Niagara's Phantom toilet

Bathroom design often revolves around creating a soothing space for homeowners to get ready for their day. Some award-winning bathrooms are praised for their spa-like qualities. But builders can't forget that bathrooms also have to be functional.

Toilets are the ever-important, but oft-ignored, bathroom piece when it comes to discussing trendy bathroom design, says Remodeling's Marisa Mendez. So, what are homeowners looking for in a toilet? REMODELING spoke with Kevin McJoynt, Gerber’s vice president of marketing for details.

What are homeowners looking for in a new toilet?

Kevin McJoynt (KM): Homeowners focus on two things when they’re selecting a new toilet. The first is performance. It has to function at a high level. They don’t want to think about a toilet that doesn’t flush well. In fact, they shouldn’t have to even think about their toilet—at all! The second is style and design. More homeowners and remodelers are appreciating that even a toilet can and should be stylish.

Remodeling: What is currently trending in toilet design?

KM: Everyone likes clean bathrooms, of course, [and] clean has become a driver in toilet design. Concealed trapway (CT) toilets and one-piece configurations are both popular right now. Concealed trapways provide a fully skirted look to the base of the toilet, giving it a smoother and cleaner look while also being easier to clean. One-piece toilets have similar benefits.

What is the difference between a one-piece toilet and a two-piece toilet? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

KM: A two-piece toilet is constructed in two pieces: a tank and a bowl. The tank is then assembled onto the bowl during installation. A one-piece toilet is constructed as one piece where all elements are built together. One-piece toilets definitely have the advantage of being easy to clean (no gap between the tank and the bowl). They can also look a little sleeker in design. They are usually more expensive than two-piece models, as they are more difficult to make, ship, and install. Both configurations have advantages and disadvantages during installation. We often hear that some fully skirted CTs can be a challenge to install due to access to mounting hardware and potential interference with the supply valve in the wall.

What is some of the latest technology in toilets?

KM: Water savings continues to be an important aspect of toilets. Today’s toilets typically use less than half the water used only 20 years ago. To earn EPA WaterSense certification, manufacturers are required to pass stringent performance criteria to demonstrate strong function in addition to lower water usage.

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