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Types of Toilets to Choose From

A constantly clogging toilet typically warrants a call to the plumber. But when the fixture needs more than just a quick fix, you may decide to have the pro install a new one. Even though they all serve a common purpose, not every toilet is the same. Before you buy a toilet, take a look at the different options you have to choose from.

The Mechanism

All toilets, other than the port-a-potty variety, flush. But there are different ways that the flushing happens. The two primary types of flush options are gravity-feed and pressure-assisted.


The gravity-feed option is the most common type of residential toilet. Like the name says, it uses gravity to flush. When you push the gravity-assisted toilet's handle, the flush valve opens, and water drops from the tank into the bowl. The moving water then carries the waste away.

Given the popularity of these toilets, you can easily make repairs and find replacement parts for models with this option. Gravity-feed toilets are also typically quieter than the pressure-assisted variety.


Pressure-assisted toilets are more powerful and use less water than ones with a gravity-assisted flush. Instead of gravity, these toilets use compressed air to push waste down the drain. Even though these toilets work more efficiently than traditional gravity-assisted models, they are noisy and often more expensive.

If you're not sure which way to go, the newer dual-flush toilet is the best of both worlds. This toilet uses a combination of gravity and compressed air, depending on which type of waste is being flushed — liquid or solid.

The Style

When it comes to the outward aesthetic, you have several different options. One of the options is to choose a single or two-piece model. The single or one-piece toilet is exactly what the name implies — one continuous ceramic piece. Likewise, the two-piece toilet consists of two pieces. These include the tank and the bowl.

The Flush

Again, a flush isn't always a flush. Not only can you decide which flush mechanism option your want (gravity or pressure-assisted), you can also select from a single or double flush. A single flush, like the name says, uses one flush to move waste away. This type of toilet comes with a set water usage per flush, giving you an idea of how many gallons you'll use each time.

A double or dual-flush toilet has two flushing options. This flush system allows you to press the handle or lever half-way or lightly in order to remove liquid waste. This uses less water, saving you money in the long-run. When you need to flush solid waste, press the handle all the way down. This uses more water but provides the full flush you need.

The Bowl Shape

The two primary toilet bowl shapes are round and elongated. Round bowls are fairly traditional, whereas elongated toilets have an oval-shaped bowl that is longer than a traditional round. Some elongated toilets also come in a compact version. This gives you the same oval shape as an elongated model but comes in a shorter or smaller size.

Choosing one shape over the other comes down to personal preference, depending on your bathroom design goals. Even though most new toilets come with coordinating seats if you need to replace yours it needs to match the shape.

The Size

Along with the shape of the bowl, toilets also come in different sizes or heights. The most common toilet is a standard height model. These are typically comfortable for most older children, teens, and adults.

Adults with mobility restrictions or limitations may benefit from an ADA-compliant toilet. These are taller than standard models, making them easier to maneuver around.

Do you need a new toilet? Contact Cleary Plumbing & Air to choose the toilet that suits your needs.