Toilet buying guide

Toilet buying guide

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

220 guides

Hygiene and comfort are the two main factors to bear in mind when looking for a toilet. Whether you have a vertical or horizontal waste or are in the market for a wall hung, close coupled or macerator toilet, we've got you covered. Read on for our guide to choosing the perfect toilet for your bathroom!

Important features

  • Close coupled
  • Wall hung
  • Macerator
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The main types of toilet

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of toilet:

  • Close coupled;
  • Wall hung
  • Macerator.

Most people will choose from the first two options while macerator toilets are mainly used when there are specific requirements to fulfil.

Close coupled toilets

Close coupled toilets are the most popular type of toilet. Found in most bathrooms, these units are hygienic, comfortable and easy to install. They consist of the following components:

  • a toilet pan that is secured to the ground;
  • a separate cistern that stores the water used for flushing;
  • fill and flush valves that make up the flushing mechanism;
  • and a hinged toilet seat connected to the toilet bowl.

These toilets are fixed to the floor with screws and connected to the soil pipe via a pan connector which usually measures around 100 mm in diameter.

Pan connectors

The pan connector may be designed to feed through a wall or directly into the floor. Most modern toilets feature a horizontal pan connector that passes through a wall to the waste pipe. It is possible to have a through-floor soil pipe but this is no longer very common.

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Wastewater network

Wall hung toilets


altWall hung toilets are more attractive, hygienic and quieter than close coupled models. A perfect match for modern bathrooms, wall hung toilets are usually connected to a wall hung toilet frame while the cistern is concealed discreetly behind a wall. The one disadvantage of these toilets is that they require more work to install than close coupled toilets.

Advantages of a wall-hung toilet:

  • You can adjust the height of the toilet pan, which is a great option if you're looking for a non-standard seat height. This can be selected during installation.
  • The pipes are concealed behind the panel covering the frame, which will also help to reduce the noise of the toilet refilling.
  • Keeping the area clean is made easier by the absence of any visible pipes or pedestal. Accessories such as a wall-mounted flush button and a quick release toilet seat make maintenance easy. It's even possible to find models with a special limescale inhibiting coating. But remember – your toilet still won't clean itself!
  • BS standards provide a guarantee of good performance. These standards also assure the quality of the pan connector, the standard dimensions of all connections and the ability of the toilet to withstand harsh cleaning products. The flushing strength of a toilet is also tested through tens of thousands of flushing cycles.
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Flush plates

Macerator toilets


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Macerator toilets differ from standard toilets in that they do not require a conventional pan connector. If you want to install a toilet in an unconventional location (such as the basement, a loft conversion or even a bedroom) these are the best toilets to choose. They are also a good option for portable use; for example, in camper vans or static caravans.

There are, nonetheless, some disadvantages to macerator toilets. These units work using an electric motor which means they are not independent in terms of energy. This can be very inconvenient at times – especially during a power cut when no electricity will mean no toilet! Furthermore, the noise these toilets produce might be disruptive, particularly if you are living in close proximity to others. However, some more recent models come with quieter mechanisms.

The bottom line is that macerator toilets will generally be installed in cases of necessity – people don't tend to choose them otherwise! Therefore, your choice will come down to where you need to fit your toilet.

Choosing the right toilet for your needs


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Close coupled toilets can be installed easily and they are usually the cheapest option available. This is an important factor to consider if your budget is tight or if you're working to a time limit. Wall hung toilets offer the perfect mix of elegance and practicality. They are usually superior in terms of quality but are trickier to install. They are often installed during home renovations or in the construction of new builds. When compared to other models, macerator toilets tend to be less appealing but sometimes needs must!

To combine style with functionality, you can always freshen up the area around your toilet by adding a new toilet roll holder, some striking bathroom furniture or a toilet seat with a fun design!

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Toilet seats
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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 220 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!

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