Round vs. Elongated Toilets: Pros and Cons

By HomeAdvisor

Published December 15, 2021

Toilet with lid open in bright bathroomPhoto: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Your toilet is a major component of your bathroom design. There are two common toilet types used in the United States: round and elongated. Both function very similarly, and the major differences lie within their appearance, comfort, and cost. While elongated toilets take up more space, they are usually more comfortable. Round toilets are usually more inexpensive but don’t come in as many options.

On This Page

  1. What’s the Difference Between Round and Elongated Toilets?
    1. Round vs. Elongated: Which is Better?
      1. Appearance
      2. Style and Design
      3. Cost
      4. Size
      5. Comfort
      6. Installation Ease
      7. Maintenance
      8. Available Options
      9. Flushing Performance
    2. Which Is Best for Your Home?

    What’s the Difference Between Round and Elongated Toilets?

    Elongated and round toilets differ in size and shape. Round toilets have a circular-shaped toilet bowl, while elongated toilets feature a longer, oval-shaped bowl.

    Round vs. Elongated: Which is Better?

    Whether you pick a round or elongated toilet depends on various factors, including cost, comfort, and style.


    Clean bathroom with trash can and towelsPhoto: New Africa / Adobe Stock

    The only major difference in appearance between round and elongated toilets is the shape of the bowl. Round toilets, as their name indicates, have circle-shaped bowls. Elongated bowls are oval-shaped.

    Style and Design

    Round toilets feature a more traditional look and are more common in older homes, while elongated toilets offer a modern style. Elongated bowls extend farther, taking up more space in the bathroom, while round toilets take up less space.


    The cost of a new toilet depends on the style and size. Round toilets are usually slightly less expensive than elongated toilets. A basic, round toilet bowl with a two-piece design costs $280 on average, while an elongated toilet bowl costs $290 on average.

    These costs don’t include labor, repairs, or additional requests. Typically, the cost to hire a plumber is around $65 per hour, and the installation takes between two and four hours.


    Toilet next to a shelf with towels and candlesPhoto: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

    Elongated toilets are longer than round toilets by approximately 2 inches. While elongated toilets are roughly 18.5 inches in length, round toilets have an average length of 16.5 inches. Both round and elongated toilets usually have rough-ins of 12 inches, but some toilets have rough-in sizes of 10 or 14 inches.

    The three important measurements on your toilet bowl are the length, width, and bolt spread. The length is the distance between the center of the toilet seat mounting holes and the front portion of the bowl. To measure length, remove the toilet seat first. Then place the end of a tape measure in the center of the toilet seat mounting holes at the back and extend it to the front of the bowl, as centered as possible.

    Measure the width from the left corner of the toilet tank to the right corner, which is between 14 and 16 inches for most toilets in the US. The bolt spread refers to the distance between the toilet seat mounting holes on the bowl. The standard measurement for bolt spread is 5.5 inches.


    When choosing between elongated and round toilets, comfort tends to be a personal preference. Many people find elongated toilets more comfortable because of the extra amount of space they offer.

    Many young children often find round toilets more comfortable than elongated toilets, so your choice may depend on who’s mainly going to be using the toilet. You may decide to install a round toilet in your child’s bathroom and an elongated toilet in your primary bathroom.

    Installation Ease

    Round and elongated toilets require the same installation, although elongated bowls might be slightly more difficult to move. In both cases, a wax ring is placed around the waste pipe, then the toilet is lifted into position. The toilet is securely bolted onto the floor, and then the water is hooked up.

    When installing a new toilet seat, be sure to purchase the correct seat for your toilet. For example, if you install a round toilet seat on an elongated toilet, it won’t cover the entire toilet bowl.

    On average, the cost to have your toilet installed professionally is around $372. While hiring a professional plumber will cost you more than installing a toilet yourself, toilet installations are not recommended as DIY projects, and may require permits and inspections. If you are an advanced DIYer and confident in your plumbing knowledge, you can install a toilet yourself.

    If you have questions or concerns, contact a professional plumber or toilet installation service near you.


    Cleaning the toilet with a brushPhoto: Kurhan /

    Elongated toilets are slightly easier to clean since the crevice around the lower portion of the bowl is smaller, which makes it easier to get a cleaning brush inside. It’s also easier to see into the front interior of the bowl.

    Available Options

    Smart toilet next to a bathroom vanity 骏 许 / Adobe Stock

    Elongated toilets are sometimes available in more styles than round toilets, so if you’re looking for something specific, you’ll probably want to go with an elongated toilet.

    Flushing Performance

    Usually, the difference in flushing performance between round and elongated toilets is negligible. However, there are some options for elongated toilets that will provide slightly better flushing pressure than round toilets, such as pressure-assisted or double-cyclone flushes.

    Which Is Best for Your Home?

    Whether you opt for a round or elongated toilet depends on several factors. Since elongated toilets tend to extend farther into the room, these will usually take up more space than round toilets. If you have a small bathroom, a round toilet will be your best option and save space. Comfort-wise, most people would pick the elongated toilet since it aligns with someone’s lower body more than a round toilet.

    Many families and homeowners with modern homes tend to opt for elongated toilets, but for some, round may be the better option. For instance, round toilets are typically easier for children to use, since they may sit too far forward on elongated seats. In addition, round toilets are usually slightly cheaper than elongated toilets—if you’re looking for savings while updating your bathroom, the round toilet may be ideal.

    Consult With a Toilet Installation Pro Today

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