Six toilets for new home - What to get?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by k2ham, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. k2ham

    k2ham New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Good morning,

    I just found this forum. It's great and I'm hoping some of you folks can help us out.

    We are building a 2nd/retirement home (log) that will have six toilets (4 bedroom bathrooms, including the master; 1 "common" main floor, and 1 "common" basement. The toilets receiving the most usage would be the "common" toilets and the master bath toilet. The other bedroom toilets would receive much less use.

    Obviously we have many, many other areas competing for our limited funds while building this home (e.g., efficient windows, HVAC, EPA II fireplace, etc.). However, I would like for us to get high efficiency, high performance, ADA toilets if possible. From what I've read we would want the elongated bowl.

    What would you recommend for us? Our builder is recommending the Mansfield 114-112 and I've read some good things about the American Standard Cadet 3 elsewhere... both would run us less than $200/toilet. While we want toilets that will flush every time, won't leak, and won't constantly need repairing, we can't break the bank for this item in our construction project.

    Any insight and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks!
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    3 Toto Drakes in the 3 most used bathrooms and 3 Cadet 3s in the other 3 places...of course Totos in all 6 would be best

    What state are you in..
  3. k2ham

    k2ham New Member

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    Tennessee... Great Smoky Mountains/Knoxville area.
  4. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    6 AS Cadet 3s but replace the flappers with Korky replacement ones (the ones that come with it are not that good).

    For a few extra dollars per toilet, you could even go deluxe.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    You could also go with the Toto Dalton.
    Not as good as the Toto Drake, but better then the Cadet 3

    The Mansfield with the 3" flush valve may be okay too.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  6. k2ham

    k2ham New Member

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    9
    So the Toto Dalton can outrun a "stock" Cadet 3? What about a "heavily modified" and blown Cadet 3 (aka, an "Ian Cadet" along the same vein as a Shelby Mustang)?? ;)
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    I just DON'T like some of the problems you get with the Cadet.

    I've had customers that have tried several brands for their day cares, and they wind up going back to the Toto Drake.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  8. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    Location:
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    Thumbs up, you sound like a car guy!
    I wonder if American Standard would give Ian a cut ($) to run a factory authorized version of their Cadet.

    Imagine what the signatures would be worth some day.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    7,350
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    Yakima WA
    With all due respects, you are building a home that is far more expensive that most people can afford. While I realize I realize there are many demands for the bucks, why do you even consider second class toilets in a first class home? At the very least you should install Toto Drakes.
  10. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

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    Location:
    Midwest
    Now that Gary has said it, I feel more comfortable asking the same question. Why try to shave a few dollars off on things you will literally use several times per day? If you select something that doesn't work well you will be out the full price of it if you choose to replace it (assuming you are comfortable in doing the swap out yourself rather than hiring it done.) With six toilets it is a pretty big gamble.

    I'm not sure what the right answer is in the way of the best toilet for your needs, but my suggestion is to figure out what would be ideal first, then weigh price. I'm guessing that the Eco Drake ADA height is what you are after (high efficiency toilet, ADA height, and dependable according to all accounts here), but it is above your current price target.

    Are you sure you want ADA height for all of the toilets? They seem kind of tall for young children and, honestly, I'm more comfortable on the standard height.
  11. k2ham

    k2ham New Member

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    9
    Good questions and I appreciate the responses. I definitely wouldn't want to shave off a couple of dollars when there is a clear difference between competing products that receive heavy usage. I know that Totos are very higher respected primarily within this site/forum and elsewhere from my Google searches. However, some of the other competing products are appear to be well spoken of and the MaP ratings of some of these other competing products exceed that of the Totos. Yes, I understand the argument that the MaP test doesn't reflect "real life". Nevertheless, it is another factor that weighs in on my decision process. I don't necessarily mind paying a reasonable "premium" for the Totos if that premium is for a tangible benefit/improvement over the alternatives. Not ever having a Toto let me ask the question: At the price point/level of the Drake, is it truly that superior to its competitors? Or does the Toto quality/excellence/superiority over the competition become more pronounced/apparent at the higher end of the Toto product line?

    Regarding the ADA vs non-ADA... that's a good point. Is there a consensus as to whether it is best to be consistent within the home (all of one or the other) vs. a combination of the two? A combination would seem ideal at first glance to me but then I start wondering about people trying to remember which bathroom has the preferred toilet height (and thus is preferred), forgetting the previous point and dealing with an unexpected 2" additional drop when sitting down, etc. Then, how do you decide type to put where?

