Push Button Toilet vs Handle Flush – A Detailed Comparison

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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push button toilet vs handle flush

Toilets have evolved since it was invented. Various technologies are applied to improve its functions. One of the things that intrigued many users is push button toilet vs handle flush. If you notice, a toilet with a flush button on top is considered a modern creation. It’s even the standard in most countries.

A handle flush is an improved version of the pull flush. Hence, older models and old-fashioned toilets have a handle. There are five types of handle flush but you can find a universal one if replacement is necessary. You’ll learn more if you spare some time reading the rest of this article.

Functions of Push Button Toilet


You can immediately see the flush button on top of the toilet as it’s the exterior part. It usually has two toilet flush buttons for full and half flushes. The half flush is for washing down liquid waste which requires a smaller amount of water. You’ll need the full flush for solid waste and when cleaning.

You may avail of toilet push button kits like Sevender Dual Flush Toilet Kit and Swiss Madison Well Made Forever Wall Mount Dual Flush Actuator. Fluidmaster has even made the Valve Replacement Dual Flush Valve Buttons with embossed indications of full and single flush to prevent confusion.

Pressing a button withdraws water from the cistern; then the liquid rushes to the toilet bowl to flush down the waste. Do you ever wonder what happens inside?

The internal parts

The internal parts are responsible for filling and emptying the tank. There are two parts called the fill valve and the flush valve. The fill valve or ballcock has the role of filling the cistern with water.

There’s a ‘float’ on the top of the fill valve and it indicates the amount of water found in the cistern. It works like a buoy as it floats too. The water flow stops when the float reaches its set point. Thus, you can adjust the float to make the water level lower or higher. After the water is utilized in flushing, the cistern is filled again and ready for the next flushing.

On the other hand, the flush valve delivers water to the toilet bowl to rinse away waste. It starts its job when you push the flush button. A rubber seal is found at its button and is lifted when flushing. When one flushing is done, the flush valve goes down to give way for refilling the cistern. There’s a connecting cable that pulls up the flush valve.

Learning How Handle Flush Works

Handle flush or lever flush works with a siphon or flush valve. When you push down the lever, the water is delivered to the cistern for flushing. After the conversion from pull flush to lever flush, the practice of adding the cistern at the top of the toilet started.

Furthermore, a link mechanism was utilized to connect the lever to the siphon. This feature can still be seen in older toilets. You have the option to change the handle flush to the push button.

Handle levers are sold separately. DANCO Toilet Handle Replacement, Toilet Tank Flush Toilet Replacement for American Standard, and Danco Toilet Handle Replacement are some of good examples.

A handle flush toilet sticks with one flushing mechanism. All types of waste will be flushed in the same way. A single flush can sometimes consume 5 gallons of water. Fortunately, you can choose new models that operate with 1.28 GPF to conserve water.

Comparison of Push Button and Handle Flush


Now that you have ideas on how these work, it’s time to lay down the details of push button vs lever flush or handle flush. Some may be comfortable with the old-school handle flush. It won’t hurt if you learn more about new creations.

  • Which is easier to fix

Most push button toilet flush problems are easier to fix. They only occur if the installation was not done correctly.

  • Water saver

A toilet lever flush doesn’t offer options of using less or more water. Unlike a push flush, there are two buttons for half flush and full flush. As mentioned, the half flush is for liquid waste and it can consume 0.8 or 0.9 GPF. The full flush is for solid or heavy waste and may be necessary when cleaning the toilet.

  • Sanitary concern

Think of how easy it is to just spray the toilet push button compared to the whole coverage of the lever. In this aspect, you’ll find it easy and convenient to keep the buttons clean for everyone’s safety.

  • Modern appeal

Based on the introduction, lever flush is included in the list of outdated toilet features. Since the flush button is what new toilets have, it became accepted that it’s the new and modern style. If you try replacing your toilet with the push button, it will contribute to the modern appeal that you want to establish in your bathroom.

  • Talking about disadvantages

Despite the advantages of the push button in the aforementioned factors, some things would bother you. It has a higher price than the handle flush so you can save money if you go for the classic style. This is also the situation with repair costs. Fixing a handle flush is cheaper than the push button.

Flush buttons can also be tricky for your kids as they’re not tall enough to see and reach for the button. Since there are two options on button flush, one button is bigger than the other. The different sizes make it recognizable but still, confusion among guests can happen.

  • The need to organize

You’ll be surprised to see that large toilet push buttons can make your bathroom appear minimal but functional at the same time. This can be gained from a one-bodied toilet with buttons over it.

Smaller buttons are also available if the large one is not appealing to you. Nevertheless, you have to ensure that the height of the buttons is congruent to the users’ frame. Consider this factor, especially if you have children at home. Set the buttons in the height that they can reach.

The hidden toilet tank behind the wall is common among push button toilets. Unfortunately, this is not available on lever flush toilets. With this setup, you’ll have more space in your bathroom which you can spare for the shelf. With a wall-mounted push button toilet, it’s easy to organize and make your bathroom clean.

  • The available options

The push button plate is not always chromed as there are various finishes. With the available options, you can surely find one that matches your bathroom décor and theme. Toilet flush won’t be the first thing that comes to your mind when you choose the design of your bathroom. But it’s a part of your decision when choosing a toilet.

Due to the innovation of dedicated toilet manufacturers, you can also find varieties of handle flush toilets. You can find hybrid toilets with this feature but it works like modern one.

Thoughts to Ponder

Push button toilet vs handle flush toilet shows you what you can do with them. You’re free to get what you prefer. The toilet’s push button may seem to be more advantageous. However, manufacturers have integrated the classic handle flush feature into the modern style. Both of them can let you save water.

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