American Standard v Kohler v Toto (Toilets)

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  #1  
Old 02-22-11, 11:26 AM
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American Standard v Kohler v Toto (Toilets)

I am in the process of remodeling two bathrooms which will include replacing the toilets.

I have compared identical models of toilets using Consumer Reports, Amazon.com, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency websites. I have narrowed down my choices to three possible models with a fourth "honorable mention" model thrown in just for confusion purposes.

Let's say you were going to install a new toilet. Of the models listed below what would you choose and why?

1. American Standard Champion 4 (model: 2002.014). Comes with a 4 inch flush valve and a 2 3/8 inch glazed trapway. Received top score at Consumer Reports, and received great reviews at Amazon.com. Has a MaP score of 1000 according to the AWE website. Uses 1.6 GPF.

2. Kohler Cimarron (K-3609). Comes with a 3 inch flush valve and a 2 1/8 inch glazed trapway. Received "best buy" rating at Consumer Reports, and received great reviews at Amazon.com. Has a MaP score of 1000 according to the AWE website. Uses 1.28 GPF.

3. Kohler Cimarron (K-3589). Comes with a 3 inch flush valve and a 2 1/8 inch glazed trapway. Not tested at Consumer Reports, but received great reviews at Amazon.com. Has a MaP score of 1000 according to the AWE website. Uses 1.6 GPF.

Now, here is the honorable mention:

4. Toto Drake (CST744EL). Rated 9th overall at Consumer Reports, but not chosen as a "best buy" or even "recommended". Has a 3 inch flush valve and a 2 1/8 inch glazed trapway. Not enough reviews on Amazon.com to evaluate performance. Has a MaP score of 800 according to the AWE website. Uses 1.6 GPF. This model is highly recommended by a guy named Terry Love on his plumbing website.

Prices are comparable to each other thanks to searching on the internet.

I'd appreciate any input regarding these models.

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-22-11, 12:00 PM
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About six months ago, I was in the same position as you were and comparing the same exact models. Originally went with the AM Standard Champion-4. After getting it installed, the fit/finish was awful (back of tank ended up sitting close to 3-inches away from the wall on a standard 12" rough-in). Trying to get anyone at AM Standard to help resolve the issue was an absolute nightmare. Went round-and-round with them for over a month. Finally worked with the local store to return the toilet and get a refund. Vowed to never spend another penny with the organization if there were other options due to the headaches. Others however have had very good experiences I'm sure.

After that, I found a good price on the Toto Drake, and have been extremely happy with it ever since. It continues to receive rave reviews and so far, has worked wonderfully. Therefore, that's my vote for what it's worth.
 
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Old 02-22-11, 12:19 PM
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Hey, H8Mondays, thanks for replying.

I'll take your experience into consideration when making my final decision.
 
  #4  
Old 02-22-11, 12:23 PM
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The Toto Drake may just be made to the lower U.S. market oriented standards.

Usually in other countries they are premium units costing well $500 and I saw one in a China home that was $5,000 to $7,000.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 02-22-11, 12:28 PM
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$5,000 for a toilet? Surely that's not American dollars.

Based on the info I submitted which toilet would you purchase?
 
  #6  
Old 02-22-11, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ron1999 View Post
Hey, H8Mondays, thanks for replying.

I'll take your experience into consideration when making my final decision.
No problem - and good luck with your decision. I will say that for all the AM Standard products out there, they really can't be that bad. I truly think I may have just received a lemon, which happens. It was the unfortunate experiences I had dealing with their lackluster customer service department that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Sidenote - when I ordered my Toto Drake (no local suppliers, so ordered online), I received the box, only to find that somewhere along the way, the bowl had been chipped/cracked. At this point, I was really contemplating whether I needed a toilet in this bathroom or not for all the problems I kept running into However, I contacted the place I ordered from, and after a short five minute conversation with the rep., had a new bowl on its way to me. The difference in attitude between the customer service departments made all the difference in my mind!
 
