Round Toilet Vs Elongated Toilet: Which Is Better?

Round Toilet Vs Elongated Toilet

The space available in your washroom will determine what type of toilet to buy. There are different models of toilets on the market, and the bowl can either be elongated or round. But which is better, round or elongated toilet? In this guide, we analyze round toilet vs elongated toilet designs plus their advantages and shortcomings to help you make an informed decision.

Round Toilet Vs Elongated toilet Designs

What would you prefer between elongated toilets and round toilets? Are elongated toilets better than round toilets? What toilet is best for you? Before you go shopping, let us discuss the different pros and limitations of elongated-shaped and round toilets.

Although toilets are essential to any washroom design, various factors would influence the type of toilet you should buy. These include the size or space of your bathroom, your needs, and aesthetics. Here are the main differentiating features between round and elongated toilet designs:

1: Size

Typically, elongated toilets have a length of 18.5 inches, which is about 2 inches longer than round toilets. The average length of a round-shaped bowl is 16.5 inches. Provided that the rough-in measurement is the same, you can swap an elongated toilet with a round-shaped one. However, it is impossible to substitute an elongated toilet seat with a round toilet seat.

2: Space Required 

Round shape toilets are more suitable for smaller washrooms. They are also an excellent choice of toilet for children’s bathrooms. However, an elongated toilet will outfit a larger washroom space such as a master bathroom. As time goes by, technology changes. Toilet manufactures are not left behind as they have become innovative too. Without bargaining the comfort provided by an elongated toilet, manufacturers have invented compact elongated toilet models that would occupy the same space as what a round toilet would occupy.

Round Toilet in a small bathroom

Round Toilet in a small bathroom

The precise dimensions of a toilet are left to be dealt with by the manufacturer. As said earlier, an elongated bowl is roughly two inches longer in the front than a round bowl. Some toilet manufacturers have gone miles further to invent toilet bowls whose lengths range between an elongated bowl and a round bowl.

A toilet naturally requires a minimum of twenty-one inches in front of it to pass most building codes. ADA-compliant washrooms need forty-eight inches while other cities and metropolises may need more room. For some small bathrooms, the two-inch savings from a round-front toilet bowl could mean passing or failing building code. Many small washrooms hitherto make better use of round bowls.

3: round toilet Vs Elongated: which one looks better?

To suit the needs of different consumers, manufacturers have produced both elongated and round versions of their popular products. The shape of the bowl influences certain features such as the particularization of the lid, one-piece or two-piece design, and whether the bottom is skirted or not.

The shape of the bowl also distinguishes the appearance of a toilet and the overall look of your bathroom space. A round-front toilet bowl takes a smaller space as it resembles a circle. On the other hand, an elongated toilet bowl resembles an oval shape. Mostly, it is installed in larger bathrooms giving it a more modern appearance. Round bowl toilets are installed more often in smaller washrooms to give a classic, minimalist look.

4: Ease of Use

Elongated and round-shaped toilets are used in the same way. Generally speaking, elongated and larger bowl-shaped toilet bowls are more comfortable than round-shaped toilets. Persons with mobility issues find it easier to use elongated toilets than round-shaped toilets. This is because they can easily sit on and stand up without much struggle.

5: Legal Requirements

If you wish to install a toilet in a municipal space, there are laws and measures that you should anticipate following. Nevertheless, most buildings need a twenty-one-inch free space between the toilet bowl and the front wall. An ADA-compliant toilet should be higher than the known height of a toilet by two inches and at least forty-eight inches from the front wall. In such situations, the two-inch length difference between an elongated and a round shape toilet can meet or break the code. Having a petite washroom leaves you no choice but to go for a round toilet.

6: Is There Any Difference In The Installation Process?

The procedure of installing both elongated and round toilets is similar. If the toilet bowl and tank are not compact, they should first be merged. The toilet bowl is raised above into a place where it forms a minor angle as a wax ring is wrapped around the waste pipe. Pressure is only then applied to all sides once twisted to a suitable position. The toilet is then screwed. Lastly, the water tank bowed up on the wall.

Lifting and moving an elongated toilet might be a little tiresome hence the slight difference during installation.

Aesthetic elongated toilet design

Aesthetic elongated toilet design

7: Do elongated toilets cost more than round ones?

Surprisingly, an elongated toilet produced by the same manufacturer would be more expensive than a round-front toilet of the same model. For instance, a two-piece, round-front, 1.28-gallon flush toilet with classical styling costs around $180, while a similar model toilet with an elongated front have a price of around $230.

