There are three basic differences — price, installation and cleaning — according to Ed the Plumber.

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Q: We’re replacing our existing two-piece toilet and I have two questions. First, besides the obvious number of components, what is the difference between a one-piece versus a two-piece toilet? Second, can you easily replace an existing two-piece toilet with a one-piece toilet?

A: Yes, in most cases you can install a one-piece toilet to replace a two-piece toilet without it turning into a big project. Just make sure you use the same rough-in measurements and bowl size as your existing toilet.

Now, for your question about one-piece toilets versus two-piece toilets: Besides components, there are three basic differences.

Price. If you’re comparing apples to apples, the one-piece toilets usually cost more.

Installation. If you’re working alone, a two-piece toilet may be easier to lift and move, since you are dealing with two smaller components rather than one larger piece.

Cleaning. Because there is no gap between tank and bowl, maintaining and cleaning a one-piece toilet can be a little easier.

Bottom line: It’s basically a draw. It usually gets down to personal preferences in this head-to-head competition.


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