The average person flushes away 20 gallons of water per day, which means that the average household can be using more than 80 gallons per day. Although most modern toilets consume much less than the 3 to 7 gallons that older toilets did, not all are as efficient as they could be. If you’re using an inefficient toilet, you could be using more water and spending more on your monthly water bill than need be.
Dual flush toilets are a low-flush toilet option that was invented to address this problem. By providing one flushing option for liquids and another for solids, dual flush toilets use just the right amount of water to get the job done. Dual flush toilets are available in several styles with varying features, so it’s important to do your homework before shopping. If you want to discover which one is right for you, read on to learn how to select the best dual flush toilet for your bathroom.
- BEST OVERALL: WOODBRIDGE T-0019 Cotton White Toilet
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: American Standard H2Option Dual Flush Toilet
- UPGRADE PICK: WOODBRIDGE Venezia Intelligent Dual Flush Toilet
- BEST FLUSHING POWER: Zurn White WaterSense Dual Flush Toilet
- EASIEST TO CLEAN: TOTO Aquia IV 1-Piece Dual Flush Toilet
- BEST COMPACT: Geberit Elongated Icera Toilet w/ Concealed Tank
- BEST FOR PREVENTING CLOGS: KOHLER Wellworth WaterSense Dual Flush Toilet
Types of Dual Flush Toilets
Before learning about the features that dual flush toilets have to offer, it’s important to know about the different types. Each one has its own set of advantages, so compare and contrast the different options to determine what type will work best for you.
A one-piece toilet has the tank and bowl combined into a single unit, as opposed to the more common two-piece toilet that has its tank and bowl separated. Although two-piece toilets are more common, one-piece toilets are becoming increasingly popular because of their unique benefits.
For starters, one-piece toilets are easier to clean. Since they have fewer nooks and crannies than two-piece units, there’s less space for odor-causing germs and bacteria to hide. They also have a sleeker design that may look better with a modern bathroom’s existing decor.
A one-piece toilet’s internal components, including the flush and fill valves, also are more robust and less likely to cause leaks and require repairs. One-piece toilets are usually heavier, more difficult to install and repair, and cost more. However, the aesthetic appeal, ease of cleaning, and sturdier nature may compensate for the heftier weight and price tag.
A two-piece toilet is the most familiar design. It consists of two pieces: the bowl and the tank. The beauty of this design is that it is normally easier to move and repair than the one-piece variety. However, the tank’s easily-accessible internal components aren’t usually as durable as a one-piece’s parts.
One big advantage of two-piece toilets is that they’re available in more sizes and styles than one-piece toilets. This allows them to accommodate a wider range of internal design features and bathroom spaces. Also, they’re typically more affordable than one-piece toilets.
While one-piece and two-piece toilets both fall under the category of floor-mounted toilets, there’s one other option: wall-mounted. Unlike a floor-mounted toilet that has its tank and flushing mechanism visible and exposed, a wall-mounted toilet has those components concealed behind a wall. This can save around 10 inches of floor space, which is helpful in small bathrooms.
The bowl also hangs off of the wall, leaving open space underneath. This feature has the advantage of making your bathroom floors easier to clean and gives a floating appearance that some prefer. Wall-hung toilets also give you the freedom to customize the floor-to-seat height, allowing you to install it anywhere between 15 and 19 inches above the ground. They tend to be more expensive, more difficult to repair, and harder to install than their floor-mounted counterparts.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Dual Flush Toilet
Aside from whether a dual flush toilet is wall-mounted, one-piece, or two-piece, there are several other factors to consider when selecting a dual flush toilet. To ensure you find the best toilet for your bathroom, keep the following considerations in mind.
Dual flush toilets are usually made from porcelain or plastic. Porcelain is the most common material used in the production of toilets. This is because porcelain is sturdy, holds a watertight seal, and is relatively inexpensive to produce. Plastic toilets, on the other hand, are relatively uncommon because of how difficult it is to manufacture a plastic that’s of comparable quality to porcelain.
Smart toilets, which come with features like heated seats, automatic flushing, and night lights, are usually made out of a highly resilient plastic. Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to incorporate the same bells and whistles into porcelain, so a plastic housing is required. The combination of smart features with the material’s inherent manufacturing difficulty makes plastic toilets more expensive.
