Toilets are an integral component of any bathroom. Whether your old toilet is constantly malfunctioning or you’ve just decided to remodel your bathroom space, you’ll be faced with several options when shopping for a new toilet. Traditionally, toilet systems comprised of a tank and a bowl bolted together, and many models are still sold today. But recently, one-piece toilets have become popular in the market. So, how do you choose between one piece vs two piece toilets?
How to Decide Between One Piece Vs Two Piece Toilets
Both one-piece and two-piece toilet systems function well, and manufacturers often provide the same design in both one- or two-piece assembling options. In this guide, we outline the key differences between these toilet systems to help you make an informed choice for your home.
You have probably come across multiple online bloggers bashing on two-piece toilets and hyping praise on one-piece toilets, which is not necessarily accurate. Admittedly, one-piece toilets offer some advantages over their two-piece counterparts, but they don’t truly triumph over them in all areas.
Here are the key features that differentiate one-piece and two-peace toilets and why one would be preferred over the other:
1: Toilet Composition
So, the toilet has three major components:
- Tank – This is the container at the back of a toilet system that stores water for flushing and provides the required pressure for the bowl to flush waste away.
- Bowl – This component is designed to catch all the waste and swallow it into the sewer oblivion!
- Pedestal – This is the part that provides the lift from the ground (it basically holds the toilet bowl).
For a one-piece toilet, the toilet and tank are fused together to form a single unit without any attaching bolts. But if the toilet and tank are separate and mechanically joined using various fittings, then it becomes a two-piece toilet, sometimes referred to as a coupled toilet.
2: Price Differences
Price is always a crucial factor, especially when you can save an extra one to two hundred dollars for a high-quality product.
One-piece toilets are often more expensive than their two-piece counterparts due to the manufacturing process. In other words, a one-piece toilet is made from several small pieces that are carefully fired and assembled to form a compact unit.
Until manufacturers begin using 3D printers for manufacturing at scale, it is likely that we will see single-piece toilets coming with higher price tags.
Shipping cost is another important price factor. One-piece toilets are obviously heavier and more difficult to transport, which makes them more expensive to ship. Two-piece toilets are much lighter and can be shipped with ease since the tank and the bowl are separate and can be packaged separately.
In general, the price of one-piece toilets ranges from $400 to $1,200 while two-piece toilets might cost anywhere between $150 and $600.
3: The Difference in Size
There is a huge misunderstanding that the dimensions of one piece toilets are much smaller than two-piece models. This is not necessarily true. In some instances, one-piece toilets take a different design from their comparable two-piece models. For example, the TOTO MS992CUMFG#01 Neorest and the SaniFlo Sanicompact one-piece toilet.
However, for standard one-piece and two-piece toilets, the difference in dimension is very minimal.
In terms of height, most one-piece toilets are designed to meet comfort height guidelines, meaning that the bowl sits at about 17 inches rather than the standard 15 inches. Two-piece toilets are available in both standard and comfort heights to accommodate various bathroom designs.
When choosing the right toilet system, the most important measurement is the rough-in measurement, which refers to the distance from the center of the drain pipe and the wall behind the toilet.
Most toilet units sit at 12 inches, but some come with a 10- or a 14-inch rough. Overall, two-piece toilets have more options for sitting on differently sized rough measurements because the bowl size does not change. You can simply order a different tank to sit on top.
Very few one-piece toilet designs offer the flexibility to have a moveable rough in to accommodate various bathroom shapes. So, if your bathroom has an odd-sized rough, you could have more options with a two-piece model.
4: Weight Difference
Standard one-piece toilets weigh about 88 pounds (40 Kgs), whereas two-piece toilets weigh around 55 pounds (25 Kgs). This is because one-piece toilets hold the ceramic tank during the firing cycle in the production process, making the weight undoubtedly increase.
5: The Installation Process
When it comes to ease of installation, the one-piece toilet design wins hands down. Although single-piece toilets are relatively heavier to move around, the installation is extremely easy since there is no hassle of connecting the bowl and the tank.
Most of the time, two-piece toilets don’t come with a wax ring and a toilet seat, meaning that you will need to purchase them separately to complete the installation.
Some one-piece toilets are even designed to be wall-mounted, which is a nice way to save space in smaller bathrooms.
In terms of functionality, there is no difference between one-piece and two-piece toilet systems. The functionality of a toilet simply refers to the power of the flush, meaning the flush mechanism.
Both one-piece and two-piece toilet systems utilize a wide range of different flushing technologies, from flappers to towers. You can even choose low-flow versions that consume as little as one gallon of water for each flush.
Same as functionality, both single-piece and two-piece toilets offer comparable durability. With proper maintenance, either toilet can last up to 50 years or more without requiring replacement.
