The Different Styles And Types of Toilet And Flushing Systems

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Most homes are built and sold with toilets already installed. As such, replacing or choosing one is not a regular event. So, it’s more than likely that you don’t know what’s available and what to consider when looking for your new toilet, how to arrange the bathroom’s layout, or even how to measure the toilet so that it will fit. Here are different types of toilet.

There are many types of toilets on the market, and it cannot be easy to decide which one is right for your home. This guide is meant to assist you in selecting the right toilet, matching your bathroom’s style, and fitting within the available space. You will be able to make an informed decision when purchasing a new toilet.

Tip: When it comes to toilets, stick to your budget but be willing to spend more if necessary for high-quality toilet must-haves like strong flushing power or water efficiency.

Anatomy of a Toilet

toilet parts

Understanding the way a toilet works will help you decide the type of toilet you need. Let’s break down the components that make up a toilet and the tank.

  • Toilet bowl and the seat
  • Water tank or Cistern
  • Flush button, lever, or a chain
  • Waste pipe
  • S-bend or S-trap – this is the S-shaped pipe that traps the sewage smell from coming back into the toilet. 

The toilet manufacturing process goes through a number of very stringent processes. The materials required to build need to be chemical resistant so that they can be cleaned using chemical products. They should be able to resist temperature changes, hygienic, tough, and comfortable to use.

Before You Buy a New Toilet

Installing a new toilet is expensive and needs a lot of planning. So before you commit to buying a new toilet, it might be a good idea to check your old toilet to see if it can be fixed or upgraded. If however, it’s let you down and is beyond repair, and then it may be time to replace your throne. 

It is a good idea to get a toilet that is water efficient. However, make sure it has good flushing power. Low-flow toilets are initially cheaper but will cost you more in water bills over the years.

Things to Consider

There are a number of things to consider before buying that toilet, including size, style, plumbing installation, and overall bathroom layout. If you don’t know your choices, what may appear to be a simple operation might become time-consuming or unpleasant.

Consider how you want to handle the installation and removal of the new toilet, and think about how you will approach the job. If you have a good knowledge of doing-it-yourself, then we recommend a do-it-yourself setup. However, with more advanced setups, it may be more prudent to get a professional involved.

The layout of the Room

Toilets or bathrooms are normally small spaces, and the toilet itself may end up taking up the most amount of space, so designing the layout is an important step. You can position the new toilet in place of the old one. All the pipework is in place, with the rest of the requirements also there. 

Consider the open space you have and any constraints, limitations, or other fittings, such as the sink, a shower, or a bath. Pick a spot that is out of the way, open, and comfortable when you use the toilet. Give yourself roughly 15 inches of space around your seat so that you don’t feel restricted.

Toilet and Rough-in Size

When it comes to selecting a toilet, the most common blunder is purchasing one with the incorrect rough-in dimension. It may be difficult to install a toilet rough-in that does not match your current bathroom setup without renovation or new plumbing.

The distance between the bare wall and the toilet’s drainpipe center, also called the toilet flange, is known as the rough-in size. When your toilet is installed, having an accurate rough-in measurement ensures there will be an adequate area between the drainpipe and the wall for your toilet’s backside and toilet tank to fit properly. 

Toilets are offered in 3 “rough-in dimensions sizes: 10 inches, 12 inches, or 14 inches. Ensure that the toilet tank is up against the wall allowing 1/4 inch to half an inch of space for the lip of the lid. This will allow the lid to sit flush on the tank.

If, after measuring, you find that the rough-in measurement is below 11 inches, you will either need to change the position of the drain or find a toilet that is smaller in size. It’s also crucial to remember that bathroom bowls are available in elongated, compact-elongated, and round-front forms. Elongated bowls will take up the most room in your restroom, while round-front toilets are the smallest option.

A toilet with a seat height of 17 inches or more is a conventional toilet, compared to a chair-height toilet which sits at 19 inches. However, if you have problems with mobility, then a “comfort height” toilet may suit you better.

