The elongated vs. round toilet debate touches upon considerations of comfort, space efficiency, aesthetic appeal and maintenance making the decision very important for anyone contemplating a bathroom upgrade or renovation.
But what is truly a better option longterm?
Elongated vs Round Toilet In Short
Round toilets are budget-friendly, space-efficient, and suitable for smaller bathrooms, making them ideal for families with children. On the other side elongated toilets offer enhanced comfort (especially for taller people) and modern aesthetics but may be less space-efficient.
Ultimately, the “better” option varies based on specific needs, with elongated toilets being preferred for comfort and style, while round toilets are practical for limited spaces, budget considerations and small kids.
An elongated toilet is a type of toilet that has an oval-shaped opening. It measures 18.5 inches from the back to the front edge of the toilet bowl. Elongated toilets are a newer addition to residential buildings and are used to give a modern look to bathrooms. 
Elongated toilets come with several advantages, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. Here are some of the pros associated with elongated toilets:
1. Enhanced Comfort:
– The elongated shape provides more surface area and additional space, offering increased comfort during use. Many users find elongated toilets more accommodating, especially for adults.
2. Modern Aesthetics:
– Elongated toilets often have a sleek and modern appearance, contributing to a contemporary bathroom design. The elongated bowl shape can add a touch of sophistication to the overall aesthetic of the bathroom.
3. Better Hygiene:
– The extended bowl shape reduces the likelihood of contact with the front interior of the toilet, promoting better hygiene. This design can be particularly advantageous for individuals who prioritize cleanliness and want to minimize the risk of touching the bowl during use.
4. Improved Accessibility:
– The elongated shape can be more accessible for individuals with mobility issues or disabilities. The additional space and ergonomic design make it easier for people with special needs to use the toilet comfortably.
5. Efficient Waste Removal:
– Elongated toilets often have a larger trapway and flush valve, which can contribute to more efficient waste removal. This can result in a more powerful flush, reducing the likelihood of clogs and promoting better overall performance.
6. Versatile Design Options:
– Elongated toilets come in a variety of designs, offering versatility to homeowners seeking specific styles, colors, or features. Whether you prefer a traditional or contemporary look, there are numerous options available to suit your bathroom décor.
7. Market Availability:
– Due to their popularity, elongated toilets are widely available in the market. This makes it easier for consumers to find a suitable model that fits their preferences and requirements, with a broad range of brands and styles to choose from.
8. Adult-Friendly Design:
– The elongated shape is tailored to the proportions of adults, making it a preferred choice for many households. This design consideration ensures that the toilet is comfortable and practical for the primary users in the home.
What is a Round Toilet?
A round toilet is a toilet that features a circular bowl shape. The primary difference between a round toilet and an elongated toilet is its measurement. A round toilet measures 16.5 inches from the back to the front edge, while an elongated toilet is longer. Round toilets have been in use for a long time, but they are now being replaced by elongated models.
Pros of Round Toilet
Round toilets have their own set of advantages, making them a popular choice for various bathrooms. Here are some of the pros associated with round toilets:
1. Space-Efficient Design:
– Round toilets have a more compact design, making them an ideal choice for smaller bathrooms or powder rooms where space is limited. Their shorter bowl allows for easier installation in tighter spaces.
– Round toilets are often more budget-friendly than elongated models. If you’re working with a limited budget or need to outfit multiple bathrooms, choosing a round toilet can be a cost-effective solution.
3. Ideal for Children:
– The shorter bowl of a round toilet is often more suitable for children. Families with young kids or households undergoing potty training may find round toilets more convenient for their little ones.
4. Easier to Clean:
– The compact shape of round toilets can make cleaning more straightforward. There are fewer nooks and crannies, reducing the effort required to maintain cleanliness compared to elongated toilets.
5. Widely Available:
– Round toilets are widely available in the market, offering a broad range of options from various brands. This availability makes it easy for consumers to find a suitable model that meets their needs and preferences.
6. Classic and Traditional Look:
– Round toilets often have a classic and traditional appearance that can complement a variety of bathroom styles. If you prefer a timeless and straightforward design, a round toilet may be the perfect fit for your bathroom.
7. Better Fit for Smaller Bathrooms:
– Due to their compact size, round toilets are better suited for smaller bathrooms or spaces with limited legroom. The shorter bowl can provide a more comfortable fit in confined areas.
8. Standard Installation:
– Round toilets typically have a standard installation process, which can be easier and quicker compared to elongated models. If you’re replacing an existing toilet, a round model may be a straightforward swap.
9. Accessible for a Wide Range of Users:
– The comfortable and accessible design of round toilets makes them suitable for a wide range of users, including those with mobility issues or disabilities. The compact size can accommodate various bathroom layouts.
When choosing between round and elongated toilets, it’s essential to consider your bathroom size, the primary users, and your budget to determine which style aligns best with your needs and preferences.
What is the key difference between a round and elongated toilet?
The main difference between round and elongated toilets is their shape. A round toilet has a circular bowl with a length of about 16.5 inches, while an elongated toilet has an oval-shaped bowl that measures roughly 18.5 inches in length.
If you are unsure which type of toilet you have, you can measure the length of the bowl to determine if it is round or elongated.
While both types of toilets have their advantages and disadvantages, an elongated toilet may be a better choice if you have more space in your bathroom and want to impress potential renters or buyers. Additionally, elongated toilets are more comfortable for adults, particularly men, who can avoid touching their body parts against the front edge of the toilet.
Are Elongated Toilet Seats Universal?
No, elongated toilet seats are not universal. They only fit elongated toilets and won’t fit perfectly on a round or special dimension toilet. Therefore, before purchasing a new toilet seat, make sure to measure your toilet to ensure a proper fit. Don’t rush into buying the first toilet seat you like at a store like Home Depot without measuring first.
Related: Are Toilet Seats Universal
When it comes to choosing between an elongated or round toilet, it’s important to consider various factors, including your bathroom space, budget, and the size and gender of users. An elongated toilet bowl is more comfortable for most people, while a round toilet bowl is more space-efficient. All of factors should be considered on your next bathroom renovation.
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Michael Davis is a heating & plumbing expert who currently works as independent contractor in SC. He also writes for Plumbertip.
For almost 10 years he worked on vairous plumbing tasks across South Carolina.