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How To Pick Your TOTO Drake?
If you are new to TOTO toilets, or specifically TOTO Drake, trying to figure out which model to buy can be a frustrating experience. That's because the Drake toilet has a total of 27 models, which includes the spinoffs and the newer Drake II range of High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) and Ultra-High-Efficiency Toilet (UHET). And they all look almost identical from their exterior.
But it is not hard to understand why Drake is such a great toilet even if you have not read a single review yet.
When a manufacturer keeps rolling out new products using the same name, you know they have got a winner product. From a business perspective, it's always easier and more cost-effective to capitalize on a winning product than to start from scratch. That's the first telltale sign.
And since you are here, there is a high chance you are already convinced of the Drake quality but aren't sure which model to pick. Or you simply need a second, third, fourth…opinion. Whatever. This TOTO Drake review is all you need, and it'll show you how to pick the right model without feeling overwhelmed.
NOTE: Use the Table of Content and anchor for your easy browsing.
All 27 Drake Toilet Models
To begin with, there are 3 base models altogether. They are the original Drake, the High-Efficiency Eco Drake, and the Ultra-High-Efficiency Drake II. But let's leave the Drake II out for another day, so you won't feel too much to handle. (The Drake II review is here)
And with Drake II out of the way, you are now looking at 15 Drake models which can be further divided into 2 flushing capacity – 1.6 GPF and 1.28 GPF. Not too difficult to choose between 2 flushing capacity right? And yes, you guess right, the 1.6 GPF models are the original Drake toilets.
So between the 2 flushing capacity, there are 5 Drake models, leaving the remaining 10 for the Eco Drake and Eco Drake Transitional models. Don't worry about the word ‘Transitional', you can treat them all as just Eco Drake toilets. The difference is stupidly glaring with a tank that adds a little convenience to how you organize things in the bath or powder room.
The Drake's new Transitional style tank flares gently as it rises to support a generous lid with a distinct lip that has been molded into a shelf, creating newfound space for toiletries, tissues, or other bathroom necessities.
– TOTO USA
Feeling lost? Well, don't be. When you treat the Eco Drake and Eco Drake Transitional as ONE, it's just 5 models under each flushing capacity. So decide on which flush volume you prefer, and then you will be down to just 5 models to choose. And each model will have a corresponding equal from the other range should you change your mind.
Now let's crystallized everything into just 2 steps – Decide on the flushing capacity, and then zero down to the model you desire. You will get a much clearer picture of what to choose in the next section as you learn about all the features.
Features And Benefits
Whatever flush capacity you have set your minds on, it's time to drill down into the exact models with the respective features that suit you.
And here are all the features that make each of the Drake toilet unique.
Elongated Or Round Bowl
There is only one round bowl model in each of the Drake family. So whether you have chosen the 1.6 GPF or 1.28 GPF flushing capacity, you have the option of a round bowl toilet. The rest of the models are all elongated bowl.
The only difference in dimension is in length. The round bowl is 2 inches shorter (front to back dimension), while the rest of the aspects are almost identical. At slightly over 26 inches long, the round bowl makes a good size toilet for any small spaces that meet the minimum space requirement. (more space saving toilets)
If you have a 10″ rough-in, then you are in luck. At least you have the option within each series. But can't say the same for those who got a 14-inch, but they can always use an offset flange to adapt (Image right).
And if you find a 12-inch model is closer to your needs, you too can use the offset flange to adapt to the 10-inch rough-in you've got.
All the other models spot the standard 12-inch rough-in.
Bowl Height – Standard or Universal
Do you prefer a high bowl toilet or the regular height is good enough? There are two models with a universal height (or more popularly known as Comfort Height), the rest are standard 15″ bowl height.
One of the two universal height models belongs to the one and only 10-inch rough-in toilet. So if you love a high bowl and you've got the short rough-in, good for you. But if you need a round bowl (maybe due to space constraint), regardless of the rough-in size, you will have to make do with a regular height bowl. Or you can use a 2-inch seat to make up for the lost height.
The two flushing system used in the Drake and Eco Drake toilets are the G-Max and E-max respectively. Technically, they are the same flushing system because both are using the common chain and flapper for the flush valve. But the more important aspect is the valve opening and water channels, including the trapway, in the bowl that performs the actual waste removing and bowl cleaning.
The valve diameter is a good 3 inches that allow more water to flow out of the tank and into the bowl. The water flow speed and capacity is critical in removing solid waste and clean the bowl at the same time. And the 2-1/8″ fully glazed trapway has a higher capacity to drain out more waste than the industry norm of 2″.
