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Kohler Highline Toilet Review – Pros, Cons & Verdict

Kohler Highline Toilet Review
Review Summary
  • Editor Rating: 2.5/5
  • Appearance: 3/5
  • Cleanliness: 2.5/5
  • Features: 3/5
  • Price: 2/5

Kohler is a well-known manufacturer of bathroom fixtures. They offer mid-range to high-end products that are priced reasonably, even if there are many cheaper options available. The Highline is one of their premier toilet models, offered in several heights and rough-in options to fit the needs of different consumers.

Overall, the Highline is an adequate toilet, though it is a bit overpriced considering what you get. It’s only available in a two-piece design, which means that gaskets will eventually need replacing and there are plenty of areas for dirt, grime, and general nastiness to accumulate. The trap-ways are visible, which means even more areas to trap dirt and bacteria.

The appearance of this toilet is nice, though it doesn’t stand out in any way. It features a clean design but doesn’t do anything elegant to stand apart from the many other toilets on the market.

One thing that does set the Highline apart is its flush. This toilet uses an economical amount of water, but because of the class five flush, it does a great job of removing waste and keeping the bowl clean. However, you only get a single flush, unlike many modern toilets that offer dual-flush mechanisms.


Kohler Highline – A Quick Look

Specifications
  • Brand Name: Kohler
  • Model: Highline
  • Water Usage: 1.28 GPF
  • Rough-In: 10”, 12”, or 14”
  • Flushing Class: 5
  • Dual Flush: No
  • Design: 2-piece
  • Bowl Height: 16.5”
  • Total Height: 31”
  • Handle Location: Left
  • Warranty: 1 year
Pros
  • Comfort height seating
  • Economical flush
  • Class 5 flush
Cons
  • No dual flush
  • Two-piece only
  • Trap-ways are visible
  • Overpriced for what you get

Class 5 Economical Flush

No one wants a messy toilet bowl, covered in streaks and stains. But we’re always hyper-aware of our water usage these days, so most consumers are also looking for an economical flush.

This is where the Highline stands out. It offers a very economical flush that uses just 1.28 gallons of water. But this flush is rated as class five, which means that it offers maximal flushing performance, even though it doesn’t use much water.

We also found the flush to be very thorough, hitting every area of the bowl. As such, the bowl remains clean and doesn’t require constant attention.

No Awards for Appearance

Though appearances might take a back seat to performance, most people are still looking for an attractive toilet that will add to the overall looks of their bathroom. While the Highline isn’t ugly by any means, it’s also not going to win any awards for attractiveness.

It’s really a basic looking toilet without any design cues that stand out. The finish is shiny and looks good, but again, there’s nothing special about it.

Many toilets today are starting to offer some elegant designs, even hiding away the trap-ways and offering some slick lines that make for a very attractive toilet. You’ll get none of that with the Highline. Of course, not everyone is looking for something unique. If you just want a standard-looking toilet, the Highline certainly fits the bill.

Kohler K-3999-0 Highline Comfort

Can You Keep It Clean?

One of the most important considerations of any toilet is how easy it is to keep clean. Luckily, the bowl of the Highline remains clean, thanks to the powerful class-five flush.

The toilet is made of china with a glossy finish that’s easy to wipe down. However, there are a few things here that make this toilet less hygienic than others.

First, it’s a two-piece design only. This means that there’s a large opening between the tank and the bowl. Dirt, bacteria, and all sorts of nastiness can accumulate in that opening, developing odors and making the entire toilet less hygienic. Since it’s hard to clean this area, it’s a problem you’ll be stuck with.

We also aren’t so thrilled with the exposed trap-ways. This is a standard design, but today, many manufacturers have moved away from this to offer skirted trap-ways instead. With visible trap-ways, there are loads of little nooks and crannies where bacteria, dirt, and more can start to build-up. No one really likes reaching around the toilet bowl to be able to clean these areas.

A Comfy Place to Park Your Can

If you spend a lot of time on the toilet, or even if you don’t, you probably want it to be as comfortable as possible. You can always find a seat that works better with your backside, but you won’t be able to change the height of the toilet.

Thankfully, the Highline is available in several heights, including a comfort height model that’s 16.5 inches high to the top of the rim. Once you add a seat, you’ll be looking at a total height of about 17-18 inches. This is taller than many toilets and a great height for anyone who has issues bending to get lower, or getting off of a toilet that’s too low.

Kohler K-3493-0 Highline Classic Pressure Lite Comfort Height Elongated


FAQ

Is there enough water in the bowl to avoid leaving streaks?

There is plenty of water in the bowl to avoid leaving streaks. The water is also well placed so that when seated properly, all of the waste will land in the water and not on the sides of the bowl.

Does the flush cover the entire bowl?

Yes. The flush does a great job of hitting every part of the bowl, so no waste is left behind.

Do you have to hold the handle to flush?

No. This toilet is designed to flush with a simple push of the lever. You do not need to hold the lever down.

Is it ADA compliant?

Yes, this toilet is completely ADA compliant.

Kohler

What the Users Say 

We’re happy to share our opinions with you, but we know that our opinions aren’t the only ones. So, we searched through reviews and forums online to get the sentiments of other users so we can share them with you as well.

Many users seem pleased at how well the flush removes waste and conserves water. Though some were disappointed at the lack of a dual-flush option, most people were content with how well the Highline flushes and how little water it uses.

It seems that one of the main selling points of this model for many people is the comfort height option. Particularly older people benefit from this, with many users saying that standard-height toilets are too difficult to get on and off or even painful in some cases.

We noticed that a few people who installed the toilet themselves seemed unhappy with the included instructions. They seemed to believe the instructions lacked clarity and needed to be more concise to be truly helpful.


Conclusion

With a basic design offering a standard appearance, the Highline isn’t a toilet that particularly sticks out. This might be a good thing though, depending on how you look at it. It’s a very average toilet in most respects, though the class-five flush makes excellent use of the small amount of water used for each flush. We had no trouble keeping the bowl clean, but because of the two-piece design and exposed trap-ways, keeping the exterior clean isn’t quite as easy. For the price, we wish they offered more, but it’s still a solid offering without any major flaws.

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