Toilet Choices?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by ncage1974, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. ncage1974

    ncage1974 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Illinois
    I currently have mansfield toilet that was put in when they built my house about 13 years ago. Its a piece of junk and cloggs all the time. We are currently having some work done by lowes so the plumber was out doing some measurements. When he was there i asked him what toilet he recommended he said i wouldn't be sorry if i got a Kohler Cimarron so i bought the following toilet:
    http://www.us.kohler.com/us/catalog/productDetails.jsp?productNumber=3609

    After doing some research i'm not so sure this is a great toilet. I just don't want to be in the same situation where i am now in that the toilet clogs all the time. The first question i have for you all is this a class 5 or class 6?

    Second would you recommend shying away from this toilet? I prefer to get it at lowes because they are doing all the other work. I've seen mixed reviews on some of the others i've looked at also:

    American Standard Champion 4: http://www.americanstandard-us.com/toilets/Champion-PRO-Right-Height-Elongated-1.28gpf-Toilet-5633/

    American Standard Cadet 3: http://www.americanstandard-us.com/toilets/Cadet-PRO-Right-Height-Round-Front-1.6gpf-Toilet-5966/

    Any help would be appreciated. The cimarron is the most expensive and has the worst warranty too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,283
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The Kohler Cimarron will be much, much better than the old Mansfield Alto toilet you removed.
    We remove Mansfield all the time. Consumer Reports is the only ones that liked that one.

    [​IMG]

    Mansfield Alto
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  3. ncage1974

    ncage1974 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks Terry a lot for the reply. Ok i called Kohler on the Class 5 / Class 6 thing. They said the one i was getting was a Class 5. This had me concerned because everything i read said to get a Class 6 because Class 5 had bowl rinsing problems. So i inquired. She told me that most toilets you will find today are Class 5. She said they had problems with the early Class 5 toilets (which have been discontinued). She said most of the Class 6 toilets are gone. She said the Class 5 was redesigned and the problems were fixed which is VERY confusing. Why the chose to name it the same thing is beyond me. Maybe they should have called it Class 7? But anyways, she said the bowl rinsing problems are a thing of the past.

    I opted to limit my selection of toilets to the ones they sell at lowes because i'm getting the floor replaced & vanity replaces all in one fail swoop. Because the toilet & vanity need to be removed & then the floor needs to be put down & finally the toilet & vanity need to be installed it was MUCH more convient getting everything from lowes.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    1,933
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Getting the toilet from Lowe's means that you have traded convenience for quality and performance. $269? That would have more than bought you a Toto Drake. CST744S or CST744E. It's a toilet. It's easy to install and/or cheap to have someone else install. Didn't have to be installed by Lowe's.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,382
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I think many folks are under the impression that installing a toilet is very complicated and therefore beyond their ability. This really isn't true. A couple of small, inexpensive wrenches are about the only tools needed. The toilet is attached to the flange on the floor under the base of the toilet by two nuts and bolts that are under the caps on either side of the toilet base. The toilet is sealed to that flange with wax ring. The only other connection is the water supply line that comes out of the wall where there is normally a valve an goes to the underside of the toilet tank. Now it should be obvious that the water needs to be drained from the tank and bowl to avoid a mess as well as removing a great deal of weight. With the old toilet out, the new goes in exactly in reverse. The wax ring is set in place over the flange, the toilet base is slipped over the two flange bolts (new ones) so that the base sets squarely over the wax ring. The toilet base now is forced down on to the ring using just body weight. The nuts just hold the base down, they are not designed to pull the base down into the wax. The tank is attached to the base with just two bolts and a large gasket that seals the water outlet. Use of all of these items are described and illustrated in the installation guide. Finally, a new water supply line is connected to the valve. After testing, the base is caulked to the floor. Granted, there is some weight lifting involved and this could be overwhelming for someone physical challenged, it is not excessive. Most of us have a friend than can assist when a bit of extra oomph is required. If you get in to the job and find you have a question, jump in here and ask it.
  6. ncage1974

    ncage1974 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Illinois
    Actually i'm coming here after watching how to install a toilet on youtube and i was about to make the comment that it looks EXTREMELY easy. I called earlier today to see what local plumbers would install a todo drake II for and the price was all over the map. One plumber wanted $820. Do you believe that? Another one wouldn't even give me a price quote. The said they would have to make a service call to make a quote. Anyways the cheapest one i've found (which wasn't to bad of a price was $480 installed.

    But, after watching how easy it is to install, I found a toto drake II. The one question i have is there anything i need to check to make sure it will fit? We only have one bathroom in our house so if if the toilet is out of commission it wouldn't be good :). Only think i need is the toto toilet, seat, and a seal (the one i chose is a wax free one) like shown in the pic below and i should be good to go?

    toilet.PNG
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    New York, NY
    You can also get out the yellow pages, look up plumbing supply, and call around to see who carries Toto in your area. Prices will (like that silly plumber toilet install price) vary considerably for the exact same toilet, so have the model number and color handy.

