Exactly How Small Can Small Toilets Be?
Small bathroom is always a pain to work on. Especially when you are choosing the right size toilet to fit in. Ask any bathroom designer.
Unless you know where to look, and a clear idea of what you want, it can really frustrate the hell out of you. And worst of all is getting a toilet that’s either too big or too small for your bathroom.
But physics being physics. There is a limit to how small a toilet can be. If that limit is reached, you just need more space. Period.
Have You Exhausted All Options?
If you are only interested in the smallest toilets in the market place, that pretty much sum up your problem.
You have an extremely small space for a toilet.
But sometime it’s just how you plan the layout of the bathroom. And the main thing of course is in getting the right size fixtures. But let’s not get into the design detail, which is not the main focus here.
In this article, we are going to explore what’s the smallest gravity flush toilets in the market place. And what alternatives are at hand to save those precious inches of your bathroom real estate.
So let’s take a step back and look at what are the options. And hopefully you can take away a solution, or found the right size toilet for your prize bathroom.
You will soon find out:
- How you should determine the minimum space required for a toilet.
- Among the width, height and length, which dimension is the most critical. (At least for you)
- A comparison of the small toilets from the established toilet makers.
- A review of America’s 3rd smallest floor mount gravity flush toilet.
- A roundup of 6 floor-mount gravity-flush siphonic small toilets. Including an update of the popular Galba small toilet and a 23-inch shortest length toilet.
- If all else fail to meet your requirements, there’s an alternative or perhaps three.
So. Ready to explore? Let’s begin.
Do You Have The Right Space For A Toilet?
You may skip to the next section if you are familiar with the building code and the minimum space rule.
Regardless of the toilet size, you need space to install it. And talking about space, there are regulations about how much space you need for a toilet.
The first step you should take is to find that space. The area in your bathroom where you intend to install the crapper. Or it can be a small area in the house you plan to convert it into a toilet. Whatever.
So first thing first, get to the local building code in your area. Find out what is the least acceptable space area you need. If you are hiring a plumber to do your plumbing, he should be able to advise you on the minimum space rule.
It’s an important step to take to make sure you have the space that is safe and comfortable to use for a toilet. And you are not running against the law.
Here’s an article about how you determine the minimum space for a toilet.
As a quick guide, you may want a space area of:
- Left to Right Distance = 30 inches minimum
- Front to Back Distance = Total Length of Toilet + 21 inches minimum
That should set you on the right track to meet the minimum space rule. However, please double check with the local building code to make sure you comply 100%. Since not all local codes adopt the same minimum.
The Dimension That Set You Off Looking For The Smallest Toilet
In most cases, the width and height are not much of an issue. However, if you have a width less than 30 inches, you better scrap the idea of having a toilet in that space. Already the minimum 30 inches width is rather cramped. Just can’t imagine how you are going to do your business with anything lesser than that.
Any narrower, you will be looking at the squat toilet. Na that’s crazy. You will have a hard time with the regulation and getting it installed.
So that leaves us with the length. And that’s exactly why you are here.
You’ve got a space issue, length wise (front to back distance). You don’t have that 21 inches for clearance. So in order to comply with the rule, you resort to looking for a shorter toilet. That’s smart thinking to be honest.
However, one fact you need to bear in mind. The shorter the length you need, the more expensive the toilet gets. That’s true to some extend. It’ll depend on how many more inches you need to shave off.
When you just need an inch or two to save the day, you are lucky. That’s because you can opt for the round front bowl toilet, which typically is about 2 inches shorter than the elongated model. Ask TOTO.
But if you need a little more, say 3 to 4 inches, there’s still hope without bleeding your wallet too much. And anything more than that, you’ve got to make sure you have enough in the bank for possibly a remodel.
Compact Toilets From The Top 3 Toilet Manufacturers
In this section you will see the various short length toilet models from TOTO, American Standard and KOHLER.
But before you start crunching the numbers, here’s how American Standard measures its toilet length differently from the rest.
Notice the length is measured from the wall to the front tip of the toilet bowl. The overall toilet length includes the clearance gap between the wall and the back of the toilet tank. That’s how American Standard measures its toilet length. So you will need to minus away the clearance distance to get the actual length of the toilet.
