If you subscribe to any home and garden magazines, or spend any time surfing HGTV, you’ve probably noticed wall toilets creeping into designer bathrooms all over the place. These are toilets with tanks installed directly into the wall, and bowls that don’t touch the ground, suspended beautifully on the wall in a nice compact package. But many people believe these types of toilets are not for them – that they’re difficult to install, difficult to maintain, and so on. But the truth is, wall toilets are more user-friendly than you think, and they’re actually an excellent space saving option for a small bathroom.
Easy To Install!*
*Okay, easy might be stretching it a little, but I’d like to dispel the myth that there’s something mystically difficult about installing a wall toilet, because that just isn’t the case. Really, installing a wall mounted toilet isn’t a whole lot more complicated than installing any other toilet. The catch is, it really needs to be done either as part of a major remodel or in new construction. Unlike most toilets, which are installed at the very end of the process and can therefore be easily changed out, wall hung toilets like this City Wall Toilet from GSI have to be installed before your bathroom’s drywall is finished, because the tank has to be built directly into the wall cavity between the studs, and the toilet bowl itself securely mounted to the wall for stability before the tank is walled in and painted or tiled over.
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Easy To Maintain
Most people react to the idea of an in-wall tank with the immediate and fervent belief that such a tank would be well-nigh impossible to maintain. Images of having to rip out their perfect tile wall every time the toilet starts running has them headed for the hills and unwilling to give wall toilets another thought. But the truth is, wall mounted toilets like this Water Sense Pro from Laufen have to have flush mechanisms, and those push-button style mechanisms are built into large plates, which can easily be removed and serve as an access panel to the tank inside your wall – no demo needed if your toilet needs a repair. It might be a slightly more cramped workspace, but other than that, the maintenance is no more complicated than any other toilet.
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But They Must Be So Expensive!
Well, they can be, but as with any luxury item that’s starting to become widely accepted, prices range all over the place. The priciest models peak in the just-over-$1k range, but you can also find equivalent wall toilets in the same couple-hundred-bucks range you’d pay for a standard, high quality Water Sense toilet. So if price is the main prohibiting factor, look around for a less-expensive model like this S20 Toilet from Vitra, which clocks in at in the very reasonable $250 neighborhood. Bonus if it’s especially water-efficient, as the savings on your water bill can help recoup any extra cost.
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Easy To Clean
One of the worst things about standard toilets is how difficult they are to clean and to clean around. There’s always the space behind and around the toilet that’s difficult to get to, the dust and gunk collecting bends and bumps on the base, and the nebulous area at the base of the toilet itself. Wall toilets like this smooth, sleek, Moai Wall Toilet from Scarabeo eliminate all of these – because they don’t touch the floor, it’s easy to sweep, mop, or swiff underneath them and all the way to the wall, and because the complex bendy plumbing is inside the wall, all you have to clean on the toilet itself is a nice smooth curvy bowl, which is often finished with a hygienic, easy to clean glaze.
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Because wall toilets are mounted directly to the wall, you have the unique freedom to choose how high off the ground you want it to be when you install it. This one might not seem super important if the standard 15 3/4″ is just fine for you. But if you’re very tall, very small, or need a raised toilet for accessibility, this can actually be really convenient. If for whatever reason a standard height toilet doesn’t cut it for you, a wall toilet offers a great way to get the exact height – and, really, any height – you need. In fact, there’s a whole subset of wall mounted toilets that are ADA approved, like this Flushometer toilet, for those with disabilities.
Water Saving And Dual Flush Features Are Standard
Low flow and dual flush toilets are finally starting to really catch on, but while it’s still a maybe maybe not option for standard toilets, you’d be hard pressed to find wall toilets without both. Something like this Aquia Dual Flush from Toto has a fairly standard 1.6GPF “big flush” and a 0.8 GPF “little flush,” which can add up to tremendous water savings long term, let alone toilets that use even less.
Smart For Small Bathrooms
The biggest myth I want to dispel, though, is that wall toilets are only “for” big luxury bathrooms. The truth is, there’s never been a smarter, more elegant solution for a small bathroom. There are a lot of frilly luxury items out there, things that might be nice to have, but that aren’t really strictly necessary. But if you have a very small bathroom, wall toilets like this Sunrise Toilet definitely aren’t one of them. In fact, they use one of my very favorite small bathroom tricks, by using the space inside the walls before using up floor space. The absence of the tank allows you to take the toilet closer to the wall, both hugely opening up your floor space and often giving you a better horizontal clearance, too, so you can put your toilet closer to other fixtures, like your bathroom vanity, without crowding it. Plus, having your wall toilet suspended from the ground and absent a tank will not only make your bathroom literally more spacious, it’ll also make it look much larger, too.
What About Weight Requirements?
This is the one negative point about wall toilets that I’ll concede. Wall toilets like this Wish Toilet have to be very firmly secured within the wall and blocked in, not only to support the weight of the toilet, but also to support the weight of anyone using it. Too much weight and the wall support might not be able to handle it, unlike regular toilets which have a sturdy porcelain base. So if the weight limit (usually around 250lbs) is a concern, be sure to keep an eye out for the weight limits of your specific toilets.
What has you interested in wall toilets? Are you looking to stay on trend in 2013, or are you just trying to find a solution for your small bathroom?
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