Liable to the location and condition of the pipes, installation of either toilet would cost between $45 and $130. Thus, an elongated toilet has a price tag of between $275 and $360, while a round-front toilet of the same model and brand costs between $225 to $310.

In terms of water consumption, both models of toilets will consume the same amount of water; therefore, picking one over the other will not affect the water costs.

8: Any Difference In The Flush Power?

Although people have claimed that round-shaped toilets have a higher flushing power than elongated designs, there is no definitive test that has so far proven whether either elongated-shaped or round toilets have more flushing power than the other.

There are various types of flush technology in existence. They range from pressure-assisted to double-cyclone flushes. The elongated shape of the toilet may offer a little better pressure to the water if the toilet uses a flush to force water to circulate inside the bowl. In other forms of flush technology, it isn’t easy to distinguish between the two. There is little difference regarding performance so long as you have installed the most appropriate toilet in your washroom.

9: Maintenance

Unlike round-front bowl toilets, other brands of elongated-shaped toilets have less of a fissure around the bottom of the bowl. This makes it simple to get a scrubbing brush or plunger into the bowl. It is easier to view the front interior of the bowl because of the extended shape. Therefore, an elongated-shaped toilet is, to some extent, easier and simple to clean than a round-front bowl.

cleaning an elongated toilet

cleaning an elongated toilet

10: Design

Elongated-shaped toilets appear more modern as compared to round-front bowl toilets that often appear old-fashioned. Most consumers agree that elongated toilets are more artistically appealing than round-front toilets. Thus in most modern houses, elongated models are commonly installed. Round-shaped toilet bowls are often found in older houses.

11: Comfort

Comfort is always a topic of discussion whenever it comes to choosing between round toilets and elongated toilets. The extended shape of an elongated toilet provides a larger surface area matching human anatomy. This provides comfort to users, making them a preference over round-front bowl toilets.

However, not all people enjoy the comfort provided by elongated toilets. For instance, children would prefer round toilets over elongated models because some get scared that they may fall in the bowl of the elongated toilet by chance.

12: Available Options

Perhaps, most houses built today are of modern design. Thus, if you visited the market right now, there are a more variety of elongated toilet models than round ones. This means that if you were to go shopping for an elongated toilet, you would be amazed at the many picks you get.

However, you might find it challenging to find a round-shaped toilet that suits your bathroom decor. This is so unfortunate as it may also be a little harder if you are in search of a round-shaped toilet with a non-standard rough-in.

What Is The Difference Between Elongated Vs Round Toilets?

What distinguishes between an elongated and a round-shaped toilet is their length and the shape of their bowls. Round-front toilets tend to have circular bowls, whereas elongated toilets have their bowl resembling an oval shape. Round toilets typically have a length of about 16.5 inches, while the elongated bowl is 18.5 inches long.

Although an elongated toilet seems to be more comfortable than a round toilet, they are not spaced efficiently as compared to round-shaped toilets. Even if most toilets in the United States have a round-shaped bowl or an elongated bowl, there exist other models of toilets with other bowl shapes. These are:

  • D-shaped toilet bowls.

  • Square toilet bowls.

The majority of these toilet designs are found in Europe, so it would be best to stick with either a round bowl or an elongated toilet for any consumer residing in the United States. Here is the comparison chart for round and elongated toilet designs to help you make a more precise choice:

1less comfortable for kidsComfortable for kids                     
2More comfortable for adultsLess comfortable for adults
3Takes more spaceSpace efficient                          
4Modern designOld design
5A little bit expensiveRelatively cheaper                       
6More options to pick fromFewer options
7Easier to clean and maintainCan be hard to clean and maintain

Elongated Toilets: Pros and Cons

Elongated toilets are oval in shape, while round toilets are circular. This is the main difference between the style profiles of both types of toilets. 

Pros Of Elongated Toilets:

  • More comfortable for adults

  • Modern design

  • Easier to clean

  • More options to pick from

Cons Of Elongated Toilets:

  • Less comfortable for kids

  • More expensive

  • Takes more space

Round Toilets: Pros and Cons​

Compared to an elongated toilet, a round toilet’s front tip is about 2 inches shorter from the seat bolt holes. The overall shape of a round toilet is more circular than that of an elongated toilet. 

Pros Of Round Toilets:

  • More comfortable for children

  • Space efficient

  • Relatively cheaper

Cons Of Round Toilets:

  • Less comfortable for adults

  • Old fashioned/ traditional styles

Among the investments you make only once after several years is buying a toilet for your washroom. Therefore, before committing your money to such investments, you must conduct a thorough survey of all options available in the market. You should also learn the key features to look at when buying a toilet for a kid’s bathroom, buying a toilet for a person with mobility problems, or buying an adult. Whether you are to install the toilet in a public space, you must also adhere to the prevailing codes and standards. 

