Elongated Vs. Round Toilets: Which Is Better and Why?

Elongated Vs. Round Toilets


Today, the market is overflowing with sanitary brands offering beautiful pieces of porcelain in different styles, shapes, and sizes.


While this gives you the option to choose a model that meets all your requirements, this decision can also be quite overwhelming since buying a toilet is an expensive investment and you will have to live with your choice for a good 10 to 15 years. One such decision regarding the toilet that often leaves a user in a dilemma is round vs. elongated bowl.


Is elongated toilet better than round? Which is better round or elongated toilet? Several users get perplexed with these questions and for all the right reasons.


Initially, the debate of round vs. elongated bowl was insignificant since all toilets sported a round bowl but over the past few years, the elongated bowl seems to have taken over as the more preferred shape. They are considered more modern looking and also offer added comfort. On the other hand, the round front bowls help save on space and are preferred for smaller bathrooms.



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However, in this never-ending debate of elongated vs. round toilets, there is no clear winner as you will find valid points supporting both sides of the argument. What may seem to be lacking for one may turn out to an advantage for another. Therefore, before buying the right shape for your home, it is necessary to understand the difference between elongated and round toilets.
To help you make an informed decision, we took the prerogative and researched in-depth on elongated vs. round toilets. Through this article, we will list out the similarity and difference between elongated and round toilet and also give you the pros and cons of each.



Elongated vs. Round Toilets Summarized

Round Toilet Elongated Toilet
  • The round bowls on the other hand have a circular shape and measure 16.5 inches in length.
  • More comfortable for children
  • Fits into tight dimensions
  • Cheaper than elongated toilets
  • Old and traditional design
  • Has fewer options to choose from
  • Requires more effort to clean
  • Elongated bowls sit at a length of 18.5 inches and have a protruding oblong shaped bowl.
  • More comfortable for adults
  • Occupies more space in the bathroom
  • More expensive than round toilets
  • Has a modern look and feel
  • Offers more options to choose from
  • Easier to clean the bowl




What Is The Main Difference Between Elongated and Round Toilets?

When it comes to the style and functionality between elongated vs. round toilets, both the variants are at par. The one significant difference between elongated and round toilet is the shape and length of the bowl.

  • Elongated bowls sit at a length of 18.5 inches and have a protruding oblong shaped bowl.
  • The round bowls on the other hand have a circular shape and measure 16.5 inches in length.

Due to the oblong shape, the contemporary elongated toilets are much more comfortable as they provide extra legroom while the traditional round toilets are more space-efficient. To help you understand the major difference between elongated vs. round toilet seat as a user, here is a quick comparison chart.



Elongated Vs. Round Toilets: Pros And Cons

In the war between round vs. elongated toilet bowl, the clear winner will the one that suits your pocket, fits in your bathroom, and is comfortable to use for all family members. Despite both being excellent in their own terms, they do have their sets of merits and demerits. Let’s do a quick recap of the pros and cons of elongated toilet vs. round toilet.



a. Toilets With Elongated Bowls

In terms of size, the elongated toilets sport a larger bowl which is generally 18.5 inches in length. However, the exact size of the elongated toilet seat may differ from model to model and brand to brand.


Nonetheless, the elongated toilets, as already mentioned, are much more comfortable to use for adults with different body types. Plus, their large surface areas also improve the water pressure in gravity-fed toilets to give you more efficient flushes. Let’s take a quick look at the common pros and cons of an elongated toilet.


