It may have a million different names and is in some cases be a subject that goes unspoken, but a home without a toilet wouldn’t be the most liveable of places.

Like many things, toilets are the kinds of everyday essentials we tend to both overlook and take for granted – that is of course until things take a turn for the worse and we find ourselves in need of a new one.

Which leads most into the same dilemma – I haven’t bought a toilet in decades, so where do I start and what do I want?

Well, the truth is that there is indeed some thinking to be done as if you land yourself with a dud, you’re looking at an investment that’s going to bug and bother you for the next 20 years. By contrast, make the right choice and you’ll probably end up saving money in the long-run, not to mention finding the little beauty a genuine pleasure to use.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick look at a few essential tips from the pros on choosing a new toilet when the time comes:

Don’t Penny Pinch.

While the home’s toilet may be a functional tool more than an optional accessory, this doesn’t mean that investing in the cheapest and lowest-grade model just to save money is a good idea. From on-going repair costs to the chance of frequent break-downs and so on, when you consider the fact that you’re looking at a hugely long-term investment, a premium toilet really isn’t what you could reasonably call expensive. You don’t have to instinctively buy the most expensive model on the market, but don’t go bargain-basement either.

Beware Fancy Features.

These days, so many toilets come with so many fancy features that you might just be tempted to splash out on something a bit special. Not a problem at all, but it’s important to remember that the fancier your toilet and the more complex or unique its features are, the more it’s going to cost you when and where repairs are needed. Heated and self-cleaning seats for example are all well and good, but they’re also prone to problems and can cost a fortune to repair.

Watch Water Use.

Some toilets use an ocean’s worth of water with every flush and still leave a mess behind, while others use next to none and do a sterling job of keeping things clean. Over time, the amount of water the average home toilet gets through is nothing short of spectacular – all of which needs to be paid for. It’s therefore worth considering a high-efficiency toilet, ideally with two flush options for…well, you know.

Consider the Cleaning.

Last but not least, before making your final decision you might want to spare a thought for what the toilet will bring to your life by way of ease of cleaning, or the exact opposite. The simplest toilets and various wall-hung varieties can be a doddle to clean – those made of unusual material and created in unusual shapes can be anything but.

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