Toilet Styles

As tastes change, many toilet styles have evolved, along with advancements in technology which have facilitated more modern and space-saving designs. Below we highlight and break down the various toilet styles, technologies, and design trends.

1. One-Piece Toilet

Swiss Madison Well Made Forever SM-1T254 St. Tropez One Piece Toilet, 26.6 x 15 x 31 inches, Glossy White

One-piece toilets are exactly as they sound; they are constructed as one piece. The bowl and the tank are made of one piece of ceramic, which creates a seamless look. This also reduces the size of the toilet, which makes them great for smaller spaces. The one-piece design also eliminates a part in the toilet that is vulnerable to leaks.

The primary advantage of having a one-piece toilet is that it’s much simpler to install. To set up your tank, place it in the desired location and connect the bowl. Having fewer pieces also decreases the number of places dirt and grime can build up. 

Although one-piece toilets come with many benefits, they also have some significant drawbacks. For example, they’re heavy and hard to transport when compared to two-piece toilets. Additionally, one-piece toilets tend to be more expensive than their counterparts.

2. Two-Piece Toilet

TOTO Drake Two-Piece Elongated 1.6 GPF Universal Height TORNADO FLUSH Toilet with CEFIONTECT, Cotton White - CST776CSFG#01

The most widely used toilet style is the two-piece. This type of toilet has a water tank and bowl that are separate from each other. While two-piece toilets are an economical option, they may not be the easiest to keep clean.

When you buy a two-piece toilet, you’re buying the bowl and tank separately. This implies that you have the choice of mixing and matching the pieces if desired. So, if one portion of the toilet fails, you won’t need to replace it.

Because two-piece toilets don’t require as much assembly, they are less expensive than one-piece toilets. More pieces mean more clutter and less space.

3. Wall-Mounted Toilet

In-Wall toilet Combo Set - Toilet Bowl With Soft-Close Seat, Wall Hung Tank And Carrier System, Push Buttons Included

Toilet bowls affixed to bathroom walls rather than the ground are becoming a more popular choice. These seemingly tankless commodes may be a fantastic alternative, whether you’re aiming for a specific look or merely saving space.

They save room because the water tank is incorporated into the wall. These toilets are more costly because the installation requires the services of a professional plumber as well as a handyman. The overall cost of the wall-hung toilet includes these extra expenses. It’s fairly easy to sanitize the unit, and it definitely offers some space-saving advantages.

The toilet design is a must-have for people who want to give their houses a modern feel. The tank is hidden behind the wall and the plate you use to flush the toilet is mounted on the wall to achieve its “incognito” appearance. We recommend including an access panel to avoid any issues in the future.

4. Back-to-Wall Toilets

Back-to-wall toilets are becoming a popular style for modern bathrooms. Not only do they save space, but they also look great and are easy to maintain.

The toilet is bolted to the wall, and the water tank is concealed in the wall. Not only are these toilets easier to install, but they’re also more affordable than wall-hung models.

5. High-Level Toilet

high level toilet
Photo by Remodelista

High-level or High tank toilets combine a vintage look with modern functionality. The tank is not connected to the bowl but hung from the wall above.

It must be reinforced to avoid any problems. Pulling on the chain releases water from the tank down into the bowl, where it then exits through the drainpipe.

6. Low-Level Units

Burlington Regal Low Level WC Toilet with Flush Pipe & Cistern Optionen
Photo by ebay

Low-level toilets are antique in appearance like their counterparts. The water tank is installed at a lower level, resulting in a shorter flush pipe. The toilet is operated with a lever of a traditional design.

7. Corner toilets

Sheffield Corner 2-Piece 0.8 GPF/1.6 GPF WaterSense Dual Flush Elongated Toilet in White with Slow Close Seat Heavy Duty Porcelain Renovators

If you are limited in space or turning a small room into a half bath, a corner toilet may be just what you need. These space-savers fit easily into a corner to provide you with more floor space.

Types of Toilets and Flushing Systems

While you may not think about the inner workings of your toilet very often, there are several different systems and models available. Whether you want a quiet flush or something more eco-friendly, here are some of the most prevalent toilet flushing systems on the market today.

