Buying a new toilet can be overwhelming.  There are so many brands, colors, shapes, features, and ratings. Beyond each toilet’s price tag and look, how can you be sure you’re buying the best one for your family? A good quality toilet will be with you for decades, so we want to help you pick the perfect one by breaking down common toilet terms.


These three letters represent one of the toilet’s most important features.  “GPF” stands for gallons per flush, and tells you how much water your toilet will use.   The lower the “GPF,” the more water and money you’ll save.


HET stands for “high-efficiency toilet,” a title held by any toilet that uses 1.28 gallons per flush or less.  Not only do HETs help you conserve water and lower your monthly bill, but some local water authorities offer rebates for purchasing this type of toilet.  Be sure to check that your HET carries the EPA’s WaterSense label (an independent certification for water-efficient products).

MaP Rating

While purchasing a water-saving toilet is an option, you’ll also want to make sure it has a powerful flush so you never have to flush twice.  Look at the toilet’s MaP Rating to identify how many grams of solid waste your toilet can flush.  This rating is based on independent lab testing.  The minimum performance standard is 250 and the maximum is 1,000.


Dual-flush toilets come with two flush options: a button split into two that uses a higher gpf for solid waste, and a lower gpf for other flushes. This method can be accomplished with the lifting or lowering of a lever, or with two separate buttons.


Before buying a new toilet, you’ll want to check the “rough-in” for your current one. The “rough-in” represents the distance between the wall and floor drain of the toilet.   The standard rough-in is 12”.  If you have an older home, your toilet may have a 10” or 14” rough-in.

ADA Compliant

If a toilet is ADA Compliant, it meets the standards for toilet seat height for the American With Disabilities Act.  The ADA standard is 17”-19” from floor to the top of the toilet seat.

Elongated versus Round Front

These two terms describe the shape of the toilet bowl.  An elongated design is typically the most comfortable but may require a bit more space in your bathroom.  If you’re buying a toilet for a smaller bathroom, consider a toilet with a round front.

Two-piece toilet

Most people have a two-piece toilet in their home with a separate tank and a base (two pieces).  Another option is the one-piece toilet that functions the same, but is easier to clean and generally carries a higher price tag.

We wish you happy toilet shopping! If you have any additional questions about choosing a toilet or installing one, we’d love to help you.