The Ultimate Urinal Buyer Guide

Toilets may steal the spotlight when it comes to popular bathroom products, but at SUPPLY.com, we know that urinals can be a huge asset in the right situation. Whether you’re dealing with a single home bathroom remodel or an entire office space, there are several benefits to including urinals in your thought process. In this guide, we’ll go over those benefits, as well as every other major factor you should consider if you see yourself purchasing a urinal in the future.

Benefits of the Urinal

Urinals are most often found in offices, schools, and other public areas due to their efficient nature making them ideal for handling longer lines of people. However, like we mentioned above, these stand-up toilets are becoming increasingly popular in the average home as well. The reasoning behind this surge in popularity is that, in addition to their smaller size and easier installation process, urinals use far less water with each flush than the average toilet.

Much like the dual-flush toilet, urinals are built specifically to handle liquid waste, which in turn requires less water to flush down. The typical urinal uses between 0 and 1.0 gallons of water per flush (we’ll dig a little deeper into flush types in the next section), far less than the 0.8 to 1.6 gpf used by the standard toilet. If you’re dealing with an area that sees a lot of male foot traffic, then investing in a wall-hung urinal can be an easy and stylish way to save space and money.

Flush Types

If you’re in the market for a urinal, then you should be aware that there are several types of flushing mechanisms available. The most popular flush types are the siphon jet and the washdown. Both involve a certain amount of water flow that ranges between 0.125 and 1.0 gpf depending on the model, but the siphon jet system typically involves more water pooling in the bowl of the urinal to create a vacuum effect.

Another standard urinal flush type is gravity, in which a certain amount of freestanding water is left in the urinal at all times. When the flush is activated, the weight of this water is then used to push any liquid waste down and out. Averaging only 0.125 gpf, the gravity system is a water efficient option that takes advantage of natural forces to give you a fast and clean flush.

Finally, if you’re interested in using as little amount of water as possible with each flush, the waterless flush system lives up to its name. These urinals typically do not come with a pipe for incoming water, because they do not actually flush. Instead, most waterless urinals rely on gravity to drain any waste, and often come with a drain cap to prevent the spread of odor. According to this article from HowStuffWorks, a family with four males can save over 6,500 gallons of water per year by switching to a waterless urinal. For a demonstration of the waterless urinal, check out this video of Sloan’s HYB-7000 Hybrid model in action:

It’s also worth noting that there is a relationship between a urinal’s flush type and the amount of effort you need to put into cleaning it. A urinal that flushes often using a higher flow rate requires less routine cleanings than a model that uses little or no water.

Additional Features

Aside from the flush type, there are a few more items you need to check when purchasing a urinal. The spud, for example, refers to the opening in the urinal that connects to the flush handle and, ultimately, the water supply. The spud can be located on the top or rear of the urinal, depending on the model; make sure your urinal’s spud location is compatible with any pipes you may already have installed in the wall.

In terms of material, most urinals fall within the standard ceramic, porcelain, or vitreous china categories; however, there are trough-style options available in steel. These wide urinals are meant for public spaces, and are able to accommodate several users at once without wasting a large quantity of water. Interested in some color options other than white? Beige, brown, and black urinals are all on the table – feel free to mix and match to find the shade that fits best in your space.

TOTO High Efficiency UrinalFinally, a number of urinal models are ADA compliant, meaning they are built to accommodate all ages. These urinals typically come with motion-sense technology that flushes automatically, or with an easy-to-use electronic button for flushing.

Popular Urinal Models

Ready to start checking out some urinals? SUPPLY.com has an entire lineup ready and waiting, and if you still have trouble deciding which works best for you, we’ve gone ahead and highlighted some of the more popular options here. The TOTO High Efficiency urinal (pictured), for example, is a sleek, teardrop-shaped model with a button-operated, 0.5 gallon flush – perfect for adding an organic touch to the home or office.

On top of that, there is the American Standard Allbrook FloWise urinal, which is WaterSense certified and guaranteed to flush at proper volume regardless of water pressure. And if you want to remove water from the equation completely, check out the Sloan Standard Waterless urinal with touch-free operation. And finally, if you’re looking to outfit an area that sees a lot of foot traffic (a bar, stadium, or other recreational area perhaps), then Elkay’s collection of trough urinals is not something you want to miss.

Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to the SUPPLY.com product expert team at 866-355-0310, or shop our entire urinal collection below!