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The Most Common Toilet Shapes and Differences 2024

When it comes to toilet shapes, there are three distinct choices: Round, Elongated, and Square. These shapes will alter your general comfort level, space’s aesthetics, and installation area. However, the choice is ultimately up to you. Here is everything you need to know about toilet shapes:

Common Shapes

These are the most common toilet shapes you can find on the market. Their popularity also makes them much easier to find/cheaper to obtain.

1. Round/O-Shape

These toilets are the most common as they are generally much smaller, making them ideal for smaller bathrooms or if you intend to fill your space with more essential elements. They usually measure around 16 and a half inches from the mounting holes to the front of the toilet bowl rim. The rough-in size and seat heights are generally the same as an elongated toilet; the main difference is how much it protrudes outward. The main benefit of a round toilet is that its height makes it much easier for children and those of more diminutive stature. Flushing technology is either gravity-fed, pressure-assist, or a flush valve. However, you can install any type of system you want, but there will be compromises as the toilet is slightly smaller.

2. Elongated/V-Shape/Pointed

Elongated toilets have an oval-shaped bowl, making their profile longer and wider, resulting in a more comfortable seat as there is extra seating space. These toilets measure roughly 18 inches from the toilet seat mounting holes to the front of the toilet bowl rim. Their height should be the same as a round toilet, measuring between 14 and 19 inches. The only real change will be the distance from the wall, with most of these toilet variants measuring anywhere from 10-14 inches from the wall to the bolts that hold the toilet down. You must account for roughly 2-6 extra inches to accommodate an elongated setup. If this is an issue, compact variants of elongated toilets are available. They retain many of the same benefits but have a similar profile to a round toilet. So, if space is a premium, consider a compacted elongated shape.

3. Square/D-Shape

A square toilet has a square bowl, which makes it ideal for fitting into spaces that are often too small for round or elongated toilets. These toilets aren’t generally very common as their seat configuration is less comfortable and accommodating than a round or elongated seat. Depending on your home’s needs, they typically measure between 14 and 16 inches for the bowl and have a rough-in size between 10 and 14 inches. Aside from saving space, square toilets also have a modern aesthetic, making them a great platform to feature an exotic or exciting material; just keep in mind that comfort is traded off for beauty.

What are the main differences in Toilet shapes?

These toilets will have roughly the same height and flushing capacity. Where they differ is their rough-in size and their overall protrusion, in addition to their comfort level.

Elongated toilets:

  • More Comfortable: Elongated toilets are ideal for both taller and larger individuals
  • Better Flushing: Elongated toilets tend to be larger, meaning they can accommodate more powerful flushing systems much easier without having to waste water on repeated flushes
  • Best for toilet accessories-Their larger size and market commonplace means there are more features and accessories available for this toilet shape.
  • Parts readily available: Elongated toilet seats are much easier to find than the other two
  • Easier to repair/More available parts
  • Better for smart toilet seat: If you are shopping for a bidet toilet seat, elongated toilets are much more common than the other shapes. 
  • Con: More expensive to purchase, install and maintain. Elongated toilets will be much more expensive to install/maintain, and they take up much more room
  • Not comfortable/ideal for children

Round And Square Toilets:

  • Pros: More Affordable: Both Round and Square toilets are cheaper to install and purchase.
  • Pros: Lower Maintenace: Round and Square toilets are also cheaper to maintain
  • Pros: Best for Kids: Round toilets are great for children, and more petite individuals, making them ideal for potty training
  • Pros: Square toilets are suitable for smaller spaces but aren’t very comfortable. 
  • Con: Less comfortable-Their size and shape makes them uncomfortable for most adults
  • Con: Fewer design options and choices
  • Con: Parts are more scarce

Average Toilet Size:

These are the average measurements for toilets to help you measure out your space:

Toilet Bowl Width: Toilet bowls typically measure between 14 and 16 inches from one side to the other. 

Toilet Bowl Length: Toilet bowls range from 16-17 inches, with elongated bowls measuring 18-19 inches long. Compact-sized bowls will reduce your length by 2 inches.

Other Options

ADA Compliance-ADA complaint features are very similar to regular toilet features, except they account for other elements such as height, foot clearance, the position of the flushing handle, and the accessibility of the flush technology. For ADA compliance, your toilet must be 17-19 inches from the floor to the top of the bowl rim, including the seat, to be considered a “comfortable” height for ADA standards. The handle must also be easily accessible, allowing you to engage the flushing mechanic without strain or stress on an individual’s hands or wrist. There are also voice-activated or smart toilets that can also satisfy this requirement. 

Whether you choose comfort, affordability, or space, there is a toilet shape for your needs. Remember to balance all your options carefully when selecting and consider your own needs and perhaps future options, such as children and ADA compliance, to ensure that everyone in your household can enjoy your toilet for years to come. 

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