If you are about to renovate your bathroom or are building a new house, and are looking for a place to start your toilet search with, you are at the right place.
While I wrote an article about some of the best toilets you can get in 2019 before, below I’ll take a look at what I think are the six best toilet brands – Toto, Kohler, American Standard, Mansfield Plumbing, Swiss Madison, and Signature Hardware – in more details.
Continue reading to learn each of the brands’ history, as well as what some of my favorite products from them are. I’ll also talk about whether it actually matters what brand of toilet you choose.
6 Best Toilet Brands
First, let’s take a look at the six brands.
While they are in no particular order, Toto is my personal favorite.
In 1917, Kazuchika Okura established the company Toyo Toki Co. Ltd. in Kitakyushu, Japan. The company was later renamed to the simpler Toto.
A few years before that, Okura setup a laboratory to develop sanitary ceramics, that were common in America and Europe. At the time, wooden toilet bowls were the norm and there was no proper sewage system in Japan.
After the WWII, the company began manufacturing faucets and metal fittings along with ceramic toilet bowls. Apart from rimless toilets, the company also manufactures washlets, washbasins, bidets, urinals, showers, bathtubs, faucets, hand dryers, and various toilet accessories.
Toto is best known for its washlet which it launched in 1980, and which offered a whole new level of comfort and very quickly became a cultural sensation in Japan. The following year, the company moved into advanced technology by introducing high-end modular kitchens.
In 1998, Toto launched Hydrotect that uses photocatalytic technology to self-clean the toilets and break down pollutants in the air to eliminate odors and bacteria.
Since its establishment in the late 1910s, Toto has grown into the most popular toilet brand in Japan, and recently has been growing globally as well becoming the toilet brand of choice for homes across all continents – especially the United States and Europe.
Toto provides its customers with the chance to avail a more efficient warranty by registering on their website.
Depending on the product, the company offers a one-year limited warranty, three-year limited warranty, and a lifetime limited warranty.
My Favorite Toto Product: Eco Drake Two-Piece Elongated Toilet
The TOTO Eco Drake Two-Piece Elongated Toilet features a high-profile, elongated bowl and tank, and it comes with a powerful E-Max 1.28 GPF flushing system. It’s manufactured from premium quality vitreous china and comes in several different colors including cotton white and ebony.
The product’s numerous certifications including ADA, WaterSense, CALGreen, and CEC are a testament to its high-end quality.
The toilet weighs around 91 pounds and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- Powerful and quiet flushing system
- Sleek and seamless tank and bowl design
- WaterSense certified
- Taller people might find it uncomfortable
- Toilet seat is not included in the price
Kohler Co. was founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler and Charles Silberzahn in Wisconsin. The company was initially called after both of its founders – Kohler & Silberzahn – and it manufactured plows and farming equipment.
In 1878, Charles Silberzahn sold his minority interest and the company was renamed to Kohler, Hayssen & Stehn Manufacturing Company. While Kohler sold its first plumbing product – an enameled cast-iron water trough as a bathtub – already back in 1883, it wasn’t until 1927 that the company began commercial production of pottery in the Village of Kohler which made it a full-fledged plumbing products manufacturer.
In 1911, Kohler Co. introduced the first one-piece bath tub with a built-in apron. Besides plumbing fixtures, the company also produced mine anchors, shells, and projectiles for the US Army during World War I. In 1920, Kohler Co. entered the power systems business and introduced the Kohler Automatic Power and Light, which was the world’s first engine-powered electric generator.
During WWII in 1941, Kohler Co. converted much of its production line into manufacturing torpedo tubes and shell fuses for the allies. During war-time, plumbing fixtures and generators were only manufactured for war housing, hospitals, and military uses. Following WWII, Kohler Co. converted back to peacetime production and became one of the first manufacturers to bring its lineup of fixtures to small homes in the United States.
In 1948, the company also started its production of small engines. In 1964, the company was the first to introduce its famous self-rimming vitreous china lavatory, which was considered to be a bold step at the time.
By 1969, the company began the production of shower and bath combinations that were made of fiberglass and reinforced plastic, with fixtures neatly molded into pre-made walls. In 1986, the company’s engine division introduced the first vertical shaft engine, which was a twin-cylinder engine with an output of 18 horsepower.
In 2018, Kohler unveiled a new product called Kohler Konnect, which is a collection of smart plumbing fixtures that can be voice controlled.
Kohler plumbing products are guaranteed to be free of defects in material and workmanship for one year from date of installation (in-tank toilet cleaners not included).
Kohler Co. warrants that its toilets with integrated cleansing functionality (“Intelligent Toilets”) and electric cleansing seats will be free of defects in material and workmanship during normal residential use for three years from their installation date. This warranty applies only to intelligent toilets and electric cleansing seats installed in the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico.
My Favorite Kohler Product: Memoirs Elongated Toilet
Out of all the plumbing products that have been introduced by Kohler through the years, the one product that stands out is the Kohler Memoirs Elongated 1.28 GPF Toilet with Aqua Piston Flush Technology.