    One final question: 1.28 vs 1.6. Which is preferred?

    Thanks!
  12. miracj

    miracj New Member

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    17
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    I have a Cadet 3 Elongated Flowise (Flowise meaning 1.28 Gallons). I wrestled with whether a 1.28 gallon would sufficiently flush, and finally decided, based upon reading lots of messages and reviews, that it should work fairly well.

    I was very pleasantly surprised at just how well it handled real-world particularly difficult flushing requirements, that would clog my older toilets easily. So 1.6 gallons would have just wasted more water.

    I have yet to have a clog with the Cadet 3 Flowise, and thus can't complain. Cost wise, including shipping costs, taxes and the cost of the Korky flapper replacement, the AS Cadet 3 Elongated Flowise was better for me as a DIY-er.

    From my reading, Toto's seem to be have better out-of-the-box reliability and craftmanship of the bowl and tank, and that is important if you are paying for installation. But based on my experience, I have no complaints on the Cadet 3.

    As for ADA height, my suggestion is to go with the ADA toilet, and include one of the "step-up" exercise stands to allow kids to use the toilets. That way you are consistent, can maybe buy in bulk.

    If use is in a Bed & Breakfast or renting situation, I think the ADA height would be best to give the rooms the most flexibility.

    Regards,

    Ira
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    ADA vs Standard. Good question. ADA height is about the same as a regular dining table chair, so yes, ADA will be a little too high for young children, but even standard height is too high for the very young. My suggestion is to go with ADA on all of them and build a little footstool or step for the times you have children visiting. Same principle as a booster seat for chairs except these are for the floor. 1.28 seems to be the coming standard, so that would likely be the way to go although 1.6's will be around for many, many years. As far a paying a premium price for Toto, I'm sure you have many possessions that you could have gotten for cheap but chose to pay a bit more for to get better quality. Have you ever regretted buying something for cheap only to find it wasn't high quality? And, conversely, have you ever regretted paying more for better quality?
  14. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    Here comes the cavalry. :) Now where are all my other friends that love their Cadet 3s?

    [​IMG]

    No, you can't make something that beautiful in a factory. AS would ship them stock to me. Me and my boys, under AS license, would then customize them with the Korky parts before selling them in limited numbers on to the best plumbing houses in the business. A bit like the 1967 Shelbys were made. They would be distinguishable from ordinary Cadet 3s on the outside by a very subtle i on the tank (which would stand for Ian) and of course the brass supply line and Toto softclose seat. The flush chain would be hand adjusted to within 1/64 of an inch. The tank bolts would be carefully torqued down to race specs. The seat would be electronically aligned. And the Korky fill valve would be gently lowered into place by a team of Cadet 3 engineers, all born in Germany but now living in America. We'd also have a race division that did this very quickly for televised competitions, against the Japanese for example, but the sorts of toilets they would customize would use very expensive parts and would certainly not be to code.

    Now you can mug me. I'll even let you swear at my wife. But I would not idly stand by and let anyone compare my toilet with a lousy Dalton! :eek: I can't believe people are allowed to say such rude things on this site! Where are the mods?
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  15. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    Location:
    SW Florida
    [​IMG]
  16. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Not to pile on, but as others have said, toilets are a small fraction of your overall building price. If you choose wisely, you should never have to replace them. If you do not choose wisely, you may ultimately spend more (possibly much more) in the long run than if you had spent more up front. Consider that, on this site, we've seen a number of reports of slow leaks in the bowls of some cheaper brands of toilets. A leaking toilet bowl can rot your floor, leading to big expenses.

    Just bite the bullet and get Totos. I have one Soiree ("regular" height) and two Gwyneths (ADA height). No big deal having different heights - though if I had to do it again, would have gone with ADA Gwyneths for all three.
  17. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    Nevertheless Steve,

    I

    (Logo Removed)
    my Cadet 3.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2009
  18. k2ham

    k2ham New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Can I change direction a little?

    We also have to decide on water heaters for the home... tank vs tankless, etc. Should I post my questions to the tank forum or the tankless forum? Both?

    Thanks.
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    Maybe the tankless forum.
  20. k2ham

    k2ham New Member

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    9
    OK. Thanks Terry.
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