There are many different types of toilet to pick from, so it isn’t always easy to choose the right one for your cloakroom, bathroom, or ensuite renovation. One style that you should know about is the back to wall toilet. But what does this type of toilet look like, and what are its advantages? Read on to learn more.
What is a Back To Wall Toilet?
Back to wall toilets look just as you would imagine. Essentially, the user has their back flush against a wall when they are seated on the bowl, rather than having their back against the toilet cistern. The toilet has no visible cistern as it is hidden, so only the pan can be seen when you enter the room.
Different Types of Back To Wall Toilets and Their Features
There are three different types of back to wall toilets. Each has its own benefits and features:
- Comfort height back to wall toilets – a comfort height back to wall toilet is, as you might imagine from the name, designed to sit at a comfortable height for use. Especially useful for toilets that will be used by elderly people or those with mobility issues, these toilets are slightly higher than a standard toilet.
- Short projection back to wall toilets – these toilets have a short projection, which means that the bowl protrudes less obviously into the room. With their shorter bowl size, they’re ideal for compact bathrooms and cloakrooms as they save valuable space.
- Rimless back to wall toilets – these toilets have no rim, like a traditional toilet, to trap germs and dirt. Designed to have smooth bowl sides rather than a protruding rim, these toilets are easier to clean and maintain, and they’re also a more hygienic option.
How to choose a Back To Wall Toilet
If you’re considering choosing a back to wall toilet, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind:
- Space – your first consideration is the amount of space that you have available. Is there going to be enough room behind the wall to fit the cistern, or will a WC unit be necessary?
- Who will use the toilet? – if somebody who is elderly or who has mobility issues will be using the toilet, you may want to consider choosing a comfort height toilet which will be easier to access.
- Design – there are several different styles of back to wall toilets including those with a square design, or round bowl shape. You can find modern back to wall toilets that create a contemporary look in your bathroom, or more traditional back to wall toilets that have all of the elegance of a Victorian-style fixture with a space-saving hidden cistern. You may need a WC unit too depending on the amount of space you have behind your bathroom wall.
- Maintenance and hygiene – if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, hygienic and easy to clean toilet, a back to wall rimless smooth-sided toilet will be the best choice for you.
Why Choose a Back To Wall Toilet?
There are several reasons why you might want to choose a back to wall toilet for your bathroom. Some of the reasons that these toilets are proving to be very popular include:
- They have a hidden cistern. That not only saves space in your bathroom (essential in a compact room), but it also creates a more modern, stylish look in your home.
- They have a clean-looking design – back to wall toilets are contemporary-looking, and thanks to the hidden cistern, they look streamlined and minimalistic.
- They’re the best option if you’re fitting them with fitted furniture or a furniture pack since the cistern will go in the unit behind.
- Affordability – often a back to wall toilet will come with a lower cost than a close coupled toilet, which is important if you’re on a tight budget.
What else do I need to consider?
There are a couple of considerations when you’ve made the decision to choose a back to wall toilet. Firstly, if you’re only buying the toilet with no unit, you’ll have to choose a concealed cistern too, which is specially designed to accompany this type of toilet so your installation can be completed. Typically, this will come with a flush button too, including ones with a dual flush so you can save water.
If you won’t be fitting your back to wall toilet against a wall directly, you’ll need to buy a WC furniture unit to go with it. There is a distinct advantage in taking this option as it makes it much simpler to install the toilet when compared with the work involved in fitting the pipework and cistern in the bathroom wall. WC furniture units come in many different colours and finishes so they can work with your other bathroom furniture items for a coordinated and cohesive look for your space.
If you install your toilet with no WC unit, that will make it more complicated to install. You’ll need either a boxed section or stud wall so that there is sufficient room to contain the plumbing work and cistern. Usually, it’s best to hire the services of a professional plumber to install your toilet as it can be a complex process and you’ll want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the job has been done properly and you won’t experience any unwanted issues in the future with your toilet.
Common Questions Answered
How Do Back To Wall Toilets Work?
Back to wall toilets work in a very straightforward and simple way, with no metal framework required. All you require is a toilet, a toilet seat, and a hidden cistern as well as a flush plate. You fit the cistern inside a wall or in a WC unit and it will feed clean water into your toilet whenever you press the flush.
The water comes down a flush pipe to flush the toilet. The connections are hidden from view, so this type of toilet is especially visually appealing with a less cluttered look that complements compact bathrooms. Another advantage to this is that the noise of the flush will be quieter when compared with that produced by an exposed cistern.
The connection to the toilet’s soil pipe will also be hidden from view. This pipe will carry the dirty water and waste from the bowl.
How Is A Back To Wall Toilet Installed?
When you install a back to wall toilet in your bathroom, you need to be aware that it isn’t as simple to install when compared with a standard close coupled toilet as all of the plumbing has to be hidden within the wall or WC unit.
That could mean your pipes require updating and it may also make repairs in the future more complex as the parts may be more difficult to reach. For this reason, you’re advised to add a panel that can be removed so access will never be a problem.
Since it isn’t easy to fit a back to wall toilet, it’s always advisable to use a professional plumber to install your fixture so that you can be confident that the job has been done correctly.
What Is The Difference Between A Back To Wall And A Close Coupled Toilet?
If you’ve never seen a back to wall toilet before, you may not be aware of the differences between the two types of fixture.
Back to wall toilets have a bowl that is separate from the remainder of the toilet. Usually, the cistern will be purchased separately. Meanwhile, a close coupled toilet will come with a cistern and bowl in a complete single unit.
Back to wall toilets fit flush against your bathroom wall or a WC unit. Meanwhile, a close coupled toilet usually has a gap between it and the wall.
On close coupled toilets, the flush will either be located on the side or the top of the toilet cistern. However, with back to wall toilets, the flush is either mounted on the WC unit or on the wall.
Close coupled toilets and back to wall toilets do have one thing in common though – they both come in a wide variety of different designs including both traditional and contemporary styles. Whether you like the idea of a square or round toilet, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for.
Are Back To Wall Toilets A Good Choice For A Small Bathroom?
As back to wall toilets have a cistern that is built into the wall or a WC unit, they are ideal for smaller bathrooms and cloakrooms. They are an efficient space-saving solution, especially as it’s possible if you’re using a WC unit to integrate storage into that unit to save on floor space.
If you opt for a short projection back to wall toilet, you can maximise the amount of floor space you have available in your room so that your space won’t feel cluttered and overcrowded.