Buying a new toilet was a really big deal for us. We wanted to make sure that we were getting something efficient, readily available, of good quality without breaking the bank, and a product that we won’t have a problem getting parts for should we need to (as recommended by the two plumbers that we talked to). We were pretty sure we wanted to go with a dual flush but this is still a fairly new idea in our area so we wanted to make sure we’d done our research.
The first person that we talked to was our home energy auditor, he informed us that toilets have ratings called grams per flush, which actually refers to the weight of the solids it will dispose of each time you flush. He also suggested we don’t get anything with a rating of less then 800 grams per flush. Then he led us to the Veritec website, they are a consulting firm that has published the specifics of most of the toilets sold here in Canada. I downloaded the chart which was quite overwhelming at first until we started narrowing things down a bit.
I figured our next step was to check out our local hardware and plumbing stores to see what’s actually available in our area. We also began spreading word among our family and friends to see if anyone had any hands-on experience with any of these toilets. We figured this was quite important because we wanted a toilet that would last us a long time and it’s not a product that we could really test drive.
Having all of this information in hand we still found it a little stressful committing to a toilet. I mean, we wanted to make sure we were getting something that we’d be happy with, but it’s really hard buying a product that we hadn’t seen in action. One of the local plumbing shops had a single toilet on display that you could flush plastic logs through to see how well it worked, however the toilet they were using wasn’t one we were interested in. I really think that someone could do quite well opening a plumbing shop that had a working display of each of the toilets they offer so that customers could flush them and see how well they work. At the very least, the manufacturers should have online videos of all the different flushes to help customers feel more comfortable buying their products.
So in the end we purchased the American Standard FloWise Dual Flush toilet. We like that the small flush is 3 litres (for many dual flush toilets the small flush is 4 litres) and that large flush is 6 litres (which is still half that of our old toilet). The model that we bought is rated as 900 grams per flush, which exceeds the minimum that was recommended to us by our home energy auditor. Plus it’s made by American Standard so parts are readily available should we need them. One of the plumbers that I spoke with had actually installed a number of these toilets and he said he hasn’t heard of anyone having any problems yet.
We’ve had this toilet for over a week now and we’re VERY happy with it. I really think if we’d seen the power of the flush before we purchased it the decision would have been a lot easier. We find that we need to explain how it works to most of our guests, and often people are surprised by how little water there actually is in the bowl but nonetheless we are considering purchasing a second one for our other bathroom.
Now, what to do with our old toilet…
You can read more about our bathroom project here:
Part Two: Ripping out the floor
Part Three: Refinishing the floor
This will likely be the last post regarding our bathroom for a little while. We’ve decided to replace the window and would like to wait until the weather is a bit warmer before doing so. Otherwise we’ve selected the paint colour, picked out a sink and vanity, and are discussing trim, none of which is scheduled to move forward until the new window is installed.