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One Piece vs Two Piece Toilet

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One Piece vs. Two Piece Toilet

Like most things, our current iteration of toilets is an important step toward a better ultimate design.

There’s no clearer evidence of that than the two-piece toilet. Despite its poor performance in a number of areas, it’s more than likely the toilet that’s in your bathroom right now.

But, does that mean that two-piece toilets are strictly better? Maybe not, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

One Piece vs Two Piece Toilet

This article takes an unbiased look at one- and two-piece toilets and how they stack up. By the end, you’ll know which is the right one for your home.

Wait, What’s a One-piece Toilet?

If you’ve never seen a one-piece toilet, you’re not alone. They’re still relatively uncommon.

The two-piece toilet is the old faithful most of us know. The bowl is a separate entity from the tank which sits on top and never the twain shall meet.

In contrast, one-piece toilets are a solid piece of ceramic composed of the bowl and the tank together. Categorically, that’s where the differences end but within those categories is a whole host of moving parts.

Often confused with the water-saving dual-flush toilets [1], one-piece toilets can have any of the flush mechanisms available to other toilets.

Aesthetics

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but most beholders are unanimous in this case.

One-piece toilets look sleeker and more modern. There’s no awkward break in the contour, no clear division.

If you want to make a bathroom look more vibrant and contemporary, you probably want a one-piece toilet.

There is less to go wrong with a one-piece, but it’s mainly about style. Don’t pick up the one-piece unless the style is that important to you.

Terry Love from Love Plumbing & Remodel

However, it’s worth noting that there are countless styles and varieties of toilets out there. There are certainly two-piece toilets that rival their one-piece counterparts in sleek appearance.

Furthermore, one-piece toilets are less popular for reasons we’ll get into further down. This means that there are fewer style choices to choose from.

Size and Fit

In terms of the space each toilet takes up, there’s no real difference in terms of the categories.

There are numerous size options for both types of toilets so the space they take up isn’t an issue.

Where it does become an issue is in the height of the seat. Most one-piece toilets are made at what’s called the “comfort height” of 17 inches. But even so, you can find comfort-height two-piece toilets, they just might not match your bathrooms decor.

Another important consideration is the sheer weight of a massive, ceramic one-piece. That makes it more difficult to ship and more difficult to install.

Moreover, if you ever want to replace a one-piece toilet, get ready to do some heavy lifting.

Replacing a toilet is difficult enough as it is [2] without having to lug around an 80+ lb toilet.

A two-piece toilet can be moved separately and therefore ships and installs easier.

There’s also the issue of rough-in measurements. Essentially, which toilet is appropriate for your bathroom has a lot to do with the distance of your drain pipe from the wall.

Two-piece toilets have a lot more flexibility in this regard as they can use a smaller or larger water tank to compensate for different distances.

Price

If you’re still undecided about which type of toilet to get, this is probably the section that will tip the balance.

There’s no reason to beat around the bush; one-piece toilets are much more expensive.

A one-piece toilet in the same style and from the same manufacturer will easily cost twice as much or more than its two-piece counterpart. And that’s without taking into account the added shipping costs, and higher cost of installation.

The downside of this is obvious, but if you can afford it, the upside is that it signals to anyone using your bathroom that money is no object.

A two-piece toilet could cost as little as $200 with the installation. An equivalent one-piece could run you as much as $1,350.

Having said that, one-piece toilets make up for that in two ways.

First, they’re more durable. With fewer parts, there’s a smaller chance of anything breaking or cracking so with a little care they never need replacing.Also, bathroom remodels add to the resale value of a home [3]. If you ever decide to sell your home, you can easily make up the money you spent on one-piece toilets in the asking price.

One Piece of Style and Two Pieces of Luxury

While it’s true that there is a huge variety of styles and options for toilets, one-piece toilets generally win the style battle.

There’s just something about a streamlined piece of ceramic that most people find appealing. Having said that, it’s difficult to justify the cost of a one-piece toilet.

If money is truly no object, go for the one-piece but you can find an affordable two-piece that’s probably almost as attractive.

References:

  1. Keating, T. and Howarth, D., 2003. THE WATER EFFICIENCY OF RETROFIT DUAL-FLUSH TOILETS: EXPERIENCE FROM SOUTHERN ENGLAND. Water and Environment Journal, 17(3), pp.135-139.
  2. Warde, John. “REPLACING A TOILET IS DIFFICULT BUT DO-ABLE.” Chicagotribune.com, 3 Sept. 2018, www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1989-05-06-8904100603-story.html.
  3. National Association of REALTORS® Research Department, 2017. 2017 Remodeling Impact Report
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