Toilet Height

If you are like many folks, the only attention you give when trying to decide which new toilet to purchase for your home is:

  • Colour
  • Low-Flow Water Conserving
  • Non-Sweating
  • One-Piece or Two

I would suggest to you that you also start to consider height.

Yes, height.

When we renovated the bathrooms in our home last summer / autumn, we focused on all of the above. When it came to height we really didn’t think that it would make a difference. Bruce, our primary contractor during our collection of renovation projects last year suggested we get the taller toilet seat for most of the bathrooms.

We are glad he did.

Here is a picture of the toilet in the 2-piece bathroom in the basement. It was the only toilet we did not replace.


original toilet Toilet Height

Look at the height as measured in the picture below.


standard toilet height Toilet Height

That would appear to be a ‘standard’ height. As shown in the picture above, the height to the top of the toilet bowl is 14 inches, 15 inches to the top of the toilet seat itself.


new toilet Toilet Height

Now, compare the American Standard 6 Liter Per Flush (6 LPF) one piece we purchased and installed in our 4 piece bathroom on the main floor pictured above.


american standard one piece Toilet Height

Here, the height to the top of the toilet is 16 and 1/2 inches and 17  and 1/2 inches to the top of of the toilet seat.

So, is the additional height of 2 and 1/2  inches really that much?  Frankly, yes; more than we had appreciated.

That 2.5 inches in additional height is not really noticeable when you are using that higher toilet day after day. However, use a toilet in another house or public facility, like a hotel room or airport bathroom and wow, what a difference. Using those lower height toilets seems like one is squatting almost to the ground.

As well, the higher height on these newer toilets make it easier for those with physical disabilities to get on and off the toilet by themselves.

So, yes, spend the extra few dollars the next time you are in the need for a replacement toilet for your home. Or, if you are having a custom home built, insist your builder install these higher toilets; you will be glad you did.

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  1. pelc says:

    Where can you purchase taller and wider toilets in the UK preferably at a decent price?

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Pelc,

    Thank you for stopping by. It’s too bad that I was not able to convince a UK or European based building materials company to participate in our current home energy conservation contest.

    As for where to purchase in the UK, I would not be able to guide you on that, sorry.

    However, a simply search using your favourate web search engine should quickly locate them for you.

    The extra couple of inches in height have made the world of difference for our family.

    Kind Regards,

  3. mary i says:

    I am 5’4″ tall. My contractor just put a Jacuzzi toilet in that is about 2 inches higher than the previous toilet i had. I can no long put my feet flat on the floor and it is very difficult to lift to the side cause i don’t have any traction against the floor.
    I would NOT recommend intalling these higher toilets. If anyone under 5’5″ is using them, they might have a problem.

  4. Dan says:

    Hi Mary,

    ‘Jacuzzi toilet’? That one is a new one on me.

    My suggestion is a basic approach before purchasing any product for the home. Try it out first.

    Just as one would not (usually) buy a new shirt without trying it on, same for a toilet.

    As they used to say on Happy Days … ‘sit on it’ :) , even if it is in the showroom of the store, before you buy it.

    I’m 5′ 9″ with short legs and the extra 2 inches is great for me. However your point is taken…..again, ‘try it before you buy it’.


  5. Jim says:

    Yes, Jacuzzi does make toilets..and sinks. Both of our bathroom fixtures are made by Jacuzzi. We love them, very well made.

  6. Dan says:

    Hi Jim,

    Who knew? I haven’t seen them around these parts.

    Then again, its not like I look for new toilets every day. :)


  7. Terri says:

    I am going to agree that the taller toilets are NOT good for shorter people, I am also 5’4″ and find it very difficult to use the new toilet we recently installed as my feet ‘swing’ when I sit on the toilet! I did no consider height in purchasing and now really regret it. I will either have to replace the toilet again with a shorter one or build a step around the toilet!

  8. Dan says:

    Hi Terri,

    I would repeat what I said earlier that the mistake most people make when making purchases of any kind is that they do not try the item first.

    I would also say that generalizations have built in assumptions; and we know the axiom about when we ‘assume’.

    I’m 5 ft 9 inches tall and the higher toilet is great. Then again, just because someone is 5′ 9″ does not make the taller toilet right for them.

    Why? Well, because the more applicable height measurement are the legs, not someone’s total height. One of my former math teachers in high school was about 6 feet tall but he had the shortest legs I had ever seen.

    So, I still go with ‘try before you buy’ and in this case go with the Fonz when he said ‘sit on it’. They will let you do that in the store on the display units….at least where I live.


  9. vicky says:

    I am 5’3 and use a step stool in our bathroom because it is easier for me to use the step than for my other half (6’8″)to go short. Our elderly Moms both like the taller toilet for easier getting up.We do have a toddler short(10″) in the little kids bathroom and a 13″ in the big kids.

  10. Jennie says:

    The taller toilets are actually not good for most people…when it comes to why we are sitting on the toilet to begin with. I agree, for people that are elderly or with disabilities, the higher toilet could make a positive difference in our lives. However, the U.S. has a higher rate of digestive problems than many countries that lead to problems in the bathroom. Sitting higher up is bad for this daily activity…you might Google the bathrooms in other parts of the world and see how healthy it is to actually squat at the level of one’s feet. I don’t want go that far….but standard height toilets can actually be better when meeting the needs of why we actually use a toilet in the first place.
    It is nice that you have brought taller toilets to the attention of those who may not know about them, though! It could be a great information for someone that is older or ill.

  11. Frank says:

    Jennie is correct. Developed countries have a much higher incedence of colon cancer due to the use of high toilets.

  12. Dan says:

    Interesting Frank and Jennie,

    I had always heard that the difference was because in the U.S. and Canada we eat much more processed food than in other parts of the word, not because of toilet height.

    Good for folks to research both aspects to make their own decisions.


  13. bob says:

    I’m looking to buy a new toilet and am frustrated at not finding a std. height toilet that is elongated, they are all comfort height or chair height. I recently bought a new toilet for our master bath that my wife hates because her feet “dangle”. Most of the big box stores have only the higher ones in the elongated style. I wish I knew who decided that’s the size that’s right for me.

    • Dan says:

      I’m pretty sure we had to go to a specialty store in our neighborhood, Bob, to get this one. It is not easy.

      • Kathleen says:

        Hi Dan, we are building a house and it is our final move. I am interested in the higher toilet but everyone I’ve talked to told me they only have one size and I find that. So I’m very glad to read your article. Can you tell me what store you purchased from or what company the toilet is Made by please?
        Kathleen ????????

        • Dan says:

          Hi Kathleen,
          Thinking…..thinking…..its been a while now and time fades memories…….but I am pretty sure it was from Home Depot. We purchased the bathtub from a specialty store in Scarborough, Ontario Canada but I’m pretty sure the toilet was from Home Depot. I have visions of looking up at the upper racks of toilets against the back wall of the store.

          I hope that helps,

  14. Trent says:

    It’s 14.5″ to the top of my toilet seat, and I hate it. When my back hurts–and sometimes it really HURTS–it’s a real problem getting on and off it. Even when I’m doing well, I feel like I’m falling to the ground when I sit on it. Are these idiotic things designed for children? I need to rip them out. My wife is 5’2″ and even she finds them too short.

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