1. Single-Flush Toilet

HOROW HR-ST076W One Piece Elongated Toilet with Left-Hand Trip Lever, Single Side Flush Toilet for Bathroom, Soft Closing Seat Include, High Efficiency 1.28

The most popular toilet flush type in North America is the single-flush toilet. As the name suggests, the single-flush toilet only comes with one flush. They flush once, emptying the entire tank to flush the contents of the toilet bowl into the drain. 

One of their major disadvantages is that they use a lot of water, so they are not environmentally friendly and can be more expensive to run. One major weakness in this system is often your flush button breaks easily, and that’s an unpleasant task to deal with.

2. Double-Flush Toilet

DeerValley DV-1F026 Ally Dual Flush Elongated Standard One Piece Toilet with Comfortable Seat Height, Soft Close Seat Cover, High-Efficiency Supply,

Double or Dual Flush Toilets come with two flushing choices – a complete flush or half flush. The half-flush option uses less water per flush to dispose of liquid waste, as compared to the full flush required for solid waste. 

More and more people are opting for dual flush units because they conserve water; this helps both the environment and your wallet. While the initial cost might be more expensive than single flush models, they save you money in the long run.

3. Double Cyclone Flush

Toto MS624214CEFG#01 Legato Cotton One Piece Elongated Toilet with Double Cyclone Flush System and SanaGloss

These toilets do not have the traditional rim holes to release water into the bowl. Instead, the flush releases water into the bowl using two large nozzles on either side to create a centrifugal, cyclonic rinsing action.

The high-efficiency system uses only 1.28 gallons per flush for both solid and liquid waste. Thereby saving water and being more efficient.

4. Touchless Flush Toilet

OODBRIDGE Touchless Toilet ,Dual Flush Elongated One Piece Toilet with Soft Closing Seat,Comfort Height,Water Sense,High-Efficiency,Rectangle Button

Commonly used in public restrooms and office buildings, these toilets use a motion sensor to detect activation. Typically these flushing systems are designed to flush the toilet when a person stands up or waves their hand over the sensor.

5. Flushometer

GQXY's brand that Manual flatwise 1.6GPF Flush Valve,Chrome,GQ818, useful and convenient flushometer toilet

Tankless toilets, which are connected to the main water supply, employ a flushing mechanism called a flushometer. You’ve probably seen them in public restrooms since they include a long rod connected via a ball and socket. You could use this mechanism if you have a tankless toilet or urinal at home.

6. Upflush Toilet

600 watt Macerating Toilet with Pump, 2 Piece Upflush Toilet for Basement, Macerating Upflush Toilet

For spaces where you want to add a water closet but can’t directly access the plumbing system, consider installing Upflush toilets, also known as macerating toilets. Upflush toilets, in contrast to standard toilets, first send waste to a holding tank, where it’s chewed up by blades.

Once the waste has been reduced to a manageable size, a pump sends it down the line to your home’s sewage connection. The macerating toilet’s main potential failure point is this pump, which means it should not be used as the family’s primary toilet. Instead, it’s useful for adding a bathroom area to a basement or shed.

7. Composting Toilets

Nature's Head® Self Contained Composting Toilets

Composting toilets break down human waste using the composting process, making them useful in houses without a traditional water supply.  They utilize sawdust or another bulking agent, which, when mixed with human urine and feces, makes them suitable for use as fertilizer.

Composted human waste, sometimes known as “night soil,” is used to feed plants by people who wish to decrease their environmental impact.

8. Pressure Assisted Toilets

American Standard 2467016.020 Cadet Right Height Elongated Pressure Assisted Toilet, 1.6 GPF, White

You may be familiar with pressurized toilets from airplane lavatories or any other permanent bathroom that sees usage by numerous people each day. These types of toilets are typically used in commercial settings. 

Water flowing into the tank builds up air pressure. When you pull the handle, all the pressure is released at once for a quick and powerful flush.

Pressure toilets rarely clog since they move material with so much power. They also flush quickly, allowing you to clear the stall for the next person. The disadvantage of these toilets, in addition to the loud and startling flushing noise, is that they are more expensive to run.

