Kohler Vs. American Standard Toilets: Is One Better For You?

Comparing the merits of different toilet brands might seem like an odd endeavor, but when it comes time to choose a model for your bathroom, it’s an essential step. And in the great debate between Kohler and American Standard, the choice is not as simple as it first appears.

Both brands have a long-standing reputation for quality and durability in the sanitary ware industry, offering a range of designs to suit various tastes and budgets.

This guide explores Kohler and American Standard toilets, focusing on their features, performance, and customer feedback, ultimately guiding you in making an informed decision.

About Kohler

Kohler Logo

Kohler is a seasoned expert in the world of plumbing and its fixtures. The company was founded over 100 years ago in 1873 by John Michael Kohler in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In its first years, the company went by the name of Kohler & Silberzahn, producing various cast iron products, from farming implements to furniture castings.

In the following decades, the company evolved into the plumbing giant it is today. Eventually, the company changed its name to Kohler, broadening its horizons and expanding into various industries.

While you might be most familiar with Kohler’s plumbing-related products, including shower, bath, and kitchen fixtures, the company also produces furniture, engine systems, power systems, and various accessories.

Today, Kohler is known for its high-end, well-designed plumbing products designed for kitchen and bathroom spaces.

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Kohler K-31621-0 Cimarron Comfort Height Toilet, White
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Two-piece design; Elongated bowl offers added room and comfort; 1.28 gpf (4.8 lpf); Left-hand Polished Chrome trip lever
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Two-piece toilet; Elongated bowl offers added room and comfort; Skirted Trapway simplifies cleaning

About American Standard

American Standard Logo

Like Kohler, American Standard isn’t a fresh face on the plumbing scene. Instead, it has over a century of experience under its belt. The company’s predecessor, the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company, was founded in 1875.

In the years that followed, the company morphed into what we know today. In 1899, it merged with various plumbing manufacturers, dropping parts of its name to become Standard Sanitary.

This era saw the company pioneer various plumbing product improvements and become the largest bathroom fixture manufacturer in the world.

The company merged with the American Radiator Company in 1929, changing its name yet again to become the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. As the years passed, the company continued to evolve and eventually adopted its current name.

Today, American Standard is a well-known producer of various kitchen and bathroom products, operating under its parent corporation, LIXIL Corporation.

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American Standard 250DA104.020 Colony 3 Two-Piece Toilet, Round Front, Standard Height, White, 1.28...
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PRICED RIGHT: Offers affordability and reliable performance; ROUND FRONT VERSATILITY: Fits perfectly in small bathrooms
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American Standard 2004314.020 Champion 4 One-Piece Toilet with Toilet Seat, Elongated Front,...
American Standard 2004314.020 Champion 4 One-Piece Toilet with Toilet Seat, Elongated Front,…
CLOG-FREE RELIABILITY: Large 4-in. flush valve for optimal power; EASY TO KEEP CLEAN: One-piece toilet has less seams and crevices
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Kohler vs. American Standard: The Differences

Kohler and American Standard toilet lineups are relatively similar. They’re both made with the same materials, feature similar design options, and fall within the range of standard water efficiencies.

However, a few differences create a clear divide between the two.

Flushing Mechanism

When shopping for a toilet, the flushing mechanism is an essential consideration. If the mechanism isn’t powerful enough, it won’t efficiently escort waste out of the bowl, potentially translating to multiple necessary flushes.

The best toilets usually feature a powerful flushing mechanism that effectively pushes waste out of the bowl and into the subsequent plumbing with a single flush. Kohler and American Standard offer solid performance in this category.

American Standard toilets feature Cadet 3 and 4 flushing systems, which effectively remove all solid and liquid wastes with a single flush.

In contrast, Kohler toilets use several systems, including its Revolution 360 swirl flushing technology and a patented AquaPiston flush canister. Despite the promising names of these systems, some Kohler customers complain about having to flush these toilets multiple times to remove all waste from the toilet bowl.

Because of this, American Standard has an edge in this category. However, it’s worth noting that performance can vary drastically based on the model you choose and its flushing system.

Some Kohler models may outperform American Standard toilets and vice versa.

Water Efficiency

If you’ve ever had a leaky toilet or had one that required multiple flushes to escort waste out in every use, you know how much water these systems can consume.

While a few extra flushes per day or a slightly higher water consumption per flush might not seem significant, it can add up quickly, especially if your household has more than a couple of people in it.

So, to ensure you don’t consume excessive amounts of water simply by flushing the toilet, resulting in a water bill that soars through the roof, consider a toilet with better water efficiency.

The amount of water a toilet consumes is measured in gallons per flush (GPF). The higher the number, the more the toilet uses each flush. Most toilets use between 1.2 and 1.6 gallons per flush, although some models use even less than that.

