Elongated Vs. Round Toilets: Ending the Debate

Couple shopping for plumbing fixtures debating over an elongated vs. round toilet

There has been a debate recently about whether an elongated versus round toilet is better. People seeking a traditional look to their restrooms might choose a round fixture. Those looking to add a dash of modern style to their facilities might say elongated seats are better. 

The latest trends in bathroom design suggest elongated toilets as the winner of the debate, but there are too many factors to eliminate round fixtures just because of a trend. 

If you are responsible for choosing which toilet is right for your construction project, take a moment to review the differences between these two fixtures. It might surprise you which fixture wins this debate and why someone might choose one over the other. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Elongated toilets are oval-shaped (or similar) with an additional two inches of space inside the bowl. Modern toilets tend to be elongated.
  • Each model has pros and cons of its own, including cost, comfort, size, and space requirements, to name a few. It's essential to consider everyone using the toilet when choosing which is best.
  • There are more differences besides shape in elongated versus round fixtures. Installation, maintenance, and performance impact the toilet's value and are factors to consider.

Elongated vs. Round Toilets: Which is Better (and Why)?  

The standard shape of a toilet is known as a round toilet. These were once the most common style of toilet. Today, elongated toilets are more popular and offer a more contemporary design element to the restroom.

In the debate between an elongated versus round toilet, the clear winner will be the one that suits the project's requests and specifications from the client. Each has its own value proposition, and it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons of which one is better.

Elongated Models   

The pros of an elongated toilet vastly outnumber the cons. Although, price is a significant deterrent for anyone looking to save money somewhere in a project's budget. 

Toilet selection is a great place to cut costs. Just remember not to sacrifice quality for a better price. It will end up costing more in the long run.

These are the reasons someone might want an elongated bowl versus a round one:  


  • More sitting space
  • Stylish and contemporary, ideal for modern restrooms 
  • Easier to clean
  • More powerful flush
  • More comfortable to use for taller people and adults
  • More options available


  • Not ideal for small spaces
  • More expensive
  • Uncomfortable for children and shorter adults

Round Models    

When debating whether a round toilet is better than other styles, one thing to consider is who is using the fixture. For instance, round bowls are a better choice for elementary schools and daycare because children have an easier time with a round seat. 

These are the reasons someone might want a round bowl versus an elongated one:


  • Ideal for smaller spaces, providing more leg room
  • Kids have an easier time using a round toilet
  • Takes up less room
  • More affordable


  • Their traditional designs tend to conflict with modern spaces
  • Often challenging to clean
  • Uncomfortable for taller people and adults 
  • Looks strange in a bigger bathroom

Choosing the Right Style for Your Project

When deciding on a toilet, efficiency should be the top priority. If you replace an inefficient toilet with a water-saving model, you could save 13,000 gallons of water a year for only one household. Imagine the saving for commercial applications. 

Infograph of water savings with efficient toilets


Aside from efficiency, aesthetics and functionality are factors to consider. Depending on preference, some people will use the following factors when deciding which toilet style is better

The number of factors that favor one style over the other might indicate which style should win this debate. 

  • Appearance: The shape is the only significant difference in appearance between an elongated versus round toilet. Sometimes you might see a bowl and rim with a unique shape, and it is likely just a fancy style of an elongated toilet.
  • Cost: The experts at Home Advisor say elongated toilets are around 5% more expensive than round toilets. It could be due to the extra material making the longer bowl, but it most likely has more to do with the demand. Elongated toilets are just more popular.
  • Comfort: Comfort depends on personal preference. Some people like the extra length of the bowl, while others prefer more leg space in front of them.
  • Installation: With all plumbing products, anything that is not labor-intensive during installation is ideal. A project's budget can quickly go over when labor costs skyrocket due to tricky installs.
  • Maintenance: Elongated toilets are slightly easier to clean. The cleaning brush fits better inside the bowl, making cleaning less of a chore.
  • Performance: Flush performance between an elongated versus round toilet is negligible. However, elongated toilet options offer a better flushing pressure than their round counterpart.

Elongated vs. Round Toilets: Busting the Myths 

If you think you can convert a round toilet to an elongated one, you would be very wrong. Manufacturers design toilet seats specifically for the toilet model it's on. Technically, you could place a round seat on an elongated toilet, but it would look terrible.

Graph with the dimensions of a toilet seat to show there isn't a width difference in elongated versus round toilets

Some people prefer a round toilet because they think the shape means the seat is wider and more comfortable, especially for larger people. That is false. Round toilets are not wider. 

Another toilet shape myth that needs busting is the belief that you can't replace a round toilet with an elongated model. Again, this is false. The shape of the fixture doesn't affect its connection to the pipe.

Resolving the Great Debate Over Toilet Shapes   

So, who wins the great debate regarding elongated versus round toilets? We tend to lean towards the elongated toilet. That extra space in the front of the bowl can make the difference between a comfortable "go" and a person opting to go somewhere that offers better bathroom seating.

Regardless of which shape of toilet you choose, you'll want a durable plumbing system installed with your fixture. At Geberit, we offer plumbing systems and accessories that will give restrooms a luxurious feel that patrons and guests will appreciate.

For more information about our plumbing products, contact us to speak to a friendly associate about our latest sanitation solutions. And don't forget to check out what's new for 2022!