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Old 02-22-11, 12:32 PM
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H8Mondays,

I agree. Customer service makes a world of difference. When I'm frustrated over a broken plastic piece, and can't find it in the stores, the last thing I need is attitude from a CS Rep.

Do you know much about the Toto parts? Can they be bought at Lowe's or Home Depot? Or, would I have to always purchase them online and wait for them to arrive?

I am assuming, of course, that AS, and Kohler, parts can be purchased at my local Lowe's or Home Depot. I haven't been toilet shopping in years so I have no idea.
 
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Old 02-22-11, 12:55 PM
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If you like the style...I don't see why the AS or K wouldn't work just fine if your plumbing is adequate and in good shape. Many people blame the newer toilets for their flushing problems when the root issue is inadequate venting and waste lines.

Plumbing supply stores, if one is nearby, would normally be able to get Toto.

You might also want to check on the cost and availability of replacement parts, eventually you will need them. I'd never get a toilet that uses some proprietary fill valve or similar.

Friend back in VA inherited a house with really fancy 1 piece toilets. They were amazingly quiet and flushed well (even though they were 60's pink!), but when he had to replace a fill valve...he was quoted something like $75! Luckily while digging through the things left in the house he found 3 complete sets of guts.

Terry Love is kind of a Guru on plumbing to many people, but then, there was a local DIY radio show back in VA that the guy just worshiped the porcelain god of TOTO. Opinions...ya know?
 
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Old 02-22-11, 02:01 PM
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I have installed them all. I will give a brief of my choice.

1. AS champion 4.
I have them in my home. After doing two bathroom remodels. Got the 17" height. Cant clogg them.
My kids use alot of paper, baby wipes, ect.... 10 yr warranty.
The toilet kind of gulps in one motion and its gone.
Less side bowl self cleaning when flushed then a regular toilet but the benefits outway that.
Parts easy to get. Called them and they sent me parts free.
Fluid master fill valve.
What parts you say? The one down side is the toilet handle. Its plastic. To lift that big 4" flapper laden with the weight of the water in the tank the handle broke.
The solution was a AS handle thats metal. Made for this toilet.( A universal handle will not work)
Thats what they are sending if you call because of back order on the plastic one.(They must break often.They may have redesigned them)
If not make sure you specify.

2,3. The kohlers are nice. My mom has them. (came with the house) They dont flush as well as the AS. They have a metal handle and a more conventional flapper. The AS has more of a tower design. Same self bowl cleaning issue. I would not buy any Kohler product. Over priced in everything they make.

4. I was going to get the toto toilets. They have a sleak more modern design but I wanted the best flush I could get. Same metal handle, conventional flapper and bowl self cleaning issues.
Fill valve is toto. No float. How this relates to replacement is get from toto or replace with a fluid master.

Summary: I would buy the AS again. Best flush I have seen in the industry. If you get them call AS and get metal handles. Its the only downside but they may have metal handles now.


I used to plunge the toilets daily with the kids. I threw my plunger away and its been about 3 or 4 yrs.

Mike NJ
 
  #10  
Old 02-22-11, 02:03 PM
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ron -

American dollars, but not sold in the U.S. market for obvious price reasons.

The top line units have a few other features. The $7,000 (approx.) I saw in China had automatic lid and seat lifting and closing, washed you, wiped you, dried you and applied a deodorizer while you listened to a stereo/MP3 and all remote controlled if desired and the closed the lid and sprayed. - I was a little surprised to see a Japanese product in China. - In an adjacent area was a marble/tile lavatory area with the "bomb sight" toilet (with a piped in flusher) that you see in many Asian and European countries.

This was in a small (5,000,000 population) metro area about 500-700 miles or so west from Shanghai. The home was on the 7th floor of a 20 story building that was one of many 7-25 story buildings in a newer 10 block square development that had similar size projects on two sides. Brick doghouse on the balcony/patio and not a rick-shaw in sight.

A bit of an eye-opener.

