This seems like a simple question, but it depends on what type of toilet you are pondering, what parts of the toilet you are referring to, and who you ask. The majority of toilets are constructed of porcelain, which is quite durable. The precise type of porcelain is “vitreous china” which is why the porcelain components of toilets are often referred to as “chinaware.” What do various groups claim for the lifespan of a toilet?
How Long Does A Toilet Last?
Well, there are a huge variety of answers!
- 100+ Years – Per the National Association of Homebuilders; this refers only to the toilet and tank
- 5 years – per the National Association of Homebuilders; this refers to the hardware in the tank
- 10 years – The American Standard warranty on tank hardware for the original non-commercial owner
- 1 year – The American Standard warranty on toilet seats for the original non-commercial owner
- A Human Lifespan – American Standard provides a lifetime warranty on the “chinaware” portions of a toilet for the original non-commercial owner;
- 1 year – The American Standard warranty on the same toilet, hardware, and seat for commercial owners
- 20 to 50 years – Per many plumbers and plumbing companies
- 20 to 50 years – Per many retailers
How Long Do Americans Keep Their Toilets?
Per National Kitchen and Bath Association statistics, 13% of Americans remodeled their bathroom in 2015. About half of those remodels included replacing a toilet. At this pace, toilets in America are replaced about every 16 years, well short of their expected lifespan. In fact, many of these toilets are replaced while still under warranty!
Why Do Americans Replace Their Toilets?
During bathroom remodels, toilets are often replaced as part of a new look, or refresh, for the bathroom. The replacement has nothing to do with whether or not the toilet is still good or still works.
This works to the great advantage of shower, tub, sink, and toilet manufacturers. These manufacturers and associated retailers spend incredible amounts of money convincing homeowners that their current bathroom is out of date (even though it works) and that a bathroom remodel will increase the value of their home (which it will, but by an amount much less than the cost of the remodel, and it gets worse the more you spend).
Per Money Magazine and Home Advisor, a bathroom remodel that costs $21,000 will increase the value of a home by $14,000, and a bathroom remodel that costs $67,000 will increase the value of a house by $38,000.
Current industry marketing communicates to consumers that bathrooms need to be remodeled every 4 to 10 years.
Do I Need To Replace My Toilet?
If you’re having problems with your toilet, it is certainly worth considering a replacement.
Issues Or Signs That You Need To Replace Your Toilet:
- More water consumption
- Damage due to minerals
- More frequent clogging
- Cracking or chipping
- Decreased Water Pressure
How Can I Tell How Old My Toilet Is?
The maker’s date may sometimes be stamped on the underside of the toilet tank lid. Alternatively, the stamp might be found just above the water line on the inside of the tank itself.
Are Modern Toilets Better Than Old Toilets?
Toilets account for around 30% of home water use – flushing is a major factor in your utility bills. In 1994, the EPA established more stringent efficiency standards, which mandated that each flush consume no more than 1.6 gallons of water. New developments have permitted flushes with only 1.28 gallons of water usage per flush. Look for the WaterSense label on toilets that are highly efficient to identify them.
Water Pressure / Flushing
There are two common types of flushes available with modern toilers, single and dual. The dual flushing toilet has two separate flushing systems for liquid and solid waste.
Pressure assisted toilets are also available. With the use of city water pressure or a small water pump, these toilets provide more pressure per flush than gravity alone can provide. Other modern toilet features may include heated seats and bidets, although bidets have been around literally for centuries in areas outside of the U.S.
Standard toilets, and the vast majority of older toilets, have a seat height of 15 inches. Today, toilets of various heights are available to accommodate tall and disabled people. Oblong bowls, which many consider to be more comfortable than round bowls, are more common with modern toilets as well.
As mentioned above, most toilets in America are replaced as part of a bathroom remodeling project. To discover which toilet is the finest option for your house, converse with a professional plumber and an interior designer.
How long does a toilet last? The porcelain components of your current toilet will probably remain in good working order for 50 to 100 years or more. Along the way, you will certainly need to replace some hardware in the tank and probably the wax seal where the toilet connects to the floor.
However, your toilet will probably be replaced long before then; maybe by you or maybe by the next owner of the property. Whether as part of a bathroom remodel or simply for lower water bills, your toilet is very unlikely to be used to the end of its service life. Toilets are one of the few things that we spend money to replace when we don’t really need to.