Q: We are thinking about installing a new toilet, and I like the smooth look of a “skirted” toilet. My husband says that he wants to stay with a standard toilet because he is not sure a skirted toilet will fit our water drain pipes. My question is, can a skirted toilet replace a standard toilet? If so, I want one.
A: Let’s bring everyone up to speed on skirted toilets. Most of us are familiar with a “standard” type toilet. A tell-tale sign of a standard toilet is that you can actually see the shape of the bowl and trap if you look at the toilet from the side. A “skirted” toilet has smooth sides all the way around the bowl going right down to the floor. This can help make cleaning the toilet a little easier since the surface does not have the usual nooks and crannies. Plus, many people like the trendy look of a skirted toilet. In most cases, you can replace a standard toilet with a skirted toilet. But before you start jumping up and down with excitement, you do have concerns to address. The big one can be the price. So, even though both toilets may be able to use the same rough-in piping, a skirted toilet usually requires extra labor since it mounts differently to the toilet flange. Plus, the fixture itself can cost more than a standard toilet. Bottom line: While the skirt should fit, like all nice dresses, they can be a little expensive.