Kohler K-3609

The Kohler K-3609 has an alternate name: the Cimarron. Ok, technically, the Cimarron is a collection not a single model, but never mind that. The point is that while the name might sound a bit pretentious for a bathroom appliance, there’s nothing phony about the way it works. There’s solid performance here, not something you could say about every high-efficiency toilet.

Two-Piece Elongated Design

Two-piece design. One of the most basic facts about the Kohler K-3609 is that it’s a two-piece unit. That’s not my favorite configuration. A one-piece lacks the seam that makes a two-piece toilet harder to maintain. Still, it’s not the end of the world. There are many fine two-piece models on the market and this is certainly one of them.

Elongated design. The elongated bowl is a better reason to cheer. Both from the perspective of style and function, this is one of my favorite configurations. The proportions offer a better looking unit to spruce up the bathroom, in my view.

At the same time, this design offers a little more room for men and boys who might be less careful about aiming. That alone will help reduce the need for cleaning, far offsetting the two-piece issue mentioned above. Keep in mind, though, that elongated toilet seat designs can be a challenge for small children when sitting down.

Left-Hand Trip Lever. The K-3609 comes with a left-hand trip lever in polished chrome. If you prefer your handle on the right hand side – whether for reasons of convenience or just out of an esthetic preference – that’s available too. Look for the model number K-3609-RA.

Comfort Height. There’s another aspect of the K-3609 that will delight some buyers much more: Comfort Height. Normally I’m wary of marketing buzzphrases but this one is spot on. This model is about the height of an ordinary chair and therefore a godsend to a wide variety of users. It measures 30 3/4″ high total (and 28 3/4″ long x 17 5/8″ wide), with a seat height of 16 1/2″.

The elderly and infirm will love the fact that they no longer have to struggle to get up and down – nor require a special raised toilet seat, metal bar, or other aid. Anyone who can sit and stand without excess difficulty will be thankful for this feature. Even those without physical infirmities are likely to find it a welcome blessing.

Speaking of seats, keep in mind that one does not come with the base configuration. That’s a bad mark but it presents the opportunity to select one you would prefer. Most people will simply accept the one that comes with their toilet. Here, for good or ill, you’re forced to choose and you might as well take the opportunity to buy something you like. There are several good options like the Kohler K-4664 or the K-4650 for example.

High Efficiency – AquaPiston Flush Technology

Of course, there are other features of a toilet that are as or more important than any of the above. One of those, obviously, is how well it flushes. That’s a particular concern with what are known as HETs (High Efficiency Toilets), sometimes also called low-flush toilets. The K-3609 – which uses a mere 1.28 GPF – clearly qualifies on the efficiency score. Does it measure up otherwise?

In a word: yes. That excellent water conservation is not accompanied by any reason to be concerned. There are still a few low-flush toilets around to be avoided. But for the most part the technology has advanced considerably since the days you had to flush two or three times – and still sometimes they didn’t do the job. This one does the job, and how.

One of the reasons it functions well is something the company calls AquaPiston Flush Technology – a patented flush engine for gravity-fed toilets. Here they might legitimately be criticized for marketing speak but I’d argue against any complaint. After all, it does generate a 360 degree, high-pressure flow. It is the results that count and that Kohler technology produces good ones in this model.

Despite that impressive flushing ability this Cimarron still operates quietly and quickly. One word of warning here. It might take a little bit to get used to the unusually low standing water level in the bowl. Also, because it uses so little water and works so quietly, you might at first wonder whether it can perform so well.

Experience shows that it does indeed. That’s the power of improved engineering. One difference, for example, is that it has a 3 1/2″ drop valve, where the standard size is just 3″. That half inch is enough to make a difference and it’s just one difference in a highly advanced toilet design.

Bottom line: use this toilet and you’ll soon convince yourself it really works well, no matter how great your original skepticism. Others have.

Colors

One feature relates only to style but it’s still important to many (like yours truly): color. The K-3609 comes in a large variety from White (K-3609-0), Almond (K-3609-47) through Ice Grey (K-3609-95) and Sandbar (K-3609-G9) to Black (K-3609-7) and more.

You’re very likely to find a shade to match your décor. Just note that each color corresponds to a slightly different model number. The final number after the dash indicates the color, but they don’t increase steadily as they go through the shades; they’re random. So, look carefully.

Summary

The Kohler K-3609 toilet, one of the Cimarron line, is not for everyone. Some with small children may find the elongated seat too big for the little ones. Others will cheer at the height but, again, that might be too tall for the kids. Others just don’t trust an HET no matter what they read.

All fair enough. But real-world experience shows that this model performs well and, as a result, is loved by a lot of buyers. As always, you’ll be the final judge whether you are one of them.

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