As shown by MaP testing results, both the Drake and Eco Drake toilets can clean out a massive 1000 grams of waste in a single flush. Even the 10″ rough-in models can do at 800 grams, which are well within the ‘Highly Recommended' category in the MaP Score Chart.
Here's a video showing the flushing power of the Drake. And please DO NOT flush anything other than your poop and some toilet papers like the video shows.
WARNING: Do not try this at home or your workplace.
Ultra-Smooth CeFIONtect Bowl Surface Finish
Want a really clean bowl with every flush? So that you won't have to deal with the occasional stubborn waste smear that survives the powerful G-Max or E-Max flush. Then the model with the CeFIONtect (formerly known as SanaGloss) glaze will be the ideal Drake toilet for you.
Any dirt or bits of waste on the extra smooth bowl surface can be easily flushed away. Especially useful for people with a diet lacking in fiber, and for those who always experience bowl streaking despite their best effort to aim correctly.
It may cost a little bit more but highly recommended to get the Drake model with this feature. But not recommended if you are using well water or hard water to flush your toilet. You will still get that unsightly skid marks around the bowl outlet due to the minerals in the water. And using harsh chemicals and hard brushing to get rid of those stains will only damage the CeFIONtect finish.
Large Water Surface
All the Drake and Eco Drake models have a large water surface of around 10-1/4″ x 8-1/2″. This feature is excellent in reducing incidents of bowl streaking and skid marks. And you can easily have your turds fully submerge which will not emit as much odor as when they are out of the water.
Besides, with this large surface, it also means there is a sizeable water volume in the bowl to help with draining out waste. As a siphon gets initiated in the trapway, this pool of water provides the initial driving force in moving waste through the trapway. So it doesn't rely much on the speeding water from the tank to push the material out of the bowl.
And this water volume in the bowl is also a component of the entire G-Max or E-Max flushing system. It can impact the overall flushing efficiency when it is not in the right capacity. You can experiment by reducing the water level (with a sponge) in the bowl and see how it affects the flush. It will take slightly longer to activate the siphon.
TOTO Drake Models Creation
To help you choose the right TOTO Drake toilet, it is good to understand how TOTO addresses your needs with each model. And it all started with 2 base configurations and expanded to include the other features such as a 10″ rough-in, 16-1/2″ bowl height, and the CeFIONtect bowl surface finishing.
The 2 basic models are standard toilets with none of the other features. They are the Round Bowl and Elongated Bowl model, with a standard 15″ bowl height, 12-inch rough-in, and conventional bowl glaze.
However, the round bowl model is just it – A standard round front bowl, two-piece gravity flush toilet. The main idea is to provide a compact alternative for small spaces with a standard rough-in size.
The rest of the Drakes with the additional features are built with an elongated bowl. That makes sense since the oval-shaped bowl has higher market demand. Therefore, you get 3 other models that have a 16-1/2″ high bowl, 10″ rough-in, and the CeFIONtect glaze respectively. That makes up 4 different two-piece conventional elongated models in each of the Drake family.
So in totality, there are 5 models each under the Drake, Eco Drake, and Eco Drake Transitional series.
- The one and only round-front bowl
- 2 comfort height elongated models (1 with the 10″ rough-in)
- 2 standard height elongated models (1 with the CeFIONtect glaze)
Can't say it is all-encompassing to make everyone happy with the 5 models, but that should be adequate to meet the needs of the majority without any adaptation. Besides, there are add-on features like a bolt-down lid, insulated tank (prevent tank sweating), and right-hand trip lever available on some models.
Could Have Been Better (aka Disadvantages)
Bear in mind this is a 2-piece toilet you are looking at, and the Drake is built just like any other separate tank and bowl toilets out there. So it bears the typical disadvantages of a 2-piece toilet. (Here's the pros and cons of 2-piece toilets)
After going through the available models above, you may be a little disappointed if you are not a fan of adaptation. And it's not so much about the rough-in limitation. If you have a 14″ rough, you are already facing limited options everywhere you turn. So it's not fair to blame it on TOTO. At least it still offers the 10″ rough-in.
And given the rising demand for smaller toilets these days, it could have been better if they also offer a comfort height round bowl model or a standard height 10″ rough-in Drake toilet. That will make some folks with a small bath or powder room happier.
Also, why can't the CeFIONtect glaze be available to all models instead of just one? If they can provide a right-hand trip lever as an option to all models, what's stopping them from doing the same for CeFIONtect? Or perhaps they are giving this option exclusively to the newer Drake II toilets?
