Best Toilet Flappers of 2020

Edited by Sensible Digs
Updated
Halt that endless flush.

Does your toilet flush never end? Can you hear a continuous leak? Your toilet flapper may have reached its end of life.

A flapper is a small round object at the bottom of your toilet water tank. It allows the water to drain when you flush, then closes the flush valve to let the cistern fill again.

Flappers degrade with age and leak water, causing this neverending flush. Replacing one isn’t complicated, but many options are available. Picking the best toilet flappers isn’t always straightforward.


What’s a Toilet Flapper?

To select the best toilet flapper for your toilet, let’s first understand three things:

Its Role

Although you’ll find various types of flappers, they all work the same.

They’re responsible for releasing the water when flushing. They then reseal the tank between each drain. Flappers, therefore, are a vital component to prevent water from leaking into the toilet bowl.

They can also play an essential role in the amount of water released during each flush. So, changing the flapper can also save water or give a more extended drain. It all depends on the product you choose.

A Flapper’s Anatomy

It shouldn’t take you long to locate the flapper. Look down your toilet water tank. It’s a small circular object placed just above the flush valve seat at the bottom of the overflow tube.

Flappers come in various shapes and configurations, but most devices have two contact points. On one side, it connects to the lever arm, and on the other, to the overflow tube.

Looking closely at a flapper, you’ll notice two tiny arms with a hole at the extremity of each. The bottom of the overflow tube is designed with two matching hooks on each side.

You’ve guessed it, the flapper’s arms are wrapped around the hooks, keeping it in place.

On the other side, a flapper typically comes with an attachment. For simplicity purposes, we’ll refer to this attachment as a “lever-link.” It’s normally either a PVC fastener or a metal chain. This connects the device to the lever arm.

So, what happens when you flush?

How Does It Work?

When you press the handle, the lever arm lifts, opening the flapper and uncovering the valve. The water then drains through into the bowl. The flapper closes, and the cistern slowly fills again with water. The weight of the water presses the flapper back down and closes the valve until the next flush.

3 Different Types of Toilet Flappers

When shopping for a flapper, you’ll encounter three different types:

The Rubber Flapper

Korky 2021BP TOTO Toilet Repairs-Large 3-Inch Flapper-Easy to Install-Made in USA, Pack of 1, Red
Shop This Product

Today, most toilets use this type of flapper. Its shape resembles an “upside-down hat,” and is attached and placed over the valve’s opening. They’re mainly made of sturdy rubber and are, generally, long-lasting products.

Basic models feature a single hole located at its base, to let water inside. As the water flushes away, it enters the hat, slowly increasing its weight. Once the reservoir is full or too heavy, the flapper drops, closing the valve.

Some products are adjustable. By restricting or increasing water flow entering the device, it’ll close faster or slower.

PROS:
  • Long-lasting material.
  • Adjustable models are available.
  • Come in various sizes, suitable for all toilets.
CONS:
  • The lever-link needs to be correctly adjusted for the flapper to work correctly.

Seat Disk Flapper

Fluidmaster Flush Valve Seat Disc 5103
Shop This Product

The seat disk is the oldest type of flapper. It’s a slightly rounded disk that fits and snaps above the valve. The lever system lifts it when flushing and drops it back to fill up the tank again.

Although the seat disk itself isn’t huge, the lever system includes several parts, making the whole device bulky. This can take a lot of space in a water tank.

PROS:
  • Fits older toilets with the appropriate set-up.
  • Easy to replace.
  • Made of one-piece of sturdy rubber.
CONS:
  • Large footprint.

The Tank Ball Flapper

Korky 425BP Tank Ball For Kohler & Eljer Toilet Repairs - Replaces Kohler Part 88921 - Made in USA
Shop This Product

Not to be confused with the float-ball, this type of flapper isn’t widespread and is designed to fit specific toilets. Although they come in various ball shapes, they usually feature a large rubber bowl.

It’s attached to the lever arm through metallic and sturdy rods that screw into the top of the tank ball. If this sounds like your toilet configuration, a tank ball is the type of flapper you should be looking for.

PROS:
  • No chain required.
  • Ball is typically made of sturdy rubber.
  • Available in various sizes.
CONS:
  • Only fit specific toilets.

Choosing the Right Toilet Flapper

Here are the critical elements to take into account while selecting the best flapper for your toilet:

1. Proper Size

Your valve’s dimensions will determine the flapper you need. If the flapper is too small or too large, the seal won’t be efficient, and water will leak.

Many models mention “Universal” on their labels. Keep in mind, however, that this only means that they’ll fit all toilets with the matching valve measurement.

Generally speaking, most flappers match either 2-inch or 3-inch valves. A few devices will even be only suitable for 4-inch valves.

