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Choosing a Toilet Doesn’t Have to Stink

Modern toilet

We go there every day, and yet few of us ever give much thought to the design of the toilets we encounter on a day to day basis. It’s little wonder, then, that many business owners find themselves scratching their heads when confronted with the task of choosing one. There is a wide variety of options and a number of decisions to be made when installing a new commercial toilet. Here are a few things to consider.

  1. Height

    You essentially have two options here. Standard sized toilets are usually between 14 and 15 inches tall from the floor to the top of the bowl, not including the seat. In 1992, comfort height toilets were introduced as a provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA compliant toilets, also referred to as comfort height models are around two inches taller than a standard toilet. Any public facility is required to provide at least one comfort height toilet, as they are more accessible to persons in wheel chairs or with other special needs. In recent years, comfort height toilets have begun to appear in private residences as well, simply because many find them more comfortable.

  2. Shape

    Bowl shape is another consideration when choosing a toilet. Round toilet bowls take up less space and are generally cheaper, usually appearing in smaller bathrooms. On the other hand, modern toilets frequently have elongated bowls, which offer more room and comfort. Though they are slightly more expensive, many feel that they are worth the extra cost. Those selecting commercial toilets don’t have much choice in this matter. All commercial establishments must provide elongated bowls because they are more sanitary, thanks to the extra few inches provided by the bowl shape.

  3. Flushing Mechanism

    Historically, toilets have used gravity assisted flushing mechanisms. Through this system, water stored in the tank behind the bowl is forced into the bowl and through the discharge, effectively pulling discharge into the waste lines and out of the building. Such systems are reliable, and modern toilets with gravity flush systems use less than 1.6 gallons to flush. Another option is the pressure assisted flushing mechanism, which has received more attention as of late. Many modern toilets are equipped with pressure assisted mechanisms which are lauded for their power. These toilets have pressure tanks in the reservoir behind the bowl which fills with water, but also used the water to compress waiting air, charging it and causing it to push water into the bowl with a large amount of force. This clears discharge from the bowl while washing the bowl, resulting in less frequent cleaning. However, they can be loud and difficult to repair. Water efficient toilets are also available, using less water to flush just as well.

  4. Two Piece vs. Low Profile

    Though modern toilets no longer have suspended tanks attached to pull chains, many do still use the tank and bowl style. These two piece toilets are widely available and easily serviceable. One piece, low profile toilets on the other hand are smaller, and eliminate the risk of leakage between the bowl and tank. They also come in a wide variety of shapes. Low profile toilets are not quite as popular yet, and can be more difficult to service.

There are a lot of considerations when selecting a toilet for a commercial space. This brief foray into the available options can serve as a beginning place for the decision, one which should be made with care and attention.

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