Friday, August 9, 2013

Toilets: Round vs. Elongated

After what seems decades of use, that ever-reliable toilet that you have had for the past fifteen years has stopped working.  You have already tried replacing the flapper, the fill valve, and the toilet handle—all of which fixed problems in the past—but this time, the toilet still wasn’t functioning correctly.  What do you do next?  You go down to your local plumbing supply house to get a new toilet and the customer service representative asks you if you want a round or elongated toilet bowl.  Round or elongated?  What’s the difference?  Unless you’re a plumber, handyman, or you work at a supply house yourself, you probably aren’t familiar with the differences between them.

A round bowl is simply what the name says:  a round toilet bowl.  This is the standard bowl found in residential homes.  They are generally less expensive than the alternatives and take up less space in your bathroom.  A round bowl is a good choice when you have a smaller bathroom and/or when you have limited installation space for your toilet.  Round bowls are shorter in length, than elongated bowls, and require a shorter toilet seat than an elongated bowl.  When it comes to toilets, people may not think that comfort is a major factor in the selection of a toilet bowl.  Although it is not a subject of daily conversation, certain types of toilets are more comfortable than others.  Some people say that a round bowl is a little less comfortable than an elongated toilet.  But when it comes to the more economical price, a round toilet is your best option.

The elongated bowl extends out further than the round bowl, which for most people, will make the elongated bowl the more comfortable choice.  If looking from the top of the elongated bowl, it is in the shape of an egg.  The elongated bowl is usually found in commercial establishments and public restrooms.  If you want to buy an elongated bowl to replace a round toilet you will need to take some measurements to make sure it will fit in the same place where the round bowl used to be.  Your local plumbing store can provide you with some specification sheets that will show you the measurements and dimensions so that you can determine whether or not the new elongated bowl will fit in your current bathroom.  Also included in the elongated category is the ADA approved bowl.  The difference between it and the regular elongated bowl is that the ADA bowl is much taller.  You will pay a little more for the elongated toilet, but in the long run, it will be worth it.

So, to summarize:

Round Bowl:                                     
-Least expensive bowl
-Fits in smaller bathrooms/tighter spots
-Mostly found in Residential Applications
-Not quite as comfortable

Elongated Bowl:
-Cost a little more
-More comfortable
-Mostly found in Commercial Applications
              (but still can be used in Residential)
-Longer than a round bowl, therefore
              requiring a bit more space in the bathroom
-ADA approved bowl option


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