Lily Bains’ Complete Guide to ... Toilets and WCS

We know that sometimes it can be a bit confusing when deciding what you want for your bathroom, and when you’re not confident on what’s available then it can make what should be an easy decision that bit harder.

That’s why we have put together everything we know about bathrooms in easy to read guides to help you decide what suits you and your family to create your perfect bathroom.

Here we have a guide for choosing your toilet, covering the different types of toilet and even the type of flushing mechanism to help you decide what you need.

Toilets & WC’s

There are several different types of toilets currently available. These include Wall hung, Back-to-wall, Close-coupled WCs. See below for a detailed description of each type of toilet which will help you to decide which will suit you.

Wall hung

This type of toilet has the pan hanging on the wall and the cistern concealed in the wall behind it. More common in mainland Europe, it has become increasingly popular over recent years as more people travel abroad and see this style.

You do however need to ensure that the pan is supported properly when fitted either by the use of special floor mounting brackets or the use of a framework. These frameworks, which support the pan and provide a place for the cistern, are available from several suppliers.

This type of WC allows ease of cleaning and as the pan is the only visible piece of ceramic it minimises the impact of the WC on the design of the room. Standard toilets usually have the cistern sitting on top or very close to the pan connected via a pipe.

Back to wall

This type of toilet is used mainly when the client is having fitted furniture. As with the wall hung toilet the cistern is concealed inside the furniture but the pan is sat on the floor.

Close coupled

This is the most common type of toilet. This type of toilet has the pan and cistern joined together.

This toilet is easily maintained and is therefore ideal for downstairs cloakrooms and main en-suites where they are likely to get a lot of use.

Types of Flushing Mechanism

There are two main types of flushing mechanisms: the siphon and the dump valve.

Siphons

Siphons have been used for many years in the UK as the means of flushing the toilet. They work with the use of a lever or pull chain. When this is pushed a small amount of water is forced over the siphon in the cistern, which creates inertia that draws the rest of the water along with it and flushes the toilet. They are very effective with high levels of water in the cistern but become less efficient as the water level falls.

In the past toilet cisterns originally contained 12 litres of water, then 9 litres and now 6 litres for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush. People who now have a 6 litre flushing siphon type toilet often complain that they have to flush the toilet twice to get it to work.

Dump valves

In recent years dump valves were not allowed in the UK, but with the advent of new legislation they are now fitted in most new toilets. The dump valve works by means of a push button, either a single or a double one. As you press the button it lifts a valve that instantly releases all the water down through the toilet. This makes this type of flushing mechanism very effective with low levels of water.

Overflows

Most old types of toilet have an overflow which let the water flow outside the property if the ball valve mechanism fails. This is called a visible overflow.

Most new types of toilet have an overflow which flows back into the toilet bowl if the ball valve fails. This makes them easier to install. This is called an internal overflow.

Bidets

Bidets are not that common in the UK and Ireland as we are not normally raised to use them. However for those that do have and use them there are a few points to consider.

For a bidet to work effectively they have to be fitted next to a toilet-not at the other side of the room or several feet away.

Bidets now come with the tap fitted on the top and is usually a mono bloc mixer. There used to be which came with an up-spray of fountain spray as it was known. This type of bidet is no longer available.

If you are still unsure what your need, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our bathroom consultants who would be happy to assist you further!