If you are in the market for a new toilet, two of Toto’s most popular high efficiency toilet (HET) models are the Drake II and the Ultramax II. Both toilets offer powerful, quiet flushing and excellent bowl cleaning, but there are some key differences between the two.
This article provides an in-depth comparison of the Toto Drake II vs Ultramax II toilets to help you decide which model is the better choice for your bathroom. We’ll look at flush performance, water savings, design, comfort, ease of installation, pricing, warranties, and other factors to consider when choosing between these two excellent toilets.
Comparing the Key Features of the Toto Drake II vs Ultramax II
Before we dive into the details, here is a quick overview of how the Toto Drake II and Ultramax II models match up:
|Feature||Toto Drake II||Toto Ultramax II|
|Flush system||Tornado Flush, dual nozzle||Tornado Flush, dual nozzle|
|Water usage||1.28 GPF||1.28 GPF|
|Rough-in size||12 inches||12 inches|
|Color options||Cotton, Sedona Beige, Bone, Colonial White||Cotton White, Sedona Beige, Bone|
|Warranty||1 year limited||1 year limited|
As you can see, there are many similarities between the two models. The main differences come down to design, price, and some minor feature variations.
Now let’s take a more detailed look at how these two popular Toto toilets compare.
Toto Drake II vs Ultramax II : Detailed Comparison
The most important consideration when choosing any toilet is the flushing performance. Both the Toto Drake II and Ultramax II feature Toto’s powerful double cyclone Tornado Flush technology. This generates a strong siphon during flushing to rinse the bowl thoroughly.
The key stats on flush performance for both models:
- Water usage: 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF)
- Gravity flush: Uses the force of gravity and a precision-engineered tank, bowl, nozzles, and siphon design to create a fast, effective flush. No need for high water pressure.
- Double cyclone flush: Dual nozzles generate a centrifugal washing action that cleans the rim and bowl thoroughly.
- Quiet operation: Uses a 3″ flush valve and extra-large siphon jet to optimize flushing flow. This allows more water to pass through the system quickly while reducing noise.
- Powerful, effective cleaning: Both models have received a maximum 500 gram MaP (Maximum Performance) score for waste removal. This means they can flush away mass waste in one flush without clogging.
With their efficient 1.28 GPF gravity flushes and centrifugal cleaning action, both the Drake II and Ultramax II offer industry-leading flush capabilities in high efficiency toilets. When it comes to flush power and bowl cleaning, the models are evenly matched.
In addition to flush power, water conservation is a top priority for many homeowners shopping for a new toilet. The Drake II and Ultramax II both qualify as EPA WaterSense certified high efficiency toilets.
Here is how they can help you save water:
- 1.28 GPF water usage: By using 20% less water than a standard 1.6 GPF toilet, these HET models can save you up to 4,000+ gallons per year without sacrificing performance. This can lead to significant water bill savings over time.
- WaterSense certified: WaterSense toilets must complete rigorous third-party testing to prove reduced water usage. Choosing a WaterSense model ensures reliable water savings.
If water conservation is your main aim, you can count on either the Toto Drake II or Ultramax II to help you use water wisely while still flushing with power.
Design and Dimensions
While the Drake II and Ultramax II share efficient flushing systems, their designs are quite different. Here is how they compare:
- Both models feature an elongated bowl design which offers more comfortable seating than a round bowl.
- The Drake II and Ultramax II are both comfort height toilets, measuring 16-1/2” from floor to seat top. This chair height makes sitting down and standing up easier for most adults.
- Toto Drake II: 28 x 19.5 x 30.5 inches
- Toto Ultramax II: 28.3 x 16.6 x 28.8 inches
The Ultramax II has a slightly smaller footprint, with the tank integrating more seamlessly into the bowl design. The Drake II has a more traditional tank and bowl appearance.
One-piece vs two-piece design
- The Ultramax II features a streamlined, easy to clean one-piece design.
- The Drake II has a standard two-piece configuration with the tank and bowl as separate sections.
- Drake II: Cotton, Sedona Beige, Bone, Colonial White
- Ultramax II: Cotton White, Sedona Beige, Bone
The Drake II offers an additional Colonial White color option for a total of four choices.
- The Ultramax II has a very sleek, contemporary style.
- The Drake II has a more classic, traditional design.
To sum up the key design differences:
- The Ultramax II is more compact and has a seamless one-piece look.
- The Drake II has a larger footprint and classic two-piece tank and bowl styling.
- Both models come in three neutral, versatile colors like Cotton White and Bone.
- Choose the Ultramax II if you want a space-saving one-piece toilet with a modern style. Go with the Drake II if you prefer the traditional tank and bowl design.
In addition to the elongated bowl found on both models, the Drake II and Ultramax II offer other comfort-enhancing features:
- Chair height seating: The right height to make sitting down and standing up easier for most adults. Reduces strain on joints.
- SoftClose Seat: The toilet seat closes slowly and quietly with a gentle push instead of loudly slamming down.
