If you browse our Sterling reviews page, you'll find that they produce a number of affordable toilets for the home. After analyzing the different product collections they design, we rated the Windham highest. This guide explores the pros and cons of this range and will ultimately help you decide if it's right for you.
The 403081-96 is a two piece toilet with an elongated shape bowl. It has quite a basic exterior, and the design doesn't appear to be aesthetically focused. Instead, they seem to offer some great functionality while stripping away the unnecessary things such as skirting. It suffers a little visually through doing this, but helps keep costs down.
The tank and bowl will come separate and there will be a bit of DIY work involved to get these attached. We recommend hiring a plumbing professional to do this is you have no experience. On the front of the tank is a trip lever that activates the Pro Force flushing technology found within.
With a name like that, you would expect it to guzzle water and be quite wasteful. However, the opposite is true, it manages to achieve a powerful flush with minimal water. In fact, it meets the EPA WaterSense criteria, which is anything up to 1.28 GPF flow rate.
The water spot is quite large, measuring nine by eight inches. This will naturally improve aim, reduce the amount of odor rising, and ensure there is less streaking left on the bowls surface. This is backed up by a smooth, glossy finish that will help stop germs from sticking around in the pores.
For this to fit your outlet, you'll need to make it's compatible with twelve inch rough in measurements. It's also mounted to the floor and its dimensions are as follows: 29.2 by 15 by 29.5 inches.
Overall, we think this will work well in your average family household. There is nothing in particular that stands out from crowd spec wise, but it does score points in two of our research criteria categories. Those are efficiency and performance.
Bathroom size and shape - If you're refurbishing the room as a whole, you'll want to plan out exactly where you plan to install your toilet. Think about the rough in size required along with the overall dimensions. If you've got a small washroom, it might be sensible to get something low profile that makes the room feel bigger than it is. Some consumers may even have an oddly shaped bathroom, if that's the case, there are special designs out there to handle almost any situation. A good example of this is the triangular shape tanks found on corner toilets. This allows you to fit it between two walls easily, using the space that usually wouldn't be occupied.
Bowl shape - If you want to reduce the footprint of the bowl, you can't go far wrong with a round front bowl. However, elongated shaped bowls, like the ones found on the 403081-96, are the way forward if you want to be comfortable and give yourself enough seated space. These two things can have a positive effect on your posture while sitting down too.
Consumer reports - If you think you've found the perfect product for your home, and are ready to buy, just take a few minutes and have a browse through customer feedback online. Sometimes the reviews left can be an eye opener and help you avoid products with a lot of flaws in them. As this is something you should be wanting to last a decade, why rush the decision? Take your time and make sure it's the right decision.
Seat - Always check to see if the seat is included, sometimes it's left out, leaving consumers thinking they've found a bargain, when the reality is they hash to splash out further on a seat that fits. This same rule applies to the water supply lines. Be aware of what is and what's not included. You'll save yourself some time and the headache of additional research.
We think the Windham toilet is inexpensive in the grand scheme of things. When you look at the competition, you begin to see why this is a better brand to use for people with a small budget. But does that mean you should expect some drawbacks and a lower quality than market leading manufacturers? Maybe, but for many buyers, the flushing mechanism used is good enough and will handle waste effectively and efficiently. It's easy to forget that the parent company behind them is Kohler, a huge name in this industry and one that holds its own against the majority of options on the market.