How to choose a toilet

In recent years the humble toilet has undergone a style makeover. Sleek new designs, hidden cisterns and water efficiency are just some of the features you need to consider when choosing a toilet for your home.

Start with style

There are a few main toilet designs to choose from, including close coupled, back to wall, wall faced and wall hung. Consider your budget and check with your plumber to find out which one will best fit your bathroom’s set-up.


Close coupled

With a close coupled toilet, the cistern and toilet pan are joined together to hide the flush pipe.


Back to wall

The back-to-wall toilet cistern is attached directly to the bathroom wall, which allows the pipes to be hidden.


Wall faced

Wall-faced toilets are great for small bathrooms as the cistern is concealed inside the wall.


Wall hung

Ideal for small spaces, a wall-hung toilet is mounted on the wall and has clear space beneath it for a clean, modern look.

Pick a toilet plan

Once you’ve settled on a toilet style, it’s time to choose a toilet pan to suit. There are three common pan types: S-trap, P-trap and skew trap.

The trap is the bend in the toilet pipe that gets rid of the waste, and keeps smelly sewer gases from coming up into your bathroom.

An S-trap pan has a waste pipe that’s connected to the floor; the P-trap pipe connects directly to the wall; while the older style skew pan extends either side of the toilet bowl.

Check the plumbing

Different houses have different plumbing set-ups. If you have an existing bathroom, have a look at your plumbing and choose a toilet that suits. But if you’re building from scratch, you can choose your toilet first and tailor your plumbing accordingly.

Take measurements

Before choosing a toilet design, it’s important to decide what “set-out” you’ll need in your bathroom. This is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet for an S-trap, and the floor to the outlet for a P-trap. Set-outs vary, so make sure you take those measurements with you when selecting a toilet.

Think water efficiency

To help reduce water consumption, choose a toilet with a high WELS star rating. A 3 star rating uses 6 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush. While a 4 star rating means you’ll be using 4.5 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush.

If you’re building a new house or renovating an existing bathroom, check with your local council to see if there’s a minimum WELS star rating toilet that you are required to install.

And if you have a traditional single-flush toilet, consider changing it over for a dual flush. It could save you more than 50 litres of water per person, per day.

Plan your dream bathroom

Design your perfect bathroom from the ground up with our easy-to-use 3D planner. Select your layout, add your furniture and fittings, or take inspiration from one of our sample layouts.

Start planning your bathroom


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