Let’s all just take a moment to contemplate the thousands of dollars we’ve flushed down the toilet.

According to some study by someone I don’t remember on the Internet, the average person uses 20,805 sheets of toilet paper in  one year.   If you assume toilet paper rolls have on average, 500 sheets (some more, some less), that means each person uses 50 rolls of toilet paper a year.  I’ve rounded up there a bit to allow for things like killing centipedes, blowing noses and cleaning the sink when you can’t be bothered to get a cloth.

If you pay full price for premium toilet paper the cost is around $8 for 6 rolls of toilet paper.  So a low average estimate is that each individual person in a household consumes $66 worth of toilet paper a year.

Not bad, right?

Except most people have at least 4 people in a household.  So now it’s $267 a year.

That’s $5,500 every 20 years on toilet paper.  Not accounting for inflation of course.  Right. Down. The toilet.  And if you buy the WRONG TOILET PAPER you might end up spending a lot more money than that.

Here’s how.

The past decade or so has seen a lot of changes in terms of our bathrooms.  Low flush toilets, combined with the creation of premium, super-strong, it could double as a winter blanket,  toilet paper in 1999 has brewed up the perfect sewage storm.

Yes.  It’s a shit storm.

Toilet’s don’t use as much water to flush as they used to.  And toilet paper is now much stronger than it used to be.  It was assumed 17 years ago that we all needed much stronger toilet paper for some reason.  Regular toilet paper was not enough.  We needed something tougher, thicker, stronger.  Something you could use as toilet paper/mountain climbing rope.  This means … sewer line trouble.

Which I’ve had.  About 7 times in the past 3 years.  I’ve had sewer lines replaced, lines flushed, cameras sent down to take a look, more lines replaced and a backwater valve installed.  All in an attempt to stop my sewer line from getting clogged.

This has cost many thousands of dollars.  Many, MANY thousands of dollars.

I know my sewer guy by name. Roger. I know how he takes his coffee.  Double Double.  THAT is how often I’ve had problems with my sewer lines in the past 3 years.

So I am now very, very careful with my sewer lines.

I only use toilet paper that completely dissolves so there’s almost no chance of it clogging.

And I replaced my toilet.

I just replaced my toilet 3 years ago. BUT, I did not  buy a good toilet.



I bought a good looking toilet.

A good looking toilet that couldn’t flush a bug.

When I got the offending toilet (A Pfister by the way) I even called the company and said, Hey.  This toilet doesn’t seem to work very well. I think it’s defective.  The bowl doesn’t fill up with enough water and it doesn’t totally flush and it just doesn’t seem very good.  I was told that’s the way these low flush toilets work.

Huh.  So what makes these new low flow toilets different than older toilets is that … they don’t actually work?

It didn’t make much sense, but the toilet I had before was an ancient water glugging toilet that could suck your spleen out if you flushed it before standing up.  So maybe they were right. I just wasn’t used to the more new age, lackadaisical approach low flow toilets had to flushing stuff away.

So I started to do what everyone who has a bad toilet does.  I’d stand in front of the toilet, wait for it to complete its flush; and then I’d flush it again.

But I persisted with my low flush toilet because it’s better for the environment because it uses so much less water.  It’s also the only type of toilet you can buy anymore.

I’m just a toilet water layman and certainly not an expert in mathematical toilet flushing formulas, but this whole having to flush twice, sometimes three times method didn’t seem to be saving Mother Earth much water.

Also when people came to visit unannounced on more than one occasion I threw a pie in their face as a way of sedating them for a few moments while I ran into the bathroom to make sure the last time I used it I double flushed.

So on January 22nd I bought a new toilet and on January 23rd I installed it.  (this is the toilet that I bought and LOVE) And I filmed the whole process.

On Monday I’m going to have a STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO INSTALLING A TOILET.  I’ll show you exactly how easy it is to install a toilet BY YOURSELF and prove to you that NOT all low flow toilets are created equal.  In fact, some of them actually have that impressive spleen removing flush.

How long does swapping out your old toilet for a new one take?  As little as an hour or two.


It ain’t that hard.  Any of it.



