What Are The Most Popular Types of Toilet and Why?

Published by: Kevin Sears

16th November 23


Reading Time: 7 mins 11 secs

Types of Toilet

If you are currently toilet shopping, you may be asking yourself ‘How do I know which toilet to buy?’

Toilets are designed to cater to different needs and preferences, so there are many different styles to choose from. From wall-hung and back-to-wall toilets which are modern and space-saving, to smart toilets which provide a technologically-advanced bathroom experience.

Whether you are looking for a traditional, contemporary or modern toilet for your small or large bathroom, choosing the right style can be difficult. There is also the aspect of tying your toilet design into the surrounding interior, as well as the bathroom furniture such as the basin, bath, and mirrors and cabinets.

In this ultimate guide of toilet types, we will delve deep into the most popular types of toilets and discuss why they have gained popularity over the years. No need to look any further.

Back-to-Wall Toilets

Let’s start with the minimalist back-to-wall toilet. Back-to-wall toilets have gained popularity for their practicality and contemporary aesthetics. These toilets are ingeniously designed to sit flush against the wall, with the cistern concealed within a custom-built box frame.,  This frame, typically built from sturdy timber, serves as the foundational structure that the toilet frame is securely attached to. The process begins with the careful assembly of the timber frame, ensuring it is both level and robust to support the cistern. Once the frame is in place, the cistern is meticulously fitted within this timber box, which is then anchored against the bathroom wall.

This strategic placement allows for the plumbing to be neatly tucked away out of sight, contributing to the toilet's sleek silhouette. After the cistern is installed and all connections are thoroughly checked for leaks and proper function, the frame can then be clad with tile-backer boards, preparing it for the final aesthetic touch. 

Tiles can be applied directly onto the newly created timber frame, allowing for a seamless integration with the rest of the bathroom decor. The result is a sophisticated and streamlined look that hides all the functional components, leaving only the stylish, clean lines of the back-to-wall toilet visible to the eye.

Their clean and minimalist appearance contributes to a sleek and modern bathroom design, making them a popular choice for those seeking a visually appealing space. 

The concealed cistern also makes cleaning  more simplified due to less nooks and crannies where dirt can accumulate, promoting a hygienic and low-maintenance solution. For this reason, they are also much easier to keep clean and maintain. The absence of visible pipework and crevices prevents the accumulation of dirt and dust.

Back-to-wall toilets usually come in two different styles. The cistern of the toilet can either be fixed to a furniture unit behind it or additionally, the cistern can be hidden within the toilet frame which is behind the wall, as mentioned above.

At 34 St John we supply back-to-wall toilets that are concealed in the toilet frame within the bathroom wall. This style fuses a neat and modern design and the free space above the toilet gives you the opportunity to add other bathroom accessories or fixtures.

Back to wall toilet

Shop our full range of back-to-wall toilets.

Close-Coupled Toilets

Close-coupled toilets have earned their popularity due to their practicality and versatility. These toilets are a top choice among homeowners for several reasons.

Close-coupled toilets have a compact design, with the cistern directly mounted on top of the bowl. This design makes them ideal for bathrooms with limited space, providing an efficient use of available room. This space-saving feature is especially beneficial in smaller bathrooms or for those seeking a minimalistic design.

Due to the single unit design, close-coupled toilets are relatively easy to install, which simplifies the setup process and reduces installation time and costs. The simplicity also makes it more accessible for DIY installations, if preferred.

Close-coupled toilets are available in a wide range of styles and designs, making it easy for consumers to find a toilet that seamlessly complements their bathroom decor and personal preferences. They can complement both traditional and contemporary aesthetics.

Close coupled toilet

Shop our full range of Close-Coupled toilets.

Wall-Hung Toilets

Wall-hung toilets have become more popular due to their innovative design and modern appeal. These toilets are mounted directly to the bathroom wall, with the cistern concealed within a timber toilet frame that sits behind the wall, custom built to neatly tuck away the clunkier parts of the toilet.  They are similar to back-to-wall toilets, however, this type of toilet is even more compact - the toilet floats above the floor, making it the ultimate choice for a clean, minimalist space.

Their suspended design creates a sense of spaciousness and allows for extra floor space, making them an excellent choice for small bathrooms and contemporary, minimalist bathroom designs.

Cleaning is a breeze because of the open space beneath the toilet, eliminating floor-level crevices where dirt can accumulate. Additionally, wall-hung toilets often allow for adjustable installation heights, catering to individual comfort and accessibility needs. This feature can be especially beneficial for individuals with specific mobility or comfort requirements.

