If you thought that choosing a toilet was a simple business Bill and Melinda Gates would disagree with you. They are prepared to invest millions of dollars to choose the right technology. What about you?
Not sure about the millions, but here are some tips to make an informed choice 🙂
Shape & Style
There are three main configurations of toilet suites: one-piece, two-piece and wall-mounted toilets. Two-piece sets tend to be more affordable. However one-piece suites are easier to clean and fit better into contemporary or modern spaces. Wall-mounted toilets offer the most dramatic effect design wise, but might come at price and need specialist care for the future maintenance.
Styles also offer generous choice and mainly distinguished by cleaner, concealed look or more exposed features. Here are some of them:
Some of the most common materials include porcelain, ceramic, plastic or even steel (if you have a special spot for plane aesthetics). You can have the body of your suit gold-platted or hand painted too. When choosing, consider the manufacturer’s reputation and guarantees as well as the properties of the material itself.
Types of toilet pans:
S-trap. Most commonly used in Australia. Connects directly into a floor mounted pan collar.
P-trap. Pans have either a horizontal or angled outlet spigot which connects directly into a pan collar
mounted on the wall.
Skew trap. Skew trap version pans are available in left and right hand models with a horizontal or angled outlet spigot which is offset at 90° which connects directly into a pan collar mounted on a side wall.
Set-out. The “set-out” is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet. The set-out can vary greatly depending on the age of the house. Most new homes will have a standard set-out of about 140-165mm, which will enable most toilet suites on the market to be installed. However, if the set-out is more than 200mm or less than 100mm, it will limit your choice in the type of toilet you buy.
Bottom or top (back) inlet. Cisterns also have what’s called a bottom or top (back) inlet. This means the water enters the cistern at its base, usually from an outlet on the wall, or it enters the cistern at the top, via a specially designed hole at the back, so that it is concealed from view. Make sure your plumber knows whether you are installing a top or bottom inlet cistern, or you could find your water line is in the wrong place!
When choosing your dream toilet suite, compare options on the following metrics:
- Comfortable size: Is the toilet too small for a large person? Try it out. All of you.
- Elevated height: For anyone who struggles while lowering and raising themselves, or for those basketball players.
- Cleanability: If you consider the ease of cleaning a toilet the most important feature, a smooth-sided bowl is the best choice.
- Quiet flush: if you are a ‘night owl’.
- Power flushing: Many toilet manufacturers have their own patented flushing systems designed to exceed performance standards. Most of these designs use water pressure to compress air in a chamber. When the toilet is flushed, the air pushes the water out of the chamber at high velocity, flushing the toilet with less water.
- Automatic seat closing: Some toilets are designed with a slow-moving hinge that gradually lowers both the seat and lid. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect solution for the lone woman in an all-male household?
- Insulated water tank: To prevent a build-up of moisture on the outside of the tank (a breeding ground for mold and mildew), many toilets have an insulated water tank.
- Two-lever flush: To conserve water, many toilets offer a double-action flushing lever. You push the small lever to release less water for liquids or use the large lever to flush away solid waste.
- Add-ons. Of course, if there’s no room in a remodel for a bidet, toilet seats that provide a bidet function are available. Heated toilet seats are another option that can be added without busting a bathroom budget.
Sustainable solutions are flooding the industry by the moment, but this is a story for a separate post 😉
Installation. Make sure that your plumber has worked with the type of toilet suit you are going to install. You don’t want them to be creative when installing a particularly expensive model.
Try it before you buy it. It has to fit you and your family. So, have fun and find the right size and cut for you.