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American Standard vs. Kohler Toilets: Which One is better?

American Standard vs. Kohler Toilets: Which One is better?

When it comes to toilets, American Standard and Kohler are the leading brands in the United States. Both provide top-quality and modern toilets, bathtubs, faucets, sinks, and other bathroom and kitchen fixtures, making them the top choice among construction professionals and homeowners. These two are well-established names in the sanitary ware industry, with more than a century of experience under their belts and with an extensive global presence.

American Standard and Kohler toilets–which one is better? American Standard and Kohler are both good brands, and it would be hard to say in definite terms which one is better. However, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. So, choosing one over the other all boils down to your needs and preferences.

If you are shopping for a toilet for your new home and are trying to decide between the two brands, it would be a good idea to know what each has to offer. What can you expect from an American Standard toilet, and what can you expect from a Kohler toilet? We will talk about their unique features, prices, the things you’d love about them, and even what users complain about the two.

What to Look for in a Toilet

Before you decide between the two brands, you should know what features to look for in a toilet bowl. It also helps to know what particular toilet descriptions mean when you do your shopping.

One-Piece or Two-Piece Toilet?

For example, you would encounter one-piece and two-piece toilets. While knowing the difference between these two styles doesn’t seem relevant in the bigger scheme of things, the knowledge might come in handy when you are trying to consider other features. A one-piece toilet is where the tank is molded with the bowl as a single unit, while a two-piece unit consists of a separate bowl and tank.

Whether a toilet is one-piece or two-piece does not really affect its flushing performance. While a two-piece toilet model is considered more trustworthy as it has been around much longer, one-piece toilets are preferred if you have a small bathroom space. One-piece models are also easier to clean because it has less hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. And we know that the fewer curves and crevices there are, the fewer places there would be for stain- and odor-causing germs and bacteria to grow and collect.

What’s more, one-piece toilets are more durable as fewer elements of the toilet will be exposed.

When it comes to price, however, two-piece toilets win because they are cheaper. It costs less to build a toilet that comes in two separate pieces.

Gravity Flow or Pressure-Assisted Toilets?

The main difference between these two lies in their tanks. Gravity flow toilets rely on the flow of water and the gravitational pull to clear the bowl. Pressure-assisted toilets, on the other hand, use a secondary tank located in the main toilet tank.  This secondary tank creates additional air pressure to help flush waste down while keeping water in the toilet bowl.

Pressure-assisted toilets have a stronger flushing power than the traditional, gravity-flow ones. This means that they can clear more waste while consuming less water.

Round or Elongated Toilets

You would also have to choose between round and elongated toilets, which refers to the shape of their seats. Round toilets are smaller, but elongated seats are more comfortable.

Water Efficiency

You need to know how much water a toilet consumes before you buy it. Before modern toilets were available, people had to consume four gallons per flush (gpf), which is wasteful considering that one would use the toilet multiple times a day, and there are multiple users per toilet.

New environmental standards were established to reduce water consumption. As such, modern toilets have come up with water-saving features while keeping a strong flushing power. Even toilets with powerful flushing systems utilize only up to 1.6 gpf.

What You Need to Know About American Standard

American Standard has been delivering stylish, high-quality, reliable, and innovative bathroom solutions for more than 140 years now. It boasts a strong sales presence in over 20 countries worldwide, plus design, research, and manufacturing facilities in Asia. Its products include toilets, faucets, kitchen, and sinks, bathtubs, showers, and similar products.

What You Need to Know About Kohler

Kohler has been in business since 1873. And while it is best known for its plumbing fixtures, it also manufactures tiles, furniture, cabinetry, engines, and even generators. It also has various hospitality establishments.

American Standard Toilet vs. Kohler Toilet

Let’s get down to business and compare American Standard toilets with Kohler toilets in terms of their design, their flushing system, how easy they are to clean, how easy they are to install, their maintenance, price, and other factors.


While both American Standard and Kohler toilets have great designs, there are key differences between the two that would help make your choice much easier. For one, Kohler toilets are known for having elongated bowls and for having a standard, comfortable height. American Standard, on the other hand, has toilets featuring both elongated and round bowls.

Even though American Standard offers a wider design selection, most of its toilets need more installation space. Kohler toilets, meanwhile, are better-suited for compact and small bathroom areas.

