7 On Your Side, Consumer Reports help choose best toilets for your home

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- When you make changes to your bathroom, the toilet is an important part of the equation. What is there to consider? The shape and style, right? And whether it will fit the right distance from the wall.

But, there is so much more. In a partnership with Consumer Reports, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney help you choose the best toilet for your home.

It is one of the most-used and most important fixtures in a home.

When it's time to get a new one, the wall of toilets in the home center can be pretty daunting. How do you choose?

Not all toilets perform the same. Consumer Reports tests to see if they effectively wash away debris, whether the bowl is left clean after a flush, and how water-efficient they are.

What makes one toilet better than another? To illustrate, Consumer Reports selected two toilets that cost the same - $150. But one is a recommended model, and the other has the lowest score in their ratings. Why?

The Mansfield Alto just got fair marks for waste removal.

In several tests, the sponge debris stayed in the bowl. But the Delta Prelude does its main job very well.

Those little test sponges won't be coming back.

And how clean is the bowl surface afterward? One Consumer Reports test is to draw a water-soluble marker ring around the inside of the rim, to see if one flush can wash it away.

The Mansfield bowl was only "fair," with markings left behind after each flush.

"A good performer has the power to rinse away most of the debris, most of the time," said John Banta, Consumer Reports Expert.

The Consumer Reports recommended Delta model did an excellent job powerfully rinsing the ring away.

And when you shop, check out the efficiency rating. The Delta uses less water than the Mansfield. Just 1.28 gallons per flush versus 1.6 gallons.

If you have a toilet from before 1990, you can save 19 gallons per person, per day, by switching to one with the Environmental Protection Agency's water-sense sticker on it.

And to find out if your toilet is leaking and needs to be fixed or replaced, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. In 15 minutes, if there is color in the bowl...you got a leak.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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