Round vs. Elongated Toilet: Find the Perfect Fit with Our Comparison

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Should I purchase an elongated or round toilet bowl? That’s one of the first questions homeowners ask themselves when shopping for a new commode.

Whether you’re wondering are round toilets better or how much space an elongated bowl takes up – we have the answers.

In our guide, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of an elongated toilet bowl compared to their more traditional counterparts.

There’s more to the bowl shapes than most people realize, and we’ll help you make the right choice based on several key areas. 

What’s the Difference Between Round and Elongated Toilets?

The shape of a commode is the most apparent difference between these two styles. A round or standard toilet bowl is also something most people have seen or used.

These circular bowls have been used in residential and commercial settings for decades and are recognizable by the large round bowl. You’ll find these on one and two-piece toilets in a range of styles and heights.

Elongated commodes aren’t exactly new but have gained ground in residential homes over the last few decades. These toilets are oval-shaped and longer in the front than a standard round bowl.

The difference in size is considerable when it comes to length. An elongated toilet is around 2 inches longer than round toilets. That impacts several areas, including comfort, accessibility, style, and even the price.

Is an Elongated Bowl More Comfortable?

Most homeowners choose an elongated toilet for comfort – plain and simple. That extra few inches in the front provides ample space regardless of your gender or how you cleanse yourself afterward.

Wondering if an elongated toilet is more comfortable? Well, that all depends on what you’re looking for.

For many adults, the answer is yes, given the extra room to maneuver. That’s not the case with smaller individuals or children, however.

Accessibility

Do you have small children in your home? If so, you may want to reconsider an elongated toilet.

If you’ve ever had your butt hit the water when someone left the seat up, you can understand why a large commode is a bad idea with kids. 

Round toilets can actually provide a little more stability for the average-sized homeowner or people with smaller frames. By comparison, elongated bowls are designed specifically for a comfortable trip to the bathroom.

The extra two inches will impact accessibility in a small bathroom. If anyone in your home has mobility issues, you may want to consider round toilets when space is tight.

The Style                                 

When it comes to round vs. elongated toilet styles – it’s a toss-up. This area comes down to personal preference or the décor in most cases.

Older bathrooms with a more traditional look are ideal spaces for classic round toilets. Round bowls are sold in more conventional styles and will look right at home, whereas a tankless or smart toilet would stick out.

If you’ve just remodeled a bathroom with an updated look, you may want a toilet to match. Newer styles from companies like KOHLER and TOTO have a more comprehensive selection of elongated toilets.

You can find contemporary, classic, transitional, and even futuristic commodes with a round or elongated bowl. Before making that choice, you will want to keep this next area in mind.

Elongated vs. Round Toilet Installation                  

As mentioned, an elongated bowl takes up more bathroom space. There’s no way around that for this particular style, even with compact elongated toilets. It may also have an effect on how easy the toilet is to install.

A toilet with a round bowl is “usually” more compact, making it better for smaller spaces. While that’s crucial for accessibility, it also provides more room for other objects in a bathroom.

It could even be the difference between a single and two-door bathroom vanity in your master bathroom.

If you choose an elongated toilet, you’ll want to account for the space between the end of the bowl and the wall.

You should be able to have enough legroom to move comfortably to and from the toilet. An elongated toilet can weigh a little more, but you’ll install these toilets in the same fashion.

Are Elongated Toilets More Expensive?

We’re not going to spend much time here. If you’re concerned about the price of a new toilet, elongated toilets are always a bit more expensive.

Round toilets are found on budget-friendly models, while longer bowls are considered a luxurious option. Just how much more expensive depends on the brand, type of toilet, and the technologies used by the manufacturer.

We found the average difference fell between $50 to $100 when comparing standard round toilets to ones with an elongated bowl.

Maintenance                

It’s safe to say that nobody enjoys cleaning a toilet. It’s a thankless chore but something everyone has to endure unless they have a self-cleaning commode.

You shouldn’t let the shape of a commode have a significant impact on maintenance or cleaning. Both types work with the same plunger style if there is a blockage, although an elongated bowl has more surface area to clean.

With that in mind, the coatings SanaGloss used on the porcelain plays a more significant part in cleanliness than the toilet bowl shape.

Are D-Shaped and Square Toilet Bowls Comfortable?

Elongated and round toilets are by far the most popular options for homeowners today. A few other bowl shapes are variations on elongated toilet bowls.

The idea of a “square” toilet may seem odd, but this style has gained traction in recent years. There aren’t an abundance of options available, but you can find square toilets from KOHLER, EAGO, and a few other manufacturers.

While an acquired taste, they can provide more comfort and stability than a standard round toilet bowl.

D-shaped toilet bowls are similar to elongated toilets but shaped like their namesake. They are just as comfortable but a bit shorter than an elongated toilet. The transitional style of these commodes will save precious space in a small bathroom.

Round vs Elongated Toilets: Pros and Cons

Several areas in our commode debate are considered close, although comfort is one area where elongated bowls are a clear winner.

An elongated bowl will provide more comfort along with a broader range of designs. We found that round toilets are still in demand but not nearly as prevalent locally or online as longer, more luxurious bowls.

They are comfier for folks with larger frames and the average adult, but not the best choice for children.

The extra space is helpful and more hygienic with less mess but could pose an issue with children. There’s not as much support, and they will take up more space in a bathroom.

Elongated toilets take up an extra 2 inches of space due to their length, so you’ll have to consider cabinets and space. Round toilet bowls are more compact in both one and two-piece designs. Unfortunately, they aren’t the most stylish choice.

Round toilets are cheaper, although not available in as many styles or colors. Both types are relatively easy to clean, install, and available in standard or chair height.

Pros and Cons of Round Toilets

PROS

  • Space-saving design
  • Cheaper than elongated toilets
  • Better for children

CONS

  • Limited styles
  • Not as comfy
round toilet example

Pros and Cons of Elongated Toilets

PROS

  • Comfortable for adults
  • Modern designs
  • More hygienic
  • Better selection

CONS

  • Difficult for kids to use
  • Requires more space
  • They are more expensive
elongated toilet example

The Bottom Line

Whether you should purchase a toilet with an elongated bowl or a round one comes down to several factors. As these fixtures are built to last, choosing right the first time around is crucial.

For homeowners looking for a toilet that provides comfort and aren’t worried about space, an elongated bowl is the best option. Alternatively, round toilets offer a more traditional design at a lower price point.

Always keep the distance between walls and other fixtures in mind before choosing a new toilet, and check out our latest guides if you’re looking for more tips and tricks for your bathroom!

FAQ

Which type of toilet bowl is best for a potty seat?

Potty seats are designed to work with both round and elongated toilets if you choose the right model. You won’t have to use them as long with a round toilet in most cases.

Does a round toilet bowl splash more than an elongated one?

That all depends on the depth of the bowl and the water surface area inside the commode.

Will an elongated toilet hold more weight than a round commode?

The best floor-mounted toilets have a weight range of around 1,000 pounds, and most all can hold upwards of 500 pounds with ease. When in doubt, you will want to inquire with the toilet manufacturers beforehand.  

Are round or elongated commodes ADA compliant?

Elongated toilet models and a round front toilet are both suitable depending on the height and toilet seat. You can turn any commode into an ADA compliant toilet with a tall enough toilet seat.

Whether you choose an elongated toilet seat or round toilet seat, keep the floor to bowl measurement in mind. 

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