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The Ultimate Toilet Buyer's Guide

The Ultimate Toilet Buyer's Guide

Darius Black |

Chances are, you don't have a lot of knowledge surrounding toilets. They're all the same, aren't they? Whilst they are all designed for the same purpose, many designs are available (we have over 500 models on our website!). Unless you're in the plumbing or bathroom business or have a background in DIY, you probably won't know the differences between a low-level toilet and a short projection design.

There are so many styles available on the market for good reason. Regardless of your budget and bathroom size, a toilet will suit all homes. This handy article, expertly written by Showers to You, explains all the information you need about the various designs, the materials used during construction, whether toilet brushes are unhygienic and what a rimless toilet pan is.

What types of toilets can I buy?

With so many designs available, we've chosen to discuss the several styles below. If you wish to know more about toilets, check out our blog post to understand and identify your current toilet.

Close Coupled Toilets

A close-coupled toilet is a popular choice in modern bathrooms due to its compact and efficient design. In this type of toilet, the cistern, which holds the water used for flushing, is directly connected to the bowl, forming a single, integrated unit. This design eliminates the need for a separate pipe or flush system, making the toilet more straightforward to install and maintain.

The Close-Coupled design also offers aesthetic benefits. As the cistern and bowl are combined, the toilet has a streamlined, tidy appearance that suits various bathroom styles. Whether your décor is contemporary or traditional, a close-coupled toilet can seamlessly blend with your overall aesthetic.

Back to Wall Toilets

A Back-to-Wall Toilet, as its name suggests, is a type of toilet design where the toilet pan sits flush against the bathroom wall or a specially designed Back-to-Wall Unit. This design is known for its sleek and modern aesthetic, seamlessly integrating into various bathroom styles.

The main feature that distinguishes back-to-wall toilets from other designs is the concealed cistern. The cistern, which stores the water for flushing, is hidden either within the bathroom wall or a furniture unit. This not only creates a visually pleasing, streamlined look but also saves space.

Wall Hung Toilets

A Wall-Hung Toilet is an innovative design where the toilet pan is suspended above the floor and fixed securely to the wall (usually with a wall-hung WC Frame). This design is well-regarded for its modern aesthetic, which can enhance a range of bathroom styles from contemporary to minimalist.

One of the distinguishing features of Wall-Hung Toilets is the concealed cistern. The cistern is hidden within the bathroom wall and operated via a flush plate. This not only contributes to a clean, uncluttered look but also maximises space. This is an essential aspect for smaller bathrooms or ensuites.

Want to know more reasons to upgrade to a wall-hung toilet? Check out our dedicated blog post that explains Five Reasons to Buy a Wall-Hung Toilet.

Comfort Height Toilets

A Comfort Height Toilet is a thoughtfully designed bathroom fixture prioritising user comfort and accessibility. The toilet seat of this design sits at a similar height to a standard chair. This increased height facilitates more leisurely sitting down and standing up, making it an ideal choice for people with mobility issues, the elderly, or those who simply prefer a taller toilet.

The core feature of Comfort Height Toilets is their user-focused design. By aligning the seat height with standard chairs, these toilets reduce strain on the knees and back, offering a more comfortable and accessible bathroom experience.

Short Projection Toilets

A Short Projection Toilet is characterised by its compact size and efficient use of space. The main feature of this toilet is its reduced projection from the wall, meaning it doesn't extend as far into the room as standard toilets do. This makes it an ideal choice for smaller bathrooms, cloakrooms, or ensuites with premium space.

The essence of the Short Projection Toilet is its space-saving design. By minimising the distance it projects from the wall, these toilets free up potential valuable space.

Corner Toilets

A Corner Toilet is a specialised bathroom fixture designed to maximise space utilisation in your bathroom. This type of toilet is characterised by its triangular cistern that fits snugly into the corner of a room, such as the Kartell Options 600 Close Coupled Corner Toilet Pan. This design is an ideal choice for smaller bathrooms, cloakrooms or ensuites.

The standout feature of a Corner Toilet is its innovative design, which optimises the usage of bathroom space without compromising on comfort or functionality.

Low-Level Toilets

A Low-Level Toilet is a classic bathroom fixture that combines traditional design with modern functionality. This type of toilet is distinguished by the visible, short pipe that connects the cistern to the pan, which is usually positioned at a lower level compared to other types of toilets.

The key feature of a Low-Level toilet is its design, which pays homage to vintage-inspired bathroom aesthetics. It brings a sense of timeless elegance to your bathroom, making it an excellent choice for those who appreciate vintage or retro styles.

Medium-Level Toilets

A Medium Level Toilet is a unique bathroom fixture that elegantly bridges the gap between low-level and high-level toilet designs. This type of toilet features a cistern positioned at a medium height, with a visible pipe connecting it to the pan.

The distinct feature of a Medium-Level Toilet is its design, which marries the best elements of traditional and contemporary aesthetics. It offers an appealing blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication, making it an excellent choice for those who value a balanced bathroom aesthetic.