We first recommend looking at the manufacturer’s manual or on the inner walls of the water tank. You’ll often find measurements there.

Here are a few other tips to know which size you may need:

Recent Versus Old Toilets

Modern toilets usually have a valve 3 or 4 inches wide. Most models older than 1994, however, have a 2-inch drain.

Gallon Per Flush

Another important consideration is how many Gallons Per Flush — or GPF — your toilet uses. Low-flow toilets typically use up to 1.3 gallons, while full-flow toilets can flush 1.6 gallons or more at a time.

A 3-inch valve should be able to fit toilets flushing both 1.3 and 1.6 gallons. Lower or higher GPF toilets generally come with smaller or larger dimensions, requiring either a 2-inch or 4-inch flapper.

Measuring Down

The simplest method might be to measure the flush valve located at the bottom of the water tank. If it’s 1 ⅞ or 2 ⅜ inches wide, you’ll need a 2-inch valve. If the diameter is larger, choose a 3-inch model.

Eyeballing It

If none of the previous methods are suitable, here is a simple alternative.

Valve Opening SizeFlapper Size Required
Fits a baseball or orange2 inches
Fits a grapefruit3 inches

Finally, if you still have doubts, take your old flapper with you when shopping for a new one. Professionals should be able to help you determine which size you need.

2. Quality Material

When it comes to quality, consider both the flapper’s body and the lever-link attaching the device to the lever’s arm.

Flapper’s Body

A long-lasting flapper will be made of water and rust-resistant materials. Rubber, plastic, silicone, or a combination of all these components can be used. They’re all efficient at properly sealing the valve.

The best models, however, include antimicrobial and antifungal compounds to prevent mold. Larger models — suitable to 3-inch valves — can be built with a solid frame instead of a flexible rubber body. Because they won’t twist, they tend to be more durable than soft models.

Cord’s Quality

Have a look at the lever-link’s quality; if it breaks, you’ll likely have to replace the entire flapper. Ideally, it should be made of stainless steel material, preventing rust and corrosion. PVC straps can be an alternative but aren’t generally as durable as stainless steel models.

3. Flapper Closing Time

If you’re conscious about water use, you may want to consider adjustable rubber models. Here are the main types:

  • Floater: Is an adjustable float around the chain. Its position on the chain determines the speed that the flapper closes and, therefore, how long the flush will be.
  • Caps: Some models come with several plastic “grommets” meant to fit around the existing bottom hole. They each have a different opening size. The smaller the hole, the longer it takes to fill the flapper and seal the tank, so the flush is longer.
  • A ruler: Scroll the control dial on the device until you reach the desired gap size. Again, the smaller the gap, longer water takes to fill the flapper, and the longer the flush will be.

The Best Toilet Flappers of 2020

Flappers come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and closing speeds. Because rubber flappers are the most popular, we’ve focused on this category. We assessed usability, durability, but also customer satisfaction to compile our list of the five best toilet flappers.

1. Fluidmaster Universal PerforMAX Longest Lasting

Best Adjustable Toilet Flapper

Fluidmaster 502P21 2-Inch Universal PerforMAX Longest Lasting, Water Saving Toilet Flapper
Check Price

This modern product is designed to fit 2-inch flush valves or toilets able to handle 1.28 to 3.5 GPF. The robust frame of the flapper prevents excessive bending and early damage, making it a durable option.

The flapper is entirely made with Microban technology, which helps fight bacteria and germs. The manufacturer even backs it up the product with a 5-year warranty.

Furthermore, this high-quality product is also versatile. You can adjust how much water goes through the drain before the valve closes.

Turn the dial counter-clockwise for a long flush, or towards the right for a faster close and energy-saving flush. You have nine settings to choose from. The closer to the last level, the quicker the flapper will close.

PROS:
  • Adjustable settings.
  • Microban technology.
  • 5-year warranty.
  • Solid frame.
CONS:
  • Only fits 2-inch valves.
  • Users mentioned that the flow rate can be challenging to adjust.

Additional Specs

Type of flapperAdjustable rubber flapper
Valve dimensions2 inches
Warranty5 years
MaterialRubber
Dimensions6 x 6 x 3 inches

2. Korky 54BP Toilet Tank Flapper

Most Economical Toilet Flapper

Korky 54BP Toilet Tank Flapper - Easy to Install - Made in USA,Black
Check Price

Sometimes, the less technology a product involves, the fewer headaches it brings. If you’re searching for the simplest and most budget-friendly option, this model might be of interest.

It’s designed with two arms to attach to the overflow pipe, and a small ball to fit your valve opening. The included chain attaches to allow the flapper to open and close as you flush the toilet. It’s as simple as it can get.

It’s suitable for all 2-inch valves and is made of 100 percent flexible rubber for an efficient seal. The chain — made of stainless steel — should withstand rust and corrosion, making this economic model, long-lasting as well.

