Close-coupled toilet buying guide

Guide written by:
Dennis, self-taught DIYer, Bristol

Dennis, self-taught DIYer, Bristol

18 guides

Looking to fit your new or renovated bathroom with a close-coupled toilet? These so-called standard toilets are easy to install and offer a range of possibilities including raised seats, horizontal or vertical connections and space-saving designs. Read on to find the right close-coupled toilet to suit your needs!

Important features

  • Horizontal or vertical soil pipe
  • Size and ergonomics
  • Seat height
  • Rimmed or rimless toilet pan
  • Toilet seat features
  • Hygiene options
  • Standard or modern design

Close-coupled toilets: 5 factors to help you make your choice

Close-coupled toiletsWhen it comes to selecting a close-coupled toilet, your decision will come down the unit's installation requirements alongside various other considerations.
  • the soil pipe connection: the most important factor regarding installation (can be horizontal or through-floor);
  • dimensions: toilets do not vary greatly in size across ranges meaning you shouldn't have to pay too much attention unless you are well above or below average height;
  • the flush mechanism: will impact your water consumption;
  • the rim: rimless options available (for easy cleaning and better hygiene);
  • style: choose from a wide range of design options.

You can also consider the following:

  • Your toilet can also be connected to a wash-basin;
  • or built into a unit.

Close-coupled toilet waste types

Close-coupled toilet waste types

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 dimensions for close-coupled toilets

Standard dimensions for close-couple toiletsStandard 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.

Rimmed or rimless: what is the difference?

Rimmed or rimless: what is the difference?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 part much 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!

Toilet seats: from safety features to clip-on models

Pack wc sans brideThe 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.

Methods for reducing toilet water consumption

Methods for reducing toilet water consumptionIt 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 sinkThis option will allow you to save around 3 m3 of water per year.

5 tips for choosing the right close-coupled toilet

5 tips for choosing the right close-coupled toiletThere are a number of other points and additional options to consider when choosing a toilet:

  • toilet pans can be given a special coating to limit limescale build up;
  • ceramic glaze rims can help to reduce bacteria growth;
  • the screws used to fix the toilet pan to the ground can be hidden beneath the pan;
  • the sound level of the flush mechanism;
  • BS standards to ensure the efficiency and durability of products.

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.

Choosing a branded toilet for quality guarantee

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!

More information

For more tips on bathroom design, check out the following guides from our editors:

Bathroom sink buying guide
Toilet buying guide
Toilet flush mechanism buying guide
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Guide written by:

Dennis, self-taught DIYer, Bristol 18 guides écrits

Dennis, self-taught DIYer, Bristol

I first got into DIY around ten years ago, when I bought a house in desperate need of a makeover.

After insulating the loft and refurbishing the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms, I set about building an extension, installing a gated fence and fitting the house with a solar water heater. I’ve poured tens of tonnes of concrete into slabs and foundations and also renovated a roof. In short, it’s safe to say that I’m no stranger to building work!

I’ve logged hundreds of hours browsing DIY forums and magazines trying to find the best solutions to my specific problems. For that reason, I feel it’s only fair to give back some of my own experience and share my knowledge of tools and building equipment.

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