As such, Kohler is a great choice if you want an elegant overall look and have a limited bathroom space.


Both brands offer comfortable heights. This means that it is easy for users to stand up and to sit down the toilet. However, Kohler’s elongated design provides an additional level of comfort.

Flushing System

Kohler’s flushing system is water-efficient, but it is not as powerful as American Standard’s. In fact, American Standard toilets boast a very powerful dual flushing system, which allows them to clear waste with just a single flush.

American Standard’s dual flush feature means that it has light flush and heavy flush options. Light flushing uses only one gallon of water while heavy flushing consumes 1.6 gallons of water. This means you can use light flushing after urinating and heavy flushing after doing number two. American Standard’s heavy flushing still complies with the new U.S. Federal law that requires all American-manufactured toilets to use an average of only up to 1.6 gallons per flush.

With Kohler, most models use mid-strength flushing, consuming only 1.28 gallons per flush. Because of this, many Kohler users complain about their toilets not being very effective when it comes to getting rid of waste at once.

Even with Kohler winning in the water efficiency department, American Standard could still end up saving you more water in the long run. This is because you can flush down waste the first time around. With Kohler, you may need to flush twice before waste clears out, and before you could leave the bathroom.


Despite being powerful, American Standard’s flushing system is quiet. You can flush your toilet without the people in the next room hearing a sound and without them knowing you took a dump.

Kohler’s toilets, by comparison, are not as quiet. They produce a low sound, and it may be audible from outside.  However, this sound still isn’t as loud as other toilet brands.


Both Kohler and American Standard are easy to clean. However, the level of ease depends on which toilet type and model it is. And, generally, a one-piece toilet is easier to clean than a two-piece toilet.

Kohler toilets have an excellent finish, making them a breeze to clean. Kohler’s flushing system also pushes water into the toilet bowl from all angles, giving it a clean effect after use.

American Standard toilets, on the other hand, are also easy to clean because its powerful flushing system effectively clears waste and unsightly stains and allows the bowl to stay neat. Some American Standard models also have a pressurized rim that power-washes your toilet each time you flush.

What’s more, American Standard and Kohler both have systems to keep the toilets clean for a longer time. American Standard, for instance, has its proprietary EverClean surface, which inhibits the growth of mildew, mold, and fungus. Kohler also boasts pressurized rims that pressure-washes your toilet with every flush to keep it clean.

In other words, it is a tie between the two brands.


American Standard and Kohler both have toilet models that are easy to install. Both are American brands, so they meet all U.S. plumbing code requirements and can be installed in your bathroom with ease by simply following the installation instructions. The bolts are also not tricky to put in.

One-piece toilets don’t need to have the tank attached separately, which makes that part of installation easier.  However, they are heavier, and you will want a second pair of hands to help put them in place.


When it comes to maintenance, American Standard users are quite content with their toilets. They would agree that their toilets are generally easy to maintain, and most of them don’t have any complaints about clogging and leakages.

Kohler users, on the other hand, report different issues with their toilets, such as occasional clogging. As such, Kohler toilets require more maintenance than American Standard toilets.


When compared to Kohler, American Standard’s toilets are slightly cheaper while still being very durable and effective performance-wise. In fact, American Standard offers some of the most affordable and reasonably priced but quality toilets available on the market right now. These toilets offer great value for your money.

However, it is still a matter of preference. Kohler toilets offer a much higher level of comfort, which you get by paying a higher price.


Another important consideration when choosing toilets and other bathroom fixtures and sanitation products is the warranty. The warranty is a reflection of a brand’s confidence in the quality of its products and ensures that you get the quality you were promised.

American Standard offers a limited two-year warranty for its toilets. Some American Standard models also have a limited 10-year warranty. Kohler, meanwhile, offers only a one-year limited warranty. American Standard clearly wins in this area.

Best American Standard and Kohler Toilets

Sometimes, it could be hard to compare and generalize two brands when each one has many models and product lineups. Like most companies and manufacturers across different industries, American Standard and Kohler have their own research and development teams that constantly come up with new products that are better than the last. They constantly innovate and integrate modern technology in their new products to be able to serve a body of consumers that is getting more and more sophisticated and demanding as time goes by.