When it comes to installation, users were generally able to set-it-up between 60 seconds and two minutes. You should enjoy the benefits of your new flapper in no time!

PROS:
  • Simple use.
  • Fast installation.
  • Entirely made of rubber.
CONS:
  • Some users had to cut the chain for proper functioning.

Additional Specs

Type of flapperNon-adjustable rubber flapper
Valve dimensions2 inches
Warranty1 year
MaterialFlexible rubber, stainless steel chain.
Dimensions1.5 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches

3. American Standard Universal Flapper with Float

Best Toilet Flapper with Float

American Standard 7381129-200.0070A Universal Flapper and Chain with Float for 2-Inch Flush Valves
Check Price

This flapper should be suitable for any 2-inch valve. It includes a chain and a rounded float to manually customize the closing speed. Small plastic clips are built-in to the inner side of the float, allowing it to be easily adjusted in height.

For a short flush, place the floater higher up along the chain, closer to the lever’s arm. On the other hand, if you want a longer flush, bring it towards the valve.

The flapper itself is black and made of a solid frame and a flexible rubber ball. Reviewers seem thrilled about the quality and efficiency of this product. Although it comes at a higher price-point than similar models, users say it’s worth the investment.

PROS:
  • Adjustable closing speed — float.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Efficient seal.
CONS:
  • It may require some trial and error to get the float to the perfect height.

Additional Specs

Type of flapperNon-adjustable rubber flapper
Valve dimensions2 inches
WarrantyNot indicated
MaterialPlastic and rubber
Dimensions4.8 x 4.8 x 4.8 inches

4. Korky TOTO Toilet Repairs-Large 3-Inch Flapper

Most Popular Toilet Flapper

Korky 2021BP TOTO Toilet Repairs-Large 3-Inch Flapper-Easy to Install-Made in USA, Pack of 1, Red
Check Price

As its name indicates, it’s designed to fit most toilets of the Toto brand. This flapper is suitable, however, for all 3-inch valves. It’s one of the most favored products out there.

If you’re looking for a user-friendly, yet efficient product, this model seems to combine both. It doesn’t come with assorted options and adjustments, which makes it a straightforward choice.

Although the flexible material might be less durable than a solid frame, it makes its set-up a breeze. Some users were able to install it within 5 seconds. Nevertheless, this model doesn’t skimp on quality.

First, it’s manufactured and designed in the U.S. It’s also made of high-quality rubber, able to resist chlorine, bacteria, well and hard waters. Lastly, it comes with a stainless steel chain that should withstand rust and corrosion.

PROS:
  • Easy to set-up and use.
  • Resistant to chlorine and hard water.
  • Sturdy stainless steel chain.
CONS:
  • The flexible body may twist, causing damage over time.

Additional Specs

Type of flapperNon-adjustable rubber flapper
Valve dimensions3 inches
Warranty5 years
MaterialChlorazone rubber, stainless steel chain.
Dimensions5 x 4 x 2 inches

5. Fluidmaster 3-Inch Universal Water Saving

Most Durable Toilet Flapper

Fluidmaster 5403 3-Inch Universal Water Saving Long Life Toilet Flapper, Adjustable Solid Frame Design
Check Price

This product looks slightly different from others. The top is molded in solid plastic, giving it its rigid and sturdy frame. Its seal is made of silicone to ensure a proper and leak-free closing system.

The chain comes with partial padding. This black pad prevents the chain from bending or twisting for better functionality and longevity. The manufacturer is so confident about the product’s durability that they offer a 10-year warranty.

On top of that, it has an adjustable dial control to regulate the amount of water drained per flush. Rotate the inner red circle to your desired level. If you’re unsure of your setting, you’ll find recommendations, based on the toilet you own, on the back of the packaging.

The unit is designed to match 3-inch valves, and best suitable for toilets built after 1994. It’ll fit both 1.28 and 1.6 GPF toilets.

PROS:
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Adjustable closing time.
  • Solid frame.
  • Chain protector.
CONS:
  • Users found the ball larger than expected. Ensure compatibility by measuring your flush valve.

Take Note

Although the product is chlorine resistant, do not put bleach cubes in the water tank. Some users had the silicone “bubbling” as a result, which led to water leaking into the toilet bowl.

