One-piece vs Two-piece toilets – Pros, Cons and Features

One-piece vs Two-piece toilets – Pros, Cons and Features
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A one-piece toilet is a toilet whose tank and the bowl are manufactured as one whole piece while a two-piece toilet the tank and the bowl are separate pieces and have to be joint during installation. A one-piece vs two-piece toilet; which one should you buy?

What are the differences between a one piece and a two-piece? Which is the best between a one-piece and a two-piece toilet? What are the pros and cans of a one piece and a two-piece toilet? Let us compare and contrast the two products below

One-piece Toilets



  • Takes less space
  • Visually appealing
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to maintain (fewer leaks)
  • Easy to clean


  • Expensive
  • If one part (bowl or tank) is broken you have to replace the entire unit
  • Heavy. Need an extra hand during installation

Two-piece Toilets



  • Less expensive
  • Either bowl or tank can be replaced separately
  • One-person installation job


  • Takes more space
  • Takes time to install
  • Harder to clean
  • More repair jobs


One-piece toilets are compact and heavy. They take less space in the bathroom compared to two-piece toilets. If you buy a one-piece toilet, it is difficult and expensive to ship it owing to its awkward shape

Two-piece toilets are often shipped in two different packages. Most of the time the two packages arrive at different times. Two-piece toilets are less likely to break during movement than one-piece toilets.

Modern two-piece toilets are however shorter in height compared to the old ones, where the tank could be so high on the wall. Some are almost equal in height as a one-piece toilet. Let us see an example:

Toto Ultramax II Elongated toilet

  • One-piece toilet
  • Height: 28.3 inches

Toto Drake Elongated Bowl and Tank Toilet

  • Two-piece toilet
  • Height: 28 inches


One-piece toilets are sleeker and aesthetically appealing more than two-piece toilets. They come out as more modern and luxurious while two-piece toilets are viewed as more traditional. Most one-piece toilets are skirted down concealing the trapway, which make them look very elegant.

In contrast, two-piece toilets have many nooks and crannies. Subjected to the same light, one-piece toilets tend to glow more than two-piece toilets. This because light travels in a straight line and bounces off from shinny surfaces

Most but not all one-piece toilets have a flushing button while most two-piece toilets have a trip lever. For this reason most one-piece toilets have the dual flush functionality that the two-piece toilets


One-piece toilets are more expensive compared to two-piece toilets with the same features and specifications. It is also more expensive to ship a one-piece toilet than a two-piece toilet

It is however not always the case that one-piece toilets cost more than two-piece toilets. High-end two piece toilets cost way more than budget one-piece toilets. For instance, the Kohler K-6669-0 Memoirs two-piece elongated toilet cost about $ 150 more than Woodbridge T-001 one-piece elongated toilet.

Installation of a one-piece toilet costs the same amount of money as installing a two-piece toilet

Ease of Cleaning

While most one-piece toilets are skirted all down, most two piece have many crevices. It is therefore easier and faster to clean a one-piece toilets vs a two-piece toilet


If unfortunately the toilet bowl of your one-piece toilets ever breaks, you would need to replace the entire toilet. If however the same happened to a two-piece toilet, you would only need to replace the toilet bowl


Maintenance costs are slightly higher in two-piece toilets vs one-piece toilets. Two-piece toilets have more moving parts than one-piece toilets. The more a part moves the more it is prone to wear and tear.

The many moving parts of a two-piece toilets therefore cost more in replacements and general repairs than the lesser moving parts of a one-piece toilet


The durability of a one-piece toilet or a two-piece toilet majorly depends with the user. If only one or two adults are using either of the two then they would last for decades. If however we are dealing with a house full of kids, don’t be surprised if you are required to replace a toilet seat after two days

Also, more established brands tend to produce more durable brands than brands who don’t care much about reputation

Water Efficiency

The old models of two-piece toilets have very big toilet tanks compared to the modern one-piece toilets. As a result, the modern one-piece toilets are more water efficient than the old two-piece toilets. The old two-piece toilets use on average 3.5 gallons per flush

The modern two-piece toilets are also very quiet and fast while refilling the tank after a flush. The old two-piece toilets are very noisy and take longer to completely fill the tank.

Modern two-piece toilets are however as efficient as the modern one-piece toilets. Let’s look at the example below for clarity:

Toto Ultramax II Elongated toilet

  • One-piece toilet
  • 1.28 gallons per flush

Kohler K-6669-0 Memoirs Elongated toilet

  • Two-piece toilet
  • 1.28 gallons per flush


Installing a one-piece toilet is faster than a two-piece toilets. For the one-piece toilet you only have to mount it once while for the two-piece toilets you have to install the bowl then install the tank. The only downside to installing a one-piece toilet is that it is heavy hence you might need an extra pair of hands


When the one-piece toilets hit the market and became more popular, everyone thought that would be the end of the two-piece toilets. They were wrong. Toilet manufactures came up with innovative way of remodeling the two-piece making them modern and competitive.

The one piece toilets and two-piece toilets can actually coexist competitively. There is no any advantage the consumer gets by either of the two going obsolete. The one-piece toilets vs two-piece toilets debate is thus far from being decided


Can I replace a one-piece toilet with a two-piece toilet?

Yes. The base of a one-piece toilet is the same as that of a two-piece toilet. Just make sure they have the same rough-in. The rough in is the distance between the center of the drain pipe/toilet bolts to the wall behind the toilet

What is the best two-piece toilet?

The best two-piece toilet would be determined by so many factors. If however all factors were held constant I would go with the Kohler Memoirs series

What is the best one-piece toilet?

Just like the two-piece toilet, the best one-piece toilet would be determined by so many factors, including but not limited to price. If all those factors were to be held constant, I would choose either of these two:

  • Toto Ultramax II Elongated One-Piece Toilet
  • Toto Neorest Elongated One-Piece Toilet

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