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Owning a three inch flush valve toilet has several advantages over their two inch counterparts. First of all, they allow a larger volume of water through to the bowl in one go. This results in a powerful flush action that's less likely to clog. Secondly, they the faster flow of water from the tank allows manufacturers to design products to do more with less water. That's why you often see these products meeting EPA's WaterSense guidelines.
To help our readers find a suitable toilet for their bathroom, we've produced a guide below outlining the things you need to be aware of before you buy anything.
The UltraMax II has almost everything we look for in a toilet. The specifications show that the MS604114CEFG#01 is designed to be more efficient, with a 1.28 flow rate, powerful, with a 800 grams flush rate, and accessible, thanks to its comfort height and accessible bowl.
It meets ADA standards, has a comfortable, elongated shape bowl, and is coated in CEFIONTECT glazing, which offers a handy layer of anti microbial protection above the ceramic material.
Externally, there are only a few areas we think it could be improved. It's one piece which offers a great seamless style between tank and bowl, but doesn't hide the trapway through skirting.
|Toto UltraMax II||Kohler Tresham||American Standard
|Flush type||Double Cyclone||HET||HET|
Rim height Height without seat
WSA Water surface area
|7-1/8 x 9-1/8"||11-1/2 x 9"||9 x 8"|
Water level Rim to surface
|Dimensions||28 3/8 x 16 1/2 x 28 3/4"||28.5 x 16.5 x 14.5"||30.2 x 15.8 x 30.2"|
|Weight||99 lbs||72.8 lbs||110 lbs|
|Colors||White||White, Biscuit, Bone||White|
The simple answer is yes. We've outlined why they matter in our flush valve types guide. There are various styles and sizes that can make a difference in how water flows from tank to bowl. In general, the bigger they are, the more powerful they become. How do we know this? Well there seems to be a correlation between size and MaP ratings, which is an idependent company that rates a toilets flush performance. Common sense tells us that the more water that gets through at the same time, the more effective the rinsing and bowl cleansing.
The MS604114CEFG#01 is built by one of our favorite brands, and features in a number of buying guides on our website. The reasoning behind this is simple. Primarily, it's good for the environment and your wallet with its low flow properties. But there is another side to this, and that's performance.
When we refer to performance, we are talking about how effective it is in removing waste from the bowl through the trap passageway without any issues such as clogging. Now, we can take the manufacturers at their word that their products offer superior flushing performance, or we can take matters into our own hands and see what unbiased third parties are saying about them. One such resource we use is MaP, which provides flush ratings for some of the market leading brands. They give each tested product a mark out of a thousand. Zero is the worst score, and a thousand the best. The UltraMax II scores an impressive 800 grams, which indicates that's unlikely to get blocked up in residential use.
This can be partly put down to its valve size and double cyclone flushing mechanism which swirls and rinses the bowl thoroughly, removing as much of the bacteria and dirt as possible. This is also helped by the combination of a special ceramic glazing that smooths over the surface and a large trapway, which allows it to move more waste through the waste outlet.
The bowl is elongated with a floor to rim height of 16-1/8 inches. With the seat, this means it meets ADA criteria and gets labelled universal height. This is simply another name given to toilets which measure between 17 and 19 inches from the bowls base to the seat. In comparison to other more traditional bowl styles, it will make them easier to sit down upon, which is why they are increasingly favored by the elderly and disabled.
If we were to highlight a specific weakness, we would say the aesthetics could be improved slightly. What do we mean by that? For us, we feel that no exterior is complete unless the trap outline is hidden from view. This is commonly known as skirting. Unfortunately, the MS604114CEFG#01 loses a few points in our eyes here, but it makes up for it through its functionality.
You won't need to purchase a seat either, this one is equipped with a soft close seat. However, you can always upgrade to a washlet, which is more of a luxury than anything, and not recommended to people looking for something cheap.
Overall, this one of the better products that we've come accross. It tops many of our lists and meets a lot of the research criteria we look for.
Kohler are one of the better brands available in our opinion. We think our guides reflect that for the most part. But the Tresham in particular keeps popping up due to its power and aesthetically pleasing design.
It shares some similarities with the MS604114CEFG#01 above, especially in performance, but there are also some differences. For example, the K-3950-0 has a more generous water surface size, which helps keep odors down in the bowl until you flush. It's also two piece, which as the name would suggest, means it comes in two pieces. You've got the bowl, and the tank. Both need to be put together unlike one piece units. This generally means it takes a little bit longer to install. But it's not something that makes or breaks the product.
