Toilets flush away about 30 percent of the water used in an average home, so swapping out an old toilet for one with water-preservation technology can help save both the environment and your bank account.
The U.S. Department of Energy limits new toilets to 1.6 gallons per flush, but some high-efficiency models offer an option of using even less water. Another new trend? A comfort height toilet rim (3 to 4 inches higher than previous standard models) that makes getting on and off the toilet a little easier for seniors and taller people.
-- Patent-pending technology in the American Standard H20 Option Siphonic Round Two-Piece Toilet ($256 at Home Depot stores and omedepot.com) allows this toilet to use less water when you flush. It only uses one gallon per liquid flush and 1.6 gallons per solid flush, so it uses an average of 25 percent less water than a conventional 1.6 gallon per flush single-flush toilet.
-- The seat of the Kohler Highline Classic White 1.28 GPF/ 4.85-LPF 12-In Rough-In WaterSense Elongated 2-Piece Comfort Height Toilet ($209 at Lowes stores and lowes.com) close quietly, thanks to a quick release hinge. Patented flushing technology cleans the bowl using as little water as possible. It was made to be easy to install.
-- Toto CST412MF. 01 Aquia Dual Flush Elongated Two-Piece Toilet, 1.6GPF & .9GPF ($382 at amazon.com) comes in five colors (four shades of white plus black) and has a dual push button flushing system, which means that you can choose between pressing the 1.6 gallon per flush or the .9 gallon per flush to save water.
-- The EPA WaterSense certified high-efficiency AquaSource White 1.28-GPF/4.85-LPF 12-in Rough-in Watersense Elongated 2-Piece Comfort Height Toilet ($99 at Lowes stores and lowes.com) meets federal Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines for the height of the bowl (it's 17 ½ inches with the seat). It's about half the price of most other toilets, but is very highly rated.
-- The Duravit Starck3 with SensoWash (starts at $1,421 at AF Liberty, 195 Lauman Lane, Hicksville, 516-681-2221, afsupply.com) is available as a one-piece, two-piece or wall-mounted toilet as well as some extras: night light, dual wash spray from a self-cleaning wand and a SensoWash system that has a power-actuated lid/seat combo. You can also control the temperature of the seat and save the preferences for two users.