A KOHLER Cimarron Toilet Review
KOHLER Cimarron Toilet – Comfort Height Elongated 1.28 gpf with AquaPiston Technology
This is one best rated toilet of KOHLER. You either love it or hate it.
When this post was written…
At Home Depot, they’ve got over 80% (of about 170 reviews) users recommend this toilet, but quite a mix over at Amazon.
*And Lowes don’t seemed to gather any reviews for this K-3609 KOHLER Cimarron toilet which is pretty unusual.
So what is it that causes such an extreme difference in opinion about this KOHLER Cimarron toilet?
What do users love about it and why it had some users vowed to dump KOHLER and their K-3609-0 Cimarron toilets altogether?
Let’s find out in this KOHLER Cimarron review.
KOHLER K-3609-0 Cimarron – Elegant 2-Piece Elongated Toilet
The first impression this KOHLER Cimarron gives is its fine finishes and elegance.
It’ll stop you from moving to the next 2-piece toilet exhibit if you are in a plumbing store shopping for toilets. Indeed it’s a well design toilet, from its shape and proportion right up to the flushing efficiency.
Apart from its appearance, this KOHLER Cimarron toilet gives you everything you need, plus a couple of unique features you won’t find with other models.
First, the Cimarron K-3609 offers a patented insulation system called DryLock, which makes the toilet tank faster and easier to install onto the bowl. It’s an innovative mounting system with no bolt holes in the tank to worry about water leaking out. Simply slot in 2 bolts onto the mounting plate at the tank bottom and you won’t have to worry about over-tightening and cracking the porcelain. It locks the tank firmly against the bowl, eliminating any possibility of leaks unlike the common bolt-through tank design.
Another great feature about the Cimarron toilet is its comfort height seating. Measured from the floor to the top of the toilet seat, it is well over 17 inches. Which is a little taller than the standard toilet and makes it easier for sitting down and getting up.
Rather than a standard flapper valve, the Cimarron features the AquaPiston canister flush valve, which is engineered to maximize water savings and flushing performance. The AquaPiston canister flush valve offers durable, flapperless design giving you a powerful 360 degrees flush every time. Just flush it once and forget it.
The Cimarron K-3609-0 is also a WaterSense certified model, which uses only 1.28 gallons of water per flush. That’s a 20% savings versus a standard 1.6 gallon toilet. If you are replacing an older toilet that uses 3.5 gallons you will see even bigger savings.
Features & Specifications Overview
The AquaPiston Advantage – a.k.a. Flapper Killer
The AquaPiston canister, which replaces the Class Four and Class Five flushing system, is evident of KOHLER’s relentless pursuit for higher flushing efficiency. It is powerful and keeps improving with better performance parts for durability and stop leaks.
It’s construction allows for an unobstructed 360 degrees of water flowing through the 3.25″ valve, significantly increases the water flow rate. With such powerful gush, the siphon power is several times stronger than its closest competitor.
A user relates the experience to that of an airplane toilet whoosh on flush. No solid waste could not be cleared with this Class Six Flushing System, and it is surprisingly quiet with such power. Clogging is unheard of.
The AquaPiston Flushing System is all good in flushing power, but not so can be said of its cleansing capability.
This toilet flushes so quickly and powerfully that there isn’t enough time for a swirling vortex to pull the poo under.Dagmar, Amazon Verified Purchase user
That’s unfortunately true. Strong powerful flush requires speed and volume.
Unlike other makes, the AquaPiston is focus on clearing solid waste and to be clog-free. With only a 1.28 gpf, it’s hard to have any surplus water catered for bowl rinsing.
However, KOHLER toilets have one of the largest water surface area which is excellent for reducing bowl streaking. If you aim properly to get every material submerge in the large water pool, you can prevent solid waste from sticking and streaking on the side. Thus you can still keep the bowl clean with every flush.
A little adaptation goes a long way.
The latest AquaPiston canister is also designed to be leak free. It has gone through several improvements based on users’ complaints in the past. KOHLER listened and made several improvements to its canister valve assembly.
Since the greater part of 2015, complaints of leaks are hardly heard. The plastic canister is made to withstand the chemical elements in water. It should last a good number of years before replacement is needed.