    Also, the Drake II is a GREAT toilet. A more reasonable workhorse version is the original Drake (CST744S at 1.6gpf, or CST744E at 1.28 gpf). Both work well! However, the Drake II comes automatically with Sanagloss finish, universal height and the Double Cyclone flush which gives a little better bowl wash, and a more modern look, so you really can't go wrong with it. I have both kinds (regular and double-cyclone) of Toto flush, and like them both, but the double-cyclone is cool.

    If you have a standard 12" rough-in (i.e. 12" from the finished wall, not the baseboard if you have one, to the center of the flange; i.e. 12" from the finished wall to the bolts holding your current toilet to the floor), the Drake or Drake II will fit. Also check the position of the water supply -- is it coming out of the wall and at least 5" left of the center of the toilet? If so, you're good to go with the Drake or the Drake II.

    $480 installed is pretty good if it includes the Drake II (CST454CEFG) in the price. Just make sure he isn't quoting you the original Drake, CST744S or CST744E. However, if you do it yourself, you will take pride in it and be sure it's right (i.e. no wobble, solid tank install, etc.).

    As to the seat, any standard elongated seat will fit on the Drake II -- the seat holes in the porcelain are in a standardized layout. On my two original Drakes, we used a nice Bemis slow-close, wooden seat with quick-disconnect hinges, which everyone seems to like. However, on our Carlyle II, it came with the Toto SS114 slow-close seat, and I have to say that if the Bemis seats ever quit, I would replace them with the SS114. It is plastic, but sturdy and comfortable. The slow-close mechanism is great. (Tell family members to let it drop itself, it wears out faster if you push it down rather than letting it close on its own once you start it.) I was just in a shwanky hotel in another city yesterday, and was pleased to see a Toto Ultramax in the bathroom with the SS114. The toilet was probably 5-6 years old and had the SS114, and looking inside I realized that both the seat and innards of the toilet were original. So in daily hotel use, this thing was still in great shape.

    Just as an aside, about 15 months -- and 900 posts -- ago, I was in the same place you are right now -- maybe knew even less. Read this site, decided on a toilet, priced it out locally and online, got stupid quotes from people (hey, it's New York), decided I would see what would be involved doing it myself, looked at this site, looked at some videos, gave it a try. Loved it, and the rest is history.

    You will find a few things. If you are taking off an old one, something will be a pain. Flange too low or too high, broken, etc. Something will be a pain to remove. But you will figure it out. Ideally, your flange will be mounted on top of the finished floor. If not, you can use an extra wax ring. Once you get the work area cleaned up, putting in the new thing will be a piece of cake. Your waxless seal is fine, but I have to say wax rings are quite workable, and they are really flexible if your flange isn't mounted on top of the finished floor.

    When you mount the tank, read the Toto directions: if you have to try the tightening part a few times, that's what we all do. Put the tank on, hold it with one hand so it's straight, tighten by slowly alternating from side to side, watching the porcelain compress the rubber gasket and that the tank is approaching all three points of contact (you'll see this in the directions) evenly. When they are just about to touch, tighten slowly; about the thickness of a sheet of paper is what you want, once one point of contact touches, stop, as porcelain doesn't compress porcelain -- it cracks. If the others are a sheet of paper or two gap, that's good enough. Check for no wobble. If you need to loosen a bit or a lot then tighten so it's more even, just do it a few times, and you'll be all set.

    I would add to your list of stuff to get a new braided water supply; might as well put a new one in now. And use a set of closet bolts that has two nuts and two washers; you put the bolt in where you want it, tighten it down to the flange with the nut and washer, then drop the toilet on and use the second nuts and washers to attach the toilet to the flange. If you have a Dremel (or hacksaw), you can cut the closet bolt to a nice length after installation so the cap fits. If you do, do so before you put the caulk (recommend Polyseamseal) around the base, so the metal dust doesn't get in your new caulk.

    And do your actual work when a hardware store or Lowe's is open, just in case you decide that you need something, or drop a bolt down the toilet hole, etc.

    I did one toilet, then another, then another. I also rehabbed the remaining 4 toilets in the house with new fill and flush valve, water supplies, etc. Each of those jobs had at least one issue (like I couldn't get the flush valve off, had to cut it with the Dremel, etc.), but the problem-solving is fun!

    I will probably replace another one of our old toilets soon.

    Good luck, and come back with any more questions!!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  8. ncage1974

    ncage1974 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks for the awesome reply and thanks to everyone else also. I just measured the distance and its exactly 12''. The water comes from the floor and not from the wall. Here is a pic:
    toilet.jpg

    So i should be good to go right?

    The hose was actually replaced about a year ago when the one i had busted (yes it was a little mini disaster but thank god i was home). So do you think i should replace it still?

