Saturday, November 11, 2006

3156 The Kohler Cimmaron

Such a romantic name for a toilet. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Yesterday we invited a plumber to take a look at our misbehaving toilets and leaking sink faucets. He told us that we couldn't have power flushing toilets back to back--which even the manufacturers didn't know until a few were installed. You can picture, can't you, what happens if two flushes take place at the same time, or if one flushes while the other is being used. Those two toilets will just have their innards replaced--they are less frequently used. The other two we decided to replace with the 1.6 liter model, which according to the literature will save 4,000 gallons of water a year! The plumber recommended a specific plumbing supply store, but didn't recommend Lowe's except for one model of American Standard.

So on the prettiest day in weeks, we were toilet shopping. I almost passed out at the price--nearly $400 for a very ordinary toilet and the seat wasn't included--that was another $15-30 depending on what you selected. Colors were another $100. My husband liked some of the fancier models, but I nixed that since I do the cleaning and I don't want any cutesy carved looks to gather the residue of poor aim. The sink faucets seemed to be near $200. So off we went to Lowe's.

At Lowe's we found the exact same (to my eye) Kohler Cimmaron complete with seat for $222 or $226 (elongated bowl costs $5 more). Comfort model (that means it's for grown ups and not children), with a class 5 flushing system (no idea what that means, but I think it's good). We went home, looked it up on the web, got all the specs, and it still looked like the exact same model. My husband called the plumber; he assured us that Lowe's and the supply house don't carry the same thing. Then he called a contractor he uses a lot in his business; he assured us that Lowe's and the supply house don't carry the same models, but he gave us the name of another supply house. My husband was definitely believing the plumber and the contractor, but I was believing my eyes and the specs.

So finally I said--"Let's call Kohler's and ask them." He did and identified himself as an architect specing a job--which was actually the truth. The Kohler rep assured him that they are the exact same model, it's just that Lowe's purchases in such huge quantity, they can offer a cheaper price. Plus, she said, even that price will vary from store to store (I noticed this while checking the web, that we found the Cimmaron as low as $217.) We also checked consumer comments about this model on the web, and found some very satisfied customers. One web site even described how easy it was to install--had his 17 year old daughter do it--but we weren't willing to go that far.

Back we went to Lowe's after dinner and ordered two Kohler Cimmaron toilets, one in stock, and one to arrive in a few days because of the color (which does cost more and doesn't come with the seat). Even so, with the 3 new sink faucet fixtures (now very hard to find the brass color, so if you want that, rush out and buy it now) we spent nearly $800, but probably $500 less than at the supply house.


murrayT said...

Don't forget Norma that you turned you old 2 liter toilet into a 1.6 when you decided to store your emergency flush water in the tank!

Norma said...

Those are the 2 we aren't replacing. The others had odd sized tanks and nothing could be inserted, plus the innards were bad in the 2 we aren't replacing. But thanks for keeping an eye on my water usage, Mur.

Anonymous said...

I had to replace a toilet in a hurry after the littlest child put his plastic boat "down the hole". The plumber who help told me to go to Lowes. I was amazed that tank and bowl totaled under $60 (obviously I went for the cheapest). Did the work myself. Made me glad I decided to get into computers for a living.