The history of the commode is an interesting one; beginning with simple privies and individual chamber pots, and eventually leading to today’s porcelain toilets. If you’ve ever pondered the toilet, and wondered just how porcelain toilets are made, this information was written with you in mind.
How Toilets are Made
Toilet tanks and bowls are made from a special kind of clay known as vitreous china. This material is a unique mixture of several different kinds of clay called ball clay or china clay, along with a fluxing agent and a special type of silica. Carefully molded for proper function, uniformity, and an attractive appearance, porcelain toilets are normally air dried once removed from their molds. After drying, they are baked in a hot oven known as a kiln. After the first firing, a waterproof glaze is applied. After the glaze has been applied, the toilet takes a second trip through the kiln for another firing. The entire toilet body is transformed into a type of glass via a process called vitrification, rendering it completely waterproof and stain proof.
Once the toilet has been fired and dried, its inner components are installed inside the tank, and a toilet seat is attached. Many toilets are delivered minus seats; in cases like these, it’s up to the contractor or end consumer to purchase a toilet seat that suits. Polystyrene (a kind of plastic), wood and plastic composite, and even hardwood are used to make toilet seats, as are different plastics used to make cushioned toilet seats.
Finally, the porcelain toilet is installed in a bathroom, ready to do its duty. Designed to support heavy weights and last for many years of excellent service, porcelain toilets are easy to clean and maintain; in addition, they are surprisingly inexpensive. Next time you’re enjoying indoor plumbing, you’ll have a new appreciation for the porcelain commode.