Kohler Memoirs – Full Toilet Review

We were lucky enough to see this toilet in a showroom not too long ago. The Memoir model is one of those toilets that can actually make a bathroom.

It was designed with an elegant architectural style in mind, which you can definitely see in the toilet itself. In fact, these qualities are so prominent, that individuals that are often restoring an old home will install the Kohler Memoir. This allows them to keep the older, classy look while still having a brand new toilet.

But alas, the look isn’t everything. And that’s what we’re here to relay to you: our research into the Kohler Memoir.

Kohler Memoirs 3817

Classy and slick.

What People are Saying

As the “Apple equivalent” of bathroom fixtures, Kohler typically has more positive five- and four-star reviews than complaints. And the same is true when it comes to the K-3817-U-0 Memoirs line. Some users had a few ups and downs with their unit, but this is fairly typical with most toilets.

However, there wasn’t anything we found regarding the use or the design of the toilet itself. Customers especially love how it looks, describing it as stunning, elegant, and fancy. Some commented on the straightforward installation, while others praised its great flush and comfortability.

What We Like About the Kohler Memoirs

As mentioned, the most prominent factor that we love about the Memoirs line is its vintage appearance. It offers a look that can easily fit into your bathroom and enhance it with its decorative detailed, elegant lines and angles. Because it has been inspired by sleek architecture, its stately design merges crisp, clean style with water conservation, using a formulation to work effectively for years to come.

Although it’s commonly thought that one-piece toilets are easier to clean, this two-piece had no deep unreachable nooks making it easy to clean too.

The Dimensions

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers:

  • Rough-in: 12 inches
  • Bowl height: 16-1/2 inches (from the floor to the bowl rim)
  • Trapway: 2-1/8 inches
  • Overall height: 31-1/16 inches (from the bottom of the base to the top of the tank)
  • Overall width: 18-7/8 inches (from rightmost to leftmost edge of the toilet)
  • Overall depth: 30-3/8 inches (from the back of the tank to the front of the rim)
  • Tank width: 18-7/8 inches (from leftmost to rightmost edge of the tank)
  • Tank depth: 8-15/16 inches (from the back edge to the front edge of the tank)
  • Distance between toilet seat installation holes: 5-1/2 inches
  • Gallons per flush 1.28
  • Water area: 11.75 x 9.5 inches


Kohler toilets are typically designed for straightforward installation, which is the also case for their Memoirs product. It offers the standard 12-inch rough-in and a three-bolt quick connect for a simple, easy and stable connection from the tank to the bowl. In addition, it comes with everything you need to install it. However, the seat and supply line are usually sold separately.

Flush Strength and Trapway Size

Now for the meat and potatoes of a toilet’s design. How well does it flush? Kohler takes pride in ensuring their toilets flush well, so much so, they have a powerful patented flush engine called AquaPiston. Developed by clever Kohler engineers, the AquaPiston is a flapper-less flush valve that replaces the flappers found in most traditional toilets. Since the flapper eventually deteriorates and causes leaks, they’ve decided to trade in that idea for their flush canister. The AquaPiston offers a strong flush since the water enters the canister from 360 degrees. It eliminates clogs and reduces water usage.

The Kohler Memoirs is WaterSense certified. This means the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given it the stamp of approval for using 20% less water than the standard while maintaining high performance.

The toilet “trapway” or “trap” is the arched channel inside the toilet’s base that runs from the hole at the bottom of the bowl to the drainpipe. When a toilet backs up, the stoppage typically occurs in the trap. So a toilet’s trapway size is another essential feature. A small trapway hinders the smooth flow of waste mainly when less water is used for flushing.

The standard trapway size is between 1-3/4 to 2 inches. However, the K-3817-U-0 Memoirs toilet offers a generous measurement of 2-1/8 inches.

Comfort Height

As you may know, Comfort Height is Kohler’s measurement parameters for higher toilet seats. Sometimes this measurement is interchanged with Toto’s Universal Height. Regardless, the seats are higher, making for a more comfortable sit. This is especially true for older and disabled individuals.

They typically measure between 17 and 19 inches from the ground to the seat. For example, the Memoirs is 16.5 inches form the ground to the bowl rim. Once a seat is added, it reaches the comfort height.

Construction Simplicity

The Kolher K-3817-U-0 Memoirs line is coated with “Vitreous China” enamel, commonly used to make toilets and sink basins tough, dense, and shiny. It’s also a two-piece toilet, which generally means it’s a little cheaper than similar one-piece counterparts.

Two-piece toilets also generally tend to be more popular as they allow easier access to the toilet for simple installation. As you can deal with the tank and the bowl separately, it is easier for one person to install. Another convenient plus with these types is that the toilet tank and bowl can be replaced individually instead of replacing the whole toilet.

Bowl Shape

The Memoirs toilet has an elongated bowl-shaped for comfort and convenience. These types are considered more hygienic as the large surface area of the bowl makes it easier to use with less mess. A longer bowl size is also a prerequisite for ADA compliance, so it caters to people with mobility issues.

The Memoirs bowl extends 1-1/2 inches compared to round bowl configurations. However, if a round bowl is your preference, Kohler has that available here as well.

Bells & Whistles

Additional features of the K-3817 Memoirs that you may find appealing include:

  • An insulated tank liner prevents condensation from developing outside the toilet tank and moving to your floor.
  • It has a left-hand polished chrome flush handle.
  • Its patented canister design has 90% less exposed seal material than a 3-inch flapper for leak-free performance.
  • It’s covered under Kohler’s one-year limited warranty.

The Kohler Memoirs “Toilets In The Wild” (learn about “In The Wild” photos here). This photo was taken in a showroom.

“In The Wild”

Kohler Memoirs Stately 6428

Where the Kohler Memoirs Toilet Could Be Improved

Although we were satisfied with the K-3817 Memoirs model, there we some reservations:

  • We noticed that, even though there was a perfect MaP score of 1000, the flush seemed to struggle sometimes.
  • The flush itself can be a bit loud.

The ToiletsMan Verdict

The Kohler Memoirs toilet has a look like no other. The pictures really don’t do it justice compared to how it looks in a real bathroom. It’s transformable.

In that respect, if the look and feel of a toilet is important to you, choosing this as your toilet is a very respectable decision that we would endorse. But, if your considerations also include budget, we would consider including the Memoirs into a final line-up of toilets to compare before making your final decision.

Either way, you certainly won’t be disappointed by the actual functioning of the toilet itself. Good luck!

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