Pros Cons
  • Offers more sitting space on comparing elongated vs. round toilet seat
  • Easier to clean
  • On comparing round vs. elongated toilet bowl, the latter helps boost the power of the flush
  • More comfortable to use for adults
  • Offers a stylish and contemporary look
  • More options to choose from
  • Not ideal for bathrooms with smaller dimensions
  • More expensive
  • Not very comfortable for kids


Best Elongated Toilets You Can Opt For

1. TOTO CST744SL#01 Drake 2-Piece Ada Toilet with Elongated Bowl


TOTO CST744SL#01 Check Price on Amazon


This is a great pick for elongated toilets by Toto measuring 28 x 19.5 x 30.5 inches and weighing 17.64 Pounds. Made up of Vitreous China, this has a chrome finish lever. You will have to buy a seat separately with this one though. It is also ADA compliant and as it is built with GMAX flush technology it only uses only 1.6 GPF/6.0LPF.

2. American Standard 2034314.222 Champion-4 Right Height One-Piece Elongated Toilet


American Standard 2034314.222 Check Price on Amazon


It is another excellent pick for low water consumption elongated toilet from American Standard. It is made of Vitreous China, weighs around 118 Pounds and measures 17.75 x 29.75 x 29.5 inches. It comes with a slow closing lid included in the package.

3. American Standard 2403813.020 Compact Cadet 3 FloWise Tall Height 1-Piece 1.28 GPF Single Flush Elongated Toilet with Right Hand Trip Lever


American Standard 2403813.020 Check Price on Amazon


It is another model from American Standard measuring 28.5X15.5X28.5 inches and weighing 104.6 Pounds. It is one of the most compact elongated toilets in the market, which makes it an ideal pick if you wish to switch from round to elongated toilets



b. Toilets With Round Bowls

Talking of round vs. elongated bowl, toilets with a round bowl feature a smaller bowl that usually measures 16.5 inches in length. For those who are unsure, this length is measured from the post holes to the edge of the toilet bowl.


While this is a standard measurement, you may even find smaller models from different manufacturers. These toilets make the ideal match for powder rooms or smaller bathrooms. Also, if you have kids in the family, you might want to consider having a round bowl toilet. The main pros and cons of a round bowl toilet are:


Pros Cons
  • Fits well in smaller bathrooms to give more legroom
  • More comfortable and accessible for kids
  • Occupies lesser space
  • More affordable if you compare round vs. elongated toilet bowls
  • Can be a little difficult to clean
  • Not very comfortable for adults or taller people
  • While equating elongated toilet vs. round toilet, the latter looks odd in a large bathroom
  • Has a traditional design that may not complement modern bathrooms


Best Round Toilets To Pick

1. American Standard 2889218.020 H2Option Dual Flush Round Front Toilet 0.92/1.28 gpf, White


American Standard 2889218.020 Check Price on Amazon

This floor mounted Vitreous China produce weighs around 56.4 Pounds and measures 15 x 27.75 x 30 inches. It has an EverClean surface which implies that it stays clear of stains. It comes with a limited 5-year warranty on mechanical items. The seat is, however, not included in the package and is sold separately.

2. TOTO MS853113E#01 Eco Ultramax Round Front One Piece Toilet, Cotton White


TOTO MS853113E#01 Check Price on Amazon


Next item on our list is from TOTO weighing 65 pounds which has a plastic seat with it. It is WaterSense certified and uses a gravity flush technology. It uses 1.28GPF and every flush is very quiet due to its GMAX technology.

3. KOHLER K-3851-0 Cimarron Comfort Height Two-Piece Round-Front 1.28 GPF Toilet with Aqua Piston Flush Technology, 10-Inch Rough-In and Left-Hand Trip Lever, White


KOHLER K-3851-0 Check Price on Amazon


This comfort height toilet measures 27.25 x 17.63 x 30.5 inches and uses 1.28/GPF. The seat is supposed to be bought separately with this one as well. It saves up time on installation because of its dry lock system. It also has a glazed trap way which ensures that no debris sticks to the side walls of the toilet.


Elongated Vs. Round Toilets Compared: Detailed Differences and Similarities

Now that you have a basic idea of a round vs. elongated bowl, let us understand how the two types differ or are common when it comes to the essential features that users look for in a toilet.