The only notable downside to two-piece designs is that they sometimes suffer cracks between the tank and the bowl, especially if the joining bolts are not correctly tightened to prevent movements.
8: Cleaning & Maintenance
One-piece toilets again win it here. The reason is that one-piece toilets don’t have a gap between the bowl and the tank, which can be almost unreachable during cleaning and can promote the growth of bacteria and germs.
In terms of maintenance, there are two aspects to it: short-term and long-term:
- Short-term: In the short-term, the joint between the bowl and the tank of a two-piece toilet can wear off much quicker.
- Long-term: In the long-term, it’s cheaper to find replacement parts for two-piece toilets since each part is sold separately. It means that you can replace the bowl and the tank individually. However, one-piece toilets will need to be entirely replaced if something breaks up.
Both one-piece and two-piece toilets are available in a variety of styles. Because of the sleek appearance of one-piece models, some people feel that they look better in modern bathrooms. However, you can still find one-piece toilet units with traditional designs or two-piece toilets with a modern touch.
10: Resale Value
Neither toilet design impacts the resale value of a home. However, ensuring that you have a working toilet that flushes well and doesn’t leak can help maintain your home’s value.
One Piece Vs Two Piece Toilets: The Verdict
So, which one should you pick between one-piece and two-piece toilets? Your decision will depend on your preferences, the size of the bathroom, your budget, among other things. But overall, here are the areas where each style might carry the day:
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance
- Ease of installation
- Smaller in size depending on the model
- Wall mounting options available
- A lot cheaper
- Lower shipping costs since the bowl and the tank can be packaged separately
- Ease of moving
- Affordability of parts
- Suits oddly shaped bathrooms
Our Top Picks Of One-Piece Vs Two-Piece Toilets
Here are our top picks for one-piece and two-piece toilets based on functionality, ease of cleaning, comfort, ADA compliance, and value for money:
Best One-Piece Toilets:
#1: Best Comfort Height Design: Swiss Madison Forever SM-1T254 One-Piece Toilet
With its exemplary skirted trapway, the Swiss Madison St. Tropez one-piece toilet offers a sleek, aesthetic, and seamless design that is extremely easy to clean. The elongated and comfort-height bowl ensures more comfort. Its dual flush allows you to use either partial or full (.8/1.28) flush, making it environmentally friendly without compromising performance. With quick-release chrome hinges, you can latch the seat from the toilet for seamless removal and convenient cleaning without requiring tools.
#2: Perfect for Small Bathrooms: Swiss Madison SM-1T257 Sublime II Compact One-Piece Toilet With Dual Flush
The Sublime II tank matches seamlessly with the fully skirted smaller bowl to create a slender one-piece toilet. Its dual flush mechanism allows you to choose either partial or full ( 8/1 28) flush without compromising flush performance.
#3: Best For Powerful Flush: KOHLER 3810-47 Santa Rosa Comfort Height Elongated Toilet
This Santa Rosa’s one-piece toilet design adds a modern look to any bathroom environment. Its elongated bowl ensures comfort and conserves space. With its 1.28-gallon efficient flush, you can expect impressive water savings of approximately 16,500 gallons each year without compromising performance. The chair height and elongated seat also make it comfy to use.
Best Two-Piece Toilets:
#1: Best for Bulk Waste Flushing: Kohler K-3999-0 Highline Comfort Height Two-piece Elongated Toilet
With an elongated bowl and a comfort-height comparable to a standard chair, this Comfort Height toilet makes it easy to sit or stand up regardless of your age. The unit consists of a K-4467 tank and a K-4199 bowl. Its class five(R) flushing mechanism provides tremendous bulk waste flushing performance and excellent bowl cleanliness.
#2: Best for Comfort Height Sitting: Signature Hardware 945956 Bradenton Two-Piece Elongated Toilet
At 21 inches high, the Signature Hardware Bradenton Two-Piece Toilet features a chair-level bowl that makes it comfortable to sit and stand up regardless of your age. The elongated bowl with a timeless design fits an array of bathroom styles.
#3: Best for Water Saving: American Standard 2989101.020 Cadet3 FloWise Two-Piece Elongated Toilet
The American Standard 2989.101.020 Cadet 3 Elongated Toilet is designed for higher performance and fewer clogs. It is available in a wide range of styles. The Cadet 3 series toilets come in various styles, and this particular model is a hard-working, versatile toilet with superior performance. The high efficiency, ultra-low consumption of 4.8Lpf/1.28 GPF ensures 20% less water utilization. It even meets EPA WaterSense criteria, which guarantees water saving.
Overall, there is no dramatic difference between one-piece and two-piece toilets. So don’t be overly concerned about what others say online and end up spending more than you need to. Many homeowners, however, prefer one-piece toilets mainly because of their all-in-one design and the wall-mounted options that save a lot of bathroom space.