So to make it easy for you to decide which toilets to buy, let’s take a look at the best models from both brands. These specific products represent the best of what American Standard and Kohler have to offer.

Best American Standard Toilet Models

  1. American Standard H2Option

This two-piece toilet model has a dual flush system and has a flow rate of 1.6 gallons of water per flush. It flushes fast and quietly and is quick to install. It also refills water in its tank quickly.

The H2Option is available in both round and elongated shapes and comes in three color choices: white, bone, and linen. The seat, however, is not included. Its flushing lever is a top-mounted push button that is easy to reach. Its use of the symphonic dual flush technology makes sure that waste is pushed down and does not come back up when you flush.

It has a PowerRush rim, where water is fed into the rim’s pressurized chamber and is discharged to power-wash your bowl. It also has an EverClean treated surface to protect the toilet from germs and microbes that could cause odor, staining, and deterioration. This helps your toilet stay clean longer, even after being in use for years.

Moreover, this model is a WaterSense-certified high-efficiency toilet, which means that it consumes as less water as possible for basic operations. American Standard gives you a five-year warranty for this product.

  1. American Standard Champion 4

The Champion 4 is an elongated one-piece toilet made of vitreous china with an innovative slow close seat that prevents slamming. It delivers a powerful, fast, quiet, and clog-free flushing performance with its 4-inch piston action Accelerator flush valve. This contemporary model boasts a wide three-inch trapway – which is the largest in the industry – promising to move a 70-percent larger mass than any standard toilet can.

This toilet also features an EverClean surface and is WaterSense-certified. It only consumes 1.6 gpf, thus helping you save water. This product comes with a limited 10-year warranty.

  1. American Standard Cadet 3

The Cadet 3 is a two-piece round toilet with a small footprint, making it a great choice for those with small bathroom space. It has a three-inch flush valve that adds gravity-assisted power to flush waste. It is very water-efficient, using only 1.28 gallons of water per flush.

Additionally, it has a two-inch concealed trapway that prevents clogging and enables a 60-percent larger mass than standard toilets to pass through with choke points.

This model is made of durable and easy-to-clean vitreous china. It also has a smooth EverClean antimicrobial surface.

Best Kohler Toilet Models

  1. Kohler K-3493-0 Highline

The Highline is a two-piece toilet with an elongated bowl that is specially designed to deliver increased comfort. It features Kohler’s Pressure Assist system and Pressure Lite technology for a more robust and powerful flush. Water consumption is 1.6 gallons per flush.

Kohler’s proprietary Comfort Height feature ensures that the chair height makes seating down and standing up easy and effortless for most adults. This product, however, does not include the seat and supply line.

This toilet is made of vitreous china and comes with a one-year limited warranty.

  1. Kohler K-3609-95 Cimarron

The Cimarron is a two-piece elongated toilet that boasts the AquaPiston flush technology for optimized flush performance, which also allows water to flow into the bowl from all angles. It uses 1.28 gallons of water per flush, making it a very water-efficient unit. In fact, this model also carries the WaterSense label.

Its tank incorporates the company’s patented canister flush valve, which allows either partial or full flushing. The durable canister design has 90 percent less exposed seal material than a three-inch flapper, thus ensuring a leak-free performance.

This toilet features a Comfort Height seat design and uses a 17-inch rim height, making it very comfortable for most adults to sit on.

This product comes with a one-year limited warranty.

  1. Kohler K-3817-0 Memoirs

The Kohler Memoirs is a stylish two-piece elongated model that offers water efficiency, great flushing power, and seating comfort. This toilet utilizes 1.28 gallons of water per flush, which is released using a light-touch canister valve. This valve allows you to just hold down the lever in order to release more water for a larger flush. The AquaPiston canister enables a 360-degree flushing.

This product promises seating comfort with a large and elongated rim and a 17-inch Comfort Height standard, which means it has the same seating height as a standard chair. The seat, however, is not included in this product.

Memoirs is also WaterSense-certified. Like other Kohler products, the warranty is for one year.

And the Winner Is. . . .

Wouldn’t it be nice if life were that simple?  Both products are well-made by reputable manufacturers.  Which one to buy depends on your needs.

Perhaps you’re the winner then because you can choose a toilet that best suits you.