Originally published Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Is a one-piece or a two-piece toilet a better buy?

Ed the Plumber: Toilet-style choice a matter of price and preference.

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Q: My husband and I are looking into getting rid of an old toilet that came with our house. My husband will be installing the new toilet, and he's a good handyman. But we have a question: Should we go with a one-piece or a two-piece toilet? Is one better than the other, and what should we consider when choosing? Thanks in advance!

— Cindy, New Jersey

A: It's a good move to get rid of your older water-guzzling toilet. Today's new high-efficiency toilets can flush with more power, and reduce toilet-water consumption up to 20 percent over pre-1990 toilets.

But let's get back to your question. As long as both toilets are made from the same company, the performance and water-savings difference between one-piece and two-piece toilets should be about the same.

So, why should you go with one or the other? Well, basically, it gets down to budget, family use and installation.

Here's a quick breakdown:

Budget: Two-piece toilets usually mean less money, because one-piece toilets can cost more to manufacture.

Family use: In houses with children, a one-piece toilet is easier to keep clean for the simple reason that there's no space between the tank and bowl.

Installation: If you're working alone, a two-piece toilet can be easier to install, since the toilet is in two smaller components, which are easier to move than one large unit.

Those are the main issues to consider.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande, an LEED green associate, is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and for hosting TV shows on Scripps Networks and For information visit or write Always consult local contractors and codes.

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