Growing up in Germany, I'm very familiar with wall-mounted toilets. That's all there is in most of Europe. Moving to the U.S. I discovered the concept of a toilet sitting on the floor with the tank exposed in the bathroom. After living in California for over 20 years, I got used to it. Most homeowners go with this traditional design when remodeling their bathrooms. However, recently I was asked by several clients during our bathroom design consultation, what I think about wall-mounted toilets. The answer is short: I love them! There are some pros and cons to consider when deciding if a wall-mounted toilet might be right for you.
Sleek Look - Easy to Clean
It's a sleek, space-saving toilet, no tank in sight, which can be installed at precisely the right height for you. Plus, due to its design, a wall-mounted toilet doesn’t contact the floor, so it makes it a breeze to keep the area around it clean. It's a great plus, especially with boys in the household. At least that's what one of my clients told me.
This elegant design hides the plumbing and working parts. The tank, made of lightweight plastic and plastic foam, lives behind the wall, cradled in a cast-iron or steel carrier that gets installed between two studs to provide support. The bowl floats above the floor, anchored through the drywall to the carrier.
Built to Code - With More Flexibility With their compact size, wall-mounted toilets offer more flexibility when designing or updating a bathroom. A wall-mount toilet can meet building-code clearances where floor mounted toilets might not. In my surrounding cities, the building code requires at least 21 inches in front of the toilet. Wall-mounted toilets can save as much as 10 inches by moving the tank into the wall. And the bowl itself can be adjusted to sit anywhere from 15 to 19 inches off the ground.
Take a Look at the Cost
Wall-mounted toilets come at a premium over standard toilets. Expect to pay several hundred dollars more for this type of fixture, not counting the cost of professional installation. You’re already paying more for this type of toilet, and depending on your circumstances, you might spend several hundred more to move the supply and waste lines or to reconfigure the studs. It can easily be three times more expensive to switch from an existing floor to a wall-mounted toilet.
Down to the Studs - Reconstruction Required Installing a wall-mounted toilet requires opening a wall, rerouting the waste pipe, and, if you plan to keep the same flooring, patching the tile under your old toilet. You also need to know whether your framing consists of 2x4 or 2x6 studs when choosing the tank, because manufacturers make carriers for both types. If you’re installing one of these in an older home, you would likely need to reframe the studs to get them in the proper location for the carrier.
Relatively Easy Unclogging During installation, the tank and the carrier are mounted to the studs and concealed with drywall, with an opening for the flush buttons. Access to the tank is through this opening. If something stops working after installation, the flush panel pops off and you can reach inside to fix the plumbing.
Since wall hung toilets are only starting to become popular in the U.S., you may not be certain about what you should look for. Here're five models to consider:
If you would like further assistance, I'm always available for a design consultation via phone, Facetime, or Zoom. Just drop me a quick note to get started. If you're not sure how I might be able to help, check out my remodeling coach on call services. I look forward to hearing from you.