American Standard Cadet vs Champion [Choosing the Right Toilet for Your Bathroom]

When it comes to toilets, few companies have the reputation and longevity of American Standard. Around since 1875, they are one of the most trusted brands when it comes to reliable and effective toilets. Two of their most popular toilet models are the Cadet and Champion. Although both models share some similarities, they have key differences when it comes to features, performance, and ideal applications.

In this article, we’ll overview the main pros and cons of the Cadet and Champion models. We’ll compare them across critical categories like flush performance, bowl size, height, water usage, and more. By the end, you’ll understand the ideal situations to choose a Cadet or Champion toilet for your bathroom.

Here is an in-depth comparison table between the American Standard Cadet and Champion toilet models:

FeatureAmerican Standard CadetAmerican Standard Champion
Flushing SystemPressure-assisted, siphon jetGravity flush, champion valve
Trapway Size2-1/8 inches4 inches
Flush Performance1.6 gpfDual flush 1.28 gpf / 0.8 gpf
Bowl ShapeElongated or round frontElongated or round front
Bowl HeightStandard height onlyStandard or comfort/right height
Toilet HeightApproximately 15 inchesApproximately 16.5 inches (standard) or 17.5 inches (comfort height)
Toilet Dimensions28 x 19 x 30 inches30 x 21 x 30 inches
Water Surface Size6 x 9 inch water surface10 x 8 inch water surface
SeatBasic round toilet seatElongated slow-close seat included
Rough-in10 or 12 inches12 or 14 inches
Colors AvailableWhite, Linen, Bone, Sedona Beige, CobblestoneWhite, Linen, Bone, Sedona Beige + special collections
WarrantyLimited 10-year warrantyLimited 10-year warranty
CertificationsWaterSense, ADA, ASMEWaterSense, ADA, ASME, CALGreen

Cadet Model Overview

The American Standard Cadet toilet is one of their baseline models. It was first introduced in the 1960s and aimed to deliver reliable flushing performance at an affordable price point. Here are some of the key features and specs of the Cadet line:

  • Single flush performance: The Cadet has a 2-1/8” trapway and uses a pressure-assisted siphon jet flush system. This helps deliver solid flush power in a compact toilet.
  • Elongated bowl: The elongated bowl shape provides more comfort and room than a round front bowl. Roughly 2” longer.
  • Standard height: The Cadet has a standard toilet height of around 15” to the seat. This is lower than the ADA comfort height of 17-19”.
  • Water usage: It is designed to use 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush), meeting the EPA WaterSense criteria.

Some benefits of the Cadet model are the affordable price point and small footprint. The pressure-assisted flush also helps reduce the chance of clogs. Drawbacks are the lower seat height and higher noise levels on the flush.

Champion Model Overview

The Champion model was introduced more recently in 2008. Positioned as a step-up from the Cadet, it focuses more on flushing power, comfort, and water efficiency:

  • Powerful dual flush: The 4” trapway and 3” flush valve provide significant improvements in flush power over the Cadet. It also has a dual flush option for liquid waste.
  • Comfort height: The chair height seats make sitting down and standing up easier. ADA compliant 17” to 19” options available.
  • Water efficient: Has a maximum 1.28 GPF for solid waste, and 0.8 GPF for liquid. Exceeds EPA standards.
  • Right Height Bowl: The bowl geometry is designed for optimal waste removal.

Benefits include the comfort height seating, reduced chance of clogs, and quieter operation. The main drawback is the higher price over the Cadet model.

Direct Feature and Spec Comparison

Now that we’ve overviewed both models separately, here is a direct side-by-side comparison of key features and specifications:

Flush Performance

The Champion has a significantly more powerful flush than the Cadet. The wide 4” trapway and large flush valve can move 70% more mass than a typical 2” toilet. The dual flush option also saves water.

Bowl Size and Shape

Both models are available in round front or elongated bowl shape. The Champion Right Height geometry improves waste removal.

Toilet Height

The Cadet only comes in a standard height, while the Champion offers both comfort height and standard height options.

Available Colors

Cadet has 5 color options. Champion has 10+ color options, including the special FloWise model.