Size and Shape
Dual flush toilets are available with round or elongated bowls. Round bowls have the advantage of being more compact, by about 1 to 3 inches, and more affordable than their elongated peers. The compact nature of round toilets means that they can better fit in smaller bathrooms and won’t take up as much floor space. Since most building codes require 21 inches of floor space in front of the toilet to satisfy the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, you might need a smaller round bowl toilet to meet this code.
Elongated toilets are generally considered to be more comfortable than the strictly round variety, and are slightly more expensive. The higher level of comfort makes elongated toilets the most popular type, and is why this shape is typically recommended for bathrooms that have space for the extra length.
The flushing mechanism is what makes dual flush toilets truly unique. Most toilets only use one type of flush to get rid of both solid and liquid waste, but dual flushes are different. They have a flushing option for each. The flushing option for liquids uses about half of the water used for flushing solid waste. This almost-a-gallon-per-flush amount can save hundreds to thousands of gallons of water per year.
The dual flushing ability is possible because of a special flush valve that regulates the amount of water leaving the tank. While single flush toilets use a single operation flush valve that removes the entire contents of the bowl with every flush, the flush valve on a dual flush toilet has special components. While the components can be slightly different for each toilet, they are designed to allow the tank to discard two different volumes of water.
Flushing the toilet accounts for almost 30 percent of the average household’s water usage. In other words, it’s the primary source of a home’s water consumption. Most healthy people are disposing of liquid waste 3 to 4 times more often than solid waste, but are using roughly twice the amount of water required to discard it.
With a dual flush toilet, you can put an end to using extra water. By only using 0.8 to 1.1 gallons of water to flush liquids, you could save around 67 percent more water than if you used an older, standard toilet. Ultimately, this could become a 20 percent savings on your water bill.
While the longer elongated toilets are generally considered the most comfortable, height also determines comfort. A standard-sized toilet has about 14½ inches between the floor and the toilet bowl’s rim. That might work well if you’re an average height or slightly shorter, and it usually works for children. If you’re particularly tall, have a disability, or are otherwise limited in your mobility, a taller toilet might be better.
A toilet height of 17 to 19 inches, often called comfort height, is designed for taller people and people with limited mobility because it requires less squatting and bending at the knees. Comfort height also is called the ADA standard because it’s easier to use by people who have difficulty standing from a low position.
Dual flush toilets come in a variety of styles that can accommodate a wide range of aesthetic tastes, including modern, contemporary, traditional, and transitional. Along with the other design characteristics, whether a toilet is a one-piece, two-piece, or wall-mounted also affects the appearance of your bathroom.
Generally speaking, one-piece toilets have a sleek appearance that suits modern and contemporary bathrooms. Two-piece toilets, being the oldest and most common style, are available with more design choices that can complement most interior design preferences. Wall-mounted toilets have a sleek and clean shape, and tend to fit in with the style of contemporary and modern bathrooms.
As far as colors, most toilets are only available in standard white. However, there are other colors available and each brand may have its own unique shade of white and off-white finishes. Some offer white with a glossier finish or a softer, antique finish. Using the same brand throughout your entire bathroom helps avoid any color matching dilemmas.
Our Top Picks
With so many factors to consider, choosing the right dual flush toilet from the many options can seem challenging. Based upon specific categories, the top picks selected below are some of the best dual flush toilets on the market.
The T-0019 one-piece dual flush toilet from WoodBridge wraps up power and efficiency into a single attractive package. It’s skirted base conceals the trapway, and it has a tank that’s seamlessly integrated into the bowl for a sleek and smooth, modern finish. Its straight edges not only makes it a pleasant sight, but also easy to clean.
It comes equipped with a soft-closing seat that complements its quiet flushing mechanism. Concealed by its deceivingly quiet operation, the siphon flushing system can remove 1,000 grams of solid waste per flush. An elongated bowl at a comfort height makes it pleasant to sit on and easier to stand up.
For an affordable option that doesn’t compromise on performance, American Standard’s two-piece dual flush toilet is hard to beat. It offers a push-button actuator that lets you choose between 0.92 for liquids and 1.28 gallons for solids. It also features a powerful siphon jet that ensures everything gets properly flushed. Although it’s a two-piece toilet that’s traditionally harder to clean, American Standard incorporated their EverClean surface to the porcelain to repel stains, germs, and mold. It has a PowerWash rim feature that thoroughly washes the bowl after use. A seat needs to be purchased separately.
