American Standard recently unveiled their new Town Square FloWise Elongated 1-Piece Toilet, which is scheduled to be available in January 2010. My first look was in a trade magazine where it had been given the “Editors Choice Award.” The American Standard Town Square FloWise Elongated 1-Piece Toilet is being called a Luxury Performance Toilet and is being defined as meeting EPA WaterSense requirements where it will use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush and flush 350 grams of solids per flush following the test protocol. The WaterSense certification is pending. The bowl is smooth sided and conceals the outline of the trapway giving it a block like appearance and the tank width is maintained down to the floor with sides that extend back close to the wall. On the sides of the base are 2 covers concealing a pocket where the bolts securing the toilet to the closet flange are tightened through. The toilet has a 2” trapway and a 3” flush valve, which should give the Town Square FloWise a powerful flush and the product literature mentions a “PowerWash” rim that hints of an improved bowl wash which is a problem on many of the low flow toilets. The Trim of the toilet has a chrome handle that matches the appearance of the Town Square faucets and it is supplied with a “Duroplast” slow close seat that easily lifts off for cleaning purposes. The toilet also has a 16 ½” rim height meeting the requirements of the ADA for accessibility. American Standard is giving a 10-Year Warranty on the entire toilet.
Also being made available in January 2010 is a nearly identical model that the only difference I could detect was the water consumption was 1.6 gallons per flush. Both of the models have a 12” rough in dimension and they are also available in the colors of White, Bone, and Linen and have a MSRP of $895 – $1,119.
Unlike the editors of the trade publication this toilet is not receiving an “Editors Choice” award at 411Plumb. The details at this time are not complete but numerous questions are raised from my plumber’s point of view. Many of the toilets in the low water consumption category suffer from a lack of bowl wash and none of the promo literature at this time suggests the American Standard Town Square FloWise Elongated 1-Piece Toilet is being available with the EverClean finish that American Standard provides on many of it’s other low flow toilets. The EverClean surface is a super smooth glaze that greatly reduces staining in the bowl allowing it to stay cleaner longer. I question whether the “PowerWash” rim is adequate for bowl wash. The Squared off tank that extends full width to the floor makes the positioning of the angle stop valve critical and moving the angle stop will be required in many cases where the toilet is being installed on a rough in that was not intended special for this toilet. The concealed bolt holes are a headache for plumbers when setting a toilet but there are quite a few toilets out now that are similar in this design and I can understand the desire of many homeowners for the clean, straight, flat sides that make cleaning easy. What I can’t understand is the skirt of the tank extending to the floor and nearly back to the wall. This obscures the water supply connection and the nut securing the fill valve to the tank making repairs difficult for the plumber. I’m not looking forward to doing repairs or, installing this toilet for that reason alone. From the pictures provided I could easily see this toilet being pulled from the floor in order to replace the fill valve. While there may be enough room to do the work without pulling the toilet in a wide-open bathroom put this toilet in tight quarters next to a tub or vanity and I see a difficult maintenance task. The most commonly replaced parts on toilets are the fill valve and flapper often at about 5-year intervals and this just made the work more difficult, expect the labor costs to be passed on. Also the weight of this product was not mentioned in any of the literature but it looks like it could be substantial. The only award coming from 411 Plumb is the “What Are They Thinking Award.”