Replacing the toilet in your bathroom or powder room is a fast and simple way to uplift the entire space! It can also be a cost effective solution if your toilet is older and leaking and the cost of parts is similar to that of a whole new loo! Either way, be it out of desire or necessity, many toilet suites today offer a bright, white finish, great water-efficiencies or high star ratings and even simpler cleaning. This guide breaks down the loo styles available, how they work and will hopefully help you decide which is best for you.
Understanding The Components Of A Toilet
First things first, you need to know that every toilet has two main components — the cistern (or water tank) and the pan (the base that you sit on). The cistern holds enough water so that when you release the water by pressing the flush buttons, it will flush away what is inside the pan. Cisterns are always connected to the pan but the connection style can vary from toilet to toilet.
Styles Of Toilets
Behind The Wall/Concealed Cisterns
With these toilets the cistern is located behind a wall and the pan in front. This style is great for creating a feeling of a more spacious bathroom and can even be configured in a way to create additional shelf space in the bathroom like the image below. Concealed cisterns are best set up in the early construction stages of a build or bathroom reno, as they can be quite laborious to install in an established room.
Cistern lives behind Chrome plate above toilet. Pipe goes from bottom of cistern, through tiles and into back of the pan.
Close Coupled Cistern
With this style the cistern and the pan are bolted together and installed in front of the wall, with the cistern connecting to the wall. Water flows from the cistern directly into pan without the need for an extra pipe.
Close coupled toilet.
Close Coupled Back To Wall
A very popular option in modern bathrooms and with toilet upgrades, the pan and the cistern back completely onto the wall with these loos. They’re a neat looking option, and prevent that nasty dust buildup that often builds behind other styles.
Check out the transformation below!
BEFORE on left: Linked toilet. AFTER on right: Back to wall close coupled toilet. No need to change any pipework/make a big mess — just a straight swap over.
Linked / Connector Suite
With this style, the the cistern and the pan are separate pieces, joined by a pipe that is sometimes covered (picture below) and sometimes not (picture, left above). These toilets often look dated, if you’re looking to upgrade your fixtures, consider replacing your connector suite with a close coupled or close coupled back to wall style toilet. Or, if you’re on a budget, a great way to achieve a similar effect is to swap a discoloured plastic cistern and toilet seat for ceramic. Instantly fresher!
Here is a plastic for ceramic cistern and plastic seat swap we completed recently!
BEFORE: Discoloured plastic cistern and toilet seat. AFTER: new ceramic cistern and new plastic seat.
Be sure to look out for the WELS rating on your new toilet. Older toilets can flush up to 13 litres per flush! You can cut this down to 3 litres with a water efficient toilet. Better for the environment and your water bill! The more stars the more water efficient!
When selecting a new toilet, it’s important to understand the existing pipe layout as this will determine the type of toilet you can use.
Where does the water come from?
For most toilets, water feeds into your toilet in one of two ways; through the bottom of the cistern (bottom inlet) or through the back of the cistern (back inlet). Back inlet toilets hide the water pipe entering your toilet.
Bottom inlet on LHS and back inlet on RHS.
Where does the water go?
Toilets can be either a P trap or S trap. This mean the water either leaves the pan through the floor (S-trap) or through the wall (P-trap). It is crucial to get this right when buying a new one. If you’re unsure, ask your plumber to check it out for you.
Things To Consider:
- What style toilet do you currently have?
- What is the pipe layout on your current toilet?
- What style of toilet do you want?
- How much water will it use?