Elongated vs Round Toilet Bowl Shapes

Picking the right toilet shape and design isn’t always an easy task for most homeowners. The elongated and round toilets are the most popular in the market. These two have a couple of distinguishing features including dimensions, pros and cons that you may want to know before buying.

The elongated has a longer (18.5 inches), oval in shape, modern-looking bowl/seat while the round has a traditional circle shape that is not elongated (16.5 inches long). While the round toilet is compact, cheaper and best for small bathrooms, the elongated types are long, expensive and good for spacious for washrooms.

 To help you make an informed choice, we have come up with a guide on differences in terms of dimensions the pros and cons plus more.

Comparison Chart: Elongated vs. Round Toilets

Before we get into the details, let’s first have a look at the comparison table below with the features, pros and cons.

Features Elongated Toilets Rounded Toilets
Bowl Length 18.5 inches 16.5 inches
Space Specifications Large areas/ bathrooms Small areas
Space Saving For compact types only Yes
Comfort Yes especially for men Thin women and children mostly
Flush Powerful flushing systems Less powerful flushing system
Design Modern designs Traditional
Pricing Expensive Cost friendly
Water Surface Larger Small surface area
Ease of Cleaning Very easy Constricted
Popularity Increasing Fading
Area of Use Commercial spaces Residential units

As you all know, toilets play an integral part in our homes, and while we’re not only looking for something aesthetically beautiful to add to the bathroom, quality and durability are also admirable features you seek. Now, it’s vital to note that both toilets will operate similarly as the main difference comes with its appearance.

However, there are differences that could be the deciding factor for you.

1. Appearance

First and foremost, the appearance. From their names, the elongated toilet has a narrow egg-shaped bowl. It has a smaller width compared to its length to give off an oval edge at the front. The rounded, however, gives off an illusion of a true circle. With no sharp edges and equal width and length.

Round toilet bowl shape
Round Toilet

Thanks to their bowl shape, more defining factors such as space availability and overall outlook are affected as well. Nonetheless, the appearance doesn’t affect how stylish the toilet looks, since it can be modernized or designed differently according to its shape.

You can also get one-piece and two-piece toilets with either an elongated or rounded shape. Similarly, the skirted bottom or detailing around the edges. These are some of the similarities that come with the appearance of the wash sets.

The last element of difference with its appearance is that the elongated toilet is best suited for wider or larger spaces because of the extra inches it extends forward.

Elongated toilet shape, dimension, pros and cons
Elongated toilet

Nonetheless, toilet manufacturers now have a compact elongated toilet than can easily for in smaller spaces – especially where there’s more length than width.

Rounded bowl shapes are the gift to type with very compact spaces. With the circular shape, they can fill smaller bathrooms while still making it appear bigger. They are less contemporary looking than the elongated kind.

2. Ease of Use

You want a toilet that’s easily accessible by men, women, children, or whichever other groups of people. You want something that doesn’t mean cleaning up after every use because there’s a mess left behind. You also want something that people can easily seat on and utilize with no strain.

Over the past year, people are becoming more accepting of the elongated toilet since they offer convenience among other benefits. Unless it’s a commercial space with various other loos, the elongated kind is much easier to use than the rounded toilets. This is why rounded toilets are used commercially while elongated are used in residential units.

3. Dimensions & Space Limitations

From the first point above, you read that elongated toilets are best used in rooms with ample space while the rounded ones can be used in limited spaces. For rough measurements, the elongated bowl will be two inches longer than the rounded. (18.5 inches against 16.5 inches)

Several manufacturers, however, will also make a third toilet that’s compact in nature. It would look similar to a square shape and it’ll measure approximately 17 inches in length – just in between the two toilets above.

For the front area, the toilet will have to be 21 inches or more to pass the mandated building codes. This is for both bowl shapes, unless it’s an ADA toilet, which has to be 48 inches. The only difference is the two inches savings for a round toilet, making it suitable for small areas.

4. Installation

Both types of loos will be installed the same way, connected to water supply and the trap way also connected to the sewer. The process is the same, regardless of whether it’s one or two pieces.

