A couple Toto questions

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by doolittlegal, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. doolittlegal

    doolittlegal New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    I'm finally in my own home again, and ready to finally buy a Toto. I have a couple of questions...

    I did some checking around today, here in Sacramento, and the local store prices are all the same. I was told they are 25% off list. So, $480 for a Vesian elongated bowl, $409 for a Drake 2 elongated, Ultamate $470 round/$503 elongated. The prices still seem rather high. I'm leaning towards the Drake.

    I'm a little hesistant to buy online just because I prefer buying local, especially in the event there are any issues.

    Is price the main reason why people buy online? Is there any other advantage (or disadvantage) in doing so? Would you buy a Toto online?

    The other question. I have one of those little toilet rooms. It is 55" long, 28" wide, and 23" to the doorway. The old toilet is a round bowl and extends just slightly (maybe 2") past the doorway. It seems the elongated bowls are more available, and considered more high end. I hear they are more comfortable, but I personally haven't really noticed a significant difference. My mom has an elongated Kohler. I know the difference between the round vs elongated is 2" (26" vs 28"), would it really make that much of a difference in this size of room?

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2014
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Most of the folks on this site will advise you not to buy a toilet online. Too high a risk of breakage during shipping. There are anecdotes of people buying an online toilet, that seems OK, and installing it only to find it does have a small crack that they didn't see, and which causes a leak. Not fun to then take a used toilet out of the house and make a warranty claim.

    Elongated bowls are highly preferred so if possible would be best to use. You could make a mockup out of cardboard to see how it will fit in the room.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    Sometimes, the price is negotiable...go in with a good price you've found and see how close they'll come - you may be surprised. Also, many supply houses actually either carry or can get a Toto toilet that are not listed as dealers on the Toto website, so check for that as well.

    There's a moderate risk of damage during a single toilet shipment. WHen sent to a distributor or dealer, they tend to come on a pallet with a bunch of them, and are handled with a forklift. One-offs, often by hand. Guess what happens with a heavy box...it tends to get dropped. Porcelain isn't very resilient. I've had both good and bad results of buying online...all were resolved, but not great if you're on a timeline.
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,829
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Some of those prices are crazy; some are not. Same thing if you get it from Home Depot. I personally don't endorse getting a Toto from HD, because the toilets don't seem to arrive there in the normal course; rather, they seem to be shipped to the store the same way HD would ship it to your home. There's a philosophical bend on this site towards buying local and not online; while there is the risk of breakage and the hassle of boxing it back up and waiting for ups to come for it if you buy online, there's more to it than that based on the beliefs of the powers that be here, and those of us who participate here accept that.

    There's a big difference between an "Ultimate" (old non-GMax flush) model and an Ultramax (older model) and an Ultramax II (most recent and best model and best value). The price you quote for an Ultimate is way higher than 75% of list. I'm not familiar with the Vesian -- oh wait "Vespin" -- okay if it's the Vespin II (newer model CST474CEFG), that price isn't outrageous; it's about $80 more than you could find it, and the Drake II (CST454CEFG) is about $60-100 more than you can find it. That's the premium for buying locally. It's not ridiculously-high. Once you have decided which toilet you REALLY WANT, then pull out the yellow pages and try a few more places in the next towns over or whatever, just look up plumbing supply and call them regardless of whether the ad says they sell Toto. Give them the model number of the exact toilet (and exact color) that you want, and say you are ready to buy for cash (or whatever) today if they have it at a good price. Like all businesses, quoting a price in general is a different thing from giving your best price (like maybe you would give a regular customer) for something you could sell today. Maybe they need the cash for payroll, maybe they have one that's been sitting in the back that another customer didn't end up taking, etc. You don't know until you ask and there's nothing wrong with asking or telling them that you'd like to buy from them but you've seen it elsewhere for X. That's business. And I myself always want a customer to ask; if I can't do it for what he wants to pay, I tell him and that's the end of it; no hard feelings. If I can, and I want to, sometimes I do. So give that a whirl.

    As to the elongated vs round thing. I put a round in a bathroom because I thought the 2 inches would be meaningful. On retrospect they wouldn't have been. The round is fine but the elongated is generally more comfortable for guys. You sit in the same spot but you have a little more in front of you. If there is no architectural reason (door hits the tolet) to do the round, you'll probably be fine and happy with the elongated.

    Good luck and feel free to ask more questions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
  5. doolittlegal

    doolittlegal New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    Thank you for your replies. You all basically confirmed my concerns about buying online.

    One of the distributors (& plumbing store) I visited today, would only consider a discount if I was buying in bulk. There's only 2 toilets in my house, and the other one is in really good condition and rarely used. I see no reason at this time to replace. Maybe down the road when I remodel the guest bathroom. Of course, now that I've made the decision, I want my Toto yesterday..hehe, but I can wait until I do some more research, since, I guess it's obvious, I'm still debating which model would really be best for me. The benefit that the saleslady gave for the 1-piece and skirted, was ease of cleaning. Is there other reasons too that she may have missed? Why is the Ultramax II the best model and best value?

    Great idea on the mockup & plumbing stores. I never thought of looking beyond the distributors. "Once you have decided which toilet you REALLY WANT, then pull out the yellow pages and try a few more places in the next towns over or whatever, just look up plumbing supply and call them regardless of whether the ad says they sell Toto. Give them the model number of the exact toilet (and exact color) that you want, and say you are ready to buy for cash (or whatever) today if they have it at a good price." I LOVE that idea. Thanks!

    The saleslady told me why the elongated is more comfy for guys, but my mom thinks so too. I think what she really likes is the universal height. I have a pocket door to the side, so my only concern was that I might feel too close to the wall since the end of the toilet would be greater than halfway down the 55" area. I've attempted to mimic the location, and really can't tell any difference. I realize that I wouldn't be sitting at the end of the elongated end anyways. Yea, probably not a deal breaker.

    As for buying from HD, they only sell the cheapest models, the ones that are apparently made in China. So, I will ask you. "Friends" told me to buy the model made in Japan, but when I was down at the local store, they said there are several 1-pieces made in the USA, and the rest are made in Vietnam or Mexico. Is that correct? I have heard some compliants about the models made in China, but if the company has the same quality controls does it really matter?
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Toto toilets are made in several countries. It is my understanding that a main requirement of their plant locations is the quality of the clay available. The specs on the toilets are identical regardless of country of origin. Many of those sold in the US are made in Georgia. I'm not sure, but I do not think Toto makes toilets in Mexico. On the height issue, absolutely get the Universal height or an ADA model (almost the same) It is amazing the difference it makes for older folks whose knees have lost some of their strength. If find getting up from a standard height almost requires help either from something close that I can grip or from another person. Universal height presents virtually no problem. Elongated are by far the preferred as well. Code specifies 15" from the center of the toilet to each side. It is my general understanding that the one piece is easier to clean and the Ultramax II has slightly better bowl cleaning that some of the others, but all Toto toilet flush well. I have had 2 Toto toilets in my home for about 3 years. One is Drake and the other one a Dartmouth. Both are 1.6 gfp and both work flawlessly.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    It's been mentioned, but may help in repeating...regardless of whether the toilet is round or elongated, you are usually sitting in the same place...it's just that there's more toilet in front of you - IOW, your knees and butt end up in the same place, regardless.
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