When you initially begin shopping for toilets, you might think “well, one toilet is as good as the next” or “it’s just something to go to the bathroom in.” Sure, those thoughts might seem perfectly reasonable on the surface, but you’ll soon learn that there are a lot of incredibly significant differences in many of the toilets being sold on the market today.
These toilets are often sold by the “Big 3” toilet sellers in the US: American Standard, Kohler, and Toto. One of the leaders in innovation for many years is American Standard. They have produced what is considered in some circles as the very pinnacle of bathroom engineering. From the initial debut of the American Standard Champion 4 product line, it has been a leader in performance and has improved consistently with each iteration.
Just like with nearly any other toilet brand, there are some options when it comes to the American Standard Champion 4. You will need to consider and choose between the following options:
- Single-piece or two-piece construction
- Round bowl or elongated bowl shape
- Standard height or Comfort Height
Each of the possible choices will have its pros and cons, and what works for one person may be wildly different from what the next person may need. Consider your needs, your comfort preferences, and the potential needs of those who may also use the toilet.
Table of Contents
- What The Reviews Are Saying
- What We Like About The American Standard Champion 4
- Where The American Standard Champion 4 Could Be Improved
- The Final Word
What the Reviews Are Saying
The reviews are overwhelmingly positive across all of the major retailers, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, Ace, and more. Those that have purchased a toilet in the current Champion 4 line have been largely satisfied with their purchase and would recommend it to others. The characteristics mentioned most frequently were the powerful flushing capability and easy installation.
What We Like About the American Standard Champion 4
American Standard has a lot of toilet models and version variations, so what exactly is it that makes the American Standard Champion 4 such a great toilet? There are a number of qualities that are common to any toilet, while some things may differ significantly. First and foremost, we look at the functionality. Does it do the job?
Next, we look at things like the height, the weight (if warranted), the construction and whether it is a one-piece or a two-piece toilet, the bowl shape, any additional bells and whistles that the model or product line might have, and finally, price. We’ve also included any cons of the item so that you can weigh both sides before making a purchase.
In terms of the dimensions, there really isn’t anything out of the ordinary or remarkable about the American Standard Champion 4. Here are the hard numbers:
- Rough-in: 12 inches
- Bowl rim height: 16 ½ inches
- Trapway: 2 ⅜ inches
- Flush valve: 4 inches
- Depth: 29 ¾ inches
- Width: 16 ¾ inches
- Height: 29 ½ inches
With the exception of the flush valve, these numbers are relatively typical when it comes to most toilets.
Installation is extremely simple. The American Standard Champion 4 comes with everything you need to install it successfully, including the tools, the hardware, and a seat. This is important because it’s very typical for a toilet ordered online to not include a seat. In fact, during our research, we found many people were pleasantly surprised that the Champion 4 did include a seat. Often they had to return the extra seat that they had already ordered!
Additionally, since you will likely be able to take care of this yourself, you don’t have to worry about hiring a plumber to install your new Champion 4.
Flush Strength and Trapway Size
This is probably one of the most important things that we evaluate when looking at any particular toilet model or line. Does it do what it needs to do quickly and easily? The American Standard Champion 4 has powerful flush technology and a massive 4-inch flush valve that increases the solid disposal capacity by nearly 70% over a standard flush mechanism.
The flush is so powerful on this model because the normal flush valves are only about 2 inches wide, making the 4-inch valve on the Champion line an enormous flush volume increase over the standard flush valve. This sudden influx of water is what creates the most powerful flushes, and the bigger trapway means the water and waste leave quickly and completely.
The American Standard Champion 4 is fully compliant with the ADA. The ADA states that public toilets need to have a standard seat height of 17 to 19 inches as well as some other requirements. ADA-compliant toilets are also known as Comfort Height, Right Height, or chair height toilets. The American Standard Champion 4 has a rim height of 16 ½ inches, so when a seat is added, the height meets the minimum of 17 inches high.
Even though the ADA requirements only apply to public restrooms, the toilets that comply with ADA regulations are more comfortable than standard toilets. Using them also helps remove the stigma associated with ADA compliance and provides a compliant toilet should the need ever arise. The Champion 4 is also available in a standard height version for those who prefer the look or feel of the 15-inch rim height.
Previous iterations of the Champion 4 were all two-piece toilets, while the newest model is a single piece of vitreous china. This means the bowl and the tank are molded together in one continuous form. Two-piece toilets are made with the tank and bowl separate and are joined during installation with a seal to prevent leaks.
We think the one-piece construction is much more visually appealing. There is a much smoother look to the design, and it lacks the crevices, nooks, and crannies that you find in the junction of two-piece toilets and in the rears. This also makes them incredibly appealing to homes and establishments where there is a desire to cut down on time spent cleaning. Since the one-piece design is far easier and faster to clean, this can be a huge selling point for many people.
The model that we evaluated, the American Standard Champion 4 model 2004314.020, has an elongated bowl shape. The alternative is a round bowl, and the shape that is chosen depends on the needs and preferences of the user as well as a consideration of the pros and the cons.
Elongated bowls are elliptical in shape, and as a result, the circumference and bowl capacity of the elongated bowl is larger than a round bowl. The front-to-back length of an elongated bowl in the Champion 4 line is 18 ½ inches, while round bowls are two inches shorter. The downside is that elongated bowls do take up a slightly larger area than rounded bowls, so they are less than ideal for small bathrooms.
Bells and Whistles
There are a couple of features that the American Standard Champion 4 offers that you may not find anywhere else. One of those is the EverClean surface additive that American Standard uses in their china formulation. This additive powerfully inhibits the growth of mildew, mold, and foul odor-causing bacteria and helps the toilet look, function, and smell newer for longer.
There is another thing that may not seem like a big deal to many people but is a game-changer for others: the toilet seat is included.
Like we mentioned, many toilets are sold these days without a toilet seat. The American Standard Champion 4 comes with a seat — but not just any seat. It comes with a slow-closing seat, which we know sounds a little strange to be excited about, but your mind may quickly be changed after one loud crack in the middle of the night from a dropped lid. Also, households with children or inconsiderate roommates may find that a sudden lack of dropped seat sounds can bring a newfound peace to the house.
Where the American Standard Champion 4 Could Be Improved
There are a couple of areas in which the American Standard Champion 4 could possibly be made more widely appealing, but then again, American Standard offers models that do fulfill those criteria. While these drawbacks certainly result from incredible reaching, they are still relatively valid.
High Water Usage
The American Standard Champion 4 uses a full 1.6 gallons of water per flush, which means it does have a hydro-footprint that is a little larger than some other models. While this is a huge improvement over traditional toilets with full 3-gallon flushes, most modern toilets meet the 1.28 GPF “WaterSense” and California Energy Commission flush capacity requirements.
Limited Availability and Alternate Version
The capacity of the flush means that the standard version of the American Standard Champion 4 is not available in California or Texas. This might be a dealbreaker for many. However, American Standard does have a toilet in the Champion line called the American Standard Champion 4 Max. It meets the 1.28-gallon flush requirement but is only available in two-piece construction.
Slightly Higher Priced
We have to pick at the price point a little bit because it is noticeably more expensive than a conventional toilet. Though we believe this value is made up through the performance and the robust quality, you will be looking at spending between $400 and $600.
The Final Word
When it comes down to it, the American Standard Champion 4 really seems like an amazing toilet. You get innovation and performance with a simple installation from one of the most trusted leaders in home plumbing, American Standard.