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Q: I recently went to purchase a new toilet to replace my old one. But I found so many toilet-bowl styles that I was not sure what I needed. Can you please help me with basic toilet-bowl choices?

A: Your existing toilet can act as a template to help narrow down your choices. Here are five tips to help you create a checklist to follow when buying a new toilet.

Color choice. Using up-to-date color samples, match your existing toilet with the closest color available.

One-piece or two-piece toilet. If your toilet tank is a separate component and bolted to your bowl, that is a two-piece toilet. A one-piece toilet is manufactured as one complete plumbing fixture.

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Standard or comfort height. If you would like a toilet bowl that’s a little higher, order comfort height.

Round or elongated bowl. Looking down, round bowls are shaped like a circle, while elongated bowls are more egg-shaped.

Bring a photo of your old toilet. A nice “head shot” can help sales associates answer your questions.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. For more information, visit

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