9. Waterless “Dry Sanitation” Toilet

As in the name, this toilet doesn’t use any water to flush waste. A composting toilet is, at its core, a waterless toilet. They are well suited for areas with limited infrastructure, environmental degradation, or water scarcity issues. Waterless toilets are not often seen in households, but you will more likely find them being used at outdoor events, campsites, or workplaces.

10. Portable Toilets

VINGLI Portable Toile | Back & Handrail Design Commode with 5 Gallon Bucket Inner, Camping RV Toilet for Adult, Kids, Home, Boat, Van, Travel

Toilets that are this small can be easily moved from one spot to the next. They’re ideal for trekking, camping, festivals, and any other outdoor sport. You may transport your little portable toilet with ease and contribute to keeping the environment clean and safe.

11. Tankless Toilet

HOROW Heated Toilet, Upmarket Compact Toilet, One Piece Smart Toilet with Heating Seat, Small Tankless Toilet with Blackout Flush, Soft Close Cover

Tankless toilets bypass the need for a tank by directly connecting to their primary water source, whether it’s a greywater tank or the city water main.

Frequently utilized to save room, making them a frequent choice for tiny houses and RV s. However, keep in mind that these toilets may require more water for a clean flush.

12. Smart toilet

WOODBRIDGE B-0960S 1.28 GPF Single flush Toilet with Intelligent Smart Bidet Seat and Wireless Remote Control, Auto Flush, Auto Open and Auto Close

Toilets aren’t safe from the internet-of-things deluge. Smart toilets may change the seat to a pleasant temperature automatically, detect how much water they require to flush with and clean themselves using air dryers while still being in the premium price range.

13. Siphonic Toilet

DeerValley DV-2F52531 Dynasty Two-Piece Elongated Toilet 1.28 GPF Siphonic Flush White ADA Comfort Height Bathroom Toilet (Toilet Seat Included)

Siphonic toilets utilize an S-shaped drain trap in their design. The waterway is filled with water when the toilet is flushed, and the tank pours a large quantity of water into the bowl, resulting in a siphonic reaction that allows for a powerful flush to rapidly empty the bowl.

Siphon flush toilets are available in standard and dual-flush designs.

Toilet Profile and Dimensions

During the daily use of a toilet, the most important factor will be the shape and size of the toilet. This will determine how comfortable the toilet will be to use.

The length of bowl shapes varies, with most models being round and elongated. When picking a matching seat, knowing what kind of toilet bowl you have round, elongated, or compact elongated – will be helpful.

1. Elongated Toilets

Elongated toilet bowls are somewhat oval in form. Their most notable feature is the extra length. Providing an extra 2 inches in length compared to a round bowl, with a total length of approx 18 inches. The greater length makes the seating position more pleasant and roomier.

2. Rounded-Front Toilets

Round-front toilet bowls are much like a circle. They are shorter in size and consequently not as cozy as elongated bowls. If space is a deciding factor, then the round-front toilet may be the best option.

3. Compact Elongated Toilets

A compact elongated toilet bowl combines the best of both worlds. It is round, similar to the rounded-front toilet, while providing extra comfort and space of an elongated bowl. 

Other Things to Consider

Toilet Seats

When selecting a toilet seat, the most critical consideration is the fit of your bowl. A longer seat for greater comfort or a smaller seat to save bathroom space are the two options available. There are other alternatives, such as the D-shaped, also known as a compact elongated toilet seat, wrap-over seat, traditional round seat, and contemporary square seat for the square toilet.

You don’t have to stick with the standard design for your seat. Other than its shape, you may customize it in a variety of ways. When you let go of a soft-close seat, it doesn’t slam down; instead, it gently closes. Quick-remove seats are simple to remove for thorough cleaning.

For a more elegant experience, consider buying detachable seat covers. If you want a natural material like wood or plastic, which is more durable and hygienic, consider whether you want it to be of natural materials like wood or synthetic.