  1. Maria A says:

    I can relate! Just went through six months of renovation and I researched everything. I went to a designer bath place for ideas and it was love at first sight with same American Standard toilet! I purchased it at our local plumbing place and they delivered the wrong one! The contractor couldn’t understand what the was the big deal when I insisted it was not correct. The one delivered looked like it had a giant intestine lovely en-glazed in porcelain on the sides…NOT! Finally after all the poop throne drama, I got the beautiful elongated, completely smooth (no intestine!) right height toilet of my dreams. It’s good to be queen of the toilets and now I get to share that honor with you!!! :-)

  2. Amy in StL says:

    I have the original turquoise toilet in my bathroom. I also have the matching tub and would like to get the sink. I plan on never, ever giving it up. Ever.

  3. tk amber says:

    You can buy an add on bidet, it fits right on your normal toilet, only replaces the old toilet seat, it heats the water that squirts you, keeps the toilet seat warm, and has warm air dryer. I LOVE mine. Everyone gets a kick out of it when they come over and they all love and comment on the heated toilet seat. My hubby hooked it all up himself, you need some plumbing experience.
    Just so you know its not thousands of dollars and you don’t need a large bathroom to do this, just a regular toilet. Google it!

  4. Linda says:

    Despite being a reasonably competent person, I have a totally irrational deathly fear of toilets backing up. I tend to freeze and scream for help if the toilet water looks like it is rising too high. So when shopping for a replacement toilet years ago for a previous residence, the bath fixture store salesman demonstrated the Toto toilet they had in the customer bathroom in the showroom. He literally pulled several yards of toilet paper off the roll and placed it in the bowl. Then he flushed and everything went cleanly and easily down the pipe. He showed me pictures of tennis balls going cleanly down the system. Kids toys too.

    Our current house came equipped with 3 Toto toilets – no fussing with selecting flush levels – all low water consumption and never a reflush issue. Toto fan for life!

  5. billy sharpstick says:

    Did that study say whether that “average person” had a p*n*s or not? Generally speaking, I think the average woman uses more TP than the average man(Captain Megawad notwithstanding).
    I will cheer for bidets again. Cold water bidet attachments start at $22(needs 8 inches from left bolt to wall). Bidet attachments that tap into your sink hot water start at $36. More elaborate seat bidets start at $136. The deluxe model, instant electrically heated water, heated seat, warm air blower and remote(remote, really??!!)models start at about $190. Any of these would pay for themselves within a year in TP savings for the “average” household. YMMV. (How many daughters do you have?)

  6. Anne Riemer says:

    We are on a septic and just replaced our toilet with a Toto and it works great, the water comes out with a woosh and it is gone it doesn’t swirl around and around the the bowl.. We were going to get a dual flush but the plumbing store recommended this as the tank is small and it doesn’t use much more water than the light flush on the dual.

  7. Ana R. says:

    This is the exact plot of a great episode of King of the Hill.


  8. Gayle says:

    Same. Exact. Toilet. I. Want! I hate cleaning that porceline intestine looking thing bulging on the sides of the base on most models. (My mom always told me not to get anything that collects dust…but I still plan on keeping hubby. lol) Then, back to tp expense. I’m older–not old, mind you. But I found the tp with aloe really solved that womanly problem of dryness down there. It’expensive. Soothing, but not extra absorbent. (I often wonder why hubby uses it, too) And he seems to be a lot like the other husbands mentioned here. Uses way more than I. He won’t touch those 6 rolls of the regular kind still sitting around. Many yrs ago it was necessary to mandate his n hers bathrooms, and he keeps the tp well stocked in both, so (for many reasons too numerous to mention here), he’s a keeper. Thanks for the entertainment today–laughed right out loud and really had hubby wondering.

  9. TucsonPatty says:

    I came back to read (lots and lots) more comments, and remembered another suggestion from an older (and probably much wiser) neighbor who vacationed/lived part-time in Mexico. Along with a couple of other commenters – he believed in not flushing any of the pee paper down, and thus saving your septic tank from filling up too quickly. I have since been using his suggestion, and so just toss my three squares into the bathroom trash can, and empty it when it needs, and I’m happy that I’m not having to call the plumbing company to get a septic clean-out. (I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself!) It has been years since it has been done…

    • Edith says:

      When we first went on vacation to Greece two years ago, we could not believe what we read in every single bathroom: “Please, don’t throw paper into the toilet.” But we soon found out that people in Greece throw their paper into the trash can, because their pipes are too narrow. This might even help save tp, as you can actually see how much you use.

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