One of the most important features you should be looking into when buying a new toilet, is its bowl shape. Elongated and round bowls have advantages of their own, be it comfortable seating or their ability to save space. They're the most common style available in shops. This results in square toilets being overlooked, despite offering consumers a more unique, elegant style that will add a modernistic touch to any bathroom.
They may be rarer, but we still believe they are worth taking into consideration. With that said, we've chosen a few of our favorite designs below. We aim to provide you with details on their flushing mechanism, dimensions, water usage, and overall convenience, to get a better understanding of their pros and cons.
Woodbridge are a brand that produce some beautifully designed toilets, and the T-0020 is certainly one of them. It's fully skirted around the sides, hiding the trapway in the process, and it has a unique tank shape that gives it an all round, modern theme.
It operates on a dual flushing mechanism that's described by the manufacturer as quiet and powerful, and a soft closing seat is included.
|Flush type||Dual||Dual||Siphonic Jet|
|GPF||1.0 / 1.6||0.8 / 1.28||1.28|
Rim height Height without seat
WSA Water surface area
Water level Rim to surface
|Dimensions||29 x 15 x 28"||27 x 14.3 x 29.5"||27.8 x 15 x 16.8"|
|Weight||138 lbs||89 lbs||122 lbs|
Aesthetics - In our opinion, the bowl gives them a minimalistic, but very modern feel to them. Compared to round shaped bowls, these are a improvement in terms of external design.
Easy to clean - They usually have skirted trapways, which are smoother and contain fewer cracks and gaps surrounding the piping and tank area. It's this smoothness that makes it easier to access all areas for cleaning purposes.
Not as comfortable - Compared to elongated shape bowls, they aren't providing users with the same amount of leg room. The sitting posture isn't as natural, and it isn't the best option for remaining seated for long periods. Of course, there are things you can do to alleviate this problem somewhat, like getting a padded seat attachment in place of the standard plastic ones.
Not as much choice - You'll find elongated and round models dominate the market and it shows when shopping. Square units are rarer, leaving less variety in flush, style, colors, and more.
Externally, the T-0020 looks great. It's a one piece design meaning there is no need to attach the bowl and tank together, and it's one less area to worry about leaks. The trap is hidden, with smooth sided skirting, and it features a unique, block shaped tank, with the button that activate the flush sitting on the tanks lid..
It's those buttons that enables users to choose either a full or partial flush. One utilizes 1.6 gallons, the other 1.0 gallons. The idea is to limit your water usage for moving liquid from the bowl by choosing the partial, weaker flush. Over the course of a year, this can result in significant amounts of water saved.
It's comfort height design ensures users with disabilities get better access to the toilet through the taller bowl. However, this is not just a benefit for the disabled, the elderly and tall people will also find this style useful.
It includes a soft close seat, and measures 29 by 15 by 28 inches.
In our view, this is a solid product. You have the ability to control how much water you conserve, and it offers the modern theme many consumers want in their home.
Similarly to the T-0020 above, the SM-1T106 gives washroom users a choice between a low flow or heavy flush, depending on the contents of the bowl. The ability to choose a separate, weaker flush for pushing liquids through the outlet can save users thousands of gallons of water per year. This is all controlled by easily accessible buttons on the tank.
In fact, because it uses so little water overall, it's WaterSense labelled. Which is a way the EPA let buyers know if a product is efficient or not. The amount used is 0.8 GPF for liquids, and 1.28 for solids. This can certainly make a difference to the amount you spend on utility bills each year. How much of a difference depends on what your current models GPF rate is.
It's skirted, one piece, and features a nice white finish. It has a relatively big trap size at 2.75", and it has an average sized flush valve (2") to send water through the bowl when.
EAGO are a lesser known manufacturer in our eyes, This doesn't stop them from building products that compete with some of the bigger names in the industry. We think the TB336 is one such examoke if this, with a modernistic styled exterior, and some great features being found within its spec list.
Unlike the other two, this model operates on a water efficient, single flush. Using just 1.28 gallons of water to effectively rinse the bowl clean and clear of waste. This is activated via a standard trip lever instead of buttons.
It includes a rim height of 16-3/8 inches, a trapway size of 2 inches and a 3 inch flush valve. Overall dimesnions are 27.8 by 15 by 16.8 inches.