Dick
 
  #11  
Old 02-23-11, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
If you like the style...I don't see why the AS or K wouldn't work just fine if your plumbing is adequate and in good shape. Many people blame the newer toilets for their flushing problems when the root issue is inadequate venting and waste lines.

Plumbing supply stores, if one is nearby, would normally be able to get Toto.

You might also want to check on the cost and availability of replacement parts, eventually you will need them. I'd never get a toilet that uses some proprietary fill valve or similar.

Friend back in VA inherited a house with really fancy 1 piece toilets. They were amazingly quiet and flushed well (even though they were 60's pink!), but when he had to replace a fill valve...he was quoted something like $75! Luckily while digging through the things left in the house he found 3 complete sets of guts.

Terry Love is kind of a Guru on plumbing to many people, but then, there was a local DIY radio show back in VA that the guy just worshiped the porcelain god of TOTO. Opinions...ya know?

Thanks for the input.

My plumbing should be just fine. At least I haven't had any issues with the current plumbing and the current toilet in the main bath (even though it's several decades old).

The toilet in the half bath is one of the first "low flow" toilets that came on the market. It's great for liquids, but is horrible for solids. So, it will be replaced as well.

Based on specs alone the AS, and two Kohler, models that I'm looking at beat the Toto Drake and Ultramax. But, I guess specs alone are meaningless if I'm plunging my new toilet or looking for hard to find parts.

Decisions, decisions.
 
  #12  
Old 02-23-11, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
I have installed them all. I will give a brief of my choice.

1. AS champion 4.
I have them in my home. After doing two bathroom remodels. Got the 17" height. Cant clogg them.
My kids use alot of paper, baby wipes, ect.... 10 yr warranty.
The toilet kind of gulps in one motion and its gone.
Less side bowl self cleaning when flushed then a regular toilet but the benefits outway that.
Parts easy to get. Called them and they sent me parts free.
Fluid master fill valve.
What parts you say? The one down side is the toilet handle. Its plastic. To lift that big 4" flapper laden with the weight of the water in the tank the handle broke.
The solution was a AS handle thats metal. Made for this toilet.( A universal handle will not work)
Thats what they are sending if you call because of back order on the plastic one.(They must break often.They may have redesigned them)
If not make sure you specify.

2,3. The kohlers are nice. My mom has them. (came with the house) They dont flush as well as the AS. They have a metal handle and a more conventional flapper. The AS has more of a tower design. Same self bowl cleaning issue. I would not buy any Kohler product. Over priced in everything they make.

4. I was going to get the toto toilets. They have a sleak more modern design but I wanted the best flush I could get. Same metal handle, conventional flapper and bowl self cleaning issues.
Fill valve is toto. No float. How this relates to replacement is get from toto or replace with a fluid master.

Summary: I would buy the AS again. Best flush I have seen in the industry. If you get them call AS and get metal handles. Its the only downside but they may have metal handles now.


I used to plunge the toilets daily with the kids. I threw my plunger away and its been about 3 or 4 yrs.

Mike NJ

Hey, Mike.

Excellent information. Thank you.

As for prices the cheapest price I found for the AS 2002.014 model was $310.25 on Amazon.

The cheapest price for the Kohler K-3589 was $328 at Home Depot.

And, the cheapest price for the Kohler K-3609 was $268 at Home Depot.

There might be cheaper prices out there, but I was getting tired of researching. All of these models need a seat. I picked out the "slow close" model seats for each model of toilet. Amazon had the lowest prices for the seats.

The seat for the AS was $28.31 with free shipping. The seat for the two Kohler models was $42.82 with free shipping.

Amazon and Home Depot had free shipping direct to home with the exception of the Kohler K-3589 model from Home Depot. They have a $60 shipping fee for that one. I don't know why.

Lowe's had free shipping direct to store. No home delivery.
 
  #13  
Old 02-23-11, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
ron -

American dollars, but not sold in the U.S. market for obvious price reasons.

