The Toilet Buyer’s Guide

Published by: Kevin Sears

22nd June 23


Reading Time: 4 mins 31 secs

The toilet is a true bathroom essential. It has a very important purpose to fulfil, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also play a key role in creating and enforcing your bathroom’s style.

smart toilet

Knowing if you need a toilet in your bathroom is an easy decision to make (the answer is almost always yes), but working out which type is best for you and your space is a bit tougher. 

Here to help you find the perfect toilet is our handy buyer’s guide.

Three important questions to answer when choosing a toilet

What type of toilet best fits your bathroom space and layout?

The first question to ask yourself is what type of toilet is best suited for your bathroom space and layout, and where you will put it. Get your tape out and measure the length, width and height of your shortlisted spaces.

Think about how much space you’ll need to use, clean and maintain your new toilet with as much comfort and efficiency as you can allow. As well as thinking practically, consider what aesthetic you’re going for in your bathroom and how a toilet can complement that style best.

What features do you want in a toilet?

While this question is certainly relevant to smart toilets, it’s not all about futuristic features. 

Think about the common, not-so Sci-Fi factors that are important to you, like flush system, seat height, projection (how far the toilet comes into the room) and water efficiency. 

Are there any plumbing requirements in your home?

You should know the type of plumbing connection needed to install the toilet, and the connection to the toilet’s soil pipe (what the waste will exit through) and the soil stack, by reading which applies to your choice below. 

The different types of toilet

Back to Wall to Wall-Hung Toilets, Close-Coupled to Smart, toilets come in a variety of distinctive styles that each come with different benefits. Here’s everything you need to know.

Back to Wall Toilets

Back to Wall Toilets are exactly as they sound. The toilet bowl is mounted directly against the wall, with the cistern and pipework neatly hidden within the wall or a furniture unit to create a tidy finish. 

The back to wall toilet’s space-saving design makes it a widely popular choice for smaller spaces, and because of its sleek, contemporary style, a great addition to any modern bathroom, too.

Because the toilet’s cistern and pipework are hidden, the bathroom area around back to wall toilets is typically easier to clean, as there are fewer nooks and crannies for dirt and grime to reach. If maintenance is required, the concealed cistern can be easily accessed through the toilet’s flush plate.

And if you choose to go with a furniture unit, you’ll also gain additional countertop space that can be used for plants, candles or other decorative accessories. 

Wall-Hung Toilets

With the cistern and plumbing concealed, Wall-Hung Toilets are like back to wall toilets but with one big difference: the toilet bowl is suspended above the floor and mounted to the wall.

The big benefit of this design is that it creates the illusion of extra floor space, making your bathroom feel larger and more open. This also make them very easy to clean, as the entire floor underneath is accessible. Like with back to wall toilets, the concealed cistern can be accessed through the toilet’s flush plate if any maintenance is required.

All in all, wall-hung toilets offer a sleek, minimalist aesthetic and a practicality that’s perfect for modern bathroom styles. 

Close-Coupled Toilets

Close-Coupled Toilets offer a more traditional design, with the cistern directly attached to the toilet pan to create a single, compact unit.

Widely-used thanks to their simple installation, easy maintenance and versatility, close-coupled toilets are a popular choice in both modern and traditional bathrooms. And they’re also known to save space thanks to their compact design. 

Smart Toilets

An increasingly popular choice for modern homes and bathrooms, Smart Toilets apply built-in smart technology to offer a variety of innovative benefits in eco-friendliness, hygiene and accessibility.

Often known as Japanese toilets, smart toilets are designed to maximise toilet hygiene while retaining the minimalist look and style of a modern toilet. They can autonomously activate cleansing and drying functions, and even customise these functions to different users.

And thanks to features like contactless seat opening and closing, and automatic flushing and self cleaning, they can limit the spread of germs and help you better avoid longer term maintenance issues.

One criticism of smart toilets is that they require electricity to work, which raises environmental concerns. But on the flip side, smart toilets save water by only flushing with the volume of water that’s needed per use, thanks to built-in sensors. And they also reduce toilet paper consumption.

Accessorising your toilet

You’ve landed on the perfect toilet for your bathroom, now you can think about the accessories that can elevate your toilet and play very important functional roles themselves!

  • Toilet Roll Holders are here to create a tidy and organised bathroom, and give comfortable and convenient access to toilet paper. Choose between wall-mounted and freestanding options, and a range of colours – all of our bathroom accessories are available in polished chrome, brushed brass, stainless steel and matt black
  • Toilet Brushes are essential for keeping your toilet clean and hygienic – and they can also be an effective style point! Our wall-mounted range come in four classic finishes and are perfect for the modern bathroom
  • Providing comfort and hygiene, Toilet Seats are a bathroom non-negotiable, with many offering extra functionalities like soft-close hinges and anti-bacterial treatments. Our full range comes with both!

A mini-guide to toilet flushing systems

Flushing systems are a particular area of toilet innovation, with new technologies in the pipeline to create more powerful, hygienic and, of course, sustainable systems.

There are various types of toilet flushing system, and dual flush systems are now one of the most widely used in modern bathrooms. They come with two flushing options: a reduced flush that uses up to 50% less water, or a full flush. The main benefit with dual flush systems is their water efficiency, making them a great option if you want a toilet that’s more environmentally friendly and cost efficient.

Pressure-assisted flushing systems, on the other hand, are considered to be the most effective when it comes to flushing power – a great option if your home has weaker water pressure.

Kevin Sears

About Kevin Sears

Kevin Sears is a bathroom and interior design blogger here at 34 St John. He creates original content utilising his extensive knowledge of the bathroom industry and latest trends.

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