You know you’ve reached middle age when you get excited about a toilet. Although, really, can you name another fixture in your home that you have such an intimate relationship with?
In the past six months we’ve purchased two toilets: one for the bathroom in the city apartment and one for the bathroom here at the house. The toilet for the city apartment was a total duress purchase. The toilet that had been installed during the building’s gut rehab in 2006 had been causing trouble for a few years. We really shouldn’t have been surprised when we learned that the cause of a leak into our downstairs neighbor’s bathroom was coming from the toilet. And I guess we weren’t really surprised … but we weren’t really prepared to buy a new toilet either.
I wasn’t completely uneducated about toilets, mind you. Over the years I’ve written about toilets here and there. In doing research for those posts I identified three things that I wanted in our new toilet: concealed trap way, easy flushing and comfort height.
The thing about a duress purchase is that you have to make your purchase quickly, which means you’re at the mercy of what’s in stock at hardware stores. That basically eliminated the toilets on my Which Throne Will We Own list. But then in a moment of porcelain serendipity, Lowe’s came through with a toilet that fits all of my criteria – and also happened to be under $300.
The American Standard “Clean” High Efficiency Elongated Toilet has styling that rivals the more expensive Toto toilets but at a fraction of the cost. As you can see in the photo above that I sent to The Mister when I bought the toilet, the Clean toilet came in well under $300. The concealed trapway and small tank look great in our small apartment bathroom. But perhaps even more importantly, this high efficiency toilet (1.28 gpf) packs a powerful flush! My experience with other high efficiency toilets has been that they require multiple flushes – thereby negating any water savings. The American Standard Clean toilet has a strong flushing system that rarely requires a second flush.
In fact, we’re so pleased with the toilet that we purchased for the apartment under duress that we bought the same toilet for the house.
DISCLOSURE: This is an honest review of our experience with the American Standard Clean Toilet. This American House was not compensation for this post. We may receive ad revenue from embedded Amazon clicks.
So, quite frankly, I thought I would have more details about the basement bathroom to share. I bought a new toilet and sink that we had planned on installing in the bathroom. That is, until we discovered that the standard toilet wouldn’t work. For future reference, folks, always check to see how the toilet drains before you buy a new one. Our basement toilet drains out the back so of course the standard model we bought didn’t work. And since we kept the toilet the new pedestal sink I bought wouldn’t fit either. Hey, at least we saved some money by cleaning up the old stuff!
When our house was built in 1917 it was equipped with one bathroom on the second floor. Somewhere along the way – and judging by the Bathking shower I think it was post-WWII – a bathroom was added in the basement. This little bathroom has been great in a functional kind of way when we’ve had houseguests. Or even when it’s just the two of us and nature calls at the same time! Still, this little bathroom could use some refreshing. From the army green wall to the peel and stick floor, it was time to give this bathroom new life.
Starting with baby steps on the bathroom project is starting to pay off. I’ve gotten most of the woodwork stripped and once it’s sanded and I’ve applied a finish it will be time to move on to the big stuff.
We know that we’ll need to replace the toilet and sink and vanity in the bathroom. While I thought that shopping for a new toilet would be an easy task, I’m finding the choices daunting. We know that we want a toilet with a skirted design that hides that trapway. Not only does this skirt makes the toilet easier to clean, but we also prefer the streamlined look of it. Other than that, I’m finding there to be a lot of options out there. After spending a few days researching, I’ve narrowed it down a bit. These are the seven toilets that are the current leading contenders:
We’re officially diving into the huge task of stripping woodwork in the house. My approach to big tasks is to start with a small portion and then work my way to the big stuff. It’s partially for that reason that we’re stripping the woodwork in the bathroom first. Being the smallest room in the house, it’s like dipping our toe in the water before we really plunge in. We’re also starting in this room because we’re working up way up to a full renovation of the bathroom in the coming months. Woodwork first, then flooring, then sink and toilet, etc.
Wish us luck!