Consider these variables when choosing the style that's best for your bathroom.

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Q: I’m looking into getting a new toilet, and I have noticed that you can get them in long-bowl or short-bowl shapes. I want the longer bowl size for comfort, but my question is: When or why would you get a short-bowl toilet.

A: You actually have a few basic bowl shapes to explore.

Elongated: The bowl of this toilet is egg-shaped, and it gives you a couple extra inches in length for comfort and a larger target area.

Round front: The circle-shaped bowl is slightly shorter, which is the only significant difference with this style. If you have a small bathroom or a door that might hit an elongated bowl, the round-front bowl may be your best choice.

Compact-elongated: This style can offer you the best of both worlds. It fits in a tighter space, but has a specially designed elongated bowl — and that’s the long and short of it.


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