Difference Between Left and Right Handed Flush Toilets

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The vast majority of toilets have the flush handle positioned on the left side of someone facing the tank. This handle placement is the same among toilets built by different companies and common in toilets throughout the world. Occasionally, however, it's possible to purchase a toilet with the flush handle on the right side of the tank.


Differences Between Them

The differences between a left-handed flushing toilet and a right-handed flushing toilet are simple. The obvious difference is the flush handle's position. The other difference is out of view. On a right-handed flushing toilet, the flush assembly inside the toilet box is a mirror image of the flush assembly of a left-handed flushing toilet. The assemblies are not different, but they are positioned in the tank differently.


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The reason toilet flush handles are located on the left side is because of the design of early flush toilets, according to the ​Old Farmer's Almanac​. Up until the 1940s, most toilets flushed by pulling a chain above the tank. The chain was located on the left side so the user, who was probably right-handed, could pull the flush chain while seated on the toilet.

When toilet handles were added in the 1940s, the existing plumbing mechanism was used. The new toilet handles were fitted into the mechanism that the pull chain used.


Toilet Handle Placement

Most toilets have the flush handle on the left side, and it's most commonly located on the top left corner of the front of the tank. Occasionally, depending on toilet brand and style, the flush handle is on the left side of the tank rather than on its front. In a right-handed flushing toilet, the handle is either on the tank front's top right corner or on the tank's right side.


It is becoming more and more common, however, to see right-handed flushing toilets and toilet tanks on the market. Because these toilets are more available now, if you're buying a new toilet or a new tank, you can consider a right-handed flush if that's what you prefer.

Availability of These Toilets

A significant difference between left- and right-handed flushing toilets is the choice in styles. Because the left-handed variety is the norm, finding a right-handed flushing toilet may just take a little more research.


Some stores sell flush boxes with right-mounted handles, and full toilets with handles on the right are not always in stock. If you desire a toilet with a handle on the right to go with your existing toilet, you can order an appropriate tank and mount it on your existing toilet.

How to Choose

Choosing between a left- and right-handed flushing toilet often comes down to your use of the toilet. If you are left-handed, the handle on the left side might be ideal for you because it's within reasonable reach of your left hand.


If you're right-handed but typically flush the toilet while sitting on it, then the left-side placement of the handle is ideal. Your personal preference for flushing the toilet can affect which style of toilet is best for you.




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