While most rulers embellish their thrones in flashy colors, the Porcelain Throne, an expression used to refer to a toilet – is predominantly white. With so many colors available, you probably wonder, why are toilets always white?
Toilets are always white because they are mostly made from white porcelain. Also, a white toilet represents hygiene, makes it easier to see dirt, provides a modern aesthetic look, and creates the impression of a big room.
For others, white is minimalist. It doesn’t attract attention as much. But still, there is the aspect of white toilets having an elegant look and having a better resale value.
I’ll explain all these arguments in detail to help you understand why toilets have traditionally been white and why you should look that way. Moreover, I’ll discuss a few situations when toilets usually are not white and why it’s the case.
Here we go!
Why Toilets Are Always White
If you’ve been asking ‘why are toilets always white?’ and cannot find the answer, here are six reasons why:
1. Porcelain (The Predominant Toilet Raw Material) Makes Them White
Most toilets are made from porcelain which naturally occurs in white or off-white. While other materials have different shades, such as wood, stainless steel, plastics, and concrete, porcelain remains the predominant choice.
Wondering why? Well, that’s because porcelain enjoys these advantages:
a) Porcelain Can Handle Huge Weight
Basic floor-mounted porcelain toilets can handle a weight of up to 1000 pounds (453 kg), while wall-hung toilets have a limit of 500 pounds (227 kg).
Globally, the average human weight varies depending on where they live. It ranges between 132 pounds (60 kilograms) in Asia and Africa and 176 pounds (80 kilograms) in America.
Now, if we compare what weight porcelain toilets can handle and the average human weight, it’s apparent that porcelain is more than capable of withstanding repeat weight strain. That explains why no porcelain toilet is on record of breaking under the weight of anyone.
b) Porcelain is Waterproof/Rust-proof
Toilets are constantly wet; at least the toilet bowl and cistern usually are. So the acid test for any material used is that it should not be porous, and that’s where porcelain comes in.
Porcelain vitrifies or forms a glassy surface upon molding that makes the toilet waterproof and stain-proof through its entire thickness. Porcelain is also rust-proof, and as a result, it’s perfect for wet conditions like those of the bathroom.
c) Ease of Cleaning
Porcelain has a soft, easy-to-clean glaze that makes it perfect for toilets, where good hygiene is paramount. Usually, the ease of cleaning helps prevent the multiplication of bacteria, which could make you sick.
d) Porcelain Can Withstand Abrasion and Chemical Attack
Manufacturing companies are on a dog-eat-dog race to keep churning new formulas that are better able to fight stains and grime on toilets. Remarkably, it continues to prove its toughness and strength by withstanding regular abrasion and chemical toilet cleaners.
In general, resisting abrasion and chemicals makes porcelain ideal for toilet use.
e) Porcelain is Cheap
Leaving porcelain as white is cheaper because one does not need to incur the extra cost of including varying raw materials to change the color.
Also, porcelain’s robustness and rigidity make it serve for a long time compared to plastics or wood. This durability eliminates the need for regular repairs, resulting in more savings.
Check out the best porcelain toilets on Amazon.
2. The Psychology of Color – White Represents Hygiene and Cleanliness
Psychologists, artists, and interior designers believe that different colors affect us differently. For example, white portrays cleanliness, purity, and freshness in Western cultures.
That explains why white features heavily in wedding dresses, religious garbs, hospital walls, and linen.
Globally, people view hospitals with white finishes as more hygienic. Hence, having a white toilet will be a plus for a room that one expects to be constantly clean.
Besides, toilet paper is mostly white because of the same reason – white represents cleanliness.
3. White Makes It Easier to Spot Dirt
A white toilet will make it easier for one to spot grime, which will cue you to clean. The famous story of a piece of white paper with a black dot explains this. The black dot stands out – it’s what people can see.
4. White Has a Modern Look
Call it timeless, but white is here to stay. White toilet seats have an ageless look, and so they appear modern every time as long as they are in good condition. That has seen most homeowners stick to them when fitting or renovating toilets.
5. Illusion – White Makes Spaces Appear Bigger Than They Are
A quick search on what color one should choose for the bathroom walls shows white as a major contender. White, being a bright color, is more reflective.
A white wall optimizes the light effect and makes the room appear bigger. Thus, for a confined space like a bathroom, having a white wall and a white toilet combo works well in making the bathroom appear bigger.
6. White Toilets Are Minimalistic
Most people will tell you that white is a simple color. It blends well with most toilet fixtures and finishes, thus perfect for those who like to keep their bathroom décor low-key. It’s just what your bathroom needs when you want the toilet to demonstrate practicality.