- Automatic Open/Close Lid: The Ultramax II takes the SoftClose seat a step further with a lid that opens automatically when you approach the toilet and closes when you step away. Provides added convenience and hands-free operation.
Both toilets promote proper toilet posture and reduce strain with their chair height and elongated bowl. The Ultramax II offers the most convenient, automated seat functionality, while the Drake II provides effective SoftClose to prevent seat slam.
Ease of Installation
Installing the Toto Drake II or Ultramax II is straightforward, especially for general DIYers with some plumbing experience. Here is what to expect:
- 12” rough-in: Designed to fit standard 12” rough-in bathroom plumbing for easy retrofitting.
- Floor mount: The two-piece Drake II has a standard floor mount with closet bolt holes. The one-piece Ultramax II uses a proprietary mount system that secures to the floor.
- Basic tools needed: Adjustable wrench, screwdriver, plumber’s putty, tape measure.
- Quick install: countertop removal may be required.
- Compatible with any flush valve supply line: Connects to water supply line from wall or floor.
The steps are very similar for both models. Shut off water supply, remove old toilet, install closet bolts, set bowl, connect water line, install tank, seal base, attach seat. No special work needed.
Overall the Drake II and Ultramax II offer uncomplicated installation ideal for DIYers. The Ultramax II one-piece design may have a slight learning curve but Toto provides clear instructions.
As you shop for these Toto toilets, price is often a consideration. Here is an overview:
- Toto Drake II cost: Approximately $300-$450
- Toto Ultramax II cost: Approximately $580-$700
The Ultramax II costs $180-$250 more than the Drake II. Why the price difference?
You are paying a premium for the Ultramax II’s integrated one-piece design and high-tech automatic opening and closing seat.
These convenient features come at a higher price point.
The Drake II is much more competitively priced for a Toto toilet with powerful flushing performance. But you don’t get the automated seat and seamless style of the Ultramax II.
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The Toto Drake II and Ultramax II come with the following warranties:
- Limited 1 year warranty: Covers defects in materials or workmanship.
- limited lifetime warranty: Applies to vitreous china ceramic portions only.
Toto stands behind all its toilet models with good warranty coverage. Both the Drake II and Ultramax II have identical Toto toilet warranties.
Other Factors to Consider
Here are a few other points to weigh when deciding between the Toto Drake II and Ultramax II:
- Bowl glaze: The Ultramax II features Toto’s specialized SanaGloss glaze to help prevent debris, mold, and bacteria from sticking to ceramic surfaces. Drake II has standard glaze.
- WaterSensecertification: Both models are WaterSense certified by an independent third party.
- MaP testing: The flushes on both models are MaP tested to prove waste removal power and efficiency.
- ADA compliance: Complies with Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessible design.
- Availability: The Drake II is sold more widely.
- Resale value: The Ultramax II may retain greater value for resale due to one-piece design.
Toto Drake II vs Ultramax II : Which Should You Buy?
Now that you know all about the key specs, performance, features, and differences of the Toto Drake II vs Ultramax II, how do you choose between these two great toilets?
Consider the Ultramax II toilet if:
- You want the modern style of a one-piece, skirted toilet.
- The high-tech automated seat appeals to you.
- You don’t mind paying more for additional features and convenience.
- A compact footprint is needed for your small bathroom.
- You prefer the bowl’s SanaGloss glaze.
Go with the Toto Drake II if:
- You want incredible Toto flush power at a more affordable price.
- The standard two-piece tank and bowl design matches your decor.
- You want a wider range of color choices like Colonial White.
- Availability and value are priorities.
- You don’t need the automated seat functionality.
The Toto Drake II offers the best balance of extraordinary Toto flushing performance, great comfort, and sensible value. For most homeowners, it’s tough to beat this combination of power, practicality, and price in a high efficiency toilet.
The Ultramax II does add a modern style and hands-free convenience lacking in the Drake II. But those perks come at a premium cost you may not need.
While you can’t go wrong with either model, the Drake II gets the nod as the best choice for most bathrooms needing a top-notch high efficiency toilet.
With its wider availability, affordable price, traditional design, and robust Tornado Flush system, the Toto Drake II is a true bestseller that outranks the Ultramax II as a smart choice for any home.
Q: What is the main difference between the Toto Drake II and Ultramax II?
A: The key difference is that the Ultramax II has a sleek one-piece design, while the Drake II has a two-piece tank and bowl. The Ultramax II also has an automated opening/closing seat.
Q: Do both toilets have the powerful Tornado Flush?
A: Yes, both the Drake II and Ultramax II utilize Toto’s robust double cyclone Tornado Flush system to maximize cleaning power with minimal water usage.
Q: Which toilet has the most comfortable seat?
A: The Ultramax II offers the most convenient seat with its hands-free automated opening and closing. But both models feature soft-close seats and chair height seating for comfort.
Q: Which one is easier to install?
A: Overall they have similar installation, but the Drake II may be slightly simpler for DIYers due to its traditional two-piece tank and bowl.
Q: Which toilet is more affordable?
A: The Toto Drake II is the clear price leader, costing $180-$250 less than the more premium-priced Ultramax II model.
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