The top line units have a few other features. The $7,000 (approx.) I saw in China had automatic lid and seat lifting and closing, washed you, wiped you, dried you and applied a deodorizer while you listened to a stereo/MP3 and all remote controlled if desired and the closed the lid and sprayed. - I was a little surprised to see a Japanese product in China. - In an adjacent area was a marble/tile lavatory area with the "bomb sight" toilet (with a piped in flusher) that you see in many Asian and European countries.

This was in a small (5,000,000 population) metro area about 500-700 miles or so west from Shanghai. The home was on the 7th floor of a 20 story building that was one of many 7-25 story buildings in a newer 10 block square development that had similar size projects on two sides. Brick doghouse on the balcony/patio and not a rick-shaw in sight.

A bit of an eye-opener.

Dick

Hey, Dick.

Wow, that is one impressive toilet.
 
  #14  
Old 02-23-11, 08:45 AM
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Not sure where your looking. Your state should have similar prices.


This is what I have. With the 17" comfort height.
American Standard Champion 4 Right Height 2-piece Elongated Toilet in White - 2586.000.020 at The Home Depot


Notice the metal handle.
http://www.americanstandard-us.com/video/default.aspx?bclid=590068264001&bctid=507071383001&d=1 This is just wrong!!!!! LOL ...... Hopefully we can all get a laugh.

http://www.americanstandard-us.com/video/default.aspx?bclid=590068264001&bctid=507091367001&d=1 Mike NJ
 
  #15  
Old 02-24-11, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
Not sure where your looking. Your state should have similar prices.


This is what I have. With the 17" comfort height.
American Standard Champion 4 Right Height 2-piece Elongated Toilet in White - 2586.000.020 at The Home Depot


Notice the metal handle.
http://www.americanstandard-us.com/video/default.aspx?bclid=590068264001&bctid=507071383001&d=1 This is just wrong!!!!! LOL ...... Hopefully we can all get a laugh.

http://www.americanstandard-us.com/video/default.aspx?bclid=590068264001&bctid=507091367001&d=1 Mike NJ

Hey, Mike.

I've seen that video before. Cracks me up every time.

I was at Home Depot yesterday getting some parts for a garbage disposal. While I was there I looked at their toilets. As you stated they sell the AS Champion 4 2586.000 model.

But, they don't sell the AS Champion 4 2002.014 model which was one of the three toilets on my "short list". If I bought that model I'd have to buy it online and have it shipped to my house. The Home Depot website sells this model for $326 with free shipping. However, it doesn't come with a seat. So, I'd have to buy one separately. I found one of the slow close seats on Amazon for $28.31 with free shipping. The total cost would be about $354.

I looked at the Alliance for Water Efficiency website to compare the differences between the AS 2002.014 model (online purchase) and the AS 2586.000 model (local Home Depot). They are the exact same toilet. The AS 2586.000 is sold as a "complete package" including toilet seat, wax ring, and bolt hardware.

Get this... the 2586.000 "complete" model is $236. That saves me $120 per toilet. Since I'm getting two that quick trip to Home Depot (for garbage disposal parts no less) will end up saving me $240!

Nice!!! :-)
 
  #16  
Old 02-24-11, 06:10 AM
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I have a AM STD customer serevice story. I had a pressure assist AM Std toilet that needed repair. It was probably 20 years old. I contacted AS only to find out that the toilet was no longer being made and repair parts were not available. After couple of days of exchanging e mail with customer service I was ready to replace the toilet. Then I got a call from a guy who was retired from AS but he had been involved with the design of the pressure assist toilet. I told him my problem and he told me what I needed to fix it. A couple of days later I got a care package of repair parts in the mail. So I'm a fan of AS customer service. It probably depends who you deal with.

I have 3 Kohler Cimmaron toilets in my house. I've never had a problem.
 
