Ultimate Toilet Glossary of Terms

Every industry has jargon they like to use to describe their goods or services. Toilet manufacturers are no exception to this rule.

If you are reading through the best toilet reviews and wondering what a term or description means, then this glossary will hopefully help to answer your questions.

Useful Toilet Terms to Know


This term refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act and that the toilet complies with the law.


This product is also called a “toilet snake.” It helps to clear deep blockages within the trapway of a toilet.

Back Flush

When waste goes through an outlet instead of a floor drain, this term applies.


You would probably know this item as a float valve. It is what the toilet uses to refill the tank after a flush occurs.


This product produces a spray that helps you to clean up after going to the bathroom. It is available as a standalone unit or as a toilet seat.

Comfort Height

This term is another reference to the ability of a toilet to meet the expectations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. These toilets are usually 18 inches tall or higher.

Composting Toilet

Toilets with this feature will dry out your waste and then store it for you to reduce the impact you have on the environment.

Elongated Bowl

Most people find that the shape of this bowl is more comfortable to use than a standard round one. It looks more like an oval, allowing you to have more space to use the bathroom.

Flush Valve

This part in the toilet pushes water through to the ball so that it can remove the waste and clean the fixture for you.


This abbreviation stands for “gallons per flush.” It is the measurement of how efficient a toilet is when consuming water every time you flush it.


This abbreviation stands for “high-efficiency toilet.” The product must offer 1.28 gallons per flush or less to qualify for this designation.


This term refers to a toilet that offers the tank and bowl together in one unit instead of separating them into two pieces.


This tool is one of the most effective ways to unclog your toilet when something gets stuck in the trapway. Make sure that you purchase a toilet plunger and not a sink plunger when bringing this tool home.


This measurement goes from the wall to the center of your pipe outlet. The industry standard is currently 12 inches, but there are 10-inch and 14-inch designs in some homes. An unlucky few may have a custom measurement as well depending on how the home was built.

Trip Lever

This handle engages the flushing mechanism on the toilet.


This design offers a bowl and tank as separate items that fit together instead of being one unit of ceramic.


This special flush option pumps waste upward from below the sewage line before connecting with it to remove it from your home. It is useful for those times when you have an unconventional place for a bathroom.

For more information on purchasing the right toilet for you and your family check out our buying guide over here.

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