High-Level Toilets

A High-Level Toilet is a sophisticated bathroom fixture that stands out due to its unique design and exceptional functionality. This type of toilet is characterised by a cistern positioned at a high level, with a long, visible pipe connecting it to the pan.

The defining feature of a High-Level Toilet is its traditional Victorian-era design that adds a touch of classic elegance to your bathroom. It is an excellent choice for those who wish to infuse their bathrooms with a timeless aesthetic appeal.

Shower Toilets

A Shower Toilet is an innovative bathroom fixture that combines the functionality of a toilet and the hygiene benefits of a bidet. This type of toilet features an integrated bidet system that offers a thorough, gentle cleaning experience.

The standout feature of a Shower Toilet is its advanced technology, which blends comfort, cleanliness, and convenience into one product. It's an excellent choice for those who value hygiene and wish to reduce their environmental impacts by reducing toilet roll/ flushable wipe usage. Check out our Shower Toilet Buyer's Guide for further details and information!

Toilet and Basin Units

A Toilet and Basin Unit, also known as a Toilet and Sink combo, is a highly efficient and innovative bathroom fixture that integrates a toilet and a basin into one compact unit. This unique combination is designed to maximise space, conserve water, and provide remarkable convenience.

The defining feature of a toilet and basin unit is its optimal utilisation of space. The design ingeniously combines two essential bathroom elements into one, making it an ideal choice for small bathrooms.

What toilet seat do I need for my toilet?

All toilet seats come in different shapes and sizes for specific toilet bowls. You will need to correctly measure your new toilet seat (see our handy guide on How to Replace a Toilet Seat), and you may consider what additional features you wish to have. This can include a toilet seat with soft-closing hinges, the material or a design with a quick-release mechanism.

What are toilets made from?

Toilets are primarily made from vitreous china, a durable and water-resistant type of ceramic. This material is formed into the various parts of a toilet (the bowl, cistern, and lid) through a meticulous process involving moulding, drying, glazing, and firing at high temperatures. This ensures the final product is robust, glossy, and withstand years of use. Some toilets may incorporate other materials like Cistern Levers for added functionality.

Can I install a toilet myself?

Absolutely! Depending on your DIY skill level, installing a toilet can be a fun and exciting project for your bathroom or ensuite. Check out our in-depth guide on How to install a Toilet for easy-to-follow instructions.

What is a Rimless Toilet?

A rimless toilet is a modern, innovative design where the traditional rim inside the bowl is completely removed. This creates a smooth, continuous surface from top to bottom, eliminating hidden areas where bacteria can accumulate. The flush mechanism is precisely engineered to distribute water evenly throughout the bowl for efficient and thorough cleaning. This design promotes hygiene and ease of cleaning and offers a sleek and contemporary aesthetic.

What's the difference between a Rimless Toilet and a Traditional Toilet?

Traditional toilets have a rim where water flows during flushing, which can often harbour bacteria due to difficulty in cleaning. In contrast, rimless toilets, as the name suggests, have no rim.

Rimless toilets use a specially designed flushing mechanism that distributes water evenly throughout the bowl for efficient cleaning. Whilst serving the same fundamental purpose, rimless toilets offer an edge in cleanliness and maintenance.

What are some disadvantages of a Rimless Toilet?

Rimless toilets often have a higher price tag due to their advanced design and technology. The cheapest model we list is the Kartell Eklipse Back To Wall Rimless WC Pan at £111.15. In contrast, the most expensive is the Vitra V-Care Rimless Wall Hung Shower Toilet at £2,436. The unique flushing mechanism, while more hygienic, can occasionally cause water to splash out of the bowl. Finally, these toilets may require a professional installation, which could add to the overall cost.

What is a Dual Flush Cistern?

A Dual Flush Cistern is a modern and environmentally friendly toilet system. It's designed to conserve water by giving users a choice between two different flush settings. The dual flush cistern offers a reduced flush option, typically using up to 50% less water than traditional single-flush toilets.

Are toilet brushes unhygienic?

Toilet brushes can be unhygienic due to their contact with germs and bacteria in the toilet bowl. If not cleaned and dried properly after each use, these microbes can rapidly multiply. A wet or improperly stored toilet brush may also breed mould and mildew.

However, this does not mean that all toilet brushes are inherently unsanitary. Certain materials, like silicone, are known to attract fewer germs and are easier to clean. Furthermore, regular cleaning and replacement of toilet brushes can go a long way in maintaining hygiene standards.

Why should I buy my toilet from Showers to You?

At Showers to You, we assure you that your ideal toilet for your opulent bathroom is within our range. Our superior collection, sourced from leading manufacturers, caters to diverse tastes and requirements.

Should you require assistance in selecting the perfect toilet for your bathroom, the knowledgeable team at Showers to You is ready to help! Reach out to us via our online form, send us an email at info@showerstoyou.co.uk, or call us on 01472 242159.

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