  #17  
Old 02-24-11, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
I have a AM STD customer serevice story. I had a pressure assist AM Std toilet that needed repair. It was probably 20 years old. I contacted AS only to find out that the toilet was no longer being made and repair parts were not available. After couple of days of exchanging e mail with customer service I was ready to replace the toilet. Then I got a call from a guy who was retired from AS but he had been involved with the design of the pressure assist toilet. I told him my problem and he told me what I needed to fix it. A couple of days later I got a care package of repair parts in the mail. So I'm a fan of AS customer service. It probably depends who you deal with.

I have 3 Kohler Cimmaron toilets in my house. I've never had a problem.

Hey, Wayne.

Thanks for sharing your AS customer service story.

What model Kohler Cimarron toilets do you have? There are several, but the two I'm looking at are the K-3609 and the K-3589 models.
 
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Old 02-24-11, 12:58 PM
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Mike, based on CR recommendations and yours (of course), I replaced a Pegasus that I bought several years ago because it was cheap, ADA height, didn't look bad. What a Mistake. I bought the AS Champion 4 right height, oblong. Not sure about the other brands, but someone at AS is just sitting there thinking of things. Now the floor bolts come with chase nuts/washer built in that hold the bolt perfectly straight, it comes with long sockets to install the tank nuts with, and the acorn nuts are replaced with a 3 sided wing type nut of nylon with a centering cone onto which the caps snap perfectly. Man this guy needs an award or something. Never had a seamless install like this before.
Not to be indelicate, but the toilet I pulled should be shot as it wouldn't take what the wife would throw at it. I was in there every other day plunging it to death. I can tell with the C4 that won't happen.
$234 complete with a slow close lid, which was a plus because if I leave the lid up she will let it go in the middle of the night to make a point. Not with this one
 
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Old 02-24-11, 01:01 PM
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Ron....it hasn't been said....but there's really no reason to quote every reply...
 
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Old 02-24-11, 01:54 PM
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Mike, based on CR recommendations and yours (of course), I replaced a Pegasus that I bought several years ago because it was cheap, ADA height, didn't look bad. What a Mistake. I bought the AS Champion 4 right height, oblong. Not sure about the other brands, but someone at AS is just sitting there thinking of things. Now the floor bolts come with chase nuts/washer built in that hold the bolt perfectly straight, it comes with long sockets to install the tank nuts with, and the acorn nuts are replaced with a 3 sided wing type nut of nylon with a centering cone onto which the caps snap perfectly. Man this guy needs an award or something. Never had a seamless install like this before.
Not to be indelicate, but the toilet I pulled should be shot as it wouldn't take what the wife would throw at it. I was in there every other day plunging it to death. I can tell with the C4 that won't happen.
$234 complete with a slow close lid, which was a plus because if I leave the lid up she will let it go in the middle of the night to make a point. Not with this one
Yes a good engineer works there.

I have the slow close seats also but actually they are Toto seats. Got them from the job. Not to sound gross but those seats are beveled so when you sit it helps...well you know. I installed alot of Totos and really liked them and the seat but AS has superior flush mechanism. Mine did not come with seats and I had seperate boxes. Its all consumer based now.

Have not seen the supply houses moving over yet for consumer. Are brand was Gerber for installs. It was the basic, you need a new toilet deal, and this is the cheapeat. Gerber is falling behind these days in technology.

I am lazy and never got around to cutting the bolts down and putting the caps on....LOL I did it upstairs though because that renovation 2 bed and bath is the show piece.

I dont think I like the idea of nylon toilet bolts. I would think they do that so you cant over tighten. The nylon will strip before you crack the bowl. I set my toilets in plaster anyway. It will never rock. I dont think I ever shimmed a toilet. I guess I am getting border line old school at 45.

"Pegasus"....LOL I have seen them. Its like Glacier bay. It sounds nice.

Ok I will stop rambling.

But all in all I have installed them all and when it came time for myself to buy a product I went with AS.

