Technology touches virtually every part of our lives these days.
In fact, even the bathroom is going through a fascinating evolution.
Take the humble toilet. The oldest known flushing toilet dates back to 1700BC and the Palace of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete.
The modern equivalent is quite a different animal (if you’ll excuse the analogy…).
Constrained by design: the traditional toilet
When we first started designing bathrooms (and no, that wasn’t in 1700BC…!), very little thought was given to the toilet other than its position in the bathroom and, of course, the design.
Toilets have traditionally been constrained by both their design and the bathroom itself. In fact, they were the only part of the suite whose position was entirely dictated by the location of the existing soil pipe. A maximum distance of two metres from the pipe was also required in order to allow adequate drainage.
This rarely presented a problem, but it did make every toilet look rather, well… similar in placement and design. In fact, the most you could do with the latter was furnish it with a funky toilet seat and matching toilet roll holder.
Now, thanks to a brilliant evolution in toilet and bathroom design, this vital utility has had a new lease of life.
Take your pick: 5 types of toilet
The position of your toilet is still somewhat constrained, but once you’ve got that element nailed, your choice of toilet design is now far more interesting.
If you want a traditional, old-fashioned look and feel to your toilet, high-level is the way to go.
A high-level toilet features a cistern that’s located close to the ceiling and suspended by ornate brackets. A long chain and flush pull complete a pleasingly traditional, Victorian-feeling toilet.
Usually the most affordable choice, a close-coupled toilet is where the cistern fits neatly onto the back of the pan (hence the term ‘close-coupled’).
These types of toilet are also far easier to install than the others in this list and are therefore great if you want a job done more quickly and affordably.
If you like your rooms free from distraction and exposed workings, a back-to-wall toilet will probably be for you.
These toilets are installed with the pipework hidden from view within a stud wall, although they’re often fitted within bathroom furniture to provide even more function.
A wall-hung toilet is installed within a stud wall or furniture, just like the back-to-wall option. The difference lies in the support frame, which lifts the entire pan off the floor, thus giving it a suspended look that’s far easier to clean underneath.
A wall-hung toilet is also great for creating more floor space and the illusion of a larger room.
5. Shower toilets
Now, it’s a fair bet you didn’t expect to read that as an option, eh?
Shower toilets are relatively new, but they’re designed to improve the comfort and hygiene of your bathroom thanks to warm water cleaning. They’re suitable for everyone but particularly beneficial for people with limited mobility.
Some shower toilet models even lift the lid automatically when someone approaches them and can offer warm air drying, automatic flushing and will even clean the pan for you after each use. As you’d expect, this all comes at a cost, but they should use less water, require fewer chemicals for cleaning and reduce the use of toilet paper to counteract the initial investment.
What to consider when buying a toilet
So, with all this choice, which toilet style is right for you?
You may be tempted to invest in one of the designs we’ve listed above, but there’s a few things to keep in mind when toilet shopping. Look for:
- easy-clean pans without dust traps;
- comfort height toilets, if required (these are 4-6cm higher than normal);
- dual flush systems that enable you to choose how long to flush for after use; and
- built-in odour extraction units which clean the air for you after use (the new Gerberit AquaClean Mera is a great example of this!).
See? The toilet really isn’t just a boring old ‘loo’ anymore!
Get in touch with our friendly team if you’d like to talk about bathrooms, or giving your bathroom a new lease of life.