Additional Specs

Type of flapperAdjustable rubber flapper
Valve dimensions3 inches
Warranty10 years
MaterialStainless steel chain, silicone seal, rubber.
Dimensions9 x 4 x 3 inches

Detailed Comparison Chart

ProductBestType of flapperValve dimensionsWarrantyMaterialDimensions
Fluidmaster Universal PerforMAXAdjustableAdjustable2″5 yearsRubber6 x 6 x 3″
Korky 54BP Toilet Tank FlapperEconomicalNon-adjustable2″1 yearFlexible rubber, stainless steel chain.1.5 x 4.2 x 7.5″
American Standard Universal FlapperFloatNon-adjustable2″N/APlastic and rubber4.8 x 4.8 x 4.8″
Korky TOTO Toilet Repairs FlapperPopularNon-adjustable3″5 yearsChlorazone rubber, stainless steel chain.5 x 4 x 2″
Fluidmaster Universal Water SavingDurableAdjustable3″10 yearsStainless steel chain, silicone seal, rubber.9 x 4 x 3″
Jump to the Full Toilet Flapper Reviews

When Is It Time to Replace Your Toilet Flapper?

There are several clear indicators that it may be time for a new flapper.

Water Leaks Inside the Bowl

When your toilet constantly emits a water flowing sound, this is an indication that the flapper isn’t sealing the valve properly. There are numerous potential causes. Mold, mildew, bacteria growth, and bleach present in the water can cause the material to degrade and crack (1).

The seal can also become loose due to natural aging, decreasing its efficiency.

Broken Lever-Link

The lever-link attaching the flapper to the lever arm can also be a cause of flapper failure. This is the case whether it’s made of rubber or metal.

When this happens, the entire flushing system is compromised. The lever arm won’t pull the flapper, the handle becomes loose, and flush can’t start.

Some models allow you to replace the lever-link only. A metallic chain, however, is typically as expensive as an entire flapper. As a result, most users opt to replace the whole device.

Flapper’s Arms Break

Continually moving the flapper up and down can weaken and eventually break the two arms. If the device isn’t attached to the overflow tube correctly, it won’t fully close and open. This could lead to an inefficient flush and potential leaks.

Other Reasons

Generally speaking, a flapper should be changed every three to five years. If you’re unsure if it’s time for a new one, try the following test:

  1. Add food coloring: Pour a few drops into the water tank.
  2. Wait: Don’t flush, hold back for 20 minutes.
  3. Inspect the bowl: If the water becomes colored inside the toilet bowl, it’s time to replace your flapper.

How to Install a Toilet Flapper

Because the rubber flapper is the most common, these instructions relate to that type:

  1. Turn off: Close the water valve connected to the wall.
  2. Empty the water tank: Flush a few times until the valve is clear of water.
  3. Remove the old flapper: This process usually takes a few seconds. It consists of disconnecting the old lever-link and unlatching the side hooks placed on the lower end of the overflow tube.
  4. Secure the new flapper: Lock the device’s arms onto the same hooks. Position the body right over the valve.
  5. Attach the new lever-link: Connect the lever-link from the flapper to the lever’s arm. Ensure it’s properly secured with the lever-link slightly loose. If needed, shorten the lever-link.
  6. Try your new flapper: With your water tank still dry, flush a few times. Make sure that it closes and opens properly.
  7. Open the water wall valve: Once open, the water tank should fill up automatically.
  8. Make a real flush: When the tank is full, flush a few times with the lid open. You’ll be able to see if everything works properly.
  9. Place the lid back on: Your toilet is operational again!

Keep Your Flapper Alive

A tiny toilet flapper has a more important role than many think. The best toilet flappers should prevent water leakage and optimize water consumption. It should also be frustration-free, delivering the perfect amount of water for a clear flush.

Although seat disks and tank ball devices are still available, the rubber flapper is the most common type used today. They’re designed with various shapes and sizes to fit all toilets — old, new, low or full flush.

Remember, whichever type of flapper you decide on, it’s critical to measure the size of your valve. If the device doesn’t match, you’ll be up for a return. So whenever possible take the old unit to the hardware store with you and get expert advice.

Was this article helpful?

👍
👎
×

What went wrong?

This article contains incorrect information

This article does not have the information I am looking for

There is a problem with the website

×

How can we improve it?

All feedback is anonymous. If you would like a reply, please email us instead.

×

We appreciate your feedback!

We will look into this issue as soon as possible.

×

Thank you for your feedback!

Please share this article with someone you care about and leave a comment below.

Share this article:

3 Ways to Remove Hard Water Stains from a Toilet (Naturally!)How to Remove Hard Water Stains from a Toilet
7 Best Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners (2020 Reviews)A Guide to the Best Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners
9 Types of Toilet Flush Systems (Pros and Cons)Common Types of Toilet Flush Systems: Getting Rid of the Waste
Best Toilet Flanges of 20205 Best Toilet Flanges (2020 Reviews)
Best Bidet Attachments of 20207 Best Bidet Attachments (2020 Reviews)
7 Best Cushioned Toilet Seats (2020 Reviews)Our Selection of the 7 Best Cushioned Toilet Seats

Leave a Comment