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Elongated Toilet vs Round Toilet

Updated on July 15, 2013

Which Would You Choose?

It’s a fact: Toilets waste water. In most homes, toilets account for almost 40% of the household’s total water usage. Because of this, the ‘loo’ has become one of the most vital fixtures found in a home. While most people never truly think about the specifications or structure of their porcelain throne, there is at least one basic facet one must consider when purchasing a toilet bowl for the first time. Simply stated, that question is, “round or elongated?” Both features offer their individual pros and cons, and ultimately, that decision is left to the buyer’s preference.

Round toilet bowls are great for families who don’t have much space and require a more compact toilet. Round toilet bowls are generally 5 ½ inches wide near the top and 16 ½ inches long. Because of their compressed size, they tend to be more popular in small apartments and rooms. Additionally, their size makes them a good fit for children, as they’re petite and offer a more comfortable setting for smaller bodies.

Elongated toilet bowls, on the other hand, tend to cost a little more but are preferred by many adults because they’re found to be more spacious with the added sitting room. In contrast to a round toilet bowl, people can sit farther away from the toilet tank and thus feel less confined and cramped. An elongated toilet bowl size is typically 5 ½ inches wide near the top and 18 ½ inches long. Because of their longer length, elongated toilet bowls are more popular in larger, more voluminous bathrooms where their size won’t get in the way of doors, drawers, or cabinets. Similarly, elongated toilet bowls are now found in newer model homes, as they have gained rising popularity within the last few years.

Besides the basic, physical observations, there are a couple of subtle yet important things to consider when choosing between a round and elongated toilet bowl. In no particular order, these qualities are efficiency when cleaning, flushing performance, and model year. Elongated toilet bowls will offer better cleanliness than round toilet bowls. The reason for this is the extra surface area in the elongated toilet bowls allow for easier access cleaning. Additionally, because of the longer length, it’s less likely that waste and grime will reach the toilet seat area.

Next, although there is some speculation on the topic, many people assume that round toilets have a better flushing capacity. By law, all toilets built after 1994 in the United States are set to have a maximum water waste of 1.6 gallons per flush. However, since round toilet bowls have less surface area to account for, it is thought that per flush, less water is wasted. However, there have been no conclusive tests on the matter stating that one shape is better than the other.

Finally, newer model toilets will perform much better than their decade old counterparts. The reason for this is that with increasing technology, newer models offer the most efficient water usage available, improving environmental conservation efforts. Furthermore, many new toilets are also quieter and can cut your home water consumption by up to 25%. Regardless of whether you want to buy an elongated or round toilet bowl, the best choice is the one that offers the best efficiency and luxury for an affordable price.


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