7. White Toilets Have a Better Resale Value
Perhaps it’s because of the above reasons, but white toilets are attractive to buyers. The fact that they show the ease of cleanliness, elegance, minimalism, and the illusion of a big room allows you to improve the resale value of your home.
There’s Also the Toilet Seat
Modern toilet seats feature a thermoplastic material known as polypropylene, usually translucent straw. Translucent straw looks more like white.
Overall, polypropylene offers high resistance to chemicals and moisture, can withstand fatigue due to repetitive use, and is tough, thus perfect for toilet seats.
Check out the best white toilet seats on Amazon!
When Are Toilets Not White?
According to an HGTV study, 90% of toilets in the U.S are white. That means 10% aren’t, and that brings us to the question – when are toilets not white?
Well, here are the exceptions:
a. Themed Bathrooms
For some, remodeling their bathrooms or furnishing a new one is just not complete without a theme and that means going for colorful shades.
Popular non-white toilet color themes include:
- Bohemian bathroom
- Chic and Glamorous
Note that one can achieve each of these themes using many color combinations.
b. Luxurious Toilets
Overlaying the Porcelain with a layer of gold or diamond studs achieves an elegant and glamorous look. This look, of course, comes at a premium, with some gold-plated toilets going for a minimum of 30,000 dollars while one diamond-studded toilet is reportedly going for a whopping 1.3 million dollars!
c. Prison Toilets
While Porcelain is a rigid material, it can also easily shatter. That is why jail toilets are primarily stainless steel. Such toilets can withstand extreme conditions such as vandalism. Impressively, they feature concealed drainage to protect against destruction.
d. Contemporary ‘Pamper-Me’ Toilets
All toilets are equal, but some are more special than others, bringing us to “Pamper-me” toilets. These toilets promise to turn the journey to the crapper into an experience.
And rightly so, they have fancy amenities such as heated seats, motion-activated lids, LED nightlight, and no-touch flushing systems, which give them a colorful look.
Some incorporate bidets that have warm-air dryers, music, and even deodorizers. Others maintain hygiene by sanitizing water by electrolyzing it before it gets into the bowl. In contrast, some decompose grime on the bowl by shining an ultra-violet light once a day.
There should be no concern for the environmentally-conscious ones as they come with water-saving abilities, reducing the water usage per flush from 1.6 gallons to 0.8 gallons.
The reduced water usage is a far cry from “The Jakes” – the first flushing toilet – that used 7.5 gallons of water.
What Does the Future Hold for Toilets?
Future toilets are expected to incorporate all the features modern toilets have. However, there are predictions of toilets with biometric capabilities like fingerprint sensors for identification and conducting a chemical analysis on fecal matter and urine.
In that case, you’ll need to visit a doctor if there is an anomaly after an examination. Thus, it is no surprise that these toilets go by the tag “Wellness Toilet”.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Are Toilets White?
Toilets are white because they are mostly made from porcelain, which is naturally white. Also, a white toilet gives a clean and hygienic look, makes it easier to see dirt, and provides a modern aesthetic look. Additionally, white toilets are cheaper to produce.
2. What Percentage of Toilets Are White?
According to HGTV, 90% of toilets are white, primarily because of porcelain, which is usually white.
3. Do Toilets Come in Different Colors?
Yes, toilets come in different colors such as black, gray, green, red, yellow, and even gold and diamond studs for that luxurious look! Another unique option is the transparent toilet bowl made from Bohemian glass.
4. What Are the Different Toilet Designs?
Toilets come in three design types depending on the positioning of the toilet tank or cistern as follows:
- One-Piece Toilet – The one-piece toilet is just that – one piece. The tank and bowl form one part.
- Two-Piece Toilet – The tank and bowl come separately and connect using a short-length pipe. It is by far the most typical toilet design.
- Wall-Mount Toilet – The cistern and waste pipes run behind a wall or panel, and the toilet hangs by built-in support. This anchoring type offers a modern look and is a plus to the bathroom’s aesthetics. It’s the only toilet that you can sweep under.
Why Are Toilets Always White? Closing Remarks!
Despite all these technological advancements, the toilet material of choice for manufacturers still remains porcelain. And since porcelain is white, it explains why 90 % of all toilets are white.
But still, reasons like hygiene, ease of cleanness, modern aesthetic, and room illumination also explain why most homeowners go for white toilets seats over other shades.