The color Green may not figure into your bathroom design, but considering a "green" option for your toilet may be a good choice for you and for the environment.
Toilets tend to use more water than any other fixture in your home. In fact, about 30% of water consumed in a family home is used for flushing. While fixing leaks might help, if the toilet was installed before 1992, it may be time to consider a new one. (1992 was the year that water-conserving toilets became mandatory.)
Choosing a new toilet may seem to be an easy decision, but there are actually many options to consider. While one-piece toilets may look sleek, they are often quite a bit more expensive. The standard toilet height is 14-15 inches, but the 16-17 inch models may be more comfortable, and are particularly helpful for physically challenged individuals. Wall-mounted toilets save space and make it easier to clean underneath, but they may require a thicker wall for mounting, and may be significantly more expensive.
Then there is the decision about appropriate flushing. Which standard flushing system is best? The pressure-assisted system reduces the chance for clogs but is noisy, expensive and may require high maintenance. The gravity-flush system is quieter and requires less maintenance. A further cost-cutting measure when considering a new toilet would be to use a dual flush system. These have two flush volumes – one for liquids and another for solids.
The amount of water used in flushing may be the most important decision of all. According to the EPA, “recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush.” Toilets with the WaterSense label are recommended, as they are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency.
Replacing old toilets with the more efficient WaterSense models could save more than $2,200 over the lifetime of the toilet. In fact, if all of the older toilets in the US were replaced, it would save 520 billion gallons of water per year – the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in about 12 days.