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Toto vs. Kohler toilets

susiekitchen's picture

On top of everything else I need to fix around here, the master bath needs an emergency fix and I'm going to also replace the toilet at the same time. I've been looking at the Toto and Kohler toilets and comparing flushing systems. I don't have experience with most of these types (my work is mainly kitchens) so I'm having a hard time choosing. I'm also currently working with a bath remodel client on selecting her toilet. Got info from the local showroom, but hope someone out there can give me some feedback about performance and problems from actual experience.

Here are my criteria, in no order:

Enclosed trapway (prefer the Toto)

2 pc. preferred for more traditional look

Reliable flushing mechanism (no more breakdowns 2 hours before the dinner party)

Good bowl cleaning

Quiet operation

Look forward to hearing your comments!



(post #81056, reply #1 of 68)

I am not a pro plumber, but have put in about 20 Toto's between our house, family, friends, church and everyone likes the way it works. Have used both the ADA & regular with the same results. Not too expensive, about $165 for ADA toilet, wax ring, supply line, bolts the last time I did it. I bought mine at a plumbing supply, not a big box.

Don't have any experience with the Kohler's so I can't compare the two.

(post #81056, reply #2 of 68)

In my prior job, we installed plenty of each, including some really pricey Kohlers like the Kathryn and Memoirs.

As part of my job, I was in charge of all call-backs. We only had a couple toilet related callbacks, involving Totos. But then, we installed a LOT of Totos, so I think it might be the law of averages coming into play.

I wouldn't fret over either manufacturer. Personally, I prefer Toto's styling, but whatever works for you.

By the way, if you would ever want a gray Kohler toilet, their term for the color is 'Thunder Gray.' I couldn't stop laughing when I learned that.

(post #81056, reply #3 of 68)

so Kholer has a sense of humor then.....


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(post #81056, reply #4 of 68)

Personally, I don't like Kohler toilets.  As an avid "user" of said devices, I find I have more problems when the toilet is a Kohler than anything else.

I just got our first Toto (high end pricy Guenevere), and I have to say I'm less than impressed with its performance compared to the 3 other American Standard "Champion".  To be fair, it is not in full time use yet.

I really, really like the Champion though.  One flush and everything is gone instantly.  You can even flush again right away and still get a good powerfull 2nd flush without waiting for a full tank refill.  But you will rarely ever need that.

The family I married into had a unique ability to plug and overflow toilets in the last house that I owned.  Since being in this new house with nothing but Champions, I have never had a backup.

Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA

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(post #81056, reply #6 of 68)

I'll throw in another vote for the Champion. If trouble-free operation is your goal, that is the toilet for you.

(post #81056, reply #7 of 68)

I'll be the contrarian when it comes to the Champion.

In five years in the repair/remodeling business, I installed two Champions -- both at the insistence of the home owners.

Those two toilets have caused me more callbacks than ALL OTHER JOBS combined. I was quite happy when one of the HO's allowed me to replace the Champion with something else -- at my cost.

I finally told the other guy that I would either replace his, or he could call someone else.

Politics is the antithesis of problem solving.

. . . I can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone, So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here. (Phil Ochs)

(post #81056, reply #10 of 68)

I'll be damned.

(post #81056, reply #13 of 68)

Let me guess, flush tower was leaking?  Mine all did that too and I replaced them.  No problems since then.  It was a problem that didn't happen until they were out on the market for a few years.  I doubt a new one would have the same problems.

Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA

Also a CRX fanatic!

If your hair looks funny, it's because God likes to scratch his nuts.  You nut, you.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


(post #81056, reply #5 of 68)

I put Kohlers cheapest toilet (Welworth I think) about $90 in about then years ago and have NEVER had a problem with it.


(post #81056, reply #8 of 68)

We installed three Kohler Wellworths in our house maybe 10 years ago and have been satisfied with them. Toto is reputed to be the best, but we didn't want to spend the extra dollars at the time.



(post #81056, reply #9 of 68)

You should cut to the chase and look at the test results (the pdfs of the tables by mfr and score are smaller files than the full report):

We have 2 Totos that I still manage to clog occasionally. My FIL's house has Am Std.s that clogged just about every time you used one (not sure if Champions or what).

Edited 1/30/2008 1:35 pm ET by mrsludge

(post #81056, reply #11 of 68)

I have Totos and my MIL & SIL (who use a 6 pack of TP in a 2 day visit) can't plug them up.

(post #81056, reply #22 of 68)

My kids can.
Start with a full m roll of TP. Take a huge wad of it, & put it into the bowl.
Pull the paper so the tail of the remaining part of the roll is in the water.
I've had my Toto off a few times. Last time, DW was clearing out some past-due-date homemade chicken soup, and did not see the chicken bone as she was flushing. Sigh.

Quality repairs for your home.

AaronR Construction
Vancouver, Canada


Quality repairs for your home.

AaronR Construction
Vancouver, Canada


(post #81056, reply #32 of 68)

Ho! A friend of mine claims she uses 1 roll a day!

(post #81056, reply #33 of 68)

This is kinda off topic, But are any of the low flows better than others when it comes to not plugging, way down stream, from the smaller amount of water being there to move "the package"..Reason I ask is that my house is '55 vintage and have had a couple of down(Like 35') stream plugs in the last year or so..And that is with old (non lf)toilet...I wanna change but am scared, cause its big bucks to start diggin alla that stuff up...Last one cost 20k...(different house)

(post #81056, reply #12 of 68)




(post #81056, reply #14 of 68)

Kohler Wellworths is what I use in all my apartments.  Very reliable.  I've been thru several other types before settling on Kohler.

