Elongated vs Round Toilets – Pros, Cons and comparisons

Elongated vs Round Toilets – Pros, Cons and comparisons
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All toilets are not made equal. Some are longer than others. Some are more comfortable than others. Some need more space than others. A toilet is ether elongated or round. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. So what are the pros and cons of elongated vs round toilets?

Are elongated toilets better than round toilets? Or are round toilets better than elongated toilets? Which is the best toilets to buy? Let us look at the pros and cons of elongated and round toilets and settle the score

The major difference between an elongated and a round toilet is the length of the toilet and the shape of the toilet bowl. Elongated toilets are oval-shaped and have a length of about 18.5 inches while round toilets are circular and have a length of around 16.5 inches. Elongated toilets are more comfortable than round toilets while round toilets are more space efficient than elongated toilets.

Pros and Cons of Elongated vs Round Toilets

Elongated Toilets



  • More comfortable for adults
  • Modern design
  • Easier to clean
  • More hygienic


  • Less comfortable for kids
  • More expensive
  • Takes more space

Round Toilets



  • More comfortable for kids
  • Takes up less space
  • Relatively cheaper


  • Less comfortable for adults
  • Seen as traditional

Buying a toilet for your bathroom is one of those investment you make once in a long time. It is henceforth vital to survey all options before committing your money to a certain toilet. Buying a toilet for the kids’ bathroom is different from buying a toilet for a disabled person

Governments also have legal requirements that toilets and bathrooms in public places must adhere to. So what factors affects the decision to buy an elongated vs round toilet?

How to Measure a Toilet

Although you can easily tell whether a toilet is round or elongated it is a good idea to confirm. This might also be helpful when you need to replace a toilet seat. It will prevent you from buying the wrong size.

A toilet bowl has 3 critical measurements that you need to know. This include the length, the width and the the bolt spread. The length is the most important measurement of the the 3.

The bolt spread is the distance between the two toilet seat mounting holes on the toilet bowl. In the United States, this measurement is a standard 5.5 inch.

The toilet bowl width is the total thickness of the toilet bowl. Always make sure to measure it from the middle of the bowl to get as a accurate measurement as possible. Elongated and round toilets have have a width of between 14 and 15 inch in the United States.

The toilet bowl length is the distance between the center of the 2 toilet seat mounting holes to the front part of the toilet bowl. Using a tape measure, put the end at the center of the two mounting holes and extend it to the front of the bowl making sure it is centered as much as possible.

In order to measure the length, you will need to first remove the toilet seat. With the toilet seat installed there will be no way to access the mounting holes.

Factors Affecting Choice of Elongated VS Round toilets


Elongated toilets are longer than round toilets by about 2 inches. On average, elongated toilets have a length of 18.5 inches. Round toilets have an average length of 16.5 inches

You cannot replace an elongated toilet seat with a round toilet seat. You can however replace an elongated toilet with a round toilet. You just need to make sure that the rough-in measurement is the same

Space Required

For people with a small bathroom, the round toilets is the best option. It also is a good choice for children’s bathroom. If however you have ample space in your bathroom then by all means go the elongated toilet.

In recent years, toilet manufactures have gone back to the drawing board and come up with elongated toilets which take up the same space as a round toilet without compromising the comfort of an elongated toilet. Some of those toilets include:

  • Toto CST746CSMFG#01 Drake Toilet
  • Kohler Santa Rosa Toilet

If you however must buy a round but modern toilet, these two toilets would be worth having a look at:

  • Kohler Wellworth Toilet
  • American Standard H2 Option Siphonic Dual Flush toilet

There are many excellent choices for elongated toilets to choose from in the market

Legal Requirements

If you are installing a toilet in a public space, there are laws that regulates how you should do it. Most buildings require a 21 inch free space between the toilet bowl and the front wall. An ADA-compliant toilet should have a 2 inch more height than the standard height of a toilet and at least 48 inches from the front wall. The 2 inch length difference between an elongated and round toilet can come in handy in such scenarios. If your bathroom is shorter you would obviously go with the round toilet

Flushing Performance

Some people are however of the opinion that round toilets have a higher MaP score than the elongated toilets There is no conclusive testing indicating either elongated or round toilets have more flushing power than the other.


Elongated toilets cost slightly more than round toilets from the same brand and of the same features and specifications. Apart from just shape, the price of toilets is determined by many other factors. Plumbers charge the same amount of money to install a toilet, whether round or elongated

Ease of Cleaning

Going by its shape, it is marginally easier to clean an elongated toilet compared to round toilet. It is however too small of a factor to influence someone into buying it for that sole reason


Round toilets are more traditional while elongated toilets are modern. Round toilets are mostly found in old houses while elongated toilets are found in modern houses. Most people also agree that elongated toilets are more aesthetically appealing as opposed to round toilets


When choosing elongated vs round toilets, the biggest talking point is comfort. Elongated toilets are made to offer comfort to the user. Its long shape provides a bigger surface area parallel to human anatomy which makes them a first choice for many people

Not all people find elongated toilets comfortable .Young kids prefer round toilets than elongated toilets. Most say that they almost feel as if they are falling in the bowl if they use an elongated toilet


Elongated toilets are getting more popular while the round toilets are fading away. In fact, most round toilets are found in old homes and institutions. The compact elongated toilets have proved to be a worthwhile replacement for the round toilets. Wall-hang elongated toilets are also taking up their places. The wall-hang toilets use less space and are very stylish and modern

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