The toilet market has come a long way from the basic utilitarian fixtures of the past to designer products available today with attractive features and options that can lead to choice paralysis for the buyer.
With this comprehensive toilet buying guide, Expella aims to deconstruct the whole process of buying a toilet that meets your bathroom requirements as well as your aesthetic expectations.
If you’re renovating an existing bathroom, it is important to check your current plumbing arrangements so you can choose a toilet that is compatible with your existing set-up.
There are three main pan types in Australia, and these determine where the waste exits the toilet pan.
- S-trap – the most common pan type, it connects to the sewer pipe via the floor
- P-trap – exits the rear of the toilet and connects to the sewer via the wall
- Skew trap – not as common and often found in older toilets. The pipe exits from either the left or right-hand side of the toilet
By working with your existing pan type, you can simplify the installation process and avoid costly modifications to bathroom plumbing. If you’re starting from scratch, you can choose the toilet design you like best and arrange your plumbing accordingly.
Measure, measure, then measure again
Before shopping for your toilet, you’ll need to measure the ‘set-out’, which is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste pipe (for S-trap where the waste is in the floor) or from the floor to the outlet for a P-trap. This will help you select a toilet that best suits the existing plumbing.
While you have your measuring tape out, consider the space around the toilet and ensure there is enough room for opening doors, drawers and cupboards.
Conserving water has never been more important, especially in Australia’s climate. The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme offers a star rating to help you make an informed decision about the water efficiency of products you are buying such as shower heads, tapware, washing machines, dishwashers and of course, toilets. The higher the star rating, the greater the water efficiency, which also means you save money and make a positive impact on the environment.
Some councils have a minimum WELS rating requirement so check to see if there are regulations in your area that need to be followed.
And of course, always use a licensed and reputable plumber.
Style and design
Once you have a clear understanding of your plumbing requirements, you can choose your toilet style. There are four common toilet designs in Australia, with something to suit every bathroom and budget.
Close coupled: A close coupled toilet is an all-in-one unit with the cistern mounted directly behind the toilet bowl. It is a straightforward and affordable toilet solution ideal for retrofitting in existing spaces.
Back to wall: Sitting flush against the wall, back to wall toilets allow pipework to be hidden from view, resulting in a clean, minimal look. The compact single unit offers easy access to the cistern.
Floor mounted in-wall: Floor mounted in-wall toilets are mounted directly on the floor and have the cistern hidden in the wall cavity. They create a sense of space (perfect for smaller bathrooms) and offer a modern feel, with their clean lines and minimal aesthetic. Access to the cistern is simple, with the flush plate easily removed.
Wall hung: As the name suggests, wall hung toilets are fixed directly to the wall with the toilet bowl elevated off the floor for a sleek and contemporary aesthetic. The cistern is also hidden in the wall cavity, again allowing for a greater sense of space. Wall hung toilets can be installed at any chosen height, making them a versatile option for people of varying needs. Many homeowners appreciate that cleaning around the toilet is made easy, with direct access to the floor beneath the bowl.
Modern toilets now include a range of innovative features to increase comfort and hygiene in the bathroom.
In recent years, rimless toilets have quickly become a popular choice due to the benefits they offer in terms of hygiene and performance. These are quite simply a toilet without a rim, meaning there are no crevices for germs and bacteria to accumulate. Rimless toilets also utilise a direct flush technique that evenly distributes water around the entire bowl. The result is a more powerful flush and superior washing of the bowl.
The latest toilet innovation for the bathroom industry, Milu Odourless toilets are exclusive to Expella and eliminate bathroom odours at the source. The patented in-built ventilation system quietly extracts odours from the toilet bowl and discharges them directly into the sewer before they can be released into the bathroom. With unpleasant odours removed from the bathroom, there is no need for aerosol cans that end up in landfill. Milu Odourless toilets also feature all of the inclusions you would expect from a modern toilet including a soft close lid and rimless design.
Other practical considerations
Ventilation is one of the most overlooked aspects of many home renovation and building projects. By controlling moisture levels in wet spaces, quality ventilation contributes to the overall health and comfort of the home, preventing excessive moisture and mould growth.
There are some contemporary new ventilation products on the market such as Expella’s Shadow-line grille diffuser and the Linear Slot grille diffuser to create a clean and modern aesthetic and ensure a healthy home environment.
Most importantly, choose a quality toilet that is reliable and will continue to perform for years to come. Take a look at the Milu Odourless range and learn more about Expella’s exclusive odourless technology that will remove unpleasant toilet odours from your bathroom once and for all.