Most toilets from the Kohler and American Standard lineups fall in this range, allowing homeowners to choose the option that best fits their needs. Both brands offer WaterSense toilets, which means they provide better efficiency.

However, while American Standards, offerings bottom out around the low end of standard models, Kohler offers incredibly efficient models that use as little as one gallon per flush.

Of course, a lack of power may translate to multiple flushes required, rendering the lower GPF measurement useless.

For example, if you need to flush a one-gallon-per-flush toilet twice to remove waste completely, you’ll use more water than a standard 1.6 GPF toilet.

So, while Kohler has the edge, its lack of powerful flushes in specific models might be a deterrent for some homeowners.

Design Options

A toilet isn’t anything fancy, right? Well, yes, this is true in some cases, but not always. If you automatically think of the standard one or two-piece porcelain throne, you’d be right. These models do a singular job, and they do it well.

But some models come with a host of smart features, including heated seats, bidets, and even speakers. A standard toilet is sufficient for most folks as long as it does its job. But if you want the luxury of a smart toilet, you’ll need to shop around a bit more.

Luckily, both brands on this list offer a wide range of design options. They cover everything from standard one and two-piece models to high-end techy models teeming with smart features. So, regardless of what you’re looking for, you might be able to find it in either lineup.

Because of this, these brands are tied in this category.

Ease of Cleaning

Toilet Cleaning Products

Toilets go through quite a bit on a regular basis, so regular cleaning is essential. Some toilet brands offer features designed to help you keep your toilet clean.

For example, Kohler offers ContinuousClean self-cleaning technology on specific toilet models. This feature automatically dispenses cleaning solution with each flush to keep the bowl clean and odor-free.

On the other hand, American Standard employs Powerwash Rim tech on select models to scrub the bowl each time you flush using pressurized water. It doesn’t use cleaning detergent in each flush like Kohler’s models do, but it does help power away stains.

However, cleaning vitreous china toilets is pretty easy, even if they don’t have fancy cleaning features. Cleaning the material is as simple as using a non-abrasive cleaning detergent and a soft cloth.

Harsh and abrasive chemicals and scrubbers can scratch and damage the finish on a toilet, so it’s essential to be aware of the contents in cleaners you use to get the job done.

Since cleaning features vary based on the model, both options are equal.

Materials

Most toilets are made from the same smooth, glossy, white material. Some are made with vitreous china, while others bear a porcelain label.

The only difference between these two materials is the glazing technique used to finish the product. Most toilets feature a vitreous china glaze, which creates a smooth, shiny look.

Both brands use vitreous china for their toilets, so there isn’t much of a difference in this category. The material is decently durable and sturdy, lasting many years and offering easy maintenance.

Installation Difficulty

Installing a toilet can be a cumbersome task, especially since they usually weigh around 100 pounds. However, the process of installing it in place and hooking it up to water is a fairly simple task.

The tricky part of installation usually stems from bringing power to smart features, as they complicate things compared to a standard one or two-piece model.

Of course, since this is highly dependent on the model you choose, neither brand surges ahead in this category. Both have models that range from easy installations to more complex ones, so there isn’t a winner for this one.

Warranty Coverage

In some cases, warranty coverage varies based on the product. So, for a fair comparison between these brands, we picked two-piece toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush.

On the model we examined, Kohler offered a one-year warranty that guaranteed the product will be free of defects in material and workmanship. In contrast, American Standard offered a 10-year limited warranty on the toilet that covers a similar scope.

So, given the notable difference in coverage, American Standard is a clear winner. Again, it’s important to note that the warranty coverage varies based on the product, so some models may come with shorter or longer warranties.

Ensure you check the warranty coverage before purchasing if you want a model with ample protection.

Pricing

In terms of pricing, Kohler and American Standard lineups are comparable. Both brands offer budget-friendly models on one end and splurges on the other, ensuring there’s something to meet every budget.

The cheaper brand depends on the model you’re considering, as both have affordably priced options available. Since pricing is comparable, this category closes in a draw.

Customer Reviews

Considering customer reviews is crucial when shopping for a new product or your home. They can lend valuable insight into the actual quality and performance of a toilet and serve a vital role in your decision process.

We came across various reviews as we researched American Standard and Kohler toilet offerings. In many cases, customer feedback is somewhat skewed, as many folks only review a product if they have a negative experience with it. However, it still doesn’t hurt to consider this feedback as you shop.

In general, Kohler’s toilets tended to feature slightly lower customer review averages than American Standard’s offerings, but not by much.

That said, feedback varied drastically from one model to the next, so we recommend consulting the review section on the model you like before buying it.

So, Is One Better?

There isn’t necessarily an across-the-board winner in the grand scheme of American Standard toilets versus those from Kohler. These brands tie in many categories, surging ahead of each other in very few instances.

Because of this, the best brand for your needs will hinge entirely on your preferences and expectations.

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