The only maintenance required is replacing the round rubber ring that seals the canister valve opening every 5 years or so. It’s easy to replace it which won’t take more than 10 minutes each time. And, only buy original KOHLER parts and replacement recommended by KOHLER, for a long lasting Cimarron toilet.
Comfort Height To Pamper Your KneesYou don’t need bad knees or leg injuries to appreciate this chair height toilet.
At over 17 inches from the floor to the top of the toilet seat, you will find sitting down and getting up is so much easier compared to a regular height toilet.
You will grow to love it as you age.
But there are users complained that it’s too tall and their legs are not touching the floor or constantly on their toes. Well, too bad there isn’t an adjustable seating height toilet invented yet. The majority of users find this comfort height toilet easy to use and are happy with it.
Get one of this if the seating height is a little too tall for you. It can also help you to ‘eliminate’ faster and Doctors recommend it.
Easy Peasy Installation Forces You To Dirty Your Hands
If you have always wanted to try your hands in installing a toilet, this KOHLER Cimarron toilet will be a perfect guinea pig.
Always begin with an exposed trapway toilet, where all mountings are clearly visible. And the installation manual for this KOHLER Cimarron toilet is easy enough to follow, but it consist of several assumptions.
It assumed your bathroom floor is leveled and the rough-in distance is exactly 12 inches. And you have the minimum regulated space required.
So make sure to at least check that the floor is well leveled and the rough-in distance is a minimum of 11.75″ before you even remove the toilet from the box. This is important as an uneven floor may affect optimum flushing performance, and a short rough-in will not allow the toilet to fit in place.
If the floor is not leveled, you can apply some plastic shims on the side that’s not mating with the floor surface. Apply as many shims as you see fit to get the toilet leveled and not wobbling.
After you have surveyed the area for your toilet installation and are happy with it, you need to prepare these tools and materials before you start the installation proper.
Tools And Materials For InstallationFlat-Head Screw Driver
Mini Hack Saw
T-bolts, nuts and washers
7/8″ Water Supply Hose (flexible braided type)
Caulk and caulking gun
Plastic Shim (Optional)
Here’s a video on How to Install a KOHLER Cimarron Toilet.
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The Frustrating Downsides Of KOHLER K-3609-0 Cimarron Toilet
While all seemed good and meticulous in its design, there are some imperfections that the fastidious lot is not going to keep mum about it.
First off, and not really a design flaw, is the exposed trapway design. If you want a toilet that is easy to clean and maintain, a skirted design would be a much better option. Better yet, get a one-piece and concealed trapway toilet to further minimize the trouble of cleaning. But, be prepared to pay more than a two-piece exposed trapway toilet.
Second, again not a design issue, two-piece toilets get dirt, mold, grime and what have you accumulate at the seam between the tank and bowl. Fortunately, this KOHLER Cimarron toilet has the DryLock system which makes it really easy to remove the tank. But make sure it’s empty before removing it. You can then clean to your heart’s content.Third, according to some users who experienced clogs, the bowl outlet has a weird shape which the standard plunger with a round rubber cup won’t plunge. Not even the Korky plunger that KOHLER recommended, according to some users. You need to auger it to clear the clog (Wow!). Now that’s possibly a design flaw.
But Wait! Isn’t the powerful AquaPiston flushing system that whoosh are made to prevent clogs?
Yes, but God knows what are these people flushing into their Cimarron toilets. And No, there’s always a possibility of clogging on siphonic toilets because of its narrow trayway design. It’s just that clogging on this KOHLER Cimarron toilet is rather remote when used properly.
Finally, this one borders on design or rather a compromise for a powerful flush, is the bowl cleansing capability or the lack of it. The KOHLER Cimarron toilet is designed for 1.28 gpf, with this little water volume it’s kind of hard to fulfill a best-of-both-world expectation.
What would you rather have, no more clogs or a clean bowl every time? Or both (duh)?