Pros & Cons At A Glance
TOTO Drake & Eco Drake Two-Piece Floor-Mounted Gravity Flush Toilet
|Bowl Width 14″||More space on the sides.||Can be a little uncomfortable for people who are large build.|
|Flushing Mechanism||Powerful G-Max & E-Max flushing system with efficient bowl rinsing.||Single flush – Uses same water amount for flushing liquid waste.|
|Surface Finish||CeFIONtect – ion-barrier prevents waste from sticking to bowl surface. Cleaner flush.||Only available on one model.|
|Exposed trapway||–||Trap dirt easily and need cleaning regularly.|
|2-piece Toilet||Tank and bowl can be installed and replaced separately.||Mold, bacteria & dirt accumulation at the tank to bowl seam. Not easy to keep clean thoroughly.|
|Water Surface Area||Large – Reduce bowl streaking, skid marks formation, and odor.||–|
|Toilet Seat||–||Not included|
|WaterSense Certified||Yes (only on Eco Drake & Eco Drake Transitional toilets)||–|
|ADA Compliant||Only on models with a 16-1/2″ bowl height.||–|
|MaP Rating||MaP 1000 & MaP 800 (10″ rough-in)||–|
Installation – DIY vs Pro
Nothing peculiar with the installation on this Drake or Eco Drake toilets. That means if you are skilled at a wide range of home repair works, you can install it by yourself.
Even if you want to try, for the first time, the success rate is pretty high. It's that easy. There is no lack of instructional videos on Youtube, like this one by This Old House. Great video, but that's for a new install. You can skip some of the steps if you are replacing your old toilet. At least if the flange is still in good condition, you can reuse it, or it doesn't cost a bomb to get a new one.
Otherwise, hire a pro on Amazon Home Service to take care of the whole installation. The service would include removing and hauling away your old toilet. And they will provide all the material that is necessary to complete the installation. The price is reasonable, and you can always review the service details and confirm final pricing with the pro before work begins.
All Models in Drake And Eco Drake
Have you decided on the flushing capacity? Here are all the Drake and Eco Drake models, and the respective add-ons. Or perhaps you are looking for more savings on the running cost, then the Drake II range of Ultra-High Efficiency toilets are a better option for you.
Drake – 1.6 GPF G-Max Flushing Two-Piece Toilets
Eco Drake – 1.28 GPF E-Max Flushing Two-Piece Toilets
Eco Drake Transitional – 1.28 GPF E–Max Flushing Two-Piece Toilets
TOTO Drake II – A Brief Intro
The best description to give the newer version Drake II toilets is, what's lacking in Drake and Eco Drake, they have you covered. If you have wanted a round-front bowl with comfort height, you got it. And every model of the Drake II comes with the CeFIONtect glaze, plus the option of a right-hand trip lever and more.
Comes in 2 flushing capacity of 1.28 GPF and 1.0 GPF, the flushing power is as good as the original Drake and Eco Drake. And the flushing system used is TOTO's signature Tornado Flush System. Powerful and extremely efficient in bowl cleansing. You will love how easy it is to keep the bowl clean with a rimless design.
A total of 12 Drake II models, with 4 base models (round and elongated bowl), and 8 Washlet+ toilets add even greater value for your buck. So if you are still undecided with Drake or Eco Drake, have a look at the latest Drake II. Find out how they are better on features as compared to Drake or Eco Drake, and their disadvantages.
Do they have a 10″ and 14″ rough-in model? How about more chair-height bowl models? What are the MaP Ratings? Are they more expensive? Get all the answers about the Drake II toilets here.
So there you go, all 15 models of the Drake and Eco Drake line of powerful two-piece toilets. Though basic in construction, they still offer a high flushing efficiency comparable to some higher end models. And choosing the right TOTO Drake toilet is all about your preferences.
You start by deciding which flushing capacity you prefer before picking the one with the feature of your wish. And it is highly recommended to go with the Eco Drakes if you are undecided. The apparent reason is, it saves you more water and money, and it has the same MaP rating as the 1.6 GPF Drake models.
Or even better, get a Drake II.
And don't lose sleep deciding over the bowl shape and height and overlook the one with the CeFIONtect glaze. Not a must-have feature but you will love the cleaner bowl everytime you take a flush. You can also choose which side you want the trip lever to be on with all the models. The model with a right trip lever will have an “R” in the part number.
Then between the Eco Drake and Eco Drake Transitional models, the only difference is the tank lid. The flat top tank cover of the Eco Drake Transitional toilet seems like a good idea for some extra open shelving space. And why not, if you have a small bathroom where every inch of space is a rare commodity.
Other than the inherent drawbacks that are typical of two-piece toilets with exposed trapway, there is nothing much you can complain about its performance and features. With a little adaptation, you can still enjoy all the benefits the various features bring you. So if you are replacing your existing crapper, get a TOTO Drake toilet. That can be your best decision ever.