Choosing the right toilet for your bathroom is something you more than likely do not think about every day. However, the shape of your toilet may affect you more than you realize. Both elongated and round toilets each have their own good points and not so good points.
When choosing which one you will be using there are a couple of things to think about before picking one out, including the size of the space it is going in, how easy it is to clean, or even the force of flush you will need.
Elongated vs. Round Toilet: What Are the Differences?
Let’s start by looking at the two main differences between these two types of toilets.
Elongated toilet bowls in general are bigger than round ones and take up more space. Elongated bowls are well suited for standard or larger bathrooms due to their length being about 2 inches longer.
Round toilet bowls are smaller and fit better in smaller bathrooms where space is limited. Many building codes have a minimum space requirement in front of the toilet, making the 2 inches saved by the round bowl a key factor.
There are a lot of different types of flushing technologies available.
However, if your toilet flushes by taking the water in the bowl and circulating it using force, then you will want an elongated toilet bowl. The elongated toilet bowl would provide more pressure for a more complete flush.
The Pros and Cons of Elongated Toilets
Being the larger of the two bowls, elongated bowls are more comfortable for the average human adult due to their larger sitting space. This larger size also makes it easier for users with mobility problems as well as children.
Their design also makes cleaning them easier than their round counterparts. It is easier to see the front side of the interior of the bowl and has a smaller crevice on the bottom side of the bowl.
The problems with these larger bowls are their price and size. Elongated bowls are, in general, about 50 dollars more than round bowls.
On top of their heftier price tag, they take up more space. Smaller bathrooms require a smaller toilet, and these just take up too much space, and those with mobility problems that need a walker or a wheelchair may not be able to fit in the bathroom with an elongated toilet.
The Pros and Cons of Round Toilets
Round toilet bowls are smaller and come with a lower price tag. Round toilet bowls are more of a traditional or old-fashioned style. These bowls also take up less space and are well suited for smaller bathrooms or for bathrooms that someone that requires a walker or wheelchair may use.
Also, younger children, especially those still learning to use the potty, might be more comfortable on this smaller bowl. Where the larger ones help prevent messes, these would help them by having a smaller hole they might fall into.
On the downside, a round bowl will have a smaller water surface which means that if your toilet flush uses force and to circulate the water in the bowl, then the round bowl will have less force. This could be a problem by not being able to flush everything down the drain all at once.
Another thing, where it may be good for small kids, adults may find it does not have a good amount of sitting space, and the adult cleaning it may have a harder time getting it good and clean.
Which of the Two Should You Get?
Picking a toilet bowl shape will depend on your needs and the space you have.
If you have an average or larger bathroom, then the size will not be an issue and an elongated seat should not be a problem. As an adult, you would be good with an elongated bowl as well as for older children that have gotten good at using the toilet.
It will be more comfortable, easier to use and depending on the type of flush your toilet uses, you may need a larger bowl as long as you can handle the price of it.
On the other side of things, if you can’t afford a larger bowl and/or just don’t have space for an elongated bowl, then a round toilet will work just fine too. The smaller bowls are also easier for younger children to stay on top of instead of falling in and they are cheaper.
Where it may be good for small kids, adults may find it does not have a good amount of sitting space, and the adult cleaning it may have a harder time working on the toilet comfortably.
Can You Install an Elongated Seat on a Round Toilet and Vice Versa?
Though there are standard sizes when it comes to the posts that attach the seat to the bowl, the sizes of the actual seat are different. The seats could be interchangeable but the look and feel of the seat may not be right.
Elongated toilet seats are longer than round ones and would probably have an overhang of one to two inches. Since they do not match, an elongated seat on a round bowl might leave part of the rim left uncovered and visible and a round seat on an elongated bowl would leave part of the rim sticking out and uncovered.
How Can You Tell If Your Current Toilet Is Elongated or Round?
The best way to determine what shape your toilet bowl is is to measure it.
Starting in the middle of the holes where the seat attaches to the bowl, will measure out across the bowl. Round toilet bowls measure about 16-1/2 inches where elongated bowls measure about 18-1/2 inches most of the time.
Knowing what shape your bowl is, is crucial when you need to replace the seat.
Choosing a toilet is something best done with your own personal judgment. One place to start when thinking about a toilet is how big you’re the space it will be going in is and how much money you want to spend on it. Elongated toilet bowls are great in bathrooms where space is not a problem, but they are more expensive.
When it comes to comfort and how easy they are to clean, elongated bowls are preferred. However, in smaller spaces is where round toilet bowls are needed for their smaller size. Not to mention, they are cheaper too. Round toilet bowls work just as good as elongated ones and are easier to use for smaller children.
There is no definitive right or wrong answer when it comes to picking what shape your toilet bowl will be. As long as you think ahead and make sure it fits in your bathroom, either bowl does the same thing as the other one.