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Have a Seat, But Don’t Forget to Flush

by on Nov 9, 2006

Okay, so the old toilet is now sitting in your front yard sprouting a lovely selection of greenery and the new toilet is awaiting your heinie. You just need a toilet seat and you’re ready to go. But before we get down to the business of the bottom, how about a tour of the toilet world?

Westminster, Devonshire, Williamsburg, Shelburne, Memoirs, Pinoir, Renaissance. No, they aren’t names of towns, kinds of writing, lingerie or artistic movements in European history. They are the names of toilets, and their variety of monikers gives us a hint at the selection available.

A Shapely Bottom

Toilets are available with round or elongated bowls. Round styles take up less room, but the elongated styles are supposed to be more comfortable for the posterior.

Great Tanks 

One-piece toilets have an integrated bowl and tank. They sit slightly lower to the floor than the two-piece variety, which have a separate bowl and tank.

Some toilet manufacturers offer toilets with tank liners. These liners prevent the dreaded “sweating tank” syndrome common in hot and humid summer months.


And now the most important aspect of any toilet: Flushablity. The basic means of flushing are, gravity and assisted, which includes vacuum, pressure, and power. Gravity is the simplest in design. It is the quietest of all flushing mechanisms followed by the vacuum assisted types.

Pressure assisted creates a loud, “whooshing” sound, which can scare animals and small children.

Power assisted flushing mechanisms need GFCI outlets nearby to function. So good luck with that if the electricity goes off.

Around here, the two biggies in toilets are American Standard and Kohler. A visit to either or will leave you reeling from the selections available. Toilets come in a variety of price points from under a hundred bucks to well over six hundred. Just remember this, they all do pretty much the same thing.


                                                          Poop in the Hoop or Get off the Can

Now that we’re done with the hard part, how about we find a comfy seat and a good book? You’re on your own with the book, but while you’re on Kohler’s website, check out their C3200 toilet seat. The grand daddy of them all is heated, has a drier, deodorizer, a remote control and a lighted bowl for those midnight visits. And it can all be yours for a measly $1,300. For comparison, regular no-frills toilet seats start at around $10.

Bemis, the self-proclaimed world leader in toilet seat manufacturing, offers a very clever seat that automatically closes when you flush. The Harmony—as in it keeps harmony between the sexes—is available for $44 at Home Depot. You can also check it out at

The best in kitsch is found at At $70 a throw, you can find the novelty privy seat of your dreams. Particularly captivating is the Golf Theme Toilet Seat, or, as I like to think of it, the 19th hole.

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