So here’s a compact toilets comparison for your easy reading. And yes, we have removed the clearance gap for all American Standard models. Please also note that any toilet length that is 28 inches or more will not be in the list. And more importantly, only those with decent reviews get onto the table.
Toilet Length Comparison
Wait. Hang on!
What’s that last item in the table? What’s Galba? Where is it from? Who is selling it? And How much is it? You asked.
If this is the year 2013, these are valid questions people asked. But now it’s probably one of the best selling compact toilets in Amazon. And possibly the smallest floor mount gravity flush toilet in the United States.
Is this the first time you heard about it? Maybe you have heard it before, but probably by another name. Some folks call it the 24 inch toilet. Anyway, here’s a review which answers all the questions you may have about this Galba toilet.
Tiny Little Galba Toilet Review
Don’t be fooled by its size. This compact flush toilet has every feature of a regular size toilet. And even put some to shame.
Let’s begin with its physical appearance.
It’s not hard to gather from the image above that little Galba is a one-piece skirted design toilet. Isn’t it sleek and pretty streamlined from the look of it? Now that also tells you a lot about how much work you need to keep its exterior clean. It’s a breeze!
With all that flat surfaces and a quick release detachable seat, cleaning should be over and done with in just a few wipes. You will love it.
Now let’s explore its features and performance.
G-Max Flushing System… Is That TOTO?
Now that certainly sounds like TOTO. But they are not the same flushing system. Anyway, there are little to no information about how the flushing works. Well, maybe nobody cares because it works like a charm. And it really do.
Nonetheless, it’s a siphonic flush toilet that is comparable to the likes of TOTO and American Standard. And with a 3 inch flush valve diameter, you can expect the flush to be strong. This is an inch bigger than the 2 inch industry norm, which is desirable.
What about bowl cleansing?
This Galba has a Self-Cleaning glazed surface which helps in preventing skid marks from forming and assist in a cleaner flush. According to the maker, the surface will not scratch, rust, fade, or discolor.
Well, nothing bad was heard from the reviews in Amazon, so it must be that good. No complaint is always a good thing, especially on Amazon.
And in case you haven’t visited Amazon yet, little Galba scores an impressive 4.8 stars out of 5 at the time this article was written. Of the total 51 reviews, none are from the 1, 2 and 3 stars rating, which is rare with Amazon reviews.
So despite the lack of design information from the maker, most users are happy with this Galba small toilet. That speaks a lot about its build quality and performance.
Decent Dual Flush Efficiency On A Small Toilet
Just when you thought you have found the holy grail of smallest toilet hunters, the dual flush feature feels like Christmas on steroid.
There are 2 flush buttons on top of the tank cover. One is for the 1.6 gpf full flush and the other for 0.8 gpf half flush. And both are adjustable with the floater and flush cistern respectively.
So if you think you don’t need the full 1.6 gallons, you can adjust it lower. That will save you more water and money of course.
Free Toilet Seat And Compatible Bidet Option
This smart looking Galba comes with a soft closing seat. So that saves you the trouble of having to buy one separately.
But what if you need a replacement seat later? The bowl shape of this Galba toilet doesn’t look like an elongated bowl at all. And since the length is short (shortest), surely it must be different in bowl dimension.
So, can a standard elongated seat be used as replacement?
That’s a good question Bill. And this is the answer from Luxury Modern Home (the original seller),
“Yes, it’s elongated as stated by the supplier* . But I believe any standard seat (not elongated) should fit well on it.” – Luxury Modern Home
There you have it. But if you don’t feel assuring enough from the seller’s answer, you may want to contact them directly. There are lots of good things being said about the customer service. So no worries, you are in good hands, always.
OK, but I’d prefer to have a bidet seat instead. Does Galba has a bidet or any compatible models I can buy?
No, Galba doesn’t have a bidet seat to its name. But there are no lack of alternative options if you intend to have one install on this compact toilet. (Learn more here ► Bidet Toilet Seats – A Comprehensive & Quick Buying Guide)
The 2 bolts that hold the toilet seat is at 5.75″ apart. So as long as the bidet seat has the same bolt distance is a good match for Galba. Or if the bidet has an adjustable bolt distance, say 5.5″ +/- 0.25″ will fit as well.
As recommended by Luxury Modern Home, the Brondell Swash 900 with adjustable bolt distance will be good to go. But you can check for more options as long as the bolt distance can match 5.75″ no less.