Pros & Cons Matrix
KOHLER K-3609-0 Cimarron Comfort Height Elongated 1.28 gpf Toilet with AquaPiston Technology
|Bowl Width ≈15.35″||Comfortable seating width and space saving.||–|
|Flushing Mechanism||Powerful Class Six Flushing utilizing AquaPiston flush engine. Very efficient in clearing solid waste.||Single flush – Uses same water amount for flushing liquid waste.|
|Exposed Trapway||–||Hard to clean on areas around the trapway bend and more surface area to keep clean.|
|2-piece Toilet||Tank and bowl can be replaced separately.||Mold, bacteria & dirt accumulate at the seam. Not easy to thoroughly clean without removing the tank.|
|Elongated Bowl||Comfortable to sit on.||–|
|Water Surface Area||Large 10.5″ x 7.875″. Reduces bowl streaking and skid marks.||–|
|Toilet Seat||–||Not included.|
|ADA Compliant (Comfort Height)||Comfortable level – easy to get up and sit down.||–|
|WaterSense Certified||Yes – Save 20% more water.||–|
|MaP Rating||1000 – Capable of removing 1000 grams of waste in a single flush.||–|
At the time this KOHLER Cimarron toilet review was written, it scored an average 4.1 stars on Amazon, 4.3 stars on Home Depot and no reviews on Lowes. Of the total reviews in Amazon, more than half of the users have given this Cimarron toilet a 5 stars rating. And out of all the 5 stars reviews, about 70% are Verified Purchase users. Most of the comments were about the excellent flushing power and low noise refilling. And they are impressed with the little amount of water needed for such a powerful flush.
The 4 stars Verified Purchase reviewers are a little conservative but their opinions are not much different from those 5 stars users. Skid marks was mentioned in one of the reviews which is expected since this KOHLER Cimarron toilet is designed for flushing power, not so much for bowl cleansing.
The only 3 stars review is from one non Verified Purchase user. He (presumably a guy) was pleased with the toilet performance but complained about a tank leak and very disappointed with how KOHLER handled his issue. He seemed to have bought his from Home Depot. The tank leak is a real issue from 2012 to 2014.
Almost all the 2 stars reviewers are non Verified Purchase. But they are only a handful, they complained about the tall seating height, bowl base crack, poor bowl cleansing and low quality seat. But generally they are please with the flushing efficiency.
Now, the number of 1 stars reviewers are quite significant, with slightly less than half of them are Verified Purchase users. Their complaints are mostly about receiving a broken toilet and shipping issues. However, there are complaints about clogging and the odd bowl outlet shape that is hard to plunge. There are also complaints about tank leaking and they are from those years (2012 – 2014) when indeed the AquaPiston sealing is a problem. It’s a non issue now (fingers cross), since 2015.
Overall the reviews are positive and with over 80% of users at Home Depot giving their recommendations are evident this KOHLER Cimarron toilet is a good toilet for that price range. The only drawback is its bowl cleaning capability, which can be overcome with proper use and good toileting habits.
Where to buy this KOHLER Cimarron Toilet (K-3609-0)
There is always the argument about Home Depot or Lowes is a better deal than Amazon, and vice versa. Frankly, they are all pretty competitive in their own right. What matters most is the value you get out of these mega stores, regardless of whom you buy from. The best buy is to compare all 3 on their best offers and the service level that suits you.
Then there are always the local plumbers who can provide a survey, supply and install package, if you prefer a more personal kind of service. Or visit a plumbing store which carry this KOHLER Cimarron toilet, and you can get a first hand feel of its finishing, looks and even a demo if they have one set up for.
Amazon Price Watch
The *price displayed on each KOHLER K-3609 model below is based on any market place sellers, including Amazon, with the lowest listed price. Please note that the price listed by some sellers may not include shipping. For more pricing information, simply hover over ‘Details’ under the displayed price.
Prices are updated daily.
Alternative Toilet Models Price & Features Comparison
KOHLER K-3609-0 Cimarron Two-Piece Elongated
American Standard 211AA.104.020 Champion PRO
TOTO CST454CEFG#01 Drake II Two-Piece Elongated
|Flush System||AquaPiston Flushing System||Champion Flushing System||Tornado Flush|
|Glazed Surface||Conventional||EverClean Surface||SanaGloss Finish|
|Water Usage||1.28 gpf (4.8 lpf)||1.28 gpf (4.8 lpf)||1.28 gpf (4.8 lpf)|
|Water Surface Area||10.5″ x 7.125″||9″ X 8″||7.125″ x 9.125″|
|MaP Rating||1000 grams||1000 grams||800 grams|
|Warranty||One Year Limited Warranty||10 Year Warranty||One Year Limited Warranty|
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