Why Are Toilets Made of Porcelain?

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Modern bathroom with luxury tile decor designs

We have been sitting on it for as long as we can remember, and it has been a staple and essential household for decades. However, has it ever occurred to you why toilets are made of porcelain? The commode has always utilized porcelain as its primary material and has been for centuries. Why is that? Why not other materials such as plastic, wood, or stainless steel? So what makes porcelain the go-to toilet build? 

Porcelain has been the primary material of choice for toilets and other bathroom fixtures because it provides all the necessary qualities needed in the particular department. In addition, porcelain is hygienic, easy to clean, comfortable, and affordable to make. 

Over time, porcelain’s exceptional qualities surpassed the competition, and it became the best material for toilets and is still the material of choice by all manufacturers. We will be spotlighting porcelain to showcase further why it is simply the best material choice for bathroom fixtures.

Why Porcelain is the Best Material for Toilets

Clean toilet bowl with open seat

The toilet is an integral part of all households, and with its primary function comes specific requirements that this fixture must uphold. A toilet should be:

  • Waterproof
  • Easy to clean.
  • Sanitary.
  • Durable.
  • Resistant to temperature.
  • Comfortable.
  • Aesthetically pleasing.

These aspects are present in porcelain, and there are pretty much no shortcomings or drawbacks. Porcelain fits the bill perfectly. Additionally, porcelain manufacturing is pretty cost-effective, which is also why this material is highly recommended in the industry. 

Are There Other Materials Used in Making Toilets?

Stainless steel urinals.

Yes, other toilets feature materials other than porcelain. There are toilets made from plastic, and there are also stainless steel toilets in the market. You might ask why the plastic toilet is not as widespread since it is a material known for being cheap to manufacture. Surprisingly enough, plastic toilets are more expensive to make than their porcelain counterparts.

Creating plastic products uses a technique called injection molding. However, such a technique is not practical for creating large, intricately designed structures such as toilets. Additionally, plastic tends to be flexible and bend, which is an aspect that you would want in your toilet.

There are also stainless steel toilets available. Steel is durable and rigid, yes, but it is not temperature resistant. Could you imagine using a stainless steel toilet during the winter? Extreme temperature changes can also affect the overall integrity of the stainless steel toilet.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Porcelain Toilets

To further expand your knowledge on porcelain toilets, the most commonly asked questions about this popular toilet type are below.

How long do porcelain toilets last? 

A standard porcelain toilet can easily last for 50 years with proper maintenance. While specific components of the toilet and cistern might require replacements in a couple of years, the toilet bowl itself can last for decades. 

Is it possible to repair cracked porcelain?

It depends on the severity of the crack. If the damage is one small portion of a defined line, then yes, you can apply sealants and adhesive to put it back together. However, if the crack splinters off into numerous directions or branches, you should replace the toilet as the risk of it shattering is undoubtedly high. 

How durable is porcelain?

White and porcelain toilet in the modern bathroom

While porcelain can still break, you will need to put your back on it to shatter a porcelain toilet. With regular use, a porcelain toilet can pretty much last a lifetime. 

Does a porcelain toilet suffer from wear and tear?

While the toilet bowl itself is resistant to wear and tear, the same cannot be said for its components. The toilet cistern and flush can experience some issues over time, needing repairs or replacements. Some of the bolts and screws that hold the toilet down might loosen over time. The toilet seat and lid might break or crack. However, the porcelain toilet bowl itself won’t usually face problems caused by wear and tear. 

Ceramic vs Porcelain Toilets?

White Porcelain Toilet

Ceramic and porcelain are nearly identical in terms of appearance. However, porcelain is denser, which gives it an edge in durability. Also, ceramic toilets are porous and are more susceptible to mold and mildew buildup.