Why Are (Most) Toilets Made of Porcelain?

Chances are high that the vast majority of homes that you’ve been in — including your own — have a toilet made out of porcelain.

In fact, it is estimated that between 95 and 99% of all toilets are made of this material that we’re all familiar with. But why is that?

In this article, you’ll learn about other types of materials that can be used to make toilets and reasons that porcelain has remained supreme over the years. You’ll also learn of a couple of particular instances in which toilets made of a different material might actually be more beneficial than the standard porcelain.

Why Are Toilets Made of Porcelain?

Are There Non-Porcelain Toilets?

While porcelain may be the most common material that toilets are constructed of, there are other options available on the market. Two of the other materials that can be used to make toilets include plastic and steel.

Plastic toilets can often be found in more temporary locations, such as a portable bathroom, or Porta-Potty. Then, of course, there are steel toilets; but those have a bit of a bad reputation as they are typically what’s provided in jail.

Plastic Toilet for Kids

4 Reasons Most Toilets Are Made of Porcelain

So although there are toilets out there made out of other materials, most toilets are made of the porcelain that we’re all accustomed to.

With that in mind, there are more than a couple of good reasons why that is. Let’s take a look at the four main ones.

Strong and Durable

Perhaps the biggest reason that porcelain is a great choice for toilet manufacturing is that the material is strong. This allows for the toilet to not give or buckle when a user sits down on it.

Porcelain is also incredibly durable, just think about how long your family has had some of their fancy dinner plates over the years. This means that the toilet will last a long time and will rarely experience failure or damage that requires replacement other than routine maintenance.

Easy to Clean

One of the best features of a toilet being made out of porcelain is that the material is incredibly easy to clean. When dealing with cleaning a bathroom, the easier something is to clean, the better it is.

Nobody wants to spend more time than they have to scrubbing the inside and outside of a toilet to get it sparkling clean. Due to its surface being both incredibly smooth and very hard, porcelain is a breeze to wipe since neither the dirt nor the cleaner will be getting stuck along any rough surfaces.

Once it is clean, the material looks great, too!

Water-Resistant and Non-Corrosive

A couple of key features about porcelain is that it is water-resistant and non-corrosive.

This resistance to water is part of what makes it so easy to clean — you can just apply cleaner to the surface and it will wipe right off.

The fact that porcelain is also non-corrosive is a big deal for an appliance that is largely filled with water at nearly all times. It won’t oxidize, rust, or be worn away by the water that is constantly flowing through it.

Largely Unaffected by Temperature Changes

Depending on where you live or where the toilet is going to be used, it needs to be made of a material that won’t have large swings in its surface temperature based on the ambient temperature around it.

Steel is a great example of a material that does experience big temperature changes.

Just imagine sitting down on a steel toilet on a hot day or a freezing cold day — you’ll be wishing that toilet was made of pretty much anything else at that point!

Should You Get a Non-Porcelain Toilet?

Due to the reasons mentioned above as well as a few others, such as porcelain’s inexpensive manufacturing, the social norms of having a porcelain toilet, and more, porcelain is usually going to be your best bet.

If you are in the market for a toilet and head to your local home improvement store, chances are high that the vast majority — if not all — of the options you find will be made of porcelain.

That’s not to say that there is never a situation where a toilet made of a different material may be a better choice!

One of the most common reasons to go with a different material for a toilet is when weight is a concern. This same reason goes for someone looking to do a weekend of fishing and needing a portable toilet, or even for commercial aircraft.

Anyone who has ever picked up a porcelain toilet knows that they are heavy. The typical porcelain toilet weighs between 55-88 pounds — you don’t want to be lugging that around with you and aircraft manufacturers want to save weight anywhere they can!

Summary

With such a vast majority of toilets being made of porcelain — accepted to be at least 95 out of every 100 installed — it is a fair question to wonder about why porcelain is used for toilets.

As you may have noticed throughout your life, porcelain is a fairly common material found in bathrooms across the world. Not only is it used to make toilets, but it’s also a favorite for sinks as well as tubs and showers.

With the strength and durability of porcelain, how easy it is to clean, and how good it looks, it’s easy to see why porcelain is such a favorite!