Planning a New Bathroom? – Read this First… Part 2

Image: Bathroom Takeaway

Nothing quite like starting a new week with a blog post about toilets.  There’s really no way to make this one sound in any way glamorous but we’ve all got one, some of us have got several in fact, and they are a pretty essential part of any bathroom renovation so toilets it is!

When it comes to choosing a toilet you will find on most supplier sites that you have a number of options available to you.  The main options are, typically:

  • Back to wall toilets
  • Wall hung toilets
  • Close coupled toilets
  • High level toilets

Both back to wall and wall hung toilets employ a concealed cistern and so need to be considered relatively early on in your design.  If you want to incorporate a concealed cistern (and personally that would be my choice if not going for a traditional high-level design for a period-style bathroom) then this is often concealed into the wall behind the toilet and often plastered or tiled over.  In our bathroom, for example, we have incorporated a back to wall to toilet which, as section of the wall has to come out a small amount to allow for the cistern, also allows for a worktop above which is ideal for storage and general frippery above your toilet and basin.

Image: @livedin365

Wall hung toilets work in a very similar way but, as with the example from Bathroom Takeaway at the top of the page, are (surprise surprise) wall hung and so require a concealed cistern with a frame.  The advantage of a wall hung toilet, aside from the fact that they look nice and sleek, are that you are able to see the flooring underneath which can make a small space appear larger, important if floor area is at a premium.

Don’t forget to also consider the flush button or plate that you might want to use with your chosen back to wall or wall hung toilet – if it is close to the basin as in my bathroom you might want to think about matching this to the rest of your brassware to avoid a clash.

The other examples, close coupled and high level toilets have a cistern on show.  Close coupled toilets do tend to be a cheaper option, not least because they don’t require so much  building work in hiding the cistern and so are well worth consideration for those with a tight space and budget.  In my opinion the reduction in cost does come at the price of a good-looking design in many cases but it is possible to find some nice examples if you shop around.

High level toilets are more of a statement piece and for obvious reasons tend to work well in period-style bathrooms with other traditional features such as a claw foot bath.  This image from Frontline Bathrooms, however, shows the two combined with a Scandinavian-style design which gives both a more modern feel.

Image: Frontline Bathrooms

Some of the best known high level cisterns are made by Thomas Crapper (yep) and come in a range of finishes including some beautiful polished metals as well as versions primed for painting whatever colour you choose.

Just as with everything in interiors, toilet design continues to develop and adapt to the way we live today.  For a long time Japan has led the way in high-tech toilets with the Western world lagging decades behind in adopting anything beyond the traditional mechanism that we have always known.  This is beginning to change with mainstream suppliers including Victorian Plumbing offering a range of Japanese-style toilets.  New(ish) innovations include features like seat warmers, automatic lid openers, and built in deodorisers, and are part of a general trend towards more technology in the bathroom.

Image: Duravit

Rimless toilets have also become more of a staple over the last few years, music to the ears of anyone with a hygiene obsession.  Easier to clean as the whole bowl is easy to reach, the toilet duck may be a thing of the past.

Finally, the issue of water conservation remains high on the agenda and is a good thing to bear in mind if you are redesigning the room and are able to install more efficient solutions such as a dual flush.

So that’s toilets in a nutshell!  They almost certainly won’t be the most glamorous part of any bathroom redesign but with good planning and research they can be part of a good design instead of a bum note.  (Sorry couldn’t resist).


For help with bathroom design contact me via the link on my website.