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(2-piece, classic-style toilet)
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Toilets are integral to any bathroom design. And depending on the size of your bathroom, needs, and aesthetics, you have many choices to make regarding which toilet you choose. One of these choices involves the shape of the toilet bowl. Toilet bowls come in essentially two forms - a round or elongated bowl. Both function similarly but are sized differently, so they may not fit into the room or work in the same way. We outline the differences between them below so that you can make a more informed decision about which one will work better in your bathroom.
Most toilet manufacturers make many of their most popular styles of toilet in both a round and elongated front bowl. The shape of the bowl does not impact the stylish portions of the toilet, such as the detailing on the lid, is one-piece or two-piece, and whether it has a skirted bottom or detailing around the edges.
The only difference in appearance is the shape of the bowl itself. A round-front toilet bowl is closer to a true circle. It, therefore, extends less into the room.
An elongated toilet bowl is oval, extending several inches more into the front of the room. As bathrooms become larger, the elongated bowl becomes more common, which may make it seem more contemporary in appearance. The round bowl shape is more often associated with older, smaller baths.
Both the round and elongated toilet are used similarly, whether by a man or woman. However, the longer, larger bowl shape of the elongated toilet may be more comfortable for sitting on. It may also be easier for men or children to use with less mess and has a wider area for those with mobility issues to get on and off.
The exact measurements of a toilet are up to the manufacturer. In general, an elongated bowl will be roughly 2-inches longer in the front than a round bowl. Some manufacturers also make a third toilet bowl that is in between the two sizes.
A toilet typically needs at least 21-inches in front of it to pass most building codes. Some towns and municipalities may require more room, while ADA-compliant bathrooms need 48-inches. For small bathrooms, the 2-inch savings from a round-front toilet bowl could mean passing or failing building code. Therefore, most small bathrooms make better use of round bowls.
Both round and elongated front toilets install in the same way. If the toilet has a separate tank and bowl, these are coupled together first. A wax ring is set around the waste pipe, and the toilet lifted into place at a slight angle. After twisting it into position, pressure is applied to all sides before bolting the toilet into place and the water hooked up.
Elongated bowls may be very slightly more cumbersome to lift and move, but in most cases, this makes little difference to the installation.
Round-front toilet bowls are usually less expensive than an elongated bowl of the same manufacturer and style. For example, a two-piece, round-front, 1.28-gallon flush toilet with classic styling costs around $180. The same style toilet with an elongated front costs around $230.
Installation of either toilet costs between $45 and $130, depending on the condition of the pipes and the location of the toilet. Therefore, a round-front toilet costs between $225 and $310 while an elongated toilet of the same design and brand costs between $275 and $360.
Elongated toilets may be slightly easier to clean than a round-front bowl. The elongated shape in some brands has less of a crevice around the underside of the bowl, which makes it easier to get a cleaning brush into. The longer shape also makes it simpler to see into the front interior of the bowl, which can help you keep it clean more easily as well.
Many different types of flush technology exist, from pressure-assisted to double-cyclone flushes. If the toilet uses a flush that circulates the water in the bowl using force, the elongated shape of the toilet may provide slightly better pressure. However, in other types of flush technology, there is no difference between the two. As long as you use the appropriate toilet for your home and the bathroom’s size, you should notice little difference regarding performance.