One Piece Vs. Two Piece Toilets Difference: What To Consider When Choosing A Toilet

One Piece Vs. Two Piece Toilets Difference


Toilets come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are renovating your bathroom or need to replace a leaky and worn-out toilet, selecting the right piece for your poo business can be a tough decision to make. There are so many options to choose from and the choice also depends on several criteria such as style, functionality, durability, cost, etc. While you may think that most people only go on the looks of the toilet, in reality, the style and shape of the toilet are way below in the checklist of buyers. A number of buyers look for functionality and pricing when weighing out their purchase options. One major point of distinction that divides the buyers is whether to go for a one piece or two piece toilet.


If you too are sailing on the same boat, you may wonder how to decide which will be the better model for your bathroom that is just right for each family member? One way of deciding can be to list out all one piece vs. two piece toilets differences.


To help you out, we did some research at our end to find the difference between one piece and two piece toilets. We have listed down the advantages and disadvantages of one piece toilet vs. two piece toilets and have also answered which one will be better to suit your needs.



What Is A One Piece Toilet and What Is A Two Piece?

To understand one piece vs. two piece toilets difference, you need to know what different parts a toilet needs to function properly.


A toilet primarily comprises of three prominent parts – a tank, a pedestal, and a bowl. The pedestal defines the height of the toilet, the tank holds the flush water, and the bowl transfers the waste to the sewage system through the trapway. Coming to the difference between 1 piece and 2 piece toilets, it is perhaps the most frequently asked questions by buyers and the answer lies in the question itself.


As the name suggests a one-piece toilet is a more modern-looking toilet in which the tank and the bowl are integrated into a single unit eliminating the joints and crevices that later become the harbingers of dirt and mold.


On the other hand, a two piece toilet is a more commonly found toilet that has a separate tank and bowl connected through a pipe. Though structurally different, both types offer similar flushing mechanisms and water-saving capabilities.  To give you a clearer picture refer to the comparison chart below that defines the key difference between one and two piece toilets.


One Piece Toilet vs. Two Piece Toilet Comparison Chart



One Piece Toilet

Two Piece Toilet

Size Compact, fits in smaller dimensions Bigger, needs more space
Cleaning Easier to clean skirted design Hard to reach joints accumulate dirt
Performance Same Same
Flushing Mechanism Same Same
Installation No technical knowledge needed Need technical know-how to mount different parts
Replacement Requires replacing the entire toilet Tank and bowl can be replaced separately
Replacement Cost Costly Economical
Durability More durable Less durable
Maintenance Easy to maintain Not easy to maintain
Maintenance Cost High Low
Leakage Issues Fewer leaks due to fewer joints More prone to leakage
Bowl Shapes Round and elongated Round and elongated
Buyer %% More buyers prefer its compact design Buyers increasing due to cheaper cost



What Is the Difference Between One Piece and Two Piece Toilets?

1. Size, Height and Weight

When we talk about the one piece vs. two piece toilets difference, both the variants are available in a variety of sizes.  However, the one piece design takes up lesser space due to its compact design. Since the tank and the bowl are molded into one frame they have a shorter front to back dimensions and also take up lesser room in terms of height. The two piece toilets, on the other hand, occupy more space as the tank is mounted separately over the bowl. Also, the majority of two piece toilets sport an elongated bowl that is generally two inches longer than the rounder models. Therefore, if you plan to go for a two-piece toilet, make sure that you have enough room in your bathroom.


Coming to the difference between 1 piece and 2 piece toilets in terms of height, both two piece and one piece toilets available in the market are ADA compliant and conform to the Comfort Height guidelines that means that they sit at a taller height of 17-19 inches compared to the standard 15 inches models. However, if you have elder people in your family or people with disabilities you can easily find taller models in a two piece variant.


When selecting the right model for your bathroom, you also need to keep the rough-in measurement in mind. The rough-in is the length from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the mounting hole. The average rough-in is around 12 inches. While the two-piece toilets provide more flexibility offering a range of 10-14 inches rough-in, the one piece toilets have limited options.


The next difference between one piece and two piece toilets is their weight. The one piece toilets are much heavier since both the tank and the bowl come as one unit. So installing this one can be a little difficult and usually requires assistance. Also, their weight adds to the shipping cost making them costlier to procure. In the case of two piece toilets, they are easier to handle and install as the tank can be installed separately.  So if you are a DIYer, you can install a two-piece toilet single-handedly.



2. Appearance and Style

When it comes to matching the aesthetics of your bathroom, the race between one piece toilet vs. two piece toilet is endless. Both types come in a wide range of styles. However, one piece toilets are more suited for modern bathrooms due to their compact and contemporary design. The skirted trapway further gives them a sleeker and luxurious finish. Also, their cleaner lines impart a shiner glow compared to the two-piece toilets since the light bounces off better through their straight surface. In case your toilet is in a separate room and doesn’t really alter the appearance of your home, you can go for the traditional-looking two piece toilets.


