Dear Ed: We’re replacing our existing two-piece toilet and have two questions. First, besides the obvious number of components, what is the difference between a one-piece vs. a two-piece toilet? Second, can you easily replace an existing two-piece toilet with a one-piece toilet?

— Fred, New York

Dear Fred: Yes, in most cases you can install a one-piece toilet to replace a two-piece toilet without it turning into a big project. Just make sure you use the same specification as your existing toilet as far as rough-in measurements and bowl size.

Now for the question about one-piece toilets vs. two-piece toilets.

Besides components, the basic differences are:

Price. If you’re comparing apples to apples, the one-piece toilets usually cost more money.

Installation. If you’re working alone, a two-piece toilet may be easier to lift and move, since you are dealing with two smaller components in place of one larger component.

Cleaning. Because there is no gap between tank and bowl, maintaining and cleaning a one-piece toilet can be a little easier.

Bottom line: It’s basically a draw. It usually gets down to personal preferences in this head-to-head competition.

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