toilet seat. The lid and seat go down gently and it removes without any tools, which makes cleaning super easy.

The Toto UltraMax II Universal Height One-Piece Elongated Bowl is an equal second choice.  Here’s why:

  • The universal height means the toilet is 16-1/8” tall. Like the Highline and the Cimarron, the UltraMax II is an ADA and WaterSence toilet.  However, the UltraMax is also a CalGreen toilet (meets the new California Green Buildings Standards Code with superior performance).

  • What is the Best Toilet Toto UltraMax II white toiletThe UltraMax II is as close to a no clog toilet there is. The UltraMax II has the Tornado Flush™ flushing system.  This system has two powerful nozzles that create a rinsing action which reduces waste buildup and keeps the bowl cleaner.  This high-efficiency system is more effective in one flush than most toilets are with multiple flushes.

  • Has CEFIONTECT™ glaze. This prevents debris from sticking to ceramic surfaces, making them easier to clean.

  • The one-piece design offers superior cleaning.

  • The fully glazed trapway is superior at moving material into the drain.

  • See Toto UltraMax II Toilet for specifications.

  • Includes the Toto SoftClose® This is essentially the same thing as the Kohler Cachet Quiet-Close toilet seat with one big exception . . . it comes standard with the UltraMax II – you don’t pay extra for it.  This typically makes the Cimarron and the UltraMax II about the same cost when the Cachet toilet seat is added to the Cimarron.

The Toto Washlet C200 with elongated front replaces the seat for the Highline, Cimarron, and UltraMax II (The UltraMax II can be purchased with the C200.  When purchased together as a toilet/washlet combination, the total price is about 5% or $83 less retail).

The Toto Washlet is worth it!  Here’s why:

  • This is the washlet to have. Forget about all other brands and models.  This is a high-quality product that works.  My wife swears by this washlet.  Our first Toto C200 washlet lasted almost 20 years and it never failed, required any repairs, or leaked.  Why did we replace it?  An accident broke the remote control.  Rather than replace, we purchased a new C200.

  • Toto white WashletSome of its many benefits include a warm seat with temperature control, gentle aerated dual action front and rear spray cleaning with adjustable water temperature and volume, warm air variable temperature drying, and a 2-user setting.

  • The remote control with illuminated touch pad is super easy to use. The docking station is simple and almost effortless to use and clean.

  • This washlet moves through life with you. It’s unparalleled at cleaning after an intense bowel movement, during menstrual cycles and when reaching behind to clean becomes difficult due to age, disability, or injury.

  • See Toto C200 Washlet for specifications.

One additional very important item.  I receive absolutely nothing from any of the manufactures mentioned within this article.  Nope, no free stuff, trips to Hawaii, rebates, t-shirts, pencils . . . nothing.  Not even a sticker or magnet for the refrigerator.  Everything in this article comes from over 45 years of experience.  My dedication and loyalty are to my customers.  If I won’t install it in my house, I won’t recommend it for yours!

If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience, call DAD at (949) 380-0177 or at dan@dadsconstruction.com for a free in home consultation (DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California including Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo).

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Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation contractor, https://www.dadsconstruction.com.  © DAD’s Home Services & Construction, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.