That being said, this difference between one and two piece toilets is slowly disappearing as the one-piece toilets are also available in traditional designs and the two-piece models also come in ultra-modern designs.



3. Installation

There is no clear difference between one piece and two piece toilets when it comes to installation as both have their own advantages and disadvantages. The one piece toilet can be difficult to install in tight spaces plus its heavier weight adds to the difficulty. However, the one piece design needs lesser effort for assembly. All you need to do is install the toilet over the waste pipe, hook the waterline, fix the seat, caulk the base, and you are ready to go. On the other hand, the two-piece toilets are easier to maneuver since the tank can be handled separately. But, they need more technical know-how to assemble and to connect the tank to the bowl correctly to avoid leakage.


However, both the toilets follow the same mechanism of sealing the toilet seat to the waste pipe with a wax ring, and the toilet is fixed to the floor with the help of bolts. In case you plan to do the installation yourself, the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer should be followed to the T to avoid damaging any parts.



4. Costs

A major one piece vs. two piece toilets difference is the cost. Despite having similar specifications, the one piece toilets are costlier compared to the two piece counterpart. On average, a single piece toilet can cost $400-$1200 while a two piece model is comparatively cheaper costing $150-$600. The pricing also depends on the feature that the toilet offers. If you are going for a feature-loaded toilet, a two piece toilet can sometimes cost more than a one piece model. Also, the cost of installing a toilet is roughly $100. So, when deciding the budget for a new toilet, keep the additional installation cost in mind.



5. Maintenance

When it comes to keeping the toilet clean the difference between 1 piece and 2 piece toilets is pretty clear. The molded shape of one piece toilets is easier to maintain as there are no nooks and crannies to accumulate dirt and bacteria. You can simply wipe clean the outer bowl surface and the tank without using any harsh chemicals. However, cleaning a two piece toilet can be a bit of a challenge. The joint between the bowl and the tank is difficult to reach and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and mold if left unattended for a long period. In case the two piece toilet has a visible trapway, the curves tend to accumulate dust and other grime that require effort to clean up. The exposed bolts at the base also tend to rust due to constant exposure to moisture. The bolts in the case of a one-piece toilet are usually concealed inside the skirted design.



6. Durability

The difference between one and two piece toilets in terms of durability is hard to ignore. While the two piece toilet may come cheap, they are less durable due to the presence of several joints and seals that wear off over time. On the other hand, one piece toilets require lesser replacements and are therefore more durable in the longer run. However, in case of cracks, you will have to replace the entire unit of a one-piece toilet which can be costly. But, in a two piece toilet, the cracked part can be replaced independently, helping you save money. To sum up the one piece toilet vs. two piece toilet on durability, if proper care is taken, the one piece toilets can last longer with lesser replacements.



7. Flushing Power and Efficiency

There is hardly any difference between 1 piece and 2 piece toilets when it comes down to their flushing power and efficacy. If of the same brand, the manufacturers offer the same flushing technology, features, specifications in both the models. In case you are looking for low-flow models, you can find WaterSense certified makes in both one piece and two piece toilets.



8. Functionality

The one piece vs. two piece toilets difference does not affect the functionality of the toilet in any way. The functioning has more to do with the flush mechanism and the Gallons Per Flush that it uses to help you cut down your water bills. Therefore, if you are looking for a high-functioning toilet, there is little to no difference that the one piece or the two piece design will make to alter your decision.



9. Resale Value

Again the difference between one piece and two piece toilets stands null and void in deciding the resale value of your house. However, what does contribute in maintain your home’s value is that you have a good functioning toilet without any leaks or blockages.




Difference Between One Piece and Two Piece Toilets: Advantages & Disadvantages


What are the advantages of a one piece toilet?

1. Compact Size

A major difference between 1 piece and 2 piece toilets is their size. The one piece toilets mostly come in a compact design that can fit into a bathroom of the tightest dimensions. The integrated tank or tankless one piece toilet does not need any mounting so you can use the saved up space for additional storage or for installing other fixtures.



2. Appealing Design

The single-piece design also goes well with the contemporary and minimalistic styles of washrooms. The smooth skirted surface hides away the unpleasant curves of the trapway and gives it a clean look.



3. Easy to Clean and Maintain

Due to their molded design, the one-piece toilets are fairly easy to clean. They do not have unnecessary bends or joints to accumulate dust. The smooth outer bowls can be wiped clean. So you can save both effort and the use of unnecessary harsh chemicals to keep your bowl shining.



4. Long Term Durability

When it comes down to one piece vs. two piece toilets difference in durability, the lesser joints make one piece toilets more durable. Also, they are made of stronger and long-lasting ceramic so you need not worry about replacing the toilet anytime soon.



5. Easy Installation

The one piece toilets are easier to install as you need not worry about assembling different parts. The installation can be done single-handedly without seeking professional help.