Their sleek and contemporary appearance aligns perfectly with modern interior design trends, making them a preferred choice for those seeking to achieve not only a clean and stylish look but a space-saving solution for their bathrooms.

wall hung toilet

Shop our full range of Wall Hung Toilets.

Smart Toilets

Smart toilets have witnessed a surge in popularity owing to their cutting-edge features that redefine the bathroom experience. These high-tech marvels offer a range of conveniences, including built-in bidet functionality, heated seats, air dryers, and automatic flushing, all contributing to a heightened level of comfort and hygiene.

What is the bidet function on a smart toilet?

A bidet is a bathroom fixture designed for personal hygiene, typically used for washing the private areas after using the toilet. The built in bidet feature on a smart toilet provides a superior level of cleanliness and personal care. It can also provide adjustable water temperature and pressure as well as nozzle positioning for superior personal hygiene and comfort.

Additionally, smart toilets often come equipped with touchless controls, motion sensors, and self-cleaning features, making them functional and modern. These features not only improve hygiene by reducing the need for physical contact but also enhance user convenience.

Their eco-friendly nature, with reduced toilet paper usage and efficient water consumption, aligns with sustainable living and appeals to environmentally conscious consumers. Other water-saving features include dual flush options and occupancy sensors which activate the flush only when needed. This results in reduced water consumption and lower utility bills.

With the ability to customise settings and enjoy added luxury in the bathroom, smart toilets have become a sought-after choice for those seeking an elevated and technologically advanced bathroom experience. Although smart toilets are significantly more expensive compared to traditional toilets, their high quality and abundance of high-tech features makes them a worthwhile investment. Here are some of the high-tech features of a smart toilet:

Smart toilet features

Bidet Functionality: Smart toilets often include built-in bidet features, offering adjustable water temperature, pressure, and nozzle positioning for personal hygiene. This feature is especially appreciated for its enhanced cleanliness and comfort.

Heated Seats: Many smart toilets have heated seats, providing comfort during colder seasons.

Air Dryers: They come equipped with air dryers that eliminate the need for toilet paper, promoting sustainability and reducing waste.

Automatic Flushing: Smart toilets can automatically flush after use, promoting hygiene and water conservation.

Motion Sensors: These toilets often include motion sensors for touchless flushing and lid opening/closing, promoting hygiene.

Smart toiletsmart toilet

Shop our full range of Smart Toilets.

Things To Consider When Buying a Toilet

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers, which may help you when choosing which toilet to buy.

What are the essential features to consider when buying a toilet?

When buying a toilet, consider factors like flushing mechanism (gravity-fed or pressure-assisted), bowl shape (elongated or round), height (standard or comfort height), water efficiency (gallons per flush), and ease of cleaning. Also consider rim or rimless toilet pans; our toilets are all rimless and have spiralflush technology.

What types of toilet seats are available?

Not all toilet seats fit the same due to the various shapes of toilet. Make sure to check this when buying your toilet/toilet seat. The different shapes of toilet seats include, oval, round, elongated or D-shaped. Each toilet seat style should be fitted to the corresponding toilet, for correct fitting.

Toilet seats also come in various materials, including plastic, wood, and cushioned seats. Some features to consider include slow-closing lids, quick-release hinges for easy cleaning, and built-in bidet functions.

What is the best toilet style for a small bathroom?

In small bathrooms, wall-mounted toilets or compact, corner toilets are excellent space-saving options. 

What's the difference between a one-piece and a two-piece toilet?

One-piece toilets have the tank and bowl fused into a single unit, making them easier to clean and typically more aesthetically pleasing. Two-piece toilets have a separate tank and bowl, which can be of a lower price range and easier to transport.

How can I ensure proper installation of a new toilet?

It's recommended to hire a professional plumber for toilet installation to ensure it's done correctly. If you're confident in your DIY skills, follow the manufacturer's instructions closely, and use the right tools and materials.


The popularity of these toilets is driven by a combination of factors, including functionality, water efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and design aesthetics. The choice of toilet that is perfect for you, ultimately depends on your individual preferences and the specific needs of the space in which it will be installed.

For those doing a full bathroom renovation, you might prefer a certain toilet for its aesthetic appeal. For those creating a modern style bathroom, wall-hung toilets or back-to-wall toilets are a perfect choice. Their sleek and minimalist design is also attractive for those with smaller bathrooms.

Whether you opt for a more traditional toilet or the technologically advanced smart toilet, each type has its own unique advantages. We hope our ultimate guide into toilet types has made your toilet shopping a lot easier. You can browse our full range of toilets at 34 St John here.

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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