types of toilet

What Type of Toilet is Best for my Bathroom?

Toilets are of course a crucial part of everyday life, but have you ever considered the different types of toilets and just what questions to ask when buying one?

Whether you have a large or small bathroom, there are various types of toilets you can buy in all manner of designs. Whether you’re after a traditional toilet or something more contemporary, choosing the perfect toilet for your home can be tricky. Especially when trying to match the design to the other items in your bathroom such as basins and cabinets.

So, we've made this handy guide to assist you through the toilet-buying process and to help you learn more about the different types of toilets. From the benefits of each toilet style to the key questions you need answering, we’ll help you find the ideal option for your bathroom.

Read on to find out more about toilets, and which type is best for your home.

What are the different types of toilets?

When it comes to types of toilets, there are three main designs, close-coupled, back-to-wall, and wall-hung toilets, each of which is suitable for all styles of bathrooms.

Read more: How to fit a Toilet

Close-coupled toilet


Close-coupled toilets are the most common type of toilet in the UK and are easily identifiable thanks to their “L”-shape.

The close-coupled design features the cistern directly above the toilet bowl, which makes them closely coupled together. The toilets differed from the previous popular style of high-level toilets, where the cistern was positioned high above the toilet. You can find these in older buildings or traditional bathroom suites.

The close-coupled toilet has developed over time, and you can have the traditional flushing handle, a button, or the high-tech motion-detecting flush. This technology improves hygiene, like a rimless toilet, so bacteria can’t be caught underneath, making cleaning easier.

Close-coupled toilets come in a range of styles, which are explained below:

  • Contemporary: providing a modern twist, no matter where they’re fitted. Smooth, flowing lines and soft angles highlight exactly how modern these toilets look and feel.
  • Traditional: visually stunning, these designs feature chrome downpipes, low or high-level cisterns, and ceramic flush handles. They’re old-school style combined with modern technology.
  • Comfort Height: ideal for those who struggle with mobility and find a standard toilet too low to sit on. They’re styled in just the same way as a contemporary toilet but with additional height.

Back-to-wall toilet


Back-to-wall toilet designs are a contemporary option, where the cistern is concealed within a wall or a furniture unit. 

This style of toilet is great for a modern bathroom suite and can provide a space-saving option in a smaller bathroom. Think of it as a minimalist approach in your bathroom to maximising space. It does this by concealing the cistern, behind the pan, by hiding it away in a unit or behind a wall. 

A back-to-wall toilet can look especially sleek and luxurious when the cistern is completely hidden within the wall. Alternatively, you could go for a closed toilet unit, in a furniture unit, available in a range of finishes to match your bathroom decor.

There are usually two styles of back-to-wall toilets, both of which can be found at Plumbworld:

  • With a Unit: these modern furniture unit toilets conceal the cistern while providing storage space at the same time. The units come in a host of contemporary finishes from white gloss right through to grey gloss and charcoal grey, ideal in any modern bathroom.
  • Without a Unit: instead of being concealed in a unit, these back-to-wall toilets have the cistern hidden behind your bathroom wall. These are more complicated to install and may require the addition of a ‘stud wall’ or boxed section. This can allow you to add a shelf or storage space above it.

Wall-hung toilet

Wall-hung toilets as the name suggests, appear to hang in the air as though they aren’t attached to the floor.

Like back-to-wall toilets, wall-hung toilets have a concealed cistern that is hidden in the wall. This style of toilet is perfect for contemporary bathrooms thanks to their clean and simple lines that utilise the space.

With these designs, you will also need a concealed cistern and wall mounting unit in your bathroom. Wall-hung toilets will save on space from the concealed cistern as well as increase your floor area, giving the impression of more space. Keep reading to find out the benefits of a wall-hung toilet.

  • Ease of Cleaning: like back-to-wall toilets, the concealed cistern makes cleaning easier. Well, with no floor attachment, floors can be mopped without having to manage your way around a traditional-style toilet.
  • Save on Space: again, like a back-to-wall toilet, the lack of an external cistern means the outward impact of your toilet is reduced. This gives you more space to play with while the floating pan gives the impression of more floor area. This is especially handy in smaller bathrooms.
  • Luxury Look: wall-hung toilets are the ultimate in modern, luxury bathroom appliances. If you want to create a minimalist sleek, sophisticated style at home, this type of toilet is perfect thanks to the lack of visual interruption to the flow of the bathroom.

Traditional toilet


If you're looking to update your existing traditional toilet but don't want to go modern then simply replace it with another traditional toilet. Traditional toilets, however, can also be suited to modern homes which feature a traditional touch.

Which toilet is best for my bathroom?

Of course, the type of toilet you choose doesn’t all come down to how it looks or how much it costs but whether it’ll fit in your bathroom.

For large bathrooms, you can have any type of toilet - just remember to keep your design theme the same, there’s no need to mix traditional toilets with contemporary basins and baths.

Which toilet is best for a small bathroom?

If you have a small bathroom, this can be difficult to answer, as most toilets will fit into any space however, this will all depend on the shape of the room and the other fittings in the space.

In most cases, the best choices of toilets for small bathrooms tend to be wall-hung toilets, toilet and basin combination units, short projection toilets, and corner toilets.

Toilets with sinks on top


Perhaps the best choice for a bathroom particularly short on space or a wonderful option for a tiny cloakroom. Toilets with sinks on top include both a standard toilet and a small basin and are also great at saving water, using recycled water from the basin to fill the cistern.

Corner toilets

As the name suggests, corner toilets are a stylish, space-saving solution for your bathroom suite. These toilet designs fit elegantly into the alcove of any bathroom, allowing plenty of extra space while providing you with the functionality of a full-sized toilet.

Short projection toilets

These toilets offer an ideal solution for smaller bathrooms. Short projection toilets are just as wide as a standard toilet, likewise for the pan and seat, but the cistern size has been reduced to give it less length. This means its outward projection is much smaller.

Toilet & basin furniture units


If you're looking to combine your toilet and basin to create a wonderful storage solution then look no further than a toilet and basin furniture or vanity unit. Also, a great way to keep to one style, a combined unit will match the toilet and basin style to create one aesthetically pleasing look.

What type of toilet seat do I need?

Not all toilet seats fit the same as toilets come in a variety of different shapes, so you’ll need to check this when buying your toilet.

The most common types of toilet seats are oval, square, round, and D-shaped. Each style should only be fitted to the corresponding toilet style to avoid incorrect fitting.

Read more: How to Replace a Toilet Seat

Most toilet seats are oval, although some may be more of a contemporary square or D-shape. So, it is important to remember this if looking for a replacement.

If you're looking for further information on toilets and toilet seats, take a look at the following posts - How to Measure for a Toilet Seat - Rimless Toilet Buying Guide - How to Replace a Toilet Seat.

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