(post #81056, reply #15 of 68)

Take a look at the testing done by this group out in California

It seems that they have scientifically tested every possible toilet made.  (I think this is a similiar link as from MrSludge, but I couldn't get that one to work right.)

It's a big file, but after reading enough to understand the tables of data, it was pretty helpful to me.  As you will see, there is quite a bit of variation in performance even among the same brand, with price not always seeming to equal flushing power.

I can personally testify to the accuracy of their ratings of the Am. Standard Cadet vs the Cadet 3.  Also, my BIL's commercial construction companies plumber uses all Totos in their work and put them in at his house as well.  They seem to work well for him, but when I priced them they were about $250 vs about half that for the Cadet 3.

I'd be interested to see if anyone else can verify the ratings for any of the others.


(post #81056, reply #21 of 68)

We use the Vitra Atlantis which shows up in the testing after Toto. They work very well with no issues in the last 4-5 years of use and installed upwards of 200 of them. I have Eljer in my house that was installed prior to switching to Vitra. Very few problems but plunger comes out a couple of times a year.


J.R. Lazaro Builders, Inc.

Indianapolis, In.



J.R. Lazaro Builders, Inc.

Indianapolis, In.

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(post #81056, reply #30 of 68)

Thanks! I fixed the link. The California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC, not CUWWCC) are the originators of the testing. Looks like they even updated the study in December '07. There was an Aug '07 update before that. I'm amazed at how current they keep it.

(post #81056, reply #16 of 68)

Have installed Kohler wellworth, AS Champion as well as other more generics.

I switched to Toto in my house 2 years ago. A superior toilet. I would go with Toto.

(post #81056, reply #17 of 68)

I like the dual flush system bt Toto. you save water if it's just pee and if it is # 2 you get a good flush. What's not to like?

I'm seriosly thinking of putting in a grey water system that recovers washing machine water and then uses ot to flush toilets. Free Water!!!!

Then you can just keep the old ones.

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

(post #81056, reply #18 of 68)

Eljar! Good product & not paying for a Name.

Go with the ADA models, everybody likes ridding high in the saddle!

(post #81056, reply #23 of 68)

Not everyone! I don't like the ADA height. Don't like taking a #### when I am practically standing up. Man was made to work more efficiently when squatting low - like with the Japanese fixtures of several decades ago, which were little more than a hole in the floor, or your basic military slit trench...

(post #81056, reply #38 of 68)

It's personal preference ( unless you're handicapped), all my toilets are ADA height & elongated bowl.

I'm 6'-2"

DW is 5'-9"

13 yr boy is 6'-1,1/2"

My 6 yr old----- well he can get a step stool, or we just step on his stool------ ok that was bad.

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(post #81056, reply #19 of 68)

Go with TOTO! I don't have to say anything more then that so I won't.

(post #81056, reply #28 of 68)

I thought totos had no bowl rim wash, and you got splatter on the bowl which you have to clean off?
Flush well but have to be cleaned a lot?

consumer reports tested and top rates a Kohler

(post #81056, reply #31 of 68)

The only Kohler's model that outperformed in the solids test was their pressurized model but the noise was close to that of 777 takeoff. I've only used the gravity models and the Toto works great in both noise level and solids flushing ability. Another good gravity feed model is the Eljer (spelling) toilet.

Toto's have as good, or better, bowl rim wash as any other and cleaning comparable to other closets I'm familiar with. I subscribe to Consumer's Reports and "No" they did not rate Kohler as "tops" in any category. In the gravity models, Kohler rated forth place among gravity models behind Eljer, American Standard and Toto. Kohler didn't make Consumer Reports "quick pick" rating with any of it's models, pressurized or gravity action.

(post #81056, reply #34 of 68)

I can't figure out how to reply to everyone in this discussion, so can someone please enlighten me for the next go round??

Meantime, I'm just going to post to woodway, who seems to like TOTO.

OK, guys, the current favorite (unless you all persuade me differently) is the Toto "Guinevere" with the Double Cyclone flush and SanaGloss. Although I agree with one reply that ADA compliant toilets aren't always the most comfortable, that's the way this one comes.

And, gentelmen all (unless I missed a lady in the replies), please forgive me if you find my reasons too designer/girly. I know that a good flush is critical, so I have looked at that carefully. However, plunging has not been an issue with our current toilets. But, see that nicely enclosed trap at the bottom of the bolts, nice smooth surface to clean, good-looking, etc. That's reason #1. I haven't had a toilet in any house I've owned that actually still had bolt covers, had a hard time find replacements and the #$%^& things have always come loose.  I also hate cleaning around all those bends. So far, I haven't seen any other brands with the same beautiful skirt.

Reason #2 - altho hubs helps frequently, I still do most of the bathroom cleaning. I want the bowl to be washed thoroughly every flush so there's less for me to clean. Looks like this flushing system will do that for me.

Welcome your further comments!


(post #81056, reply #35 of 68)

Sisie, there is an arrow in the box under your own name in the reply window, click it to select to reply to 'All' or others in the discussion.

Edited to say - sorry, can't type or spell..                        

Edited 1/30/2008 6:54 pm by Heck


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