    Fortunately they will be replacing the floor at the same time so hopefully this will make things easier.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,258
    Location:
    New England
    Always replace the supply hose when you're changing the toilet. I'd also consider picking up one of the braided, reinforced ones. It looks like there's some rust forming on that at one year... How far from the centerline of the toilet is that shutoff coming out of the floor? If you go to the www.totousa.com website, you can view the spec sheets which have line drawings with dimensions for each toilet you can check for fit issues like this.
  10. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Location:
    New York, NY
  11. SmithElly

    SmithElly New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    New York
    Mostly i change my toilet seat every year and i bought form Home depot.
  12. ejanning

    ejanning New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Newport, KY
    HELP! I need one that really FLUSHES!

    I have four Kohler Class 5 toilets installed in my home. I seem to be the only one in my household who has a problem with clogging after a heavy BM. I am looking for a toilet at any price which WILL NOT clog every time I use it. There is no good way to find out without trying them out, but that is impractical. I don't necessarily believe Consumer Reports. Sometimes they use screwy criteria in judging. Can anyone out there tell me what the best flushing toilet is? TOTO Drake? TOTO Neorest? Whatever?HELP!!
  13. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Take a look at Terry's toilet reviews: http://terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm

    What Terry considers to be Toto's best gravity toilet is the Soiree one-piece: http://www.totousa.com/Portals/0/ProductDownloads/SS-00401_MS964214CEFG.pdf

    A real workhorse toilet that definitely gets it down, and a great value at about $220 street price, that has been proven over and over through the years is the original Drake (of which I am the happy owner of two): http://www.totousa.com/Portals/0/ProductDownloads/SS-00351_CST744S_SG.pdf

    In between pricewise are the Drake II and the Ultramax II, lots of bells and whistles (comfort height, sanagloss finish to resist stains, double-cyclone flush to clean the bowl better, etc.) and a good price.

    Anything in the Toto line at or above the price of the original Drake is going to give you a flush that gets it done.

    I agree with you that MAP ratings don't tell you much about real-world capabilities (except the ones at the lowest end of the scale, which signal "AVOID"), and I'm sad to say that the CU folks appear in the past few years to have picked some real dogs as their recommended toilets. If you click on the links to customer reviews in Terry's Toilet Report, you can see what literally hundreds of folks have said about the Drake and the other models over the years. It's a great compendium, and a way to see how the stuff works in the real world.

    If your stools are unusually hard as well as large, there is an Australian brand toilet that Terry recommends in that specific case because of its huge trapway, called the Caroma.

    Good luck, and come back with any more questions.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,283
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    For above average size, then you would be looking at either a larger trapway, a Caroma toilet made in Australia (3" trapway in the bowl), or something with pressure assist. Kohler makes one with a Sloan Flushmate that can be ordered.
  15. ejanning

    ejanning New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Newport, KY
    Is the Kohler with pressure assist better for me than the TOTO Ultramax 1.6g?
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,283
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you are having size issues, then yes, something with a better push behind it.
    The TOTO 1.6 works great for the 99%, but there is a small section out there where the volume or diameter is an issue.
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,258
    Location:
    New England
    The pressure jet of water can help break things up. This is also a detriment, as when it does, it may leave behind some small pieces plus, it is louder. The Sloan Flushmate is pretty reliable...some of the clones have not proven to be. Depending on the consistency and size, it may not be enough, and the additional diameter of the trapway on the Caroma can help there.
  18. Jay T Boggs

    Jay T Boggs New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Well, I am not sure if Terry agrees but I believe that the new American Standard Pressure Assist Cadet with a Sloan Flushmate will get the job done. It has a POWERFUL flush. It probably will never clog. Although you will probably have to get it at a local Plumbing Supply Store. My second choice is a TOTO Drake with a GMAX Flush System. I have 3 of them and they are not pressure assist but they are high performance. And Consumer Reports sucks. That guy is a full crock of crap, you shouldn't listen to that guy. Trust me, both of those toilets are awesome.
  19. ncage1974

    ncage1974 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Illinois
    Well i wish i would have listend to Terry on this one. I ordered the toto online and it was sitting in the box until today. I found out my vanity top had been delayed from lowes. So i was going to install the toilet, and then take it back up, and then reinstall it. If i didn't i would have to worry because of the 30 day return policy. So i open the box today and its in about 20 pieces :(. I read a reviews and this one lady received 3 broken toilets (she even took pictures of it). So i'm not going to mess with ordering a toilet online anymore. It will have to be local and since the only local dealer that sells toto will not sell directly to the public its not going to be a toto.

    I just went to lowes and sorted the toilets by customer review rating. It seems like the kohler toilets are overpriced. Right now i'm probably going to go with either a AquaSource (seems like a heck of a deal for $100) or a penguin (The overflow protection think is kind of cool). Currently i'm leaning towards the AquaSource though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014
  20. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,258
    Location:
    New England
    Have you tried calling some local plumbing supply houses? Toto isn't the greatest about listing everyone that carries their product...many places can get them, and you may be surprised at their prices, too.
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