hall bathroom white with tub and small vaniety and window in shower

Photo by RemodelOrMove.com

by Dan Fritschen

Update: With space being at a premium in today’s newer houses, and the fact that many homeowners are choosing to build bathroom additions that are much smaller than master bathrooms, the quest for space-saving plumbing fixtures and storage ideas has become very important. That’s why finding a toilet that works best while taking up as little space as possible has become an increasing concern in the last few years.

It wasn’t that long ago that there were really only two choices about the toilet installed when a bathroom was remodeled. Those choices were about color and the shape of the bowl (round or oval). Things are very different today. The toilet has as much decorative importance as the tub or the vanity. Here are some things to consider as you explore the overwhelming number of choices before you.

Space is probably the first consideration in choosing any fixtures, fittings or cabinets for a small bathroom. You will certainly want the toilet to either match or coordinate with the sink and the tub or shower. The overall décor of the bathroom will shape your choices of color, material, size, shape and type of installation. You will find variety and directly competing products. This means you will probably spend some time on choosing the best toilet for remodeling your small bathroom. Here are some other things to consider.

1. Price. Although toilet prices range from as little as $100 to $1,000, you don’t need to spend a huge amount on this fixture. Things like special installations, lavish decoration, color, special shape or special features will increase the price. It will help you make smart choices if you establish a budget and prioritize the features that could add cost before you go shopping.

2. Style and Shape. You will need to choose between styles with the traditional two-piece construction or just a bowl. You can choose a low-profile tank or the standard taller tank. What shape bowl do you want? The round bowl styles are usually preferred in smaller bathrooms for their smaller size and lower cost.

3. Seat height. This decision will probably be based on the people who will use the remodeled bathroom. In most cases, you will choose the standard height. For young children, however, you might prefer a low-profile model that has the seat lower than usual. And for an older person or someone with a disability, you might want to choose a style that has a seat two or three inches higher than the standard.

4. Water use. If water conservation is important to you or is required where you live, you will probably want to shop for the model that uses the smallest amount of water for a flush. Some of the new models work efficiently using only about one-fourth the amount of water as older models. These designs will also have smaller tanks (making them a better fit in small bathrooms). You can also consider a dual-flush toilet. These styles provide a light flush that uses a minimal amount of water, or a more powerful flush when needed. They are operated by either pushing a button or using a lever. It will be a good idea to try the mechanism before you buy because the push button types can be difficult for people to operate.


5. Flushing mechanism. Toilets flush in one of two ways. A gravity flush model, which is most commonly seen in residential bathrooms, uses the water stored in the tank and gravity to force the water into the bowl and out. A pressure-assisted flush model (which is becoming increasingly popular in homes) uses pressure in the supply pipe to compress air, which exerts great force on a small amount of water to clear the bowl. The pressure flush toilet will be more difficult to install and to repair, it will cost more, and it will be noisier. If you use a pressure flush toilet, you might want to invest in soundboard on the interior walls.

6. Features. New options and features seem to become available often. You can choose, for instance, the old Victorian style toilet with a tank mounted high on the wall and a pull chain. There are toilet seats that close slowly and quietly when touched. Some toilets have a bidet built in, or you can buy a bidet insert.
If you take the time to think about all of your options when buying a toilet, you will be able to select a model that is sized appropriately for a small bathroom remodel, matches the rest of the bathroom décor, and fits your budget.
For help with estimating the cost of your bathroom remodel, try out free cost calculators, and for design inspiration you can search millions of pictures in our design gallery.

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