Visible vs Concealed vs Skirted Trap Toilet

What's the difference between these types of toilets? Let's discuss.

Visible vs Concealed vs Skirted Trap Toilet - Kohler Memoirs Comfort Height Round Toilet Visible vs Concealed vs Skirted Trap Toilet - Kohler Memoirs Comfort Height Round Toilet
The Hausera Editorial Team

The majority of American homes feature toilets with visible traps, meaning the base of their bowl was molded with the outline of the trapway visible. A toilet with a concealed trapway has a smooth surface where the trapway would normally appear, and skirted toilets are designed with smooth sides from front to back. Most people probably don't give the design of their toilet base much thought, but because toilets are an integral part of your overall bathroom design, you might want to take a moment to consider its appearance among other points.

Visible Trap

Visible vs Concealed vs Skirted Trap Toilet - Kohler Archer Comfort Height Elongated Toilet

For the last several decades, most toilets in residential dwellings have been designed with the molded trapway visible. While this remains the most popular style of toilet, it's also the hardest to clean. Dirt, grime, and mildew can collect in curves and crevices, creating unpleasant odors if you don't clean the exterior of your toilet on a weekly basis.

Concealed Trap

Visible vs Concealed vs Skirted Trap Toilet - Kohler Cimarron Elongated Toilet

Toilets with a concealed trap most resemble a visible trap toilet because the shape of the bowl is distinct from the trap area in the rear. Unlike the visible trap design, a concealed trap is exactly that; instead of seeing the molded trapway, you get a smooth surface. Concealed trap toilets are easier to clean because there are fewer curves and corners where dirt can collect. They also provide a more modern profile.

Skirted Toilet

Visible vs Concealed vs Skirted Trap Toilet - Kohler Betello Elongated Toilet

Choosing a skirted toilet is a definite departure from the traditional toilet profile. Not only is a skirted toilet a bold choice because you're adding a distinctly contemporary profile to your bathroom, but its sleek design also makes it the easiest toilet to clean. Even with more traditional collections like Memoirs from Kohler (photo at the top of this article), a skirted toilet makes a definitively modern statement.

Last Notes

Flush performance is unaffected by whether or not you can see the trapway, and you can get each version in both one- and two-piece configurations. Prices for toilets begin around $250 for a visible trap toilet and extend up to $2,000 for a skirted version. Your choice will likely come down to both the look you ultimately want for your bathroom and which toilet will best fit into your budget.