One of the product’s main features is that it offers a comfortable chair-height seating. Weighing 101 lbs, the two-piece toilet is manufactured from vitreous china and includes an elongated bowl and a left-hand trip lever for the tank.
The specially designed canister flush valve offers power flushing and eliminates clogs. The toilet also features a concealed trapway that facilitates easy-cleaning.
The toilet comes in several colors including white, biscuit, and black.
- Sleek and elegant design
- Comfortable to sit on
- Strong but efficient flush
- Concealed trapway for easier cleaning
- May be too high for some users
- Seat, wax ring, and supply line are not included
3. American Standard
American Standard Companies Inc. was formed in 1929 through a merger between two companies – American Radiator Company and Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company. Originally named the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation, it was renamed to the name its known under today – American Standard Corporation – in 1967.
American Standard Companies Inc. is a global manufacturer of plumbing, ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems, including bath and kitchen products, and vehicle control systems.
In 2007, the company announced that it would be breaking into three divisions. The company’s kitchen and bathroom division with the most relevant one being the one that manufactures various plumbing products for home and commercial use, such as toilets, faucets, sinks, toilet seats, bidets, showers bathtubs and also furniture – mainly included bathroom vanities.
American Standard offers a one-year limited warranty for its toilets which states that if the product is found to be defective, American Standard will either repair or exchange the product for a similar model.
This warranty is applicable for up to one year from the date of purchase.
Our Favorite American Standard Product: 2887218.020 Toilet
This American Standard toilet is a two-piece fixture which boasts high power and low water consumption. This toilet also features siphon jet bowl technology and a PowerWash rim which makes cleaning easy.
Weighing just 70 pounds, this toilet features an elongated bowl and a tank made from vitreous china. One of the main benefits of this toilet is that it sits higher than many others, which makes it comfortable to taller people.
The toilet also allows its users to choose from both a full flush as well as a partial flush which further increases its efficiency. In fact, the toilet is WaterSense certified meaning it uses less than 1.28 GPF on average.
Besides the elongated version, its also available with a round bowl. And, it comes in two different sizes and various colors.
- Comfortable height
- Tank is narrower as compared to older models
- Tank features two float valves
- Strong gravity-flush
- Excellent value for a mid-range toilet
- Seat, wax ring, and supply line sold separately
4. Mansfield Plumbing
Mansfield Plumbing Products was founded in 1929 in Fredericksburg, Ohio after the owner purchased Mansfield Sanitary Pottery Inc. Since then, the company has become one of the leading manufacturers of plumbing fittings and fixtures for commercial and residential use.
In 2004, the company was purchased by Corona, which is the largest manufacturer of china in the western hemisphere. The company uses the latest technologies to manufacture sanitary ware. Mansfield Plumbing currently has two manufacturing facilities – one in Big Prairie, Ohio, and one in Henderson, Texas.
Apart from luxury toilets, the company is also known for manufacturing other products such as bidets, bathtubs, urinals, shower bases, soaker tubs, whirlpools, air massage baths, toilet tank trims, sinks, acrylic air-baths, and kitchen fixtures.
In 1984 the company introduced the first pressure-assist toilet. It was not until 1993, though, that Mansfield bathroom fixtures were made available at retail plumbing outlets.
In 2004, the company introduced its first dual-flush, pressure-assist EcoQuantum toilet. And, a year later, the company rolled out both its Maverick high-performance toilet lineup and the Ariance air massage dual therapy acrylic baths.
From 2007 to 2009, Mansfield Plumbing introduced four new affordable style suites, including the Enso Suite, a one-pint urinal, two lavatories and four bariatric bowls.
Since then, it has grown into one of the most popular toilet brands across the United States.
The company offers a one-year limited warranty on tank trim and lifetime limited warranty for defects on the vitreous china. Its higher-end Denali, Vanquish, and Summit single-flush models carry a five-year limited warranty on tank trims.
Our Favorite Mansfield Plumbing Product: Summit Toilet
The Mansfield Plumbing 384.387.WHT Summit ADA 1.28 Toilet is a two-piece toilet system weights just 88 pounds with an elongated bowl.
Since the bowl is just 16 1/2 inches high, it’s comfortable to sit down and stand up for shorter people.
What makes this product unique, though, is its powerful Magnaflush technology, as well as its 3″ flush valve and a pilot-operated anti-siphon fill valve designed to minimize clogs. The left-hand, front mounted metal triplever is chrome plated and is easy to use.
Mansfield Plumbing offers a limited lifetime warranty on the china and a five-year limited warranty on the tank trim.
- Smart height makes it easy to use
- Powerful Magnaflush technology
- Low water consumption
- Pura clean glazed trap makes it easy to clean
- Smart fasten 3-bolt tank to bowl connection
- Toilet seat and supply not included
5. Swiss Madison
Swiss Madison is a family-owned manufacturer of bathroom fixtures, including one-piece and wall-hung toilets.It boasts of its superior quality and innovative products, and excellent customer service.
