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Originally published August 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM | Page modified August 20, 2012 at 6:55 PM

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Checklist for buying a toilet

Ed the Plumber: When it comes to choosing a new toilet, you need to consider available options and features that will work best for your home and family.

Scripps Howard News Service

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Q: I recently looked into getting a new toilet and was confused at all the choices I needed to make when buying one. I know that you have a way of making most plumbing issues easy to understand. So, can you help guide me through the process of choosing my new toilet?

— Fred, Ohio

A: When it comes to choosing a new toilet, you need to consider available options and features that will work best for your home and family. I have made a "toilet checklist" that may help you.

1. Style: "One-piece" toilets can look trendy and be easier to clean, but "two-piece" toilets may fit your budget a little better.

2. Bowl shape: "Elongated" bowls give you a longer bowl, but for small bathrooms a "round front" bowl may fit the space.

3. Toilet height: If you need a taller toilet, "comfort height" toilets are about 2 inches higher than standard toilets.

4. Gallons per flush: Most standard toilets flush with 1.6 gpf, "high-efficiency" toilets flush with 1.3 gpf or less.

5. Flushing options: Gravity flush toilets can be available in single or "dual-flush" models. Dual flush gives the option of a full flush or a half flush. Also available are "assisted-flush" toilets where air pressure can help add more flushing power.

I hope this helps flush out your confusion. If you make a list of all your choices, a plumber or salesperson can help choose a toilet that will work best for you.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," a host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.comor write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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