When you think of bathroom fixtures, two brands instantly pop up in your mind – Kohler and American Standard. However, which is the right one for you?
Both the brands have been operational for about 100 years and have a proven track record of customer satisfaction. In fact, the brands are almost synonymous with home fixtures. So, why do some people prefer one brand over the other, and which one should you opt for?
While we can’t answer the question for you, we can help you choose the right one. In this guide, we will talk about the major differences between the brands and their top features. This will help you choose the right one for your needs.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the deets!
Kohler Vs. American Standard
Kohler and American Standard are undoubtedly the two leading brands when it comes to toilets and other bathroom fixtures. Moreover, both have their respective sets of patrons and people who swear by them.
Although you won’t come across too many major differences between what they have to offer, we can compare a few points. These should help you choose between them to find the most suitable one. We have divided each factor into categories where we will compare both brands to give you an idea of their differences and similarities.
The first point we bring up is the construction material used to make each toilet (or sink, bathtub, and so on). Both brands use vitreous china featuring a coated ceramic surface. They are more or less similar in terms of their durability and ease of maintenance.
Moreover, the average lifespan of the toilet of each brand is almost identical. So, in terms of construction, how sturdy they are, and how long they will last, both are relatively similar.
That said, many toilet models of American Standard feature a minimalist, seamless design. This one-piece design makes cleaning and maintaining it a breeze. Regular wipe-downs are enough to keep them looking fresh and shiny. Furthermore, its seamless form factor ensures that you don’t end up with unsightly stains, hidden dirt, and grime which is hard to clean.
This brings us to our next point.
An essential factor that most users consider when purchasing any product is warranty. Essentially, the warranty assures you of the faith that a brand has in its products. Not just that, an extended warranty period also gives you reassurance and helps you avoid costly repairs and maintenance issues.
This is where we found a significant difference between the brands. While Kohler provides a 1-year warranty for most of its products, American Standard has an impressive 10-year limited warranty.
Keep in mind that you will also find several Kohler toilets that offer a more extended 5-year warranty. However, this is nowhere close to the consistent 10-year limited warranty offered by American Standard on all its products.
This is a point where you will find differing opinions. Well, let’s try and break it down.
As such, if you happen to Google “cheapest toilet brands,” you will find models from both Kohler and American Standard pop up. However, Kohler seems to have slightly cheaper priced toilets compared to its competitor – American Standard.
That said, don’t be under the impression that American Standard does not have a line of affordable toilets; it does! Moreover, if you compare a high-priced toilet from Kohler with a budget option from American Standard, Kohler might be a clear winner.
But, relying merely on the marketing and advertisement of a brand isn’t wise. If you take a look at the customer reviews and ratings of both brands, you may be surprised to find American Standard featuring glowing reviews. Furthermore, most of its products boast a 4+ rating, which says a lot about the brand.
Comparatively, Kohler has lower ratings (though they are not significantly lower). Customers have voiced certain complaints with the products, which Kohler has fortunately taken seriously and is working on amending. Currently, however, it is American Standard that is a clear winner in this regard.
Ease Of Installation & Cleaning
When considering which toilet is easier to install and clean, we want to mention a vital point. Typically, one-piece toilets are heavier than two-piece ones. Although this gives them added durability, it also brings a certain challenge in their installation. Two-piece toilets are easier to install but not easier to clean.
Choosing between standard one-piece and two-piece toilets is a common dilemma. While American Standard offers fantastic one-piece toilets, their installation may be slightly challenging. That said, one-piece toilets are far easier to clean and maintain in the long-run due to the absence of seams and gaps, which can foster bacteria, dust, grime, and germs.
Many users have pointed out that Kohler toilets may be slightly lighter and easier to install in terms of ease of installation. However, in our opinion, this factor shouldn’t be an important one that you need to consider.
Most companies provide expert technicians and installers who will visit your location to install the new bathroom fixture. These professionals are typically equipped with the right tools, skills, and knowledge to take on any installation job with ease.
So, whether Kohler is easier to install should not matter to a user unless they plan on installing it themselves. Instead, consider whether you want to opt for a one-piece or two-piece toilet, as the former is easier to clean and maintain.
