When it comes to toilets, American standard vs kohler toilets are two of the biggest names in the industry. Both companies have been manufacturing high-quality toilets for over 140 years.
But which toilet brand makes the better toilet? In this guide, we’ll compare American Standard and Kohler toilets across several categories to help you decide which is right for your bathroom remodel or new construction project.
Brand History and Reputation
First, let’s take a quick look at the history and reputation behind these two toilet titans.
Founded in 1875 as the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company in Pittsburgh, PA, American Standard has been a leader in the plumbing fixtures industry from the very beginning.
They produced the first enamel cast-iron covered bathtub and by 1929 had introduced the first colored bathroom fixtures.
Today, American Standard is known for manufacturing stylish, innovative, and durable plumbing products including toilets, faucets, bathtubs, showers, and more. Their toilets feature powerful flush performance and elegant designs.
The Kohler Company was founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler in Kohler, Wisconsin. Kohler’s first breakthrough product was a cast-iron and enamel bathtub marketed to the upper class.
By the 1920s, Kohler was producing a variety of plumbing products including toilets, faucets, and sinks. Kohler is now recognized globally for its trend-setting designs, innovative technologies, and luxurious materials.
So both American Standard and Kohler have over 140 years of experience producing high-quality plumbing fixtures. Kohler does have more of an upscale, designer reputation than American Standard. But both brands are known for style and performance when it comes to their toilets.
American Standard and Kohler toilets offer all the standard toilet types: two-piece, one-piece, wall-hung, and dual flush.
However, Kohler does have more available toilet styles and designs overall. Kohler offers over 40 different toilet designs while American Standard has around 18 toilet options.
Kohler’s vast range of toilets includes designs like:
- Patterned toilets with artistic motifs
- Modern angular tanks and bowls
- Vintage river bowl shapes
- Elongated and compact bowl sizes
So if you’re looking for a unique or fashionable toilet design, Kohler will offer more choices. But American Standard has plenty of elegant toilet options as well – just not quite as many avant-garde or artsy choices.
One of the most important toilet features is the flushing performance. You want a toilet that can clear waste thoroughly and quickly while avoiding clogs.
Here’s how the flushing systems compare between these two toilet brands:
Kohler Flush Engines
- Class Five® – Kohler’s most powerful flush using a large flush valve for up to 16,500 gallons of water per minute.
- Class Six® – A variation of Class Five with a redesigned bowl to enhance rinse performance.
- CleanCoatTM – Glazed trapway to prevent waste buildup and improve flow.
- AquaPiston® – Over 50% more flush power than a 3″ flush valve through an innovative canister design.
American Standard Flush Systems
- PowerWash® – Powerful rim washing action to scrub the bowl with each flush.
- PowerWash 360® – Adds a jet siphon to hit all areas of the bowl.
- Champion 4 – A 4″ flush valve and 2-3/8″ glazed trapway provides clog-free performance.
- FloWise® – Water conservation technology for optimal flush performance with reduced water usage.
Both American Standard and Kohler toilet brands offer strong flushing capabilities. Kohler’s Class Five flush is capable of an exceptionally powerful rinse. But American Standard’s PowerWash 360 provides complete bowl coverage.
Overall, the flushing systems are quite comparable between the two toilet brands. Both Kohler and American Standard have toilet models that meet the latest EPA WaterSense® criteria for high-efficiency 1.28 gallon per flush toilets.
American Standard and Kohler each have their own innovative toilet features and technologies.
Kohler Toilet Innovations
- Touchless Flush – Wave your hand over a sensor to activate the flush.
- Intelligent Toilets – Advanced bidets integrated into the toilet. Features include automatic opening/closing, heated seats, adjustable spray shape, and drying.
- PerfectFill Cleanshot – An integrated sink faucet above the tank fills the tank and rinses the bowl after flushing.
American Standard Innovations
- HydroWiseTM – Leak protection system shuts off the water supply if a leak is detected in the toilet tank.
- EverClean® – Permanent silver ions incorporated into the porcelain inhibit bacteria, mold, and mildew growth.
- Vormex® – Powerful siphon jet action rids the bowl of waste.
Kohler offers the most leading-edge toilet technologies like touchless flushing, intelligent bidets, and the integrated sink system. So if you want the latest toilet innovations, Kohler is ahead of American Standard.
However, American Standard’s toilet innovations like HydroWise leak protection and EverClean antimicrobial glaze provide useful benefits. So both brands bring helpful innovations to the American Standard vs Kohler toilet comparison.
Water conservation is crucial for any new toilet. Both American Standard and Kohler offer a range of high-efficiency toilet models.
Here is how the low-flow models compare between the two toilet brands:
- Kohler has ten WaterSense certified models using only 1.28 gpf or less. Their lowest flow rate is 1.0 gpf.
- American Standard has eight WaterSense models with 1.28 gpf or lower flush volumes. Their lowest water use is toilet flushes with just 1.1 gpf.
So in terms of maximum water efficiency, American Standard narrowly beats Kohler. But both toilet brands clearly have a strong selection of water-conserving toilets.
Taller toilets that meet the ADA Comfort Height standard of 16.5″ to 17″ are much easier to sit on and stand up from.
Kohler has around 20 Comfort Height toilets available. American Standard has about 10 Comfort Height models.
So Kohler again edges out American Standard in the variety of Comfort Height toilet options. But American Standard still offers a good range of Comfort Height toilets.
