Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The toilet hunt

I never realized how complicated buying a toilet could be and how quickly modesty is flushed down it.  I often do my best thinking on the toilet and these display models allowed me to do that and do some field testing.

Toilet researching

When looking at toilets we had to consider a lot of factors that we had never really thought about; MAPs, shapes, height, water usage...phew. This sign at one of the stores was helpful in getting us started.

Toilet ratings

We started with looking at the height of various toilets. You can go as high as 17 inches.  We found out that the higher toilets are for taller people (duh!), and for the elderly as it is easier to sit down and get up from.  The 16 inch felt good to me but we don't want to leave any of our guests with their legs swinging in the wind when they sit down so we will probably go with the 15 inch.

The next factor we considered was the amount of water used per flush.  The standard these days is 6.0 l per flush but you can get a toilet that uses as little as 4.8 l per flush.  We considered dual flush toilets but were told there is just more to go wrong on it so we will likely settle with the standard single flush.  We also adhere to the "if it's yellow let it mellow ..." protocol which saves us more water than flushing a dual flush every time.

So many choices; how to decide?
Another monumental decision is whether to get a round bowl or an elongated bowl.  Since we have a small bathroom we are considering the round bowl which will extend 2 inches less from the wall than an elongated bowl.  We found out from a helpful sales person that the elongated bowl is designed to be more comfortable for males to allow more room for their monuments when sitting on the toilet and reduce the chances of bowl contact. Hmmm, we may have to reconsider this.

Now it's time to get down and dirty and talk MAP (aka Maximum Performance Testing).  We had a delicate and mildly awkward conversation with a salesperson about this issue where the words "solid waste" and "number 2" were substituted for the more colloquial poop, crap and shit. Discussing the mass of a bowel movement was a bit unfamiliar and odd but we needed to sort this out if we were going to choose the right toilet for us. So here is the skinny (or the fat) on poop.  Most piles are less than 350g and this is the minimum mass that must go down in one flush to be MAP approved.  The best toilets are rated 1000 MAP which means they will flush 1000g (2 lbs.) of solid waste in one flush.  This is much more than most humans produce even considering toilet paper.  To be on the safe side we will likely go with a 1000 MAP toilet to avoid the water waste of double flushing.

So far, Kohler's Cimarron and American Standard Cadet 3 are at top of our list but we have more research to do.

Kohler Cimarron vs. American Standard Cadet 3

Do you have a favourite toilet you can recommend?


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