If you look at its Maximum Performance score (1000 grams), you begin to get a picture of how well it handles waste in bulk. If you thought the Ultramax was impressive, the Tresham scores 200g more. Some plumbing professionals argue that after a certain score it's all for show and doesn't mean as much, but at the same time, maxing out here shows what it could potentially do and indicates that it won't get clogged up easily. However, readers should note this doesn't measure splash or bowl wash. That will come down to the water level and mechanism in use respectively.
If you're after a bowl which offers space and leg support, then this could be a match. The elongated shape is better for seated posture and helps provide the necessary space for male bathroom users. Coupled with the fact that they're chair height and add a few inches, you can expect a certain degree of comfort over standard sized bowls.
You'll need to shop for a seat separately. We suggest getting a quiet closing seat to protect the ceramic china around the rim and stop it shutting too quickly.
Aside from the upsells, we believe this could be a solid replacement for your washroom. It saves water, handles waste well, and a stylish theme that looks great.
American Standard are another popular company that produces a variety of different bathroom fixtures and hardware for the home. One of their product lines in particular, the Cadet 3 stood out from the competition.
The bowl is compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act, making it more accessible to sit on. This is tied in with the right height spec, offering extra bowl height to relieve pressure on the joints when performing either the sitting or standing motion.
The surface of the bowl is double coated in their EverClean. A specially designed formula to prevent the build up on mold, mildew, and bacteria in the piping and bowl. This can help reduce the amount of odors over time and protect it from staining.
You'll find it consumes 20% less water than standard 1.6 gallon tanks too. Potentially saving you thousands of gallons over the products lifetime and hundreds of dollars in utility bills. This allows it to meet EPA standards and get the WaterSense label.
It includes what's known as a Power Wash rim feature which enables it to clean the areas around the rim more thoroughly. Which is great because thats exactly the sort of places that odor causing bacteria thrive in.
It will fit a standard 12" sized rough in, and has a 2-1/8" trap passageway. What's more the 9" x 8" water spot will help people aim more accurately and reduce the number of streak marks. Its overall dimensions are as follows: 30-3/4" in height, 15-3/4" in width, and 30-1/4" in depth. So not the most compact option available.
The quiet close seat is part of the package and you get lifetime warranty coverage on the china, five years on the mechanical parts, and one year on the seat.
Bathroom size and layout - You're going to need to think about floor space and the amount of clearance you are going to have either side of the bowl. For example, regulations in most states prevent you from installing your toilet too close to a wall or another piece of sanitary ware. If you don't have a big bathroom, we have some great low profile ideas here as well as some alternative solutions that fit into the corner.
Staying on the topic of saving space, you can also opt to get something with a shallow depth (24 to 25") or the next size up (26 inch depth). Both of these will have smaller tanks and bowls that stick closer on average to the wall.
Intelligent features - The smartest toilets are a luxury. And being a luxury, they are typically more expensive than your standard models. But if you've got a big budget, they are certainly worth looking into further. Intelligent features such as a bidet seat offer comfort at every turn through heated seating and warm jets of water cleaning you up after use.
How much water does it use? - We're aware that specific valve sizes let different quantities of water through, but you still need to be aware of the number of gallons being used in each flush. Look for the GPF figure in the spec lists. The economically friendly options are the ones listed as 1.28 gallons or less. You can learn more about the benefits of saving water on our calculator.
Flush activation - While the picks above are all using trip levers, it's important to remember that there are some alternatives out there. The most obvious one is buttons. These are easy to access and push, and often located on the tanks lid. Many dual flushing systems are operated via two buttons. One for half, one for full. Then there is those that are hands free, AKA touchless. These utilize sensors and will automatically flush when you pass your hand above the sensor.
What are consumers saying? - Look into customer feedback whenever possible. This is the smart way to avoid buyers remorse as you're getting a real perspective on peoples experiences. We recommend looking through Lowes, Home Depot, and Wayfair websites to find plenty of reports and feedback about specific products pros and cons.
We think it's a sensible choice to upgrade to a toilet with a three inch flush valve. They can make a noticeable difference to your bathroom visits through improved flushing performance and water efficiency. However, this shouldn't be your primary focus. There are several other things to take into account before parting with your money. The bowl shape, external design, water levels and many other specifications will all play a role in the products overall quality. So make sure you've done your due diligence.