The WoodBridge’s Venezia Intelligent toilet offers several upgraded features. In addition to choosing between a 1 gallon and 1.6 gallon flush, you can choose to either flush manually, from the smart remote, or let it flush automatically. The other components that make this toilet unique are its heated toilet seat, night light, integrated deodorizer, and hygienic bidet. For the bidet feature, you can set the temperature of the water with the smart remote or disable the function altogether. The remote control allows you to adjust all of the various settings and functions.
This toilet is designed at the comfort height of 16 inches, which is ADA compliant. As you can imagine, this toilet is more expensive than other dual flush toilets. However, if you truly want to feel like a king on your porcelain throne, WoodBridge’s intelligent one-piece dual flush toilet truly reinvents the definition of a royal flush.
If you want the water conservation ability of a dual flush toilet with the flushing power of a conventional toilet, Zurn’s WaterSense dual flush toilet is worth considering. By using a jet-powered siphon flush, it uses 1.1 gallons of water for liquids and 1.6 gallons of water for solids. The powerful flushing is ultra-quiet, so you don’t have to worry about causing a commotion when duty calls in the middle of the night.
The primary disadvantage is that this toilet doesn’t conserve as much water as many other dual flush toilets. It uses 1.1 gallons of water to flush away liquids. However, if you want to be extra sure everything gets where it needs to go, this toilet provides an excellent middle ground between flushing capacity and water conservation.
Not many people enjoy cleaning a toilet, but Toto’s Aquia dual flush toilet can keep your cleaning days to a minimum. In addition to one-piece toilets being intrinsically easier to clean, this unit also has a skirted trapway to inhibit the grime-attracting contours of the typically exposed trapway. On the inside of the bowl, it features Toto’s proprietary CEFIONTECT glazing that deters debris, germs, and mold from clinging to the surface. Combined with the comprehensive toilet cleaning of the TORNADO FLUSH, it practically cleans itself.
The primary disadvantage of this toilet is that it’s more expensive, but the reduced cleaning time may make it worth every penny.
If you have a small bathroom, the wall-mounted dual flush toilet from Geberit will help you conserve space as well as water. By having the tank in the wall with only the toilet bowl exposed, it will take up considerably less space in your bathroom than a one- or two-piece toilet. This gives you access to the comfort of an elongated toilet in a smaller area.
The wall-mounted design allows you to adjust the height of the toilet between 45¼ to 55 inches, so it can be low to the ground or higher at an ADA-compliant comfort height. As with other wall-mounted toilets, it has a higher price tag and a more difficult installation process. Even though it costs more money initially, its low-maintenance and water-saving nature will likely pay for itself in the long run. Plus, increasing the available space in a tiny bathroom with a compact toilet can be priceless.
A clogged toilet can be frustrating, and you may be concerned that a toilet designed to conserve water won’t have the necessary power to prevent clogs. This dual flush toilet from Kohler has a Class 5 flushing system and a larger, 2⅛-inch trapway that’s specially glazed to prevent anything sticking to it. It also uses a faster and more aggressive flushing system to ensure everything gets thoroughly pushed down the trapway.
It doesn’t come with a toilet seat, so that will need to be purchased separately. Also, because the flushing system prioritizes pushing water down the drain, instead of rinsing out the bowl, it might leave some residue behind. Granted, those factors might be a small price to pay for the peace of mind of avoiding nasty clogs.
FAQs About Your New Dual Flush Toilet
A new toilet can be a considerable investment, so you may have some additional questions about dual flush options. If the above information has left you with a few lingering concerns, see if these answers to some frequently asked questions help.
Q. How does a dual flush toilet work?
A dual flush toilet works by using a special flush valve that dispenses two different volumes of water from the tank depending on whether you press the button for liquids or solids.
Q. What is the difference between a single flush and dual flush toilet?
A single flush toilet only has one option for flushing and uses a full tank of toilet water for both liquids and solids. A dual flush toilet has two options and uses as little as 0.8 gallons for liquids and between 1.3 to 1.6 gallons for solids.
Q. What button should you push in a dual flush toilet?
There should be a separate and clearly marked button for each liquids and solids. If not, the smaller button is for liquids, and the larger button is usually for solids. If you’re not sure which one to use on your toilet, consult the user manual.