However, the elongated toilet may be heavier to carry around/ transport. Despite that, installation is the same for both kinds.

5. Pricing

Round front toilets are cost-friendly compared to the elongated ones. No matter the type of brand, the added material either vitreous China, enamel, or porcelain; it has to be accommodated for in the making. A classic two-piece round front toilet can range between $180 to $350, depending on the style and features added to the toilet.

For the elongated toilet, the price ranges between $200 to $400 for a similar design and brand. The pricing is also affected by other factors, such as;

  • Dimensions of the toilet – one-piece or two-piece toilet
  • Installation costs
  • Brand
  • Interior working mechanisms

6. Maintenance

Maintenance is all about cleanliness and durability. In this case, only matters on cleanliness can be overlooked since durability depends on the materials used in the making of the toilet by the manufacturer and brand. Elongated toilets are very easy to clean since you can easily see the target areas such as the rim section.

Because of the additional length, you can easily insert a cleaning brush, unlike the round front bowl. Using the brush and detergent, cleaning is made easier with no hidden crevices and spaces. Hence, the more often you clean the better your toilet will stay, enhancing its durability.

7. Additional Features

Different manufactures will use several unique features to keep the toilet and its brand on-trend. But what’s most important is the type of flush. Now I know you’re probably wondering does the type of flush really matter when you’re considering which bowl shape you should go for?

Well, yes. Different flushing technologies and systems mean different performance levels. One is more effective and effective than the other. Even with the stringers gravity flush, it would only work best if incorporated with the right bowl shape.

So how do you go about it?

Flushing technologies can be in two types; either the pressure-assisted or double-cyclone flushes. For both instances, the elongated toilet bowl will be a better choice since it will operate better with a wider bowl and more surface area for water to for a centrifuge.

Note; this doesn’t mean that you can’t find round front toilets with such technologies, because you can.

The only difference is that the elongated loo will offer better performance for the water n.v to evenly circulate in the bowl and the pressure exerted will even out.

So in summary, if the toilet is using a flush that’s meant to circulate water with force, the longer version is better.

Round front toilets work best with other flushing technologies like the dual flush, gravity flush, or the G-max. As long as the water can pass the siphoned jets, then they can use this bowl. However, the flush won’t be as powerful as you would hope.

8. Comfort

You’re probably not seeking a luxury toilet with fitted padding over the seat, but you want to be at ease as you go about nature’s business. Hence, you ought to note that elongated toilets are the more comfortable one between the two.


Well, the elongated toilet has a longer front edge with a wider back that offers support to your hips. Those make it great for balance with the kid’s answer even heavyweight individuals.

This, however, doesn’t mean that the rounded type is uncomfortable, elongated toilets have a bigger surface area, hence, more sitting space.

What’s more, comfort is not only about ease and relaxation, it also has to do with

  • Additional hand space either at the front or back.
  • More front space for the genitals – especially for men. Without the constant touching of the seat ring or under the rim, one can reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

In terms of comfort, the elongated toilet takes the lead for this one.

Which Toilet Bowl Shape is Good?

It’s difficult to determine which option is better because many variables come into play including;

  • Size and design of your bathroom
  • Taste/Appearance/aesthetic desires
  • Budget (including addition requirements).
  • Family/ residential/ commercial needs

Both types of toilets offer excellent performance and can both be used efficiently to save on water. They come in a variety of colors play additional features such as higher pedestals and environmentally friendly characteristics. Therefore, it’s a matter of preference.

Even so, the elongated toilet is more popular as it offers more comfort and support for heavyweight individuals, as well as men who want to avoid their genitals from touching the rim of the toilet. Hence, if your toilet can offer the space needed for an elongated toilet, select that one over the rounded type.

Can you Replace a Round Toilet with Elongated Shape?

Yes, you can replace the round toilets with the elongated type. However, it’s not a fairly easy job. You will have to consult with a professional about the dimensions of the bathroom area, so they can ascertain and confirm that you can replace.

Second, you’ll take measurements so you can purchase a toilet that’ll fit onto where the previous toilet was. Finally, research the options you have for replacement.

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