Request suggestions for senior-on-budget toilet replacement

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by golem, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    As a homeowner/DIY'er I'm trying to help out an elderly neighbor with pro bono replacement of her 45yo toilet, for which I have two questions.

    1. She is rather petite at about 5' tall. I assume comfort-height is better for seniors but at what point does user height become a factor?

    2. She has a strict (and already stretched) budget of $140. I'd love to get her a Drake due to the overwhelming positive support it receives in all forums but it's price prohibitive. I was contemplating helping by padding her budget a bit to get an AS Evolution ($175-$180) for the added siphon/jet action but reviews of that unit (and AS in general) are a bit luke warm. I'm hoping to solicit some suggestions for viable replacements in "our" price range.

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Although we recommend elongated, I would rather have a round original Drake CST743S than something inferior in elongated. I think if you do some research, you will find that the round Drake is available at some pretty amazing prices right now. Worth considering.

    And I think if your friend is 5 feet tall, you probably don't want a "chair height" toilet because her feet may be dangling.

    HD seems to be selling a decent number of the new Delta toilets, although the nicer one, the Corrente, would make my unacceptable list just based on the weird design of the flush valve, and that fact that you can only get it at HD; if these toilets are discontinued down the road, finding replacement parts might be challenging (although Delta of course has a great reputation for support; but who knows what happens if some hedge fund buys them...all bets are off), and there is no hole in the tank for a standard fill valve. The Prelude uses a more-standard setup, and would seem more viable, but caution that the flush valve uses an off-size flapper, so, unlike Toto where everyone makes a 3" flapper you can use, nobody is going to make the weird sized Delta flapper except Delta. You may be getting decent quality for the price with the Prelude, but there are going to be tradeoffs by necessity. I am amused with I read reviews of the Delta products complaining about this or that being made of plastic. Hey -- it's a cheapo toilet, and maybe a better-designed cheapo toilet of maybe a smidge better quality, but what do these folks expect for $150? Anyway, like I say with the street price of the Drake Round being what it is, you might want to try for that... If not, maybe the Delta Prelude if she doesn't mind chair height? Let us know how it turns out...
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  3. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Much appreciate the reply wjcandee.

    I did forget to mention that a round bowl is mandatory due to bathroom dimensions. This along with the fact that it's the more appropriate height the Drake you referenced could be a fabulous option. A cursory look shows I can get it (without seat) in the preferred cotton white for $190 shipped. That would extend me a bit further than I was hoping for in the good-neighbor category but I guess my own toilet upgrades could wait a while longer. :eek: I'm sure I can find a few supply houses relatively local so I'll call around and do a bit of price shopping before deciding on the "splurge" for the Drake or (cringe) box store visit.
  4. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Wow! Local plumbing supply costs for the CST734S-01 range from industry acceptable pricing ($260) to "We are an authorized Toto dealer and don't compete with " ($620 !!!!). While I can be tempted to help her with the $190, I have to ask -- Any possibility of an even better deal, sale, etc?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    New York, NY
    That's a pretty good deal. Always, you find these enormous variations among local merchants, so good to call around...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Buying a toilet on line has its downside. Breakage during shipping is common, and although the dealers will make good, it will take time and effort on your part. If you do go that route, be absolutely certain you open all the boxes and carefully inspect for breakage before accepting the shipment. My opinion is it would be worth paying a tad more and buying locally.
  7. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Again, very appreciative of the replies!

    I think I'll bite the bullet and get two of the Drake's for for $190 each, one for her and one for me. There are simply too many positives to argue a reason to get any other, especially those from a box store.

    Gary, I fully agree with your insight. Porcelain is definitely not an item I look forward to having shipped but, as you advised, the best course of action is to inspect and refuse at the point of delivery if any damage is evident. The savings of roughly $140 for the two units combined does though make it worth taking the chance. Luckily neither of us is crapperless at the moment so we have the luxury of time-in-transit if required.

    I'll be sure to post an update after installation.

    Thanks!
  8. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I think you will be very happy with your choice of the round Drake. We have one, and really like it. I just don't see how one can go wrong with it.
  9. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Quick update. As I just posted in the other TOTO/Home Depot thread I found the CST743S01 offered at my local HD for $194. This price is truly but a "tad" more after adding the sales tax and $5 higher price so I have no reservation with buying locally and removing the possibility of shipping breakage or hassle of return for any reason.

    I'm absolutely believing you wjcandee. I have full expectation of NO buyers regret. :)
  10. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Another update to say the 2 TOTO Drake's I ordered through Home Depot arrived yesterday morning. I'm not sure if they were drop-shipped from TOTO or shipped directly from an HD warehouse (more likely) but can say the double boxed packaging left a little to be desired. Padding was basically placed on only two sides of the box leaving little cushion aside from a couple layers of cardboard for the remainder. That said, the items did arrive in pristine condition.

    Took a few moments last evening to install the neighbors Drake, mine will have to wait another week or so. The installation went flawlessly. It both looks great and works flawlessly. She is tickled pink with her "$140" toilet. ;)

    Now I have one question and one FYI. Upon inspection I noted the only unglazed portion of the toilet was directly under the rim (all vertical surfaces are well glazed) is this normal? As for the FYI, in case someone else may ever wonder, this morning I'm sorting paperwork and notice the packing slips itemize for ST743S01 Drake 1.6 Tank and C743E01 Drake Eco 1.28 round bowl. TOTO advises the Eco bowl is universal and being used with all Drake I models.

    Thanks again for all the insight provided by the forum members! :cool:
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I'm so happy that she loves her new toilet!

    And you're a good guy for chipping in so she could have a good one, and for installing it for her.

    Interesting that the HD packaging wasn't as robust as that from some of the other vendors.

    Mine doesn't seem to be glazed on the underside of the rim,either. I am assuming that there is a functional reason for this -- perhaps so the holes don't clog? Not sure. But it hasn't caused me any problems.

    And you are right about the bowl: they use the same one now for both the 1.6 and the 1.28; the only difference is the tank (and really just the tank innards).

    Let us know how it goes when you install it at your own place, and congratulations again on doing such a nice thing for your neighbor.
  12. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Thanks again for the reply wjcandee!

    Really appreciate you physically checking on that under-rim glazing. I'm satisfied it's the norm.

    Heck, I've not yet even installed my Drake but am so impressed with the function and quality of her toilet that I'm already contemplating acquiring a second for my home. The other bath is a bit larger so can benefit from an elongated. Now I simply have to find a good deal on a CST744SL01 as HD is CST743S01 only.

    I'll be sure to follow-up when I get mine mounted. Also, thanks for the kind words.
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