What Are Toilets Made Of? (Toilet Materials & Reasons for Using Them)

Have you ever wondered what toilets are made of? It’s easy to guess what they are made of and I think everyone knows it. Still, let’s take a little deep look into what materials toilets are made of and why these materials are used.

What are toilets made of? Nearly 99% of toilets are made of a special type of clay known as Porcelain (Vitreous China) and water. A very small percentage of toilets like prison toilets are made of steel.

Why are toilets made of porcelain only? After all, toilet seats are now made of all sorts of materials including vinyl plastic, resins and various types of natural and manufactured woods.

Why Are Toilets Made Out Of Porcelain?

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 excels 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.

What About Steel Toilets?

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.

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