Toilet: Discover the Fascinating History and Usage

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 16, 2022
I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

A toilet is a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human urine and feces. They are often found in a small room referred to as a toilet, bathroom or lavatory. A toilet can be designed for people who prefer to sit (on a toilet pedestal) or for people who prefer to squat (over a squatting toilet).

The history of the toilet is quite interesting. It’s believed that the first toilets were invented in ancient Egypt and Rome. Since then, the toilet has evolved into the modern day flush toilet we have today.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about toilets, from their history to their various types and how to use them properly.

What are toilets

Everything You Need to Know About Toilets

A toilet is a device designed for the collection and disposal of human waste. It is an essential part of modern sanitation and wastewater treatment, and it is difficult to imagine life without it. Toilets come in different types, including the plain old toilet, urinal, bidet, chemical toilet, and dry toilet.

The History of Toilets

Toilets have been around for thousands of years, with evidence of their use dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Rome. In Japan, toilets are referred to as “washlets” and are designed to include a number of different aspects to help people maintain their health.

The Different Types of Toilets

Toilets come in different types, including the plain old toilet, urinal, bidet, chemical toilet, and dry toilet. Each type has its own design and function, and some are more convenient than others.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Toilets

Different types of toilets have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, a dry toilet is more budget-friendly and easier to maintain, while a modern toilet with a cistern produces a higher flow of water and is more comfortable to use.

The Science Behind Toilets

Toilets work by using a combination of biological and mechanical processes. When you flush a toilet, the water creates a flow that rotates the bowl, creating a vacuum that pulls waste down into the sewer. Oxygen is then added to the wastewater to help break down the fecal and urine matter.

The Importance of Proper Toilet Management

Proper toilet management is essential to ensure that toilets function properly and that wastewater is treated effectively. This includes regular cleaning and maintenance, as well as proper disposal of waste.

The Evolution of Toilets: A Brief History

  • Pit toilets were the most common type of toilet in ancient times
  • A pit was dug in the ground and a simple wooden or stone seat was placed on top
  • Waste would fall into the pit and eventually decompose
  • The Romans used chamber pots, which were essentially portable toilets
  • These pots were made of clay or wood and could be used for hours before needing to be emptied

The Middle Ages: The Emergence of the Flush Toilet

  • The first flush toilets were built in the Middle Ages
  • They were connected to a water supply and used a simple valve to release water into the toilet bowl
  • The waste was then carried away through an internal pipe system
  • These toilets were usually found in large cities and were only used by the wealthy

Modern Times: The Rise of Affordable Sanitation

  • The modern toilet as we know it today started to appear in the late 19th century
  • The first step was the invention of the S-trap, which used a vertical pipe to force water down and remove waste
  • This was followed by the invention of the flush toilet, which used running water to remove waste
  • Today, toilets come in a variety of types and styles, from single units to large, multi-stall bathrooms
  • The most common type is the flush toilet, which uses a simple valve to release water and remove waste

Mastering the Art of Toilet Usage

  • Did you know that a toilet is responsible for almost 30% of a household’s water usage?
  • Water-saving toilets are a great option for those looking to conserve water and save money on utilities.
  • These toilets use less water per flush, usually around 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF) compared to the standard 1.6 GPF.
  • The EPA offers a WaterSense label for toilets that meet their efficiency and performance standards.
  • Utility companies and governments often offer rebates and grants for purchasing and installing water-saving toilets.

Dry Toilets

  • Dry or non-flush toilets are a different type of toilet that do not require water to operate.
  • These toilets handle waste in a natural and sanitary way, usually by using a composting mechanism.
  • They are pretty easy to install and offer an additional way to conserve water.
  • Companies like Toiletology offer different types of dry toilets and components to help families and households switch to this method.

Measuring Toilet Performance

  • The ultimate goal of a toilet is to handle waste efficiently and effectively.
  • The toilet tank is the main component that holds water and goes through a flushing mechanism to remove waste.
  • The GPF is a measurement of how much water is used per flush and can be found on the toilet’s statement or by using a water calculator available on the EPA’s website.
  • The toilet’s performance can be measured by how well it handles waste and how quickly it refills after a flush.

Budget-Friendly Toilets

  • Buying a new toilet can be pretty expensive, but there are ways to save money.
  • Some contracting companies offer a snapshot of a household’s monthly water usage to figure out how much money can be saved by switching to a water-saving toilet.
  • The EPA’s WaterSense program offers a list of efficient and affordable toilets that can help families stay within their budget.
  • It’s important to know what type of toilet is required for your state and to check for any additional programs or offers available.

The Making of a Toilet: The Materials Used

Toilets are made up of a variety of materials, but the most common ones include:

  • Porcelain or vitreous china: These materials are highly utilized in creating the bowl and tank of the toilet. They are easy to clean, shiny, and offer a nice style to the entire section.
  • Steel: Steel is a popular choice for creating the frame of the toilet. It is highly durable and can withstand extreme nature.
  • Water: Water is crucial in creating a toilet. It is used to mix the clay and create the mold for the toilet.
  • Clay: Clay is the main material used in creating the bowl of the toilet. It is dried and fired to create the desired shape and texture.

The Ideal Materials for Female Users

Female users require toilets that offer optimum comfort and hygiene. The ideal materials for female users include:

  • Vitreous china or porcelain: These materials offer a fresh and clean surface, making them highly popular among female users.
  • Steel: Steel is highly durable and can withstand unwanted maintenance.
  • Wood: Wood is highly utilized in creating the toilet seat. It offers a nice style and is cheaper compared to other materials.

The Best Materials for Easy Maintenance

Toilets require regular maintenance to serve the user for an extended period. The best materials for easy maintenance include:

  • Vitreous china or porcelain: These materials are easy to clean and offer a shiny surface.
  • Metal: Metal is highly durable and can withstand extreme nature.
  • Plastic: Plastic is highly utilized in creating the toilet seat. It is cheaper compared to other materials and requires little maintenance.

The Materials Compared in the Market

The market offers a wide range of toilet products, each with its own set of materials. The most popular materials include:

  • Vitreous china or porcelain: These materials are highly utilized in the market, despite being expensive compared to other materials.
  • Steel: Steel is highly durable and can withstand extreme nature, making it a popular choice in the market.
  • Plastic: Plastic is cheaper compared to other materials, making it highly utilized in the market.

Installing a Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Measure the area where the toilet will be installed to ensure that it will fit properly.
  • Check the plumbing and make sure that the supply line and outlet pipe are in the right position.
  • Turn off the water supply before starting the installation process.
  • Feel the floor to ensure that it is firm and not damaged. If it is, it needs to be fixed before installing the toilet.
  • Clean the area where the toilet will be installed to prevent any damage or blockage.


So, that’s how the toilet works and why we need them. They’re a pretty important part of modern sanitation and wastewater treatment. 

So, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. You’ll probably find that most people are happy to help.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.