Physical Appearance

The most striking difference between elongated and round toilet is the appearance. The rounder models are easier to spot in old houses with a round shaped bowl. The elongated toilets have comparatively larger bodies with an oval-shaped bowl.



Size of The Bowl

The next difference in round vs. elongated toilet bowl is the size. The elongated toilets are at least 2 inches longer than the round toilets. Their average length is approx. 18.5 inches while that of a round toilet is 16.5 inches. While this difference may seem too small, it can make a huge difference when you try to install a toilet in a tight space.


However, this difference also is slowly disappearing as manufacturers are making round toilets that are larger than elongated toilets as well as compact elongated toilets that can fit into the space of a round toilet. Therefore, you may be able to replace one with the other as long as the rough-in measurement remains the same.



Design Options

On comparing elongated toilet vs. round toilets, you will find more design options in elongated ones because they are more preferred in modern houses due to their aesthetically pleasing designs.


The rounder models, on the other hand, have lesser design options to choose from. When it comes to an elongated vs. round toilet seat, both designs can vary in color and material used. However, both work equally well in terms of functionality.



Space Requirement

The difference in space occupied can vary exponentially in both round vs. elongated bowl. However, as mentioned earlier, the round front bowls occupy lesser space and are more apt for smaller bathrooms or a kid’s bathroom. The standard diameter of a round model is 21 inches and that of an oblong bowl is 23 inches. But, with the hybrid models coming into the picture, these dimensions too can differ from model to model.



Ease of Installation

On comparing the installation method of round vs. elongated bowl, we found it to be pretty much the same. The first step is to fix the tank to the toilet. Then you need to fix the wax ring near the pipe that carries the waste. Finally, the toilet is mounted on the floor at the desired location. Once the position is set, pressure is applied to all sides to secure the toilet firmly to the ground and finally, the water supply is connected.


Though the standard steps are pretty much the same, the difference in round vs. elongated toilet bowl may arise due to individual space needs. If installing a toilet in a small bathroom, it is easier to maneuver with a round toilet as it is smaller and lighter. The elongated toilets are usually heavier and larger and, therefore, may require an extra hand for shifting the toilet from one place to another.



Ease of Use

Users often ask is elongated toilet better than round in terms of usage? The answer to which is subjective. The elongated bowls can be uncomfortable for children or petite individuals or anyone who finds it hard to maintain balance while using the toilet. A few users also feel as if they would fall into the bowl.


On the other hand, rounder seats are less comfortable for people with wider bottoms or taller height. Hence, in the elongated vs. round seat argument, there is no clear winner as they both have their own limitations and both are suited for specific populations.



Flushing Power

Both round and elongated toilets come with different flushing technologies such as gravity-fed flush, pressure-assisted flush, double cyclone flushing, etc. In case the toilet harnesses the force of gravity to create a swirling action of water, the elongated bowls work slightly better than the round ones. Elongated toilets are also a better pick to conserve water while flushing.



Cleaning and Maintenance

When it comes to round vs. elongated toilet bowl, the latter is easier to clean since the larger surface area facilitates easy maneuvering of the cleaning brush to reach the corners & joints. But, at the same time, their larger bodies require more time for scrubbing.


However, the rounder bowls are definitely trickier to clean because the brushes often fail to reach the smaller nooks and crannies. In the event of a clog, a good auger should work equally well in both types of bowls. Therefore, in such cases the shape of the bowl should have a lesser influence on the question “Which is better round or elongated toilet?”




For elongated vs. round toilet seat, the general consensus is that elongated seats are more comfortable to use for adults and well-built individuals and round toilets are good for kids and petite figures. But, then again it’s totally a personal choice for you to choose from these two.



Costing and Water Bills

There is a significant difference in round versus elongated toilets when it comes to their pricing. The round toilets are less expensive compared to the elongated bowls even if they have the same style and are manufactured by the same company. For e.g. if a round toilet with 1.28 GPF capacity costs $180, the same make with an elongated bowl will go up to $230.


