Different Kinds of Toilet Materials

As the single most essential device ever created by humans, the toilet has come in a wide range of variations over the centuries. Even today, you can find toilets designed with an impressive array of materials including gold and wood (ouch!). And, no, we’re not making that up. The run-of-the-mill toilets you come across on a daily basis still boast dynamic materials based on their location and main function. Let’s take a look at some of the most common toilet materials.

Vitreous China

The toilet you use on a daily basis either at work or home is most likely made of vitreous china. It’s the most popular material for both residential and commercial toilets due to its versatile shape, white glossy finish, and ease of cleaning. This type of ceramic is developed in a similar process to glass blowing during which the material is exposed to high temperatures to be formed into…well, the shape of a toilet.


Sanitary – The smooth finish makes it easy to clean and even adds to the “appearance” of cleanliness.

Sound Dampening – This thicker ceramic material masks a lot of the whirls, whooshes, and swooshes happening after you flush.

Aesthetic – The crisp, pure white color makes it easier to design a bathroom around vitreous china toilets.


Fragility – Vitreous china toilets are durable, but their ceramic structure makes them susceptible to chipping or cracking.


Porcelain toilets are virtually indistinguishable from those made from vitreous china. Both are ceramic materials made through a flashing process. However, porcelain toilets tend to be more dense due to the inclusion of quartz, feldspar, and clay. This material also has a matte white finish rather than a glossy appearance. Porcelain johns are the second most commonly used material for toilets.


Long-Lasting – The average porcelain toilet can last up to 30 years. (Impressive…but not quite as long as the Loo).

Non-Porous – Porcelain is virtually waterproof (an important feature for toilets!) with a porosity of 0.5% or less.

Appearance – This material benefits from the same white color as its vitreous china counterpart just with less of a sheen.


Fragility – Porcelain toilets fall victim to the same potential for chipping or scratching as vitreous china toilets.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel toilets are the juggernauts of the bathroom world. They’re virtually indestructible which makes them an ideal choice for industrial settings and public restrooms where restrooms need to withstand consistent use. The Portland Loo is actually designed with a stainless steel toilet which is partially why it’s become an international phenomenon.


Highly Durable – Stainless steel is resistant to damage and corrosion, making it the toughest toilet material available.

Low Maintenance – The sheer durability of this material means fewer resources have to go towards maintenance.

Crime Resistant – These brawny bowls fight off graffiti with a special powder coating that’s a breeze to clean.


Appearance – The shiny, metal aesthetic is tougher to design around which makes it an unpopular option for residential settings.


“Porta-potty” is one of the most widely-recognized terms in the loo lingo, because everyone is familiar with this type of toilet. These lightweight, portable, and affordable restrooms are almost always made out of plastic. They’re commonly set up in remote areas where toilets aren’t accessible such as construction sites and outdoor events.


Inexpensive – The cost-effective material and processing make it the most affordable material for toilets.

Flexible – Plastic toilets can withstand serious misuse and outright abuse while still operating smoothly.

Simple – It’s easy to assemble and disassemble plastic toilets which makes them ideal for temporary use.


Short Lifespan – Most plastic portable toilets only have a lifespan of around 10 years.

The Portland Loo is setting new expectations for the public restroom by providing cities with a cost-effective, long-lasting, and crime-fighting toilet. If you’re eager to bring a Loo to your city, feel free to contact us for more information.