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I’m going to replace the four toilets in my new house with elongated taller toilets.

I’m looking at the $300 range because of some design features (taller seat, elongated bowl, tank attachment, easier to clean around seat bolts, etc) but I note that toilets start at $125 and go up from there. What are the features of a toilet that mark the marginal improvement as toilets get more expensive?

Edit - to clarify this point, among elongated tall toilets, what justifies the price differences? Is it purely aesthetics and brand name? Or are there things that make one toilet “better” than another?

Also it’s annoying that at least one store sells so many “exclusive” models. Are these just unique names so we can’t compare head to head with other retailers? Or are their differences between two apparently similar but differently named models at two retailers?

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    head to head! Perfect! – manassehkatz May 12 at 5:30
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    As far as "exclusive" - that's a common practice with lots of big stores. Not a new thing at all. I remember many (25 or more) years ago shopping for mattresses and one of the department stores had a computerized cross-reference list of Sealy vs. Serta vs. store brands etc. Not a new problem at all. – manassehkatz May 12 at 5:34
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    @statueuphemism I don’t think it is off topic. If someone asked about wood they need for their deck, and said that there were 2x6s that were between $3 and $7 we would tell them about the differences between Select, No. 1, No. 2, PT, etc. As for the other comment, above, I do know about the mattress industry, as I was a retailer back then. That cross reference was inaccurate because the Big 4 S companies (seally, serta, etc) made SLIGHTLY dif versions to avoid antitrust issues. I’m curious to know if toilet manuf do the same. Are these the same models w dif names? – jqning May 12 at 12:06
  • @jqing I agree that your edited question is on topic. Your mention of "I’m looking at the $300 range" is what gave me the primary impression that the question was not on topic since the value of money is always fluctuating and relative between markets. It looked as though you were looking for "For $50 more, you get such and such feature". – statueuphemism May 12 at 13:25
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    A better way to phrase this question might be around what are primary features of a toilet and how can we tell between quality and mediocre implementations? – Matthew May 12 at 15:36
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There are different materials, i.e. porcelain (vitreous china) or ceramic. They are similar, but there are cost differences based on the manufacturing process. Porcelain is baked at higher temperatures, so they take longer to cool, resulting in fewer toilets per day from the manufacturing plant. Ceramic however needs additional coatings to make it smooth, but people are wanting things like anti-bacterial coatings, oil resistance etc.

One piece toilets increase the price too because if something cracks or splits in the baking / curing process, they have to throw away the entire thing, vs only the tank or only the bowl. But when you have separate parts, you have more nooks and crannies to clean.

After those main details, it mostly becomes marketing, aesthetics and hype, often about that the toilet is capable of "passing". I bought one that famously claims it can "pass a tennis ball", that was total BS...

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A few years ago I replaced the 3 toilets in my home with Kohler Cimarron Comfort from Home Depot. I chose the higher ones with the elongated bowls. They work great, almost never plug, are easy to service when needed, and saved a lot of water and money. What I saved was almost never having to use a plumbers helper, easier getting on and off due to it's higher seat, a a bit more comfort when sitting longer reading a favorite book. ( You get the picture)! Lastly, I do not know what they could add for features that would raise the price since toilets for me are used for #1or#2 things. maybe add an automatic wiper.

  • This past year I replaced 3 toilets in my house with ones sold at Costco (I can't remember what brand, but they are dual flush) they were only 100CAD (add another 10CAD for jumbo wax rings) and they have been great. Personally, I find that a lot of the price difference is from the brand and being "the latest and greatest" in green metrics (less water, etc.) all of which essentially boil down to marketing. Sure, there are some differences but not enough to justify the massive price changes. – J Crosby Jun 12 at 21:08

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