Guide written by:
Dennis, self-taught DIYer, Bristol
When it comes to selecting a close-coupled toilet, your decision will come down the unit's installation requirements alongside various other considerations.
You can also consider the following:
Most modern toilets feature horizontal wastes that pass through the wall. Vertical through-floor wastes are becoming increasingly rare. The first option is easier to connect while the second can be more attractive as it frees up space behind the toilet pan.
As a reminder, close-coupled toilets consist of: a toilet pan which is fitted to the ground; a cistern which supplies water to the flush system (note: a dual-button flush mechanism will generally store 3-6 litres); flush and fill valves; and the toilet seat (the hinged cover connected to the toilet pan).Close-coupled toilets are fixed to the ground by screws and linked to your waste water network via a waste pipe or pan connector (usually measuring 100 mm in diameter).
Remember to pay close attention to the position of your waste pipe.
Standard close-coupled toilets have a seat height of around 40 cm and an overall height of less than 80 cm. They generally measure around 40 cm in width and 60 to 80 cm in depth. If you don’t have a lot of room, go for a space-saving model with a short projection of around 50 cm or a corner toilet with a cistern designed to fit perfectly into the corner of the room.
You can also find raised toilet seats – with heights of around 50 cm from the ground – for elderly people or those with disabilities. It is equally possible to purchase models that have been specially designed for children (seat heights around 22 cm). Seat raisers and support rails can also be practical additions.
When making your choice, you should bear in mind that toilets should have a clearance space of at least 20 cm on each side and 30 to 40 cm of clearance in front for comfortable use. This adds up to a minimum surface area of 100 x 90 cm.
The rim is the upper ledge of the inside of the toilet pan that conceals the water coming in from the cistern. This is a difficult area to access which can lead to a build up of dirt and bacteria. Rimless or open rim toilets – offered by an increasing number of manufacturers – make cleaning this partmuch easier.
These options improve hygiene standards, prevent splashing and ensure waste is carried away efficiently. It goes without saying that, whether rimmed or rimless, your toilet will still require scrubbing with a brush!
The toilet seat is the part of the toilet that you can really make your own.
You can choose from around half a dozen different materials (thermoplastic resin, thermoset resin, polyester resin, compressed wood, etc.), all of which are very resistant and can be personalised. You can also choose from a range of different hinge types (stainless steel, plastic, brass, etc.).
If you have children, opt for a toilet seat with a child safety lock. Clip-on toilet seats make cleaning your toilet pan easier.
It is estimated that toilets consume around 20% of all water in your household which is a pretty substantial proportion.
The most effective way to save water is by using a dual-button flush mechanism. Nowadays, these can be purchased from most manufacturers. The smaller button will release around 3 litres of water for when you do not require as much water while the larger button will release around 5 to 6 litres when you need a bit more. This system can help you to half your water consumption compared to a single-button flush mechanism. In turn, this can help you save up to 30 m3 of water per year.
Another way to conserve water is to reuse the waste water from your wash basin by connecting it to your cistern.
The water that you use to wash your hands is used to fill up the flush mechanism directly. These toilet pans are not as deep, but you'll save yourself the bother of installing a wall-mounted sink. This option will allow you to save around 3 m3 of water per year.
There are a number of other points and additional options to consider when choosing a toilet:
It’s worth remembering that the straighter and more funnel-shaped the toilet pan is, the less water will be required to efficiently flush away the waste.
Your toilet will be visited by the whole family and anyone you invite to your home. For this reason, it is important to buy a toilet from a known brand complete with a warranty to cover repairs.
This is perhaps even more essential than for any other item in the house as there is nothing more annoying than going without a toilet for a day or two! Attaching your toilet to your wash basin – while relatively uncommon – is a practical and hygienic option that offers real user comfort. What’s more, this is a great option for saving water!
Guide written by:
Dennis, self-taught DIYer, Bristol, 18 guides
I started doing DIY 10 years or so ago, when I bought a house that needed to be renovated. After having installed loft isolation, and having refurbished the bathroom, the toilets, the kitchen, the bedrooms… I built an extension, installed a new fence with a gate and kitted out the house with a solar panel to make hot water. I have poured tens of tonnes of concrete into slabs or into the foundations and renovated the roof… I can say that building materials and tools are no stranger to me! If I had a pound for every hour spent looking up information in forums and DIY magazines to find solutions to my problems, I'd be a millionaire! So passing on my knowledge on tools and home equipment is natural, as it is just giving back what I borrowed.
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