The company is relatively new, having been founded in 2015, and it offers modern design bathroom fixtures especially designed for small spaces, personal home spas, and commercial lavatories.
Apart from a variety of one-piece and two-piece toilets, Swiss Madison also provides a range of other plumbing fixtures including sinks of different types, such as, vessel sinks, under-mount, vanity top, pedestal, wall-mounted, and farmhouse sinks.
The company also manufacturers stainless steel shower panels, shower bases, vanities, and other toilet and bathroom fixtures.
Swiss Madison offers a variety of different warranties depending on the product, ranging from one-year to a twelve-year limited warranty.
Our Favorite Swiss Madison Product: SM-1T112 Ivy One-Piece Elongated Toilet
The Swiss Madison SM-1T112 features a sleek, one-piece design with an elongated bowl. It weighs just 90 pounds and is manufactured from premium quality ceramic.
The fully skirted design offers a great look and high practicality as its easy to clean. It’s also the perfect height for most people to use it comfortably. As for its flush, it features a Dual Tornado flushing system that promises high performance while using water efficiently.
In fact, the flush uses 20% less water than standard 1.6-gallon toilets. The toilet is being touted as being environmentally friendly and meets EPA guidelines.
- Luxurious modern design and gorgeous profile
- Dual Tornado flush for powerful cleaning
- High water efficiency
- Space between the bolt-holes is a non-standard 6 1/8 inches
6. Signature Hardware
Signature Hardware was founded in 1999. The company offers high-quality toilet fixtures that are beautifully crafted and built to last. While the company may have been founded in the late 90s, the foundations of it was laid out in the 1930s by master plumber, Robert Butler in Covington, Kentucky.
Apart from bathroom fixtures the company also manufactures luxury bathtubs, kitchen fixtures, hardware, and home and garden appliances and lighting fixtures. When it comes to bathroom fixtures, Signature Hardware excels in crafting excellent quality bathtubs, bathroom vanities, bathroom sinks, bathroom sink faucets, tub faucets, showers, towel warmers, medicine cabinets, bathroom mirrors, toilets and bidets, shower curtain rods, shower curtains and hooks, bathroom accessories, shower and tub drains and plumbing supplies.
As far as kitchen fixtures are concerned, the company designs, farmhouse sinks, kitchen sinks, bar and prep sinks, kitchen faucets, range hoods, kitchen soap dispensers, kitchen drains, kitchen accessories, utility sinks, utility sink faucets.
Finally, it also manufactures other household hardware such as, registers, door handles and locks, barn door and gate hardware, pocket door hardware, door hinges and straps, door accessories, door knockers, doorbells, coat hooks and racks, shelf brackets, stair hardware, cabinet and drawer hardware, appliance pulls, cremone bolts, window hardware, electrical plates, fireplace and hearth fixtures, chandeliers, pendants, and even mailboxes.
Since the company manufactures a wide range of products the warranties for each vary. However, Signature Hardware toilets generally come with a lifetime warranty and a 40-day return policy.
Our Favorite Signature Hardware Product: 393188 Kennard Toilet
The Signature Hardware 393188 Kennard 1.6 GPF Rear Outlet Toilet offers both style and functionality. The height of the elongated bowl is perfect for the floor-mounted toilet.
The two-piece toilet features a seamless design which makes it look almost like a single piece toilet. The specially designed elongated bowl extends an extra inch compared to the round configuration, making it extra comfortable.
Weighing just 80.1 pounds, the toilet is designed from high quality porcelain.This product comes in a sleek white finish and is covered under a limited lifetime warranty.
- Sleek and luxurious design
- Features a floor-mounted design with a rear outlet
- Built from robust quality porcelain
- P-trap is conveniently built inside
- Comes with an adapter to fit a four-inch wall opening, so may not fit at all homes
Does It Matter Which Toilet Brand You Choose?
Chances are you heard about one or more of the brands mentioned in the above list. But, does it actually even matter which brand of toilet you choose when remodeling (or building from scratch) your bathroom?
The answer is yes and no.
Regardless of which brand you go with – whether from the list above or not – chances are your toilet will last decades.
That said, if you have the budget, I still recommend going with one of the well-known brands, preferably one of those mentioned above, since with those you can be sure the customer service will be good.
And so, you whether you will need to return the whole product due to a production fault or just get a replacement part, you can be sure you will get it smoothly. That might not always be the case with less-known and less-reputable brands.
Whichever brand you go with out of the six mentioned, you cannot go wrong – they all manufacture high-quality toilets that will, in most cases, last you decades.
However, personally, if I wanted something from an American brand, I would likely go with Kohler. Otherwise, I would go with Toto – a Japanese brand that also has manufacturing facilities in the United States.
And, which manufactures some of the most modern toilets out there.
To get some more inspiration, make sure to check the best toilets you can get in 2019 article.