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

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Toilets are an invention that changed the way humans lived. Nowadays they come in so many different designs, with all different types of features. 

Though, have you ever thought about what toilets are made from? It’s not the most striking question, especially since most of us probably have an accurate guess.

However, what is interesting about what toilets (see also ‘How Does A Toilet Work?‘) are made from is the reasons why. 

In this article, we are going to walk you through why toilets are made out of the materials there are. We are also going to look at why this material has stayed constant throughout the history of toilets. 

What Are Toilets Made Of? 

Most toilets are made out of porcelain also known as Vitreous China. Porcelain is famous for being the material used for old dolls. However, it is also the material that is commonly used to make the majority of toilets in today’s world. 

The porcelain that toilets are made of has a special technique for how it is glazed. Porcelain is essentially a type of clay mixed with water that has been heated at a specific temperature. 

The Reasons Toilets Are Made Of Porcelain

As mentioned before, toilets to this day are mainly made out of porcelain. The only major exception to this is in prison cells where the toilets are made out of steel. So, why are toilets made out of porcelain? 

Well, in order to answer this question we need to look at what features a toilet must have.

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

One of the most important features a toilet needs to have is that it is waterproof. Since there is always water in the toilet, they need to be able to hold that water without the worry that the water will eventually wear away at the toilet. 

Another vital feature the material of toilets needs to have is being able to be molded into the shape of a toilet. Ideally, the material used will also not be expensive to mold.

With the material of the toilet being easy to mold, the material also needs to be strong and sturdy. The toilet needs to be sturdy enough to withstand temperature changes. 

Hygiene is so important when it comes to toilets, so the materials need to be clean. Also, the material of the toilet needs to be easy to clean. With this in mind, the material needs to look nice. No one wants a toilet that doesn’t fit (see also ‘Toilet Rough In: Make Your New Toilet Fit Perfectly!‘) their decor. 

So when it comes to the requirements of what a toilet needs to be, porcelain ticks all of the boxes. Vitreous China is easy to mold into the shape of a toilet as they just need to pour it into molds. 

The Reasons For Not Using Other Materials

When it comes to the materials of toilets, most people often question why plastic and steel are not used. Well, looking into the material will provide you with the answers. 


One of the main reasons that plastic is not used to make toilets is because that plastic is an expensive material to use for toilets. Also, compared to porcelain, plastic is harder to mold into the toilet shape. 

Plastic is not that sturdy and is prone to breaking after being used extensively. This means that plastic is more likely to move as users sit on the toilet, which means it is not as sturdy. 


Steel, on the other hand, is a very strong and sturdy material. However, most people associate steel toilets with prisons, so they are less likely to be picked compared to porcelain toilets. 

Also, steel is a material that is sensitive to temperature. When it is really cold, the steel is also really cold and many people don’t want to sit on a cold toilet. 

Final Thoughts

Toilets are usually made out of porcelain or Vitreous China. This material is sturdy, easy to mold and it looks great in our bathrooms.

Compared to other possible materials such as plastic and steel, porcelain performs better than these when it comes to what a toilet needs to do. 

We hope this article has cleared up any confusion about the material toilets are made out of. Please share this article with others who might be interested. Thank you for reading!

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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