One Piece Vs Two Piece Toilet: Which One To Pick?

Featured image - One piece vs two piece

In the world of bathrooms , there’s a common debate between the one piece and two piece toilet.

It’s almost like arguing about Batman vs Superman.

During my professional career, I’ve seen countless plumbers and so-called “experts” bashing on two-piece toilets and praising the one-piece toilet. Admittedly, one piece toilets do have some advantages, but does it truly triumph over the two-piece toilet?

I think not, and it is time someone stood up for the underdog.

Basic Information

Let me take your on a crash course: Toilet Language 101

So the toilet has three main components:

  • Bowl - designed to catch all your waste and swallow it into sewer oblivion! 
  • Pedestal - the part that provides the lift up from the ground (holds the toilet bowl) 
  • Tank - The container at the back which stores water for flushing and gives the bowl pressure to flush waste away 

One-piece toilet: If the toilet and tank are fused together without any joints then the toilet is known as a one piece toilet - also known as single piece toilet.

Two-piece toilet: If the toilet and tank are separate and joined using fittings then it is known as two piece toilet - also known as coupled toilets.

one-piece-vs-two-piece toilet

Source: map-testing.com

Price

One piece versus two piece toilet

Comparison of Price between single piece and two piece toilet

YES, price is crucial and an extremely important factor, especially when you can spare an extra one to two hundred dollars for a quality product or a flawed product.

Single piece toilets are generally more expensive than two piece toilets due to the production process.

To put it simply, a one-piece toilet is made of several small pieces. Firing and assembling all the elements into one takes skill. Until the producers can start using 3D printers for manufacturing, it is more likely that we will see one-piece toilets being higher in price.

Shipping Cost

This is another important factor. One-piece toilets are heavier and more difficult to transport, thus making them more expensive to ship.

Two-piece toilets are lighter and can be shipped with ease due to the tank and the bowl being separate and can be sent separately.

Size Difference

There is a great misunderstanding in that the dimensions of single piece toilets are smaller than two-piece toilets. This is because of the one-piece not having any separate parts, so will be more compacted into one unit.

Is it true? Yes and no.

In some cases, single piece toilets have a different design. Take TOTO 500 or Sanicompact for example. But, if we are talking about standard one-piece and two-piece toilets, there will not be a huge difference when it comes to size.

Weight

Standard one piece toilets weigh around 40 kg (88 pounds), whereas two-piece toilet weighs around 25 kg (55 pounds). This is because the one-piece toilet holds the ceramic tank during the firing cycle in production, so the weight undoubtedly increases.

Functionality

Besides the design of the two toilet types, does the functionality have any difference?

Nope, not at all.

As the saying goes, “It’s what’s inside that matters the most.”

When we are talking about functionality, we are referring to the power of the flush, and thus, we are talking about the flushing mechanism.

The surprising part is. If you are not already aware, toilets are designed for that one function: to flush away human waste!

Durability

How about the durability? The result is same as the flushing power - Nothing.

Of course, different manufacturers have different quality, but broadly speaking, there isn’t a huge gap in regard to quality between these two models. Oh,  and just to remind you, due to the two-piece design, they sometimes suffers cracks between tank and bowl, but this only happens on rare occasion.

Installation

Hands down, the one-piece toilet wins this round by a clean KO.

Although one-piece toilets are heavy to move around, the installation process is much easier compared to the two-piece toilet because there is no hassle of connecting the tank and the bowl.

On the other hand, (get it? Because the one-piece toilet typically needs a second pair of hands…) when you are installing the two-piece toilet, you have to be careful not to crack the porcelain while attaching the bowl and the tank.

Most of the time, the two-piece toilet does not come with a wax ring and a toilet seat.

Also, some one-piece toilets can be wall mounted, which is a great way to save space in a small bathroom.

Cleaning & Maintaining

The one-piece toilet wins this round. Why?

The reason is a one-piece toilet does not have a gap between the tank and the bowl, which can be almost unreachable and thus grow bacteria and germs.

Both types of toilets are comparable in terms of service life and functionality.

Maintenance wise, there are two aspect to this question:

  • Short term
  • Long term

Short term: the joint between the tank and the bowl of a two-piece toilet might wear off.

Long term: It’s more affordable to find replacement parts for the two-piece toilet, because each part is sold separately, which means you can replace the tank or the bowl individually. However, if the one-piece toilet breaks, you have to replace the whole unit.

Which one should I pick?

One-piece toilet:

  • Ease of cleaning
  • Ease of installation
  • Smaller - depend on model
  • Mounting option

Two-piece toilet:

  • Cheaper - A LOT of cheaper
  • Lower shipping cost
  • Ease of moving

Overall, there’s not a big difference between the one-piece and the two-piece toilet.

So don’t let others fool you into spending more than you need.

However, I personally still prefer one-piece toilets more because of the the all-in-one design and the wall mounted option…

Good luck. Be clean. Stay white.

  • May 4, 2017
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