Have you ever wondered what toilets are made of? It’s easy to guess and I think everyone knows it, still, lets look a little deeper into what materials toilets are made of and why these materials are used.
Nearly 99% of toilets in the world today are basically made of a special type of clay and water. We call this clay Porcelain or Vitreous China.
However, toilet seats are now made of all sorts of materials including vinyl plastic, resins and various types of natural and manufactured woods.
As far as the toilets themselves go, for centuries since they were first built, toilets are still largely made of porcelain clay. The reason for this is the toilet manufacturing material need to do several things well.
The material used to make toilets need to be:
1) Be easily and inexpensively molded into shape
2) Be waterproof
3) Be clean, easy to clean and sanitary
4) Be sturdy
5) Not sensitive to temperature changes
6) Look nice
The porcelain or vitreous china clay as it turns out excells in all these six requirements. And the toilet manufacturing process with vitreous china clay is fairly simple. The extracted clay is poured into molds, finished, glazed and then sent through a kiln. Its a pretty straightforward operation and fairly inexpensive process making.
Why Not Make Plastic Toilets or Steel Toilets?
You might ask wonder why toilets are not made from steel or plastic. After all, cheap plastic products are flooding the market. And toilets in prisons are made out of steel!
Believe it or not, making toilets with plastic is prohibitively expensive.
Plastic products are made via extrusion or injection molding. It is very difficult to make a whole, complicated structure as a toilet using our present plastic manufacturing processes. Plastic also has some give. It may not buckle under our weight but it might feel that way and how users perceive matters.
But what about steel?
Steel is super strong, highly rigid and very durable. So why not make toilets from steel? The problem is user experience and public perception. Steel is sensitive to temperature changes. In a cold day it will freeze your ass. They can top it with plastic or wood but it just doesn’t look right. A steel toilet won’t give the rich look and feeling of a nice porcelain toilet finish.
So that’s the reason we have toilets still made largely of porcelain and vitreous china clay, just like they used to when they were first manufactured centuries ago.