One-Piece or Two-Piece Toilet – Here’s How to Choose

The most important feature in a bathroom is the toilet and with that in mind we have compiled some information on how to choose between a one-piece or two-piece toilet. Whether you are remodeling your bathroom or your toilet needs to be replaced, you’ll soon find you have several options to choose from.

Toilets come in an array of shapes, sizes, and options. If you’re trying to determine whether you want a one-piece or a two-piece toilet, we’ll outline the differences to help with your selection.

Weight and Size

one-piece or two-piece toilet weight and size

Both one-piece and two-piece toilets come in an array of sizes and shapes. Generally, one-piece toilets take up less space due to their design, as the toilet bowl and toilet tank are molded together. This means they don’t require much room and are great for small bathrooms.

The concern is that one-piece toilets tend to be created according to comfort height guidelines. The toilet bowl sits at 17” rather than the standard height of 15”. Taller seats make it easier to stand up and sit down.

They eliminate the discomfort that some people experience while squatting down to get to the toilet and having their knees at that awkward angle. Comfort height toilets are beneficial for seniors and taller people.

On the other hand, there is a benefit to having a lower toilet seat. If you are shorter in stature or have small children, you may want a seat that is easier to reach. The lower squat position is also more beneficial physically, as it allows your body to eliminate waste more effectively. Furthermore, high toilet seats can cut off leg circulation and make things more difficult for little boys.

Two-piece toilets come in both comfort and standard height. They also come in different sizes to accommodate both smaller bathrooms and larger bathrooms.

When selecting a toilet for your bathroom, the most important measurement to take is the rough-in. This is the distance running from the wall behind your toilet to the center of your drainpipe. Most toilets have a 12” rough-in. However, there are those with a 10”–14” rough-in.

Two-piece toilets will provide you with seating options on different-sized rough-ins since the bowl size does not change. You can simply order a different tank to place on top of the bowl. If your rough-in is an odd size, you will likely have more options available with a two-piece toilet than with a one-piece.

One-piece toilets are heavier, while two-piece toilets can come apart, making them easier to move. This means you are moving half the weight at a time. One-piece toilets must be moved in one go since they don’t come apart. Maneuvering them around corners can be challenging. Shipping costs may also be higher if you are having it delivered.


Both toilet types come in a variety of styles. Since a one-piece toilet may have a sleeker look, many homeowners prefer to use them in contemporary-decorated bathrooms. However, there are one-piece toilets that are more traditional in appearance, and there are two-piece toilets that appear modern. Generally, two-piece toilets have a more standard look, but some have a unique flair.


When it comes to durability, there is a slight advantage to buying a one-piece toilet. The coupling found between the bowl and tank of two-piece toilets may crack with time, which means you may need to replace the coupling.

In toilets that are extremely old, the rubber gaskets located between the two sections may deteriorate. This can cause leaks. The fix, though, is easy and inexpensive.

One-piece toilets are molded. There is less of a chance for them to break between couplings. Yet if there is a crack in the tank’s china, you will have to replace the whole toilet. The benefit to a two-piece toilet is that if you have a crack in the china, you can just replace the section that is cracked.

If you need to replace any internal parts for either toilet type, they are the same. Seats can easily be removed and replaced. If you properly care for your toilet, it can last over 50 years.

Flushing Efficiency and Power

Both toilet types have a variety of flushing technology. This ranges from towers to flappers. They are also available in low-flow versions, which use less than one gallon of water with each flush.


One-piece toilets are higher in cost than the two-piece models, even if they are created by the same company and have a similar style. An example is the Kohler Memoirs Comfort Height toilet, which is priced at $449.16 USD for a two-piece model. In a one-piece unit, the same toilet is a bit shorter but costs $1,231.43 USD. That is a difference of $782.27.


One-Piece or Two-Piece Toilet Installation

When it comes to installation, budget for about $100. One-piece toilets will generally cost around $500-$1,300 with installation, while a two-piece will be closer to $250-$700.

In terms of installation difficulty, two-piece toilets are easier to maneuver but need to be bolted down. One-piece toilets are more difficult to move, but there is no assembly required.

To install the toilet, you need to put a wax ring over your waste pipe. Set your toilet on top of the ring at a slight angle. Then, sharply twist the toilet so that it faces frontward. Installers like to sit on the toilet, then rock side to side and front to back so that the weight is evenly distributed. Then, bolt your toilet to the floor.

Your water line is sealed and at the bottom of your toilet tank. Once the water is turned on, allow the toilet to fill prior to flushing it so you can check for any leaks. It should take about an hour for this step.


One-piece toilets require less maintenance than their counterparts. The molded shape means it is easier to clean since there are fewer small spaces where bacteria can culminate.

Which Toilet Should I Choose?

Buy a one-piece toilet if you want:

  • An easy-to-clean toilet
  • Modern, sleeker design
  • More compact height
  • A durable toilet that is less likely to crack
  • A quicker install
  • Water-saving and flushing options
  • To sit at comfortable heights
For our one-piece toilet recommendations then have a look at the article we wrote here: 
Best One-Piece Toilet Models on the Market

Consider a two-piece toilet if you want:

  • To pay less for the toilet
  • Options for style, rough-in, and height
  • Water-saving and flushing options
  • A toilet that is lighter and easier to move
  • A variety of tank and bowl colors and styles
  • Something that is cost-effective to install and ship

Final Thoughts

Whichever toilet type you choose, it should be comfortable for your height and should look good in your bathroom. It should contain the options that you need and be functional for your family as well.

Have a look at our buying guides here:
*Best Wall Hung Toilets
*Best Toto Toilet Reviews
*Best Woodbridge Toilet Reviews