Another thing we want to mention is the EverClean surface featured in American Standard toilets. As the name suggests, this surface is easier to clean, requires fewer cleaning products, and is overall more convenient to maintain.
When purchasing a toilet, one of the most important features to look out for is its flushing performance. Once again, Kohler and American Standard are head to head in this category, offering excellent flushing performance under most circumstances.
The flushing performance of a toilet is measured in Gallons Per Flush (GPF). As such, both toilets offer an average GPF of 1.28 to 1.6. That said, many users prefer the flushing system and performance of American Standard as one vital factor.
American Standard uses cadet 3 & cadet 4 flushing systems. These powerful systems immediately remove all solid and liquid wastes without the need to flush more than once.
Compared to this, several users have complained that Kohler toilets need to be flushed twice to remove the same waste. This not only increases wastage of water, but it can also be extremely inconvenient to deal with, especially when guests are using your home toilet.
However, keep in mind the various models of each brand have varying levels of flushing performance. While some Kohler models may perform better than their American Standard counterparts, others may not. It depends entirely on the model you choose and its flushing system.
Also, most Kohler toilets feature AquaPiston technology. This is a flushing system that enables the toilet to flush away most of its solid and liquid wastes without much hassle. This technology enables water to enter the toilet bowl from a 360-degree angle, giving it a powerful flushing performance.
Comfort Of Use
A toilet or any bathroom fixture is something that you will use on a daily basis – typically more than once a day. It makes sense to want it to be as comfortable as possible.
Most toilets come at a standard height of 15 inches above the ground. However, certain Kohler and American Standard toilets come at a ‘comfort height’ of 16.5 inches to 19 inches above the ground.
These toilets are especially beneficial for those with back pains or mobility issues. Sitting and getting up from them is far more accessible since they are at ‘chair height.’ Moreover, this toilet height is more convenient for long-term use. You will find these models in both brands, so there is no saying which one is more comfortable than the other.
If you are curious about customer feedback and reviews, you may be surprised to know that Kohler takes the crown. Most users seem to prefer the Kohler toilets in terms of their comfort and ease of use. Furthermore, more Kohler toilet models come in the ‘chair height’ design than American Standard ones.
How To Pick The Right Brand?
If you are still confused after reading the comparison list above, we don’t blame you. As we mentioned earlier, most of the Kohler and American Standard models are similar in terms of features, design, and comfort.
However, if you need to choose between the two, we may be able to help you. Here is a short guide on some of the most vital factors to keep in mind when purchasing a toilet. This may help you pick the right toilet brand for your requirements.
One-Piece Vs. Two-Piece
In our opinion, this is one of the most crucial factors to consider in your new toilet. One-piece toilets are generally heavier and more challenging to install. However, cleaning them is also easier, which is why they are a popular choice amongst users.
On the other hand, two-piece toilets are more common as they are affordable and lightweight. However, you may need to pay special attention while cleaning them as grime, germs, and dirt may often be hidden in the gaps and seams.
If you (or anyone in your home) suffer from mobility issues or back pains, we recommend opting for a higher toilet seat (above 16 inches). These are more comfortable to use and are better positioned than low toilets.
When it comes to innovation and smart technologies, Kohler takes the lead. This brand takes its customers seriously and tries to add new technology and features like touchless flushing, dual flushing systems, and AquaPiston in its toilets.
Of course, American Standard also has excellent features, which make using them enjoyable and comfortable.
While some Kohler models are highly-priced, others are typically cheaper than average American Standard models. It depends on the model you opt for, and not the brand, per se.
So, if you have a budget in mind, make sure to research carefully to find the best brand that fits all the requirements and budget.
We don’t want to play favorites; however, if we had to pick between the two brands, we would say…
Both Kohler and American Standard have their flaws and advantages. However, your requirements and budget will dictate the right one for you. As such, we recommend creating a comparison sheet between both models to finally decide which one is right for you.
If you’re looking for a top-notch flushing system and affordable prices, American Standard may offer some excellent products. However, if comfort, design, and usability are more important, opt for Kohler models.
Let us know if you agree with our verdict. Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.
Until next time!