The toilet bowl shape impacts both comfort and waste removal capability. Kohler and American Standard provide all the typical bowl options:
- Compact Elongated
- Round Front
However, some Kohler collections like Tresham and Archer feature unique stylized bowl silhouettes. And Kohler offers over a dozen different seat designs to match the custom bowls.
So Kohler provides more toilet bowl variety compared to American Standard’s range of bowls.
Water Surface Size
Larger water surface areas in the bowl allow more room for waste to disperse before flushing. This helps reduce streaks or sticking.
The average Kohler toilet has around an 8″ x 6-7″ water surface while American Standard averages 7-8″ x 5-6″.
So most Kohler bowls provide a little more coverage area than American Standard. But both meet the standard water surface size of at least 6″ x 5″.
Installing the toilet yourself? Ease of installation may factor into your American Standard vs Kohler toilet decision.
Kohler offers the ReadyLockTM installation system on most toilets for quick, easy attachment to the floor flange. Just two pre-installed bolts slide into slots on the bowl for hands-free locking.
American Standard doesn’t have an integrated installation system. But most models include a basic installation kit.
Overall, Kohler offers a slight leg up with their ReadyLock quick-install attachment. But American Standard toilets aren’t difficult to install either.
Budget can also play a role in choosing between American Standard or Kohler toilets. Here’s an overview of typical price ranges:
- American Standard – $100 to $700
- Kohler – $200 to $1,000+
In general, Kohler toilets run higher in price than American Standard models with similar features. There are affordable Kohler models under $250. However, Kohler’s more stylish designer toilets run upwards of $500 to over $1,000.
American Standard has more toilet options under $300. So if keeping costs down is crucial, American Standard may fit better within your toilet budget.
The warranty coverage provides peace of mind that your toilet investment is protected. Here are the warranties offered by each brand:
- Kohler – One-year limited warranty covering defects in materials or workmanship.
- American Standard – Five-year limited warranty on chinaware, mechanical parts, and finish. Lifetime limited warranty on enameled cast iron parts.
American Standard clearly provides the longer and stronger toilet warranty. Kohler’s one-year coverage is relatively short. So American Standard wins when it comes to product guarantees for these two toilet brands.
Style and Design Options
As mentioned earlier, style plays a bigger role in Kohler’s reputation and product selection. Kohler offers more unique toilet silhouettes and aesthetic designs.
Some examples of Kohler’s style innovations include:
- Artsy floral motifs and lavish patterns
- Sleek rounded profiles inspired by 1920s architecture
- Classic embellished trip levers reminiscent of vintage water closets
- Low-profile modern tanks and angular bowls
American Standard offers classic elegance and transitional contemporary styles with their toilets. However, their toilet designs tend toward traditional versus avant-garde.
So if statement-making style is important for your American Standard vs Kohler toilet decision, Kohler is the clear choice. American Standard provides refined designs focused more on performance than flair.
Conclusion: Which Toilet Brand is Better Overall?
In many of the product comparison categories between American Standard vs Kohler toilets, Kohler edged out American Standard with a few more options and innovations. However, American Standard proved very competitive across all criteria.
Here’s a quick recap of how Kohler and American Standard toilets fared head-to-head:
- Brand Reputation – Both have long histories of quality, but Kohler is seen as more high-style.
- Toilet Types – Kohler has more styles and designs available.
- Flushing Systems – Both provide excellent rinsing power using different technologies.
- Innovative Features – Kohler is ahead in leading-edge innovations like touchless flush.
- Water Efficiency – Very similar with both offering 1.0 to 1.1 gpf low-flow models.
- Comfort Height – Kohler has more Comfort Height options.
- Bowl Styles – Kohler provides more unique and specialized bowl shapes.
- Installation – Kohler ReadyLock provides simple tool-free installation.
- Price – Kohler models cost more on average than comparable American Standard toilets.
- Warranty – American Standard offers longer warranty coverage.
- Style – Kohler showcases more avant-garde and artistic designs.
Looking at the big picture, Kohler comes out very slightly ahead of American Standard overall when comparing the two toilet brands. But truthfully, you really can’t go wrong with either brand.
Both companies make exceptional, high-performing toilets backed by long histories and warranties. If budget dictates, American Standard provides amazing quality and features at lower prices in most cases.
But for the widest selection of styles, innovative features, and cutting-edge design, Kohler takes first place. Their expansive portfolio of toilets offers options for any taste or décor.
So consider your priorities – performance, style, budget, features – and decide whether American Standard or Kohler is a better fit for your bathroom. You’re guaranteed to wind up with a top-quality toilet regardless of which respected brand you choose.
1. Which brand, American Standard or Kohler, has a longer history in toilet manufacturing?
Answer: Both brands have over 140 years of experience in making toilets.
2. What are the flushing system differences between American Standard and Kohler toilets?
Answer: Kohler has technologies like Class Five®, Class Six®, CleanCoatTM, and AquaPiston®, while American Standard offers PowerWash®, PowerWash 360®, Champion 4, and FloWise®.
3. Which brand offers more innovative toilet technologies?
Answer: Kohler offers advanced features like touchless flushing and integrated bidets, while American Standard brings innovations like HydroWise leak protection and EverClean antimicrobial glaze.
4. How do water efficiency levels compare between the two brands?
Answer: Both offer WaterSense® certified models with low-flow flushes; American Standard’s lowest is 1.1 gpf and Kohler’s is 1.0 gpf.
5. What’s the price difference between American Standard and Kohler toilets?
Answer: American Standard ranges from $100 to $700, while Kohler’s prices start at $200 and go up to $1,000+ for designer models.