If you want to go the extra mile, you’ve got options such as bidets or smart toilet seats. These smart toilet seats have it all when it comes to a toilet seat. Many of them can be found with a wide range of features, including variable heated seats, LED illumination (for both day and night), deodorizing ability, air dryer temperatures, automatic cleaning, energy-saving mode, and adjustable water and heat settings.

As you can see, there are an infinite number of choices available, like a toilet. It’s worth taking some time to consider your decision because it will be where you will be sitting.

Color Options

Traditionally, most toilets have been white or off-white in color. White toilets are still the norm, but new colors are now available that go virtually any hue you can imagine.

Most stock toilets, on the other hand, are kept in a modest tone. Light tints of blue, yellow, gray, brown, pink, and green are among the most popular hues. The color of your toilet may have a significant impact on the ambiance and overall visual appeal of your bathroom.


The trapway is a little-known but critical component of your toilet. It’s a curving pipe that separates the bowl from the drainage system, capturing smells and preventing your bathroom from smelling like an open sewer.

A trapway serves two purposes. It keeps clogs from occurring in the first place by providing an effective means of waste removal.

Toilets employ an S-shaped trapway. However, they come in a variety of designs. These are exposed, hidden, and skirted:

Exposed Trapway Toilet

In an exposed trapway, the S-shape can be seen on the side of the toilet. The toilet is fixed to the floor with bolts that are covered with caps.

Concealed Trapway Toilet

Concealed trapway toilet’s S-shape is hidden within the toilet. The toilet is affixed to the floor using low-profile capped bolts to hide them from view.

Skirted Trapway Toilet

A skirted trapway is similar to a concealed trapway in that it has straight matching sides extending from the base up to the bowl of the toilet. There are no visible bolts on this toilet.

Flush Handle

The days of flushing a toilet by pulling on a handle and turning the water on are long gone. Modern flushing options provide many advantages, including helping you stay hygienic, saving water, or just keeping things simple. 

Your options for where the flush button can be located are on the side, on the top of the tank, on the wall, touchless, and even remote control.

  • Side – Typically, a button or a lever on either the left or right side of the tank.
  • Top – A button situated on the top of the tank. Dual-flush toilets use a two-button system for the half and full flush mechanism.
  • Wall – Typically a button but can also be a lever or handle on the wall, most commonly used for wall-hung toilets.
  • Touchless – A sensor that triggers the flush when a hand is waved in front of it will be placed around the tank.
  • Remote – Pressing a button on a remote control or touch screen or even an app on your phone will flush the toilet.

Additional Toilet Option


You’ve undoubtedly heard the word before or seen them while looking at new toilets, but what exactly is a bidet? While bidets are common across the world (particularly in Europe), they are just becoming more popular in homes in the United States.

It works as a sink, despite the fact that it appears to be a toilet. It contains a basin, drain, and faucet for washing after using the toilet. While their idea may seem odd to some, bidets provide a really useful method of freshening yourself. A bidet may rapidly become a luxury that you won’t want to live without if you have the space for one.


Yes, a urinal may be installed in your house. If you have a lot of room in your bathroom and want to save water, as well as be able to pee standing up, they might pay for themselves very quickly. Urinals can either have a flushing mechanism built-in or flush waterlessly with fragrant disinfectants to save even more water.

Washlet Or Bum Gun

Anyone who’s ever used one of these swears by it. This hose with a sort of shower head on end works with a simple on/off switch, which shoots a spray of water in any direction you aim it. It’s really effective and hygienic, and once you try it, you’ll never want to use just plain toilet paper.


The price of a new toilet can differ significantly, from just $100 for a basic, round-front, single-flush, two-piece toilet to more than $5,000 for toilets that include bidets, heated seats, smart settings, and even television screens to keep you entertained while you sit.

It means that, regardless of your budget, you should be able to locate a new toilet within your price range.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about toilets before making your purchase. Keep in mind the different types of toilets available and what will work best for your needs, and don’t forget to factor installation costs into your decision.

With a little bit of research, you should be able to find the perfect toilet for your home. Thanks for reading!

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