What are the disadvantages of a one piece toilet?

1. Price

A one piece toilet is costlier compared to the standard two piece toilets. In case you are looking for a budget toilet, one piece toilets have very limited options.



2. Height

One piece toilets are not the most comfortable ones for people of tall height. They usually have low seating to save on space. Hence if you have elders at home or people with disabilities, one piece models are not advisable.



3. Problem of Replacement

In case you end up cracking the toilet seat or have a faulty toilet replacement can be very costly since you will have to change the entire unit.



4. Heavy

The bulky design makes one piece toilets heavier to install and shift from one place to another. Their weight also makes them prone to breakage if not handled carefully.




What are the advantages of a two piece toilet?

1. Affordable Price

Two piece toilets are much more affordable than the one piece models. Their prices start as low as $150 making them highly affordable for people on a tight budget.



2. Comfortable for Tall People and Elders

Two piece toilets usually sit at a taller height making them more comfortable for taller individuals. They are also better suited for elders as their comfortable height does not exert pressure on the back and knees. So getting on and off the seat is much easier.



3. Easy Replacement

Since two piece toilets have separate tank and bowl, in case of any damage you can replace the individual part, unlike a one-piece toilet that requires complete replacement.



4. Easy Installation

The tank and bowl are easier to handle separately and can therefore be shifted and installed easily. The installation is simple and can be done on your own following the instruction manual.



5. Comfortable Seat

Most of the two-piece toilets come with an elongated bowl which is much more comfortable than the compact or round bowls offered in the one piece toilets.




What are the disadvantages of a two piece toilet?

1. Cleaning

One of the major drawbacks of a two piece toilet is difficulty in cleaning. The joint between the tank and the bowl is difficult to clean and can become a hotspot for mold growth. Also, the bends on the visible trapway tend to accumulate dust if not cleaned regularly.



2. Large Size

The two piece toilets usually come in large sizes and therefore take too much room in the bathroom. Since most of the modern homes have compact bathroom space, the large size of a two piece toilet does not gel with the aesthetics of the modern space-saving washrooms.



3. Comfort

Since the two piece toilets are taller, they can be uncomfortable to use for children or people of short height.



4. Short Term Durability

To keep the prices affordable, the material used for making a two piece toilet does not last for long. Most of the manufacturers offer only a 1-year limited warranty. So if you are looking at one piece vs. two piece toilets difference of durability, you should consider going for a one piece make.




Knowing the Differences – Which Is Better One Piece or Two Piece Toilet?

The one piece vs. two piece toilets difference for deciding which make is better is highly subjective and purely depends on individual requirements. However, mentioned below are some of the deciding parameters that we found common in the pragmatic buyers:


  • One big difference between one and two piece toilets and a major setback for a two-pieced toilet is that the joint between the tank and the bowl is a potential site for leaks. However, unless the installation is faulty, there have hardly been any cases confirming this most cited drawback.
  • If you are not very fond of cleaning the toilet regularly, we would highly suggest that you go for a one-piece design as it is much easier to maintain. You do not have to worry about the crevices breeding germs since one-piece toilets boast of a seamless design.
  • If you are bound by space, going for a one-piece design is hands-down the better option. In fact, the one-piece toilets even with oblong-shaped bowls do not take as much space compared to the standard elongated two-piece toilets.
  • If you are caught up in the one piece toilet vs. two piece toilet race and are toilet-hunting on a budget, the two piece toilets come in a wide price range to suit all pockets. The one-piece toilets are comparatively pricy.


To help you decide which make to go with, we have tried to give out the difference between 1 piece and 2 piece toilets by stating the advantages and disadvantages of both. Hope you have some clarity now on which model to buy.




Can A One Piece Toilet Replace A Two Piece Toilet?

In most cases, the replacement of a two piece model with a one piece toilet is possible with minor tweaks. However, you need to make sure that there is no difference between one piece and two piece toilets concerning the rough-in measurement. Also, the bowl size should be similar to your current toilet to be able to fit into the dimensions of your bathroom.




Conclusion – One Piece Toilet vs. Two Piece Toilet

Now that you know the difference between one and two piece toilets, it may seem that a one piece toilet should be the obvious choice, but the two piece toilets still come with a host of benefits that are worth considering. It is not that one has an edge over the other. So the winner in the race of one piece vs. two piece toilet will be different for different individuals. But now that you have all the pros and cons listed in front of you, it can be easier to understand the difference between one and two piece toilets before you finalize a toilet for your home.


Since both the toilets function at par, the deciding factors will be comfort, space occupied, ease of maintenance, pricing, etc. Also, as toilets are not replaced frequently and a quality piece can comfortably last for good 10 years, you must make this decision wisely. If you still get confused while narrowing down your choices, we would recommend that you go back to the one piece vs. two piece toilets differences to zero down your preferred type.