Is there a perfect toilet?
Vince Lombardi, famous football coach and motivational speaker, said:
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
Why wouldn’t we hold the highest standards when one of our most pressing bodily needs is at stake?
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve been shopping for a new human waste disposal unit to replace the original 1973 Harvest Gold round low-rider that my aging mother kept around for all these years.
I don’t know about you, but one thing I hate is to have to double-flush a toilet. The part I really don’t like is the one that comes right before doing the deed (again) – spotting the evidence that it’s time for a Mulligan do-over.
Enough is enough. Surely, toilet tech has surged forward in the past 45 years?
The answer to my own question is a resounding yes. Today’s smart shopper who likes to browse the aisles (online, in my case) is confronted with a bewildering array of choices, from tank capacity to flushing mechanism to bowl height and shape. Oh yes, let’s not forget color options.
Size, noise level, design, water usage, comfort, and performance – these are all qualities to evaluate when selecting a perfect toilet. We are all snowflakey individuals so consider the needs of the entire household. This subject is important enough to merit its own “Best Toilets Comparison Chart 2019.”
One of the first new features that caught my eye was something called dual flush. The flush lever has two positions: one for a half-flush (that is, half the water in the holding tank is emptied) and another for a complete release of the captive H2O which, thanks to gravity, gushes downward and flows downhill.
Another feature that has come on the waste management scene is Kohler’s AquaPiston Flushing technology which is being product-tested in my home, having acquired a Cimarron Comfort Height 2-Piece 1.6 GPF Single Flush Elongated Toilet. This baby comes in the 1.28-gallon tank as well.
The AquaPiston is flapperless, unlike most other water-releasing devices that lurk inside a toilet’s tank. Flappers can – and do – fail. One comparison made was between a side-hinged door (a flapper) and a wide top-hinged rolling door (the AquaPiston). A flapper lets water out on one side only which slows down the escape velocity. The AquaPiston lifts up to open holes for water to drain in all directions at once.
So far, the only problem to report with the Kohler Cimarron is that the fill valve doesn’t work sometimes. A dry toilet can’t flush. The tank lid has to come off for a look-see. I pressed down on the tall plastic part which helped but the defect continues occasionally. Another online reviewer made a similar comment so be advised.
Having come from a drought-prone Western state, the Toto Drake II elongated cotton white chair-height toilet with a 1.28-gallon tank proved to be a wise and thrifty purchase over the long run. The water savings were significant with outstanding single-flush performance. Its sleek lines were easy to clean and the extra two inches of height added to the bowl gave a welcome boost to the daily ritual.
Toto Drake toilets, I found out, are famous. The original Drake model features a 1.6-gallon tank so you might think that it would outperform its successor, the Drake II. But surprise! the Drake II ($415) is both more powerful and uses less water than the Drake ($240).
The Toto Drake II is finished with a special coating called CeFiONtect, a layer of exceptionally smooth glaze that prevents particles from adhering to the ceramic. Combined with the onboard Tornado Flush mechanism, fewer cleanings were needed which meant using less water and spending less time cleaning the loo. The manufacturer advises against cleaning its special coating with harsh chemicals or abrasive. Choose a non-abrasive cleaner instead.
Reading consumer reviews, it quickly became apparent that some people don’t understand why anyone would sell a two-piece toilet bowl and tank assembly without tossing in a seat. Think of the porcelain parts as cake and the seat as icing. Do you want a heated seat for wintertime comfort? Plastic or wood? With or without vinyl padding?
Such weighty decisions are very important to many of us who believe we have earned some measure of creature comfort.
My household adored the Toto SoftClose elongated toilet seat to match the bowl. No more slamming lids and the seat is sturdy enough to support a modest-sized adult without dimpling inward.
We splurged $40 and got a similar whisper-close seat for the new Kohler with neither a regret nor a backward glance.
One last piece of advice: forget the Sedona Beige , forget the Black, forget the Biscuit and go with the Plain White, people. Don’t leave future generations with a porcelain altar that doesn’t match any other plumbing fixtures trending at the time.
Never underestimate the power of the toilet. They don’t call it “The Throne” for nothing.