If comparing elongated toilet vs. round toilet on water cost, both the models use the same amount of water. So the bowl shape will not affect your water bills.




For elongated toilet vs. round toilet, you will find a plethora of options for the elongated models. You will have options for different colors, tank shapes, one-piece, two-piece, water consumption, rough-ins, and so on. When it comes to round toilets, unfortunately, the choices are limited. Plus, if you are looking for a different rough-in measurement, it can be even more difficult to find a model that matches your requirement.



Legal Requirements

The difference between elongated vs. round toilet seats can come in handy when you want to install a toilet for public use. The local bodies define certain norms for installation. For e.g. the majority of buildings require at least 21 inches of free space between the toilet and the front wall.


If you want to install a toilet for a physically disabled person, you must install an ADA compliant toilet that has 48 inches of free space from the front wall and should also be 2 inches taller than the standard toilets. In such a scenario, the difference in length in the round versus elongated toilet can impact your decision. However, in tighter spaces, it is always better to go with the round toilets.



Frequently Asked Questions

How To Check If My Toilet Is Round Or Elongated?

The difference between elongated and round toilets can be understood by measuring the bowl size. To know whether your toilet is a round toilet or an elongated toilet, take a measuring tape and measure the length of the bowl from the seat mounting holes to the front edge of the bowl. If the length is roughly around 18.5 inches, it is an elongated bowl. If the length measures close to 16.5 inches, then you have a round bowl toilet.



Can I Install An Elongated Toilet Seat On A Round Bowl Toilet?

On closely examining elongated vs. round toilet seats, you’ll realize that both of them are meant to be used only with elongated and round toilets respectively for best results.


Though in case of emergency an elongated toilet seat can be fixed on a round bowl toilet. But, let us tell you that it may not be very comfortable to sit and may even slide off.


Since the toilet seat is usually made of plastic, the overhanging part will also become prone to breakage if used by a heavier person. Plus, the rim of the bowl may be visible under the seat, which is not only unsightly, but it can also be uncomfortable for the male users. For look-conscious users, this certainly affects the aesthetics of the toilet and the bathroom in general.



Can I Fix A Round Toilet Seat On An Elongated Toilet Bowl?

Comparing elongated vs. round toilet seats, you’ll realize that both of them are meant for specialized use. But, technically, yes, a round seat can be installed over an elongated bowl. However, if it can be done, it is not necessary that it should be done. The problem is that the round shaped seat will not cover your elongated bowl completely. Due to its round shape it will be left loose on the sides and will not reach the bowl’s front area correctly.



Why Should I Buy An Elongated Toilet Bowl?

Many users often ask is elongated toilet better than round? Since their oval-shaped design is 2 inches longer than the round toilets, they are more in sync with the human anatomy and therefore offer a larger surface to sit comfortably.


They are also easier to maintain and can also bolster the flushing power of certain flushing mechanisms. So, if these are the features you’re looking for – elongated toilets are just the right type for you.



Can I Replace My Round Toilet With An Elongated Toilet?

Yes, an elongated toilet can be installed in the place of a round toilet as long as there is enough space in your bathroom to accommodate its larger body. Plus, the rough-in measurement of both the toilets should be the same.


If you want an elongated toilet but have limited space, manufacturers also offer compact elongated toilet to kill the competition of round versus elongated toilets.




This brings us to the end of our elongated vs. round toilets debate. We are sure that after reading the entire comparison of round versus elongated toilets, you would have arrived at a decision. It is difficult to give a verdict since the answer for “which is better round or elongated toilet?” is highly subjective.


However, if you still ask us “Is elongated toilet better than round?” our answer would be “Yes, but it depends.” While there is no significant difference in the functioning of these two models, what gives the elongated bowl an edge over the other is the added comfort and the looks. But again, the choice entirely depends on individual requirements such as bathroom dimensions, budget, age of users in the family, etc.