Flushing Out the Facts: Kate Campbell’s Comprehensive Toilet Guide

When it comes to toilets, there are numerous ambiguous terms and misconceptions that make it difficult to know what to look for when purchasing a new one! In this post, we'll go over some of the most important considerations when purchasing a toilet, as well as dispel common myths along the way so you can find the toilet of your dreams. Buckle up!
toilet fundamentals

Toilet Fundamentals

First and foremost, let's go over the fundamentals: what is a toilet and how does it work? A toilet is a plumbing fixture that is used to dispose of human waste. It is made up of three parts: a bowl and seat, a tank, and a flushing mechanism. When you flush the toilet, a large volume of water is released from the tank into the bowl, washing the waste down a pipe and into the sewer or septic system. 

Got it? Good, now let’s move on to the fun stuff!

Flushing Systems

Believe it or not, the flushing system is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a toilet. There are two kinds of flushing systems: gravity, also known as siphonic, flushing systems, and pressure-assisted flushing systems. 

The most common type is a gravity or siphonic flush toilet. These toilets use the weight of the water in the tank to push the waste out of the bowl and into the pipes. Gravity flush toilets are generally quieter and more dependable than pressure-assisted toilets, and can be just as effective at removing waste from the bowl. Pressure-assisted flush toilets use pressurized air in the tank to help push the waste out of the bowl. These toilets are typically very powerful and efficient at removing waste, but can be louder and less reliable than gravity flush toilets.


Surprisingly, toilets have come a long way when it comes to flushing technology. One of my favorites is American Standard’s VorMax Collection, featuring the innovative VorMax flush technology. This revolutionary technology cleans 2x better than conventional toilets* by delivering a single powerful jet of water that vigorously scrubs the entire surface of the bowl from top to bottom, including the hard-to-reach spots. It also eliminated the conventional rim holes around the inside of the bowl that deliver water during flushing cycles to make it that much more efficient and reliable.

*Source: Test Report No. 109-141486-002, comparing VorMax against conventional under-the-rimwater-dispersal toilets from major retailers.

Another incredible option is American Standard’s Champion Flushing System. This cutting-edge line of toilets achieves the best flushing performance in the market, virtually eliminating clogs. How does Champion get rid of obstructions? The flush system has the largest 4-inch flush valve in the industry and an extra wide trapway (a curved pipe underneath the toilet bowl that the waste passes through when it is flushed) that quickly removes waste without clogging any areas.

Flushing Power

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a new toilet is the flushing power. Toilets are rated on a scale from 0.5 to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) and a lower GPF means that it’ll be a more water efficient toilet (standard toilets flush at a rate of 1.28 GPF).


One common misconception about toilets is that all low-flow toilets are inefficient at flushing. While some low-flow toilets may lack the flushing power of higher-flow toilets, there are Ultra-High Efficiency Toilets on the market that flush at rates as low as 1.0 GPF, without sacrificing performance. These toilets, like American Standard’s H2Optimum Two Piece Chair Height Toilet (1.1 GPF) conserve up to 30% more water than standard toilets for a more sustainable option.
studio dual flush

If you’re looking to conserve water but still want the option of a higher-flow flush, I suggest considering a dual-flush system. This offers the ability to choose either a full or partial flush, which in turn helps save water and money. The Studio Dual-Flush Elongated Toilet is a great option as it’s not only water-saving, but it also features a smooth, streamlined design making it that much easier to clean.

Bowl Shape

Bowl shape is another important consideration when shopping for a new toilet. Toilet bowls are classified into two types: round and elongated. Round bowls are shorter in length and more compact than oval bowls, making them an excellent choice for small bathrooms or small children. With a larger surface area, elongated bowls have become the more popular option and are thought to be more hygienic and comfortable. 

Toilet Height

Another factor to consider is the toilet's height. Standard toilets are 14-15 inches tall, whereas comfort height or chair height toilets are typically 16-19 inches tall. Chair height toilets are more practical for individuals who have mobility issues or find it difficult to sit and stand from a low toilet seat. I personally prefer a chair height toilet, as I find it to be more comfortable and convenient, but I suggest visiting your nearest toilet retailer to find which height works best for your needs. Additionally, chair height toilets are more likely to be Barrier Free and/or ADA compliant and generally simpler to use for those with mobility issues.

Toilet Rough-in Size

A big toilet misconception is that all toilets are the same size. While most toilets are roughly the same size, there may be differences in the width and depth of the bowl and tank. To ensure that the toilet will fit properly in your bathroom, be sure to measure the exact space where you intend to install it to avoid any potential issues and also measure the distance between the centre to the wall.  This is commonly referred to as rough-in size. The most common is a 12” rough but some older homes or smaller spaces may need a 10” which is available in the American Standard collection. 

studio s

Easy Cleaning

Cleaning the toilet is often at the top of the list of worst chores around the house. But with today’s design features, brands like American Standard have made it easier to clean the toilet so you can get back to enjoying your day.

Let’s start with a concealed trapway design. I’ve installed quite a few toilets in my day and I’ve found that toilets with concealed trapways are my favorite. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing with a sleek, contemporary design, but they’re also that much easier to clean due to the smooth skirted sides. I installed American Standard’s Studio Touchless Toilet in my own home and absolutely love it. Although regular cleaning is necessary for all toilets, the skirted sides have fewer crevices for dirt and germs to hide, making cleaning a breeze.

American Standard is also saving the day with their EverClean Technology. Built right into the surface of their toilets, this antimicrobial coating is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fight against long-lasting stains for a fresher, cleaner bathroom with a fraction of the effort.

High-Tech Toilets 

Speaking of Touchless Toilets, if you’re looking for a fun, affordable, sleek, and hygienic toilet upgrade, I highly recommend investing in a touchless toilet by American Standard. The benefits of going hands-free include a healthier bathroom environment (less contact means less germ transfer!), increased efficiency, and added convenience.  


The Studio Touchless Toilet features a powerful flushing system ensuring daily dependability, and a flush sensor that can be positioned anywhere within three feet of the toilet, making it more accessible. Added bonus: when you wave your hand over the sensor and the toilet flushes, you'll feel like you have magical powers! Sure to bring a smile to your face each time you flush.

If you’re looking to drastically improve your bathroom experience, investing in a bidet toilet may be the right move for you. American Standard’s Advanced 100 SpaLet Bidet Toilet combines the cleansing of a bidet with the sleek lines of a modern, auto-flush toilet for ultimate comfort and convenience. Featuring a heated seat and dual nozzles that direct a stream of warm water to front and rear areas, this bidet is a true game changer that you must experience to appreciate!

Although there are numerous factors to consider when shopping for a new toilet, it’s important to consider which you find to be the most important based on your specific needs and wants. If you keep these options and details in mind, you’ll be sure to find a toilet that meets your functional needs, style preferences, and budget requirements in no time. Happy toilet shopping!


Learn more about Kate

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