The Buyer's Guide to Toilets

You’ve picked out the perfect sofa, your kitchen oozes style and your bedroom is as cosy as a hot chocolate on a rainy night. What’s next? Ah, yes, the toilet.

A notoriously unglamorous job, choosing a toilet rarely gets people as excited as say, choosing a sofa. But contrary to belief, the right toilet can have a significant impact on the look and style of your bathroom - and it’s not just one size fits all. Whether you want something simple and space-saving or ultra-modern, our guide to different types of toilets will ensure you can’t go wrong.


Close Coupled Toilets

The most popular choice, close coupled toilets don’t take up too much space and are easily installed. Plus, they come in a range of styles so you’re bound to find something to suit your bathroom interior - whether that’s contemporary or more traditional.

Close coupled toilets have the cistern attached to the back of the toilet, creating one single unit. This makes them efficient and compact, with the pipes nicely hidden from view. Open back have access to the pipework at the back, while closed back does not. Fully back to wall close coupled toilets have the pipework going through the wall which, although more difficult to access, can save valuable space.  

In general, these toilets are relatively inexpensive. While the cheapest close coupled toilets can be found for under £100, those of a higher-quality can cost over £500. However, if you’re looking for something durable, comfortable and stylish, it’s certainly worth investing slightly more. Check out our full range of close coupled toilets in a variety of different designs.

Back to Wall Toilets

Back to wall toilets are installed directly onto the wall or a unit, making them nifty space savers. All plumbing and pipework is hidden, flowing straight into the wall as opposed to into a visible cistern as is the case with other types of toilets. Alternatively you could opt for a WC unit to match up with the rest of your bathroom furniture.

However back to wall toilets are slightly more difficult to install than close-coupled toilets and the only access to the cistern is through the flush plate, making it potentially costly if something needs repairing. You will have to purchase a separate concealed cistern too, meaning the price will add up.

They can however save space without compromising on style, which is a huge factor for many people. We love this RAK Series 600 which is neat and modern, perfect for a contemporary bathroom with slightly less space.

Wall Hung Toilets

The epitome of modern, wall-hung toilets are growing in popularity thanks to their quirky look and wide availability of styles. The toilet pan is mounted to the wall and not the floor, making them easy to clean underneath and far more hygienic. Like back to wall toilets, the cistern is concealed inside the wall making them neat, modern and space savvy, although this cistern will need to be bought separately.

Wall-hung toilets can be placed at different heights, making them fantastic if the primary user is a little taller (or shorter) than average, or has limited mobility. Whilst they can be tricky to install, wall hung toilets are modern, stylish and reliable - withstanding up to 200kgs in weight. We love this Phoebe Wall-Hung toilet with a soft close seat and a beautifully contemporary white finish.

Comfort Height Toilets

Comfort height toilets are the best option for those who have limited mobility or need a little extra height. They are taller than the standard toilet, which relieves pressure on the joints as you sit and stand.

Comfort height toilets are a reliable choice for a disabled or elderly person, as they make an experience that can be sometimes be difficult as stress-free and comfortable as possible. However, they are not just for those with limited mobility, comfort height toilets stand at around 6cm higher than the average toilet, making them more comfortable if you’ve got a little extra height yourself!  

Space-Saving / Short Projection Toilets

We don’t all have the luxury of an enormous bathroom but investing in a specially designed toilet can save precious floor space - a great option if you’re short on room. 

Short projection toilets are designed to save as much floor space as possible by, quite literally, projecting into the bathroom the smallest possible amount. While a few extra inches of space may not seem that important, it really can make all the difference in a small room.

Corner Toilets

Another neat space saver, corner toilets are ideal for a cloakroom suite or smaller bathrooms, although they are more difficult to install. Corner toilets are compact and can squeeze into the smallest of spaces.

The cistern and toilet pan fit together neatly in the corner of the room, making great use of space. Compact corner toilets can be bought in a style to fit in with the rest of the room.

Rimless Toilets

Next up is the slightly unconventional rimless toilet. These are rapidly growing in popularity and look set to overtake other styles of toilet in the next few years.

Why should you go rimless? Well, it’s much more hygienic and far easier to clean making them instantly ten times more pleasant. The flushing technique is also superior to other types of toilet, spreading evenly and effectively around the entire pan. They still come in the same styles as other types of toilets and even cost around the same! Check out our full range of rimless toilets or we’ve got a whole other post with bundles of information just here.

Modern or Traditional? 

It really depends on your personal preference whether you go for a modern toilet or more of a traditional look. However, we can assure you that just because your toilet may look vintage, it’ll still work just as well as any contemporary design!

Investing in a quirky or unusual toilet seat is a good way to add some character to your bathroom without needing to go all out. A traditional look can be achieved by using a wooden seat such as this Roper Rhodes design, or of course a bright white, soft close toilet seat like this Dream D Shaped Soft Close Seat design will instantly add a contemporary feel, with the bonus of saving your eardrums!

Combined Toilet + Basin Units

Combined toilet and basin units are compact and stylish. They fit into the smallest of spaces and there are still a lot of options when it comes to choosing a particular design. They’re also a great way to save quite a lot of money - as you won’t need to buy a separate toilet, sink and vanity unit which can of course be costly.  

The smallest combined sink and basins will just be a toilet with the sink on top of it. Others are a little classier, with the sink and vanity unit neatly fixed to the side of the toilet. Prices vary, but paying a little more really can add something to your bathroom while still saving space. We love this Vellamo Structure Furniture Suite which comes in a Medium Oak finish with soft close doors and seat.

How to Install a Standard Close-Coupled Toilet

If you’re feeling like putting your DIY skills to the test, have a go at installing your toilet yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it looks! Follow our step by step guide and you’ll have a brand-new toilet ready to go in no time.

If you are installing a close coupled toilet in the same place and it is the same type and height of your old toilet then it should be relatively straightforward. However, if you are altering your bathroom at all, or installing the cistern into the walls then it’s best to contact a plumber. Make sure to do your bit for the planet and recycle your old toilet! Taking it to a local household waste recycling centre (HWRC) is the best way to do this.


Step 1:

Assemble the cistern and flush mechanism by following the manufacturer’s guide then tighten all parts (not too tight or the porcelain may crack). Place the large rubber gasket into the flushing entrance of the pan.


Step 2:

Insert the long bolts through the holes in the cistern, then lower the cistern into place on top of the toilet bowl.


Step 3:

Line up the toilet with the connecter attached to the soil pipe and push into place. Then mark with a pencil on the floor where the fixing holes are. Draw around the edge of the toilet with a pencil, and move the toilet away from the wall.


Step 4:

Drill fixing holes through each of the marks you have made. Place the toilet back in place then insert plastic protector inserts through the holes before inserting the screws through the hole into the floor.


Step 5:  

Connect the cold-water feed to the inlet on the cistern ensuring the shut off valve is in place. Then follow your manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the seat. Adjust the seat until it is in the correct position.


There you have it! A fully-functional (hopefully) toilet ready to be used.

Categories: Advice Guides, Toilets