What is a wall-mounted toilet?

What is a wall mounted toilet? What are its benefits and drawbacks?


What is a wall-mounted toilet? A wall-mounted toilet is a toilet seat that is hung from a wall. This is contrary to the traditional style of toilets which are usually placed on the floor and fixed to it. A toilet is a sophisticated appliance that is in constant use throughout the day. It is an essential part of every bathroom.

Apart from the design, comfort, and decor aspects, that one usually looks at while deciding between the two, there are also hygiene, routine maintenance, and routine-care aspects that must be included in the equation as well. Below I have mentioned a few of the benefits and the drawbacks of using wall-mounted toilets.

Benefits of wall-hung toilets.

Having a toilet seat that is wall mounted can have the following benefits:

Wall-mounted toilets are easier to keep clean.

The only part that is visible and in routine use is the toilet seat. The toilet tank is usually placed inside the wall and hence this can make it easier to clean the toilet. Furthermore, wall-mounted toilets are raised from the ground and have sewage drains that go directly into wall-mounted pipes. The toilet is not attached to sewage pipes that are under the floor.

This means that you don’t have to clean under the toilet seat. This is the area that mostly remains dirty in most houses as it is often overlooked while cleaning. So, going for a wall-mounted option can definitely increase the cleanliness of your bathroom.

Wall-mounted toilets can be placed at any height.

Usually, floor-mounted toilets are attached to the ground. This makes them have a fixed seat height above the ground. There are some options of height available but they can’t be tailor-fitted to the height of the homeowner. Wall-mounted toilets have the advantage that they can be fitted at any height as long as the toilet seat is at least six inches above the ground. This makes it ideal to adjust the toilet seat height to one’s liking.

If you feel more comfortable defecating in a squatting position the toilet seat height can be lowered. Similarly, if you feel comfortable defecating in a more sitting position the toilet seat can be raised. This is a great advantage and is also of practical importance.

People with disabilities and the elderly can have the toilet seat at the same level as their wheelchair and this can help them tremendously to move in and out of the toilet seat on their own.

Wall-mounted toilets have dual flush options.

In areas where water shortage is an issue, a wall-mounted toilet can be a good option. As most wall-mounted toilets are pump operated they usually have two options for flushing. A light flush and a heavy flush. A light flush uses a smaller quantity of water while a heavy flush uses a larger amount of water. This is in contrast to floor mounted toilet which mostly employs a gravity flushing system and uses the full tank of water in order to flush.

Wall-mounted can also be a good option for environmentally savvy people as you save almost five litres of water every time you use a light flush instead of using the full tank.

Wall-mounted toilets make your bathroom appear bigger.

If you are building a house with a modern aesthetic, you should definitely use a wall-mounted toilet instead of a regular option. This can make your bathroom appear very huge. As the toilet tank is hidden inside a wall and only the seat is visible there is less clutter and hence your bathroom space is increased.

If you are going with this aesthetic I would also recommend ditching a shower curtain or shower chamber to add extra space in your bathroom.

What is a wall-mounted toilet?
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych

Drawbacks of wall-hung toilets

While wall-mounted toilets have a lot of benefits they are not free from drawbacks as well. Below I have mentioned a few of the common drawbacks of using wall-mounted toilets.

Wall-mounted toilets are costly

Well, anything that is new and shiny is definitely going to demand a huge sum of money. While regular toilets will cost about $150 on average, a wall-mounted toilet can cost almost double this amount. But the cost is also increased further when you add labour into the process.

Wall-mounted toilets are difficult to install as a DIY project and you will most likely have to hire a plumber even if you do the tile work yourself. A plumber is also going to charge extra for installing a wall-mounted toilet because the installation time is almost triple for a wall-mounted toilet when compared with a regular toilet. A regular toilet installation can be as simple as attaching the screws and pipes.

A wall-mounted toilet install will require the construction of a false wall in front of the normal wall to hide the tank/cistern behind it. This will add to the cost further. On average a wall-mounted toilet will cost roughly four times more than a regular floor-mounted toilet.

Wall-mounted toilets are difficult and costly to repair

Wall-mounted toilets have their cisterns/tanks hidden behind a false wall. This can make it difficult to repair the cistern mechanism if the cistern mechanism fails or leaks. Leaks and fails are common things in plumbing and occur on a regular basis thus it can become a hassle to maintain a wall-mounted toilet.

This issue has been fixed in the newer wall-mounted toilet models which have a cistern mechanism that is easily accessible via the flush button plate (See picture below. The white plate on the wall behind the toilet is what I am talking about. It is called the flush button plate).

But this is still a job that requires patience and finesses to fix the toilet and hence will require a lot more hours to fix by your plumber.

Wall-mounted toilets can get clogged easily

While any toilet can get clogged, wall-mounted toilets are slightly more prone to it. As the sewage drain goes parallel to the floor initially, before becoming perpendicular to the floor once it passes through the wall on the outside it requires higher pressure to flush than a regular toilet.

A regular toilet requires less pressure as it is gravity assisted the first few feet before becoming parallel to the ground under the floor of the toilet. This is not a major drawback but it can be something to consider especially if you are in an area that uses septic tanks instead of a sewage system.

If your house has a septic tank it will get gradually get more and more difficult to flush once the septic tank starts to fill up over time. So, you would need to empty your septic tank more frequently. If you are interested in learning about how often a septic tank should be pumped check out our dedicated article on the topic.

What is a wall-mounted toilet?
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych

If you want to install a wall-mounted toilet in your house you will need two components a concealed cistern and a wall-mounted toilet seat.

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