Bathroom layout - One of the biggest mistakes a consumer can make is rushing into a decision. Ensuring you've taken adequate time to plan for the various dimensions, rough in sizes (10", 12", 14"), and style is of utmost importance.
Will you require a standard, or triangle toilet? Extra large, or small? How wide can it be? How far from the wall can it protrude? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you buy anything.
ADA or Standard? - How do you differentiate between a normal bowl and an ADA one? This is really quite simple. If it's listed as one of the following: comfort, right, universal, or chair height it's most likely to meet ADA standards.You should also look out for the Americans With Disabilities Act logo in the specification sheets. These are slightly taller in comparison, designed to make sitting down easier on the joints.
Mounting - There are a couple of ways you can look at mounting, those that are hung on the wall, and those that are attached to the floor. Floor based products are usually what most consumers require since it needs less plumbing work than a hanging toilet. You would also need extensive renovation to install one that is wall based as the tank typically gets fitted inside the wall itself. Not recommended if you're looking for a cheap replacement.
Glazing - Look at the spec list. Make sure you've got glazing. It's an important protective layer that helps prevent odors, and ensures waste slides easier down the bowl, into the water surface below, making a more pleasent bathroom experience for the next person.
Water spot - A small water spot isn't recommended. The likelihood of waste hitting the sides and leaving streak marks increases. Over the long term, this leads to staining on the bowls surface through the build up of bacteria.
Most people will want something with a larger water surface area. It will help with these aiming issues and stop odors from rising as easily. However, go to large and you run the risk of splashing due to the water line sitting too close to the rim.
MaP score - Arguably the best way to separate the most powerful toilets from the weak ones is through the use of Maximum Performances (MaP) rating criteria. They test the flushing capbility of each product sent to them, assigning each a score between 1000 grams (top score) and 0 grams (worst score). The higher up this scale you go, the more easily it handles larger quantities of solid waste. A good figure to start your research at is around 500 grams. Toilets around this mark are usually affordable, but also have the strong flush and features required in a busy household.
Is it efficient? - There are several methods you can use to gauge how water efficient your toilet is. The first is by using our savings calculator that tells you how much water and energy you can save by upgrading to a WaterSense model.
The second is to look at the gallon usage and compare it to your current installation. If you haven't upgraded in quite a long time, there is a good chance you've got a 3.5 gallon unit. In comparison, modern flushing systems operate on 1.6 GPF, 1.28 GPF, and sometimes even lower. By replacing your old one with one of these, you stand to save thousands of gallons of water each years, and hundreds of dollars on your utility bills.
Seat - You chosen model may or may not already come with a seat attached. That doesn't mean you can't upgrade it yourself to something better. At the very minimum you should change from standard hinges to slow close hinges as that will remove all the slamming from the equation.
Alternatively, you could get something heated that warms you up whilst seated, very useful for those bathroom visits in the winter or the middle of the night.
If you've got a bigger budget, you could get yourself washlet / bidet. The jetted wand is far more effective than toilet paper in my experience, leaving you feeling fresher and cleaner. They even help you dry up afterwards. However, in most cases, you'll need a power outlet close by to use one.
Brand - Most plumbers will tell you they have a couple of brands they use on a consistent basis. The most popular of which is probably between Toto and Kohler, depending on who you ask. These two often build products that are durable, reliable, and affordable for the masses, which is why they've become so successful.
However, we also have several that we like outside these top two. WoodBridge, American Standard, Mansfield, Sterling, Ove, SaniFlo, and Gerber are some other examples. Some of these have specific use cases as their strengths, like wall mounting or upflushing styles, others are built for all round usage.
If you stick with the big names, you can't go far wrong. They have a good reputation for a reason. However, readers should note that there are some hidden gems within the lesser known brands if you're willing to take the risk.
Consumer feedback - We regard reading customer reports on specific toilets as an essential part of the research process. If you're worried about any potential problems with the product you plan on buying, this is the place to hear about it beforehand. You can get a good idea of the quality just by looking at these comments alone. It gives an accurate representation of its capabilities and performance from first hand experiences.
A square toilet bowl may not have the same comfort benefits as its elongated counterparts, but it does offer users something different in terms of style. We've picked the options above not solely for their design, but also their flushing performance, water conservation, the ability to meet ADA requirements through bowl height, and many more which we list out on our home page. If you have any questions about any of the information above, please get in touch.