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Elongated vs. Round Toilet: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to interior design, you might not think much about toilet selection. However, the look you choose can really contribute to the vibe of your bathroom. People often wonder about two types of toilets: round toilet vs. elongated toilet, and which one is better?

The round vs elongated bowl refers to the bowl shape part of the toilet. As you would expect, one has an elongated shape the other has a round shape. Which toilet bowl type should you choose? Elongated and round toilets each have different advantages and disadvantages.

What makes them different from each other? And which would be best for you personally? These are just some of the questions that will be answered here.

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What is an elongated toilet bowl?

round vs elongated toilet

An elongated toilet is a type of commode typically longer than a standard toilet (aka round toilets), providing more room for your feet and legs while you’re seated on the seat. The elongated bowl shape also helps prevent people from hitting their thighs on the tank when they sit down-which can be an issue for taller individuals.


Benefits of elongated toilet seats

People who use elongated toilets say that it’s more comfortable. They feel cleaner because there’s a significantly less dirty part of the toilet for them to touch while doing their business. Another benefit is that it tends to save space in bathrooms, making them a good option to consider if your bathroom is small.

That being said, the type of elongated toilet you choose should consider your bathroom’s measurements.

Elongated toilet seats and bowls have many benefits, including:

  • More sitting space.
  • A more modern look, as this is becoming more and more the defacto toilet in many new homes.
  • Elongated toilets are typically longer than a standard toilet, providing more room for your feet and legs while seated on the seat.

elongated vs round toilet

What are the drawbacks of using an elongated bowl?

So the question becomes, what are the cons of using an elongated toilet? One disadvantage to using an elongated toilet is that it’s not exactly compatible with all toilets and bathroom fixtures.

You may need to adjust your bathroom to accommodate your new elongated toilet, or you might find out that there aren’t any issues! Some people say that elongated toilet bowls can be a bad choice for smaller bathrooms that aren’t very spacious.

While these toilets are great, they aren’t without some cons. More specifically, these toilets:

  • Requires more space.
  • Are typically longer than a standard toilet, providing more room for your feet and legs while seated on the seat. Round toilets, on the other hand, provide a more intimate experience with less space.
  • Less ideal for younger children and those learning potty training.
  • These toilets usually cost more than their round counterparts.


What is a round toilet bowl?

round toilet

Round toilet seats are a type of toilet with an average sitting area length of 16 inches or less, plus an additional 12 inches from the wall for rough-in.

There are several different types and styles of round toilet bowls, but most standard old-style toilets have a diameter of 12 to 13 inches across. These can still be used in homes today, but they don’t tend to work well with elongated seats because the seat has a different shape and length.


Benefits of round toilets

Round toilets are often said to be more luxurious because they are shorter than an elongated toilet, providing a closer experience to sitting on the commode in your home. Some consumers believe that the round shape also aids in limiting splashing while flushing.

Another benefit is that they take up less space than an elongated toilet which is great for small bathrooms.

Round is also considered the standard American toilet. Of the two types of toilets, round vs. elongated, round is the more affordable option.

Drawbacks to round toilets

The drawbacks of having a round toilet are that they are less comfortable and can be harder to clean. They have been on the decline in new homes as the popularity of elongated toilets has been rising.

They are often associated with older houses and smaller spaces. Some other drawbacks of round toilets are:

  • Round toilets may not fit in with the modern design of your bathroom
  • The round shape can make cleaning up more difficult
  • Splashing during use can be a problem
  • Seat options are limited to round styles only


Round toilets vs. Elongated toilets FAQ

elongated vs round toilets

Can I install an elongated toilet seat on a round toilet?

When comparing elongated and round toilets, while you can install an elongated toilet seat on a round toilet, some people find it unsuitable for use. The seat’s screws will fit the toilet seat mounting holes as they are standard spacing.  

However, the seat is designed for elongated toilets, and using it on a round toilet makes for an uneven and negative toilet experience.


Can I install a round toilet seat an elongated toilet?

Yes, you can easily install this type of seat on elongated and round toilets. No additional homeowner tools are needed for this installation process, and it takes very little time to complete. However, the toilet seat will be smaller than the bowl and may look out of place.


Why would I want an elongated toilet bowl?

People opt for an elongated toilet largely due to aesthetic preference and comfort. They may not be the most popular style of toilets yet, but they are becoming increasingly more common in homes. Elongated toilets typically provide more room for your feet and legs while you’re seated on the toilet seat.


What’s better elongated or round toilet bowl?

Elongated toilets are the way to go if you want comfort and convenience. At the same time, round toilets may be more comfortable for those with a smaller bathroom area or prefer a round bowl.

elongated toilets vs round toilets

What is the most comfortable toilet bowl shape?

Generally, the elongated toilet is a more comfortable one. The shape that is the most comfortable is largely just a matter of personal preference. Round bowls are typically smaller than elongated toilets, which may expose people to the seat more. However, elongated toilets provide room for your feet and allow you to sit higher on the bowl.


What is the advantage of an elongated toilet seat?

The advantage is that these toilet seats offers more legroom and a more comfortable toilet experience.


How do you tell if you have an elongated toilet seat?

You can usually tell from looking at the seat. It is an elongated toilet if the shape is more oval than round. Another way is to measure from the toilet seat holes at the back to the front of the bowl. If it’s 18 inches or more, it’s an elongated toilet.


What is the purpose of an elongated toilet seat?

The purpose of an elongated seat is to provide more leg room than a round toilet seat.


What are the dimensions of an elongated toilet?

The dimension of an elongated bowl is typically 18 inches long by 14-15 inches wide. The depth varies depending on the manufacturer, but it’s usually between 16 and 19 inches deep.


Are elongated toilet seats different sizes?

Elongated toilet seats do come in different sizes. The term “elongated” refers to the oval shape of the toilet bowl. Their size can range from 18 to 20 inches.


How do you measure a toilet seat?

The way to measure a toilet seat is to directly measure from the screw holes where the toilet seat screws to the front of the toilet bowl. Round bowls are typically 16″ in diameter, while elongated bowls are 18″-20″ long.


Which costs more elongated or round toilet bowls?

All things being equal, an elongated bowl is more expensive than the round one.


Which is better for septic tanks: Round vs. Elongated?

When it comes to septic tanks or cesspools, (see Cesspool vs Septic Tank for the differences) there is no difference between an elongated or round toilet. As long as you are using the best septic-safe toilet paper the type of toilet itself will have no impact on your septic system


Round vs. Elongated Toilet: Which has better flushing performance?

The flushing performance of both is relatively the same. There has been some debate that round front bowl gives a less optimal flush compared to the elongated counterparts, but both have similar flushing power.


Are all Toilets Seats Universal?

No, there are standard sizes for both, you can learn more in our post Are Toilet Seats Universal?


How to choose a toilet for your home

If you are in the process of replacing your toilet or looking to purchase a new one, you will come across two types: round vs elongated toilets. How do you know which type is right for your home?

Choosing between an elongated or round toilet is really just a matter of personal preference. How much space you have available in the bathroom and space you would like to have between the wall and yourself while seated on the toilet will determine which style is right for you.

Elongated toilets are typically longer than a standard toilet, providing more room for your feet and legs while seated on the seat. Round toilets, on the other hand, provide a more intimate experience with less space.


Elongated vs. Round Toilet: Which one wins?

What size toilet should I choose?

You’ll want to measure the dimensions of your current toilet before choosing a new toilet, and you’ll also want to think about the size of your bathroom! When deciding which type to purchase, consider how long your legs and feet are as well as your height.

The bottom line on which type is best for you and the space you have available for you. You can now make an informed decision about your bathroom design!



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