The funny thing is the pressure assist toilets are supposed to be the best, but I have seen many clogg. I have installed many Kohlers in retirement communitys. I guess its something they ate...LOL

Mike NJ
 
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Old 02-24-11, 02:24 PM
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Oddly enough, it is their medications. My wife is recovering from a hip replacement and has been taking a sundry of stuff, and it has affected things, so, yeah, I see where better toilets would be the thing in retirement and nursing homes..
 
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Old 02-24-11, 06:03 PM
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Kohler, Diverse Product Line, Practical Choices

I have installed all of these toilets professionally.

Kohler would be my first choice because they have a diverse product line, affordable options, and a more than adequate flush. I have installed Kohler toilets for over fifteen years and never get return calls for problems flushing.

In my experience the nicer looking ToTo toilets are expensive (as recently as a month ago I was involved with a project with a $4000+ ToTo toilet with an automatic flush and a bidet/cleaning feature), and more affordable ToTo toilets don't preform as well as reasonably priced Kohler toilets.

The American Standard is a basic toilet with a serviceable flush. This toilet is suitable for many projects, but I'll pass mostly because of the absolute lack of any visual appeal.

Douglas
 

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Old 02-24-11, 07:56 PM
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Ahhh... Yeah Kohler looks good but whats the point if it dont flush. Over priced, over rated. In my opinion. But some like Chevys and some like Fords..... Then there are those that have Pontiacs.. Go figure.




My two cents..


Best Toilets Reviews: American Standard Toilets - Kohler Toilets - Installing a Toilet - One vs Two Piece


Mike NJ
 
  #24  
Old 02-25-11, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Ron....it hasn't been said....but there's really no reason to quote every reply...

The option is there so I use it to make sure my replies are directed to the correct person.

But, your point is duly noted.
 

Last edited by ron1999; 02-25-11 at 05:23 AM.
  #25  
Old 02-25-11, 04:44 AM
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Thanks to all who have responded so far.

Last night I bought the AS 2002.014 model (sold as the 2586.000 "complete set" model at Home Depot). I'll install this toilet in my daughter's bathroom tomorrow.

If all goes well then I'll purchase a second one for the main bath when it comes time to replace the toilet in there during the remodel.

Neve a dull moment on the homestead. There's alot to be said for living in a cave somewhere in the mountains.
 
  #26  
Old 03-23-13, 12:24 AM
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ron1999 ==> If you're still subscribed to this thread, how about an update now that the toilet's been installed for a couple years. I'm in the same situation you were 2 years ago -- want to replace 2, possibly 3, toilets with ADA height units with better flushing than our current 15-yr-old units.

Are you still happy with the choice? Have you had any maintenance issues with the toilet? [The Champion 4 still looks like a good option; but some well-thought-of plumbing sites (e.g. both Terry Love and Greg Chick) are very high on Toto's and say things like "stock plenty of repair parts" for American Standard.
 
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Old 03-23-13, 03:30 AM
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garycase, welcome to the forums! ron1999 hasn't been on the forums for a couple of years. From my experience, the C4 is an excellent toilet. No problems in the couple of years or so we have had it installed. In fact, if the remaining toilets in our house and cabin whimper just a little bit, they will be replaced by the C4. Maybe someone else will chime in on the Toto's.
 
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Old 03-23-13, 06:58 AM
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Totos are almost double the price. I believe they only have a 1 year warranty.

AS has a full 10 year warranty. Stock up on parts???? Why? They are free?

The only issue with the AS is the plastic handle. I am not sure how they come now, but the handles break due to the tower being so heavy to lift when flushed.

What to do? Call AS. I called them and requested metal armed replacement handles for both my toilets. While on the phone she asked if there was anything else. For the heck of it I asked for two flappers just in case. She sent me two whole replacement towers.

My oldest toilet is 2008 and not one issue, and never clogged.

Never use bleach products in a toilet tank. Thats the #1 cause of failure. If you must keep the toilet blue use a detergent product. I am on a septic so I use this stuff, but it does not replace having to clean your toilets on occasion.......

2000 Flushes Blue Toilet Tank Cleaner | Toilet Detergent
 
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