Seats and Wax Ring

The Champion ships with a slow-close toilet seat and quality wax ring. The Cadet’s are basic versions.

As you can see, while both models share some specifications, the Champion clearly has the edge when it comes to flush performance, bowl design, overall comfort and convenience. Next we’ll compare how they stack up in real world bathrooms.

Real World Performance Comparison

How do the key differences in features and specs translate to actual performance for the Cadet vs Champion models? Here is how they compare in real world bathroom applications:

Flushing Power

The Champion’s wider flush valve and trapway provides substantially improved bulk waste removal and resistance to clogs. It maintains velocity longer.

Water Efficiency

With the dual flush option, the Champion uses 20% less water than the Cadet on average.

Noise Levels

The Champion flush is significantly quieter than the pressure-assisted Cadet model.

Resistance to Clogs

Again, the Champion’s large trapway and flush power lead to fewer clogs. Less need for double flushing.

Comfort and Accessibility

The ADA compliant Champion is more comfortable for most adults to use. Easier to sit and stand.

For heavy usage bathrooms, the Champion’s increased flush power and efficiency make a noticeable difference in real world owner experiences. The comfort height seat and quieter flush are also big positives.

Cost Comparison

Given the performance benefits, you would expect the Champion toilet to be significantly more expensive than the Cadet. Here is a quick cost comparison:

Cadet Toilet

  • ~$300 for the toilet
  • ~$99 for seat if not included
  • $35 for wax ring
  • Total: ~$435

Champion Toilet

  • ~$500 for the toilet
  • Slow close seat included
  • Wax ring included
  • Total: ~$500

Although newer and higher performing, the Champion is only around 15% more expensive than a comparable Cadet setup. The price difference is relatively small, especially considering you’ll be using the toilet for 10+ years.

Which is Better for What Bathroom?

With the key differences and trade-offs covered, in what situations should you choose a Cadet or the Champion for your bathroom?

Good for Cadet

  • Half bathrooms or bathrooms with low usage
  • Kids bathrooms
  • Budget constrained projects
  • Where rough-in is 10” or less

Good for Champion

  • Primary bathrooms
  • Bathrooms with high usage
  • Accessibility is a priority
  • 12” or 14” rough-in installations
  • Want quieter and more powerful flush

The Cadet makes sense for secondary bathrooms that get limited use. Its compact size makes it a good fit for smaller spaces.

For main household bathrooms that get significant traffic, the Champion is worth the extra investment. The comfort height, flush power, and water savings pay off over time.


How much more water does the Cadet use vs the Champion?

On average, the Champion uses 20% less water per flush thanks to its dual flush system. Over a year, this can lead to thousands of gallons of water savings.

Can the Champion fit a 10” rough-in?

Unfortunately no, the Champion needs a minimum of a 12” rough-in. For a more compact and powerful model, look at the American Standard ActiClean right-height toilet.

Do both models come in cotton color?

Yes, the cotton white color is available in both the Cadet and Champion lines. This versatile color will match well with most bathrooms.

Is the Champion bowl elongated or round front?

The Champion offers both elongated and round front bowl options. The elongated shape is around 2 inches longer and offers more room and comfort.

How long is the warranty?

American Standard provides a limited 10-year warranty on chinaware, a limited 5-year warranty on mechanical parts, and a 1-year warranty on the toilet seat if included.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In conclusion, the American Standard Cadet and Champion both provide reliable flushing performance and longevity. However, the Champion does represent a sizable upgrade in most regards. The increased flush power and efficiency, quieter operation, right height bowl, and comfort height seating make it superior for high use bathrooms.

Given an MSRP cost difference of only around $65, the Champion is an excellent upgrade if your budget allows it. The efficiency gains and added convenience make it worthwhile for most main household bathrooms. Its added power also helps prevent annoying clogs and double flushing.

If affordability is a bigger priority, then the Cadet still offers dependable function. Just know the lower height and potential for more regular clogs. Focus on using it for bathrooms with lighter usage to maximize value.

Hopefully this overview gives you a better sense of the ideal applications for the American Standard Cadet vs Champion toilet models. Let us know if you have any other questions!

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