*Presumably the OEM who makes the Galba toilet for Luxury Modern Home.
The Near Comfort Height Sitting Level
The next feature is the bowl height. There are clarifications seeked on Amazon about whether the Galba is a comfort height toilet.
The short answer is no. But almost.
The bowl height without the toilet seat is 15.5″, from the floor to the top of the bowl rim. So when you put on the seat, it will add up to 16.5″. That’s half an inch short of being a comfort height toilet, or more precisely, an ADA compliant toilet.
Comfort height or ADA height begins at 17″ right up to 19″, measured from the floor to the top of the toilet seat.
Some folks don’t prefer the comfort height, but some do. So it’s kind of a meet-in-the-middle for this little Galba. Is this smart design or a good job at consumer research? You decide.
What About The Water Surface Area?
This Galba toilet has a water surface area of 6″ x 4″ (150mm x 100mm). And the depth, from the bowl outlet to the water surface is 5.5″ (140mm).
Pretty close to TOTO AQUIA series which is at 6″ x 5.5″.
Dimension, Dimension, Bad Documentation, Dimensions
The right image shows the dimensions of Galba. Yea it’s kinda crappy. It was downloaded from LMH site and no modifications were made to it.
But it does show the correct dimensions though.
Luxury Modern Home must be making heaps that they have no time to create proper product documentation. You probably would have seen the product details on their site. Do you feel like it was written by a non-English speaking person from somewhere in China? There are spelling mistakes, misleading and conflicting info. Fortunately, these shortcomings have no bearing on little Galba’s performance.
And speaking of China, besides the material that Galba is made of, it is indeed made in China. So are some American Standard and KOHLER toilets.
Luckily the customer support at Luxury Modern Home is commendable. Which makes up for its poor documentation standard.
So what would you rather have?
A third world documentation standard with top notch support. Or a world class technical write-up with non-existent customer service?
You want both, of course – An excellent product documentation and with immaculate support.
Installing The Galba Is Like A Walk In The Park
Whoever says that, he’s got to be a plumber.
And that’s because little Galba has a standard 12″ rough-in and standard sized flange. Now, if you have to ask what rough-in means, you better get a plumber to do the installation for you. No offense here, because every plumber in America can handle a 12″ as natural as the Sun rising and setting.
But relax. It won’t take the whole day for installation. Your Galba will be ready to take the first flush even before you finish your laundry.
Unless you are a DIYer, and enjoy installing toilets (that’ll be weird) yea go ahead and do it yourself. You shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete the job.
Galba Features & Specifications Overview
Is The Price Right For Galba?
So, do you have a good impression about little Galba, the smallest gravity flush toilet in America?
Is it a good fit for your small bathroom? Do you think it’ll solve your toilet space problem?
What about the features, do you like what you read so far?
You find Galba expensive?
In fact, all one-piece toilet cost more than the 2-piece models. Besides, this Galba is a concealed-trapway design, which is another factor for the higher price.
Unless Luxury Modern Home decides to make a 2-piece version of the Galba, this is the only one right now. But bear in mind, in a two-piece design, the bowl must have additional support for the tank. And that will cause the overall length to be longer (probably by another 3 or 4 inches long). This is the main reason why Galba is made one-piece to be the smallest of all gravity flush toilets.
Well then, what about the other compact toilets from TOTO, American Standard and KOHLER? The 2-piece models should be able to meet your budget. And hopefully, they can also meet the minimum length space you need.
What Are The Other Options?
This may well be your last ditch effort to circumvent your frustrating small toilet space problem. If Galba is not small enough, you should abandon the idea of a floor mount gravity flush toilet.
Oh, wait. How about a toilet with 23 inches of front-to-back dimension?
Not small enough? But this is the smallest toilet you can get in the marketplace right now. No? Well, then you should really scrap the whole idea of having a floor-mounted toilet.
But there’s still hope…
How does saving up to 9 inches of length space sound to you?
If that interest you, then you are looking at these 2 options:
OR, how about a corner toilet? They don’t belong to the smallest toilets class but they sure can be a way to make space when you need it the most.
You have reached the end of this smallest toilets overview (a.k.a. Galba Toilet Review). And hope you have found what you are looking for. Otherwise, you are most welcome to leave a comment about your thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.
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