How to Measure a Toilet To Confirm If Its Round or Elongated

By simply looking at a toilet, it’s easy to visually tell the difference between a round and an elongated toilet. But to be certain, you need to take the measurements. This is especially helpful when you need to replace the toilet seat. It will help you avoid buying the wrong size.

Typically, a toilet bowl has three essential measurements you need to know: length, width, and bolt spread. The length is usually the biggest variant between round and elongated toilet bowls and is typically 16.5 inches for round and 18.5 inches for elongated.

However, both round and elongated toilet seats have widths ranging from 14-15 inches. The bolt spread is the distance between two toilet seat mounting holes on your toilet bowl. This distance is often a standard measurement of 5.5 inches in the US.

How To Tell If Toilet Seat Is Round Or Elongated

To determine if a toilet seat is elongated or round, simply take one measurement. Measure the entire length of the toilet bowl from the center of the two bolts holding the toilet seat at the back of the unit all the way to the front edge of the bowl. Round bowls typically measure16.5 inches, while elongated bowls measure18.5 inches.

Compact Elongated Vs Round Toilet

A compact elongated toilet is an elongated toilet that takes up the same washroom space as a rounded toilet. The only difference is that it provides the comfort of an elongated toilet. Compact elongated toilets are the best option for consumers with a small washroom space and wish to substitute for round toilets. 

In case you had a round-shaped toilet, you can replace it with a compact elongated toilet provided that the rough-in measurements of both the toilets are of a similar match. Apart from their shape and design, compact elongated toilets provide support for thighs and offer more surface area for you to sit on. They are often more comfortable than round toilets.

Who Is The Winner? Elongated Or Round Toilet?

Round toilets are becoming extinct as time goes by. The majority of modern households prefer elongated toilets over round toilets that were most popular in old-fashioned houses. However, the compact elongated toilets have shown to be a worthy substitute for the round toilets. The innovation of modern and stylish wall-hang elongated toilets that require small space is also becoming popular and taking shape in the current market.


Elongated Vs Round Toilet: Which Is Better Suited And Why?

Perhaps in small bathrooms, a round bowl toilet saves space. It occupies a maximum of 28-inches from the wall, while an elongated toilet bowl measures up to 31-inches. However, most people still find elongated toilet bowls to be more comfortable. However, round bowls are more budget-friendly and space-saving compared to elongated toilets.

Can I replace a round-shaped toilet with an elongated one?

It would only be possible if it leaves enough room as it sticks out from the wall. Replacing a round-shaped toilet in a smaller space (keeping in mind that a pedestal sink is right in front) might block the way. 

Do I need an elongated toilet?

Elongated toilets are usually much more comfortable for grownups. Men find elongated toilets to be better because the shape of the bowl provides ample space they most need. Compact designs are also just as space-efficient as round-bowl toilets.

Can I Install An Elongated Toilet Seat On A Round Toilet?

An elongated toilet seat technically fits on a round toilet. However, the fit and comfort may likely be compromised. More often, an elongated toilet seat will overhang a round toilet, which is not a big deal unless the toilet rim remains visible within the toilet seat opening.

If that is the case, then the seat may feel uncomfortable for male users. Be sure to measure the elongated seat opening to know whether there will be an overhang.

Can I Install A Round Toilet Seat On An Elongated Toilet?

While it’s possible to install a round toilet seat on an elongated toilet, plumbers don’t often recommend it. The reason is that a round toilet seat will not fully cover an elongated toilet bowl rim, leaving the rim exposed. This will affect the aesthetics of your toilet design, making your bathroom look odd.

Can I Install an Elongated Bidet Seat on a Round Toilet?

If you choose to invest in a bidet toilet seat, you need to take a critical look at your existing toilet bowl shape. Bidet toilet seats come in either elongated or round shapes. Although an elongated bidet seat will mount on a round toilet and function just fine, the comfort and aesthetics of the seat will be significantly diminished. So, it’s best to just go for a round bidet seat if your current toilet has a round bowl.

Should we consider the trap way and water usage?

In terms of the trap way and water consumption, there is no difference between round and elongated toilet models. The only difference between these two types of toilets is the length of the bowl. The bottom components in both cases are nearly the same. They generally hold and flush the same quantity of water for each flush.

Smith Edwards

Smith Edwards is a licensed plumber and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years.

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