The Different Types of Toilets, Explained

The Different Types of Toilets, Explained

When you’re designing the look of your new bathroom, one of the biggest questions on your mind is which type of toilet to choose. Unless that is, you aren’t even aware that there are different types of toilets. In that case, well, now you know.

Toilets come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. They also differ in function. You can even choose from a variety of unique flushing mechanisms.

But don’t get overwhelmed by this revelation. We’re about to explain all of your various toilet options, nice and slow. Whether you’re in the market for a new toilet or you’re just curious, learn more by reading this guide.

Types of Toilets By Function

There are five main classifications of toilet technology. Four of these are for permanent installation, while the last one is for temporary purposes.

1. Gravity-Feed

Gravity-feed toilets are the most common toilets for permanent installation. Flushing one opens a hatch in the bottom of the bowl for the water to escape down the drain. Meanwhile, holes around the toilet rim rinse the waste off of the sides of the bowl.

These are the simplest and cheapest of toilets for home use. But they’re not the most efficient.

For instance, there are usually whole sections of the toilet bowl walls that the rinsing mechanism misses. Thus, the toilet doesn’t stay clean for long. Also, each flush uses a lot more water than some of the other options on this list.

2. Pressure-Assisted

Pressure-assisted toilets function the same as gravity-feed toilets but with one variation. They use pressurized air to propel the water that rinses the bowl. Each flush essentially power washes your toilet.

As a result, the toilet stays cleaner much longer than gravity-feed toilets. Plus, they don’t clog up as quickly.

An unfortunate drawback is that its powerful flushing action is quite loud. If you have thin walls in your home, pressure-assisted toilets are not a good choice. They might also splash tiny droplets of toilet water here and there, which is gross.

3. Dual-Flush

Dual-flush toilets offer users the option to conserve water when they flush. For example, you can choose the half flush when going number one. This option is sufficient to clear the bowl, but it uses less water.

Then, use the full flush for solid waste. Even better, the full flush feature is pressurized—the same technology as pressure-assisted toilets. This ensures an extra clean flush for solid waste.

The half flush, however, is a gravity-feed flush. This means that dual-flush toilets also let you choose between loud and quiet flushes.

4. Double-Cyclone

The double cyclone is almost as simple as a standard, gravity-feed toilet, but it’s more efficient. There are not many holes along the rim for rinsing. Instead, two nozzles direct the water in a cyclone motion around the bowl and down the drain.

The cyclone motion of the water doesn’t miss a single spot in the bowl as it rinses. And the flush is quieter than a pressure-assisted toilet. Also, they use less water than gravity-feed toilets.

5. Waterless

Waterless toilets like outhouses are unsuitable for permanent use in a home as they are not connected to any plumbing. But they’re beneficial for temporary needs. For instance, you can rent them for your construction site or even a family reunion.

Different Toilet Styles

Next, toilets come in three distinct styles. First, some toilets come as two separate pieces.

The top tank and the bowl come separately and must be attached and then installed into the bathroom. This allows the buyer to mix and match for more customization. Of course, the seat is an extra piece on any toilet.

The cheapest and most convenient style is the one-piece toilet. These are all one piece, the tank, and the bowl pre-attached. They are much easier to install but are not as customizable.

Lastly, there is the wall-mounted toilet. Typically, these are more common in public restrooms than homes. The toilets hide the top tank inside the wall.

Toilet Bowl Shapes

There are two main variations of toilet bowl shape: round-front and elongated (oval). Most toilets are the round-front variety.

Round-front toilets have a mostly circular rim that’s only slightly elongated. These toilets don’t take up much space—perfect for small bathrooms. 

Elongated toilets are notably longer in front, forming a more elliptical shape. These are much more spacious and comfortable, particularly for males who sit on them.

Furthermore, you can customize your toilet bowl according to any specific dimensions you have in mind. Not all plumbing/fixture services will do this, though.

Toilet Flushing Mechanisms

Most toilets use a single-flush mechanism to flush. This is a button or lever with only one setting: full flush.

Some toilets have a double-flush mechanism. Like dual-flush toilets, you can choose between a half flush and a full flush. This is determined by how hard/long you press down the button or lever.

There are also touchless-flush toilets that automatically flush when you leave them. These are more common in public restrooms but can be installed in homes, too.

Other Variations of Toilets

There are numerous other customizations you can make as well. For instance, you can order your toilet in any color you wish. 

That goes for the seats as well. These vary by material as well as color. You can even purchase toilet seats with cushions or insulation so they aren’t so cold in the winter.

And you don’t have to flush with a lever. Instead, you can pull a chain, push a button, or use a remote.

Need More Help Choosing a New Toilet?

Hopefully, learning about different types of toilets has made it easier to choose a suitable new toilet for your home. On the other hand, perhaps it made your choice even more overwhelming.

If that’s the case, Millwood Plumbing can help. Contact our expert plumbers today so that we can discuss your options with you.

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