How to Choose a Toilet

How to Choose a Toilet

Choosing a new toilet might not be the most exciting task on the list, but it is essential to check this off when designing a new bathroom. There's a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right toilet for your new space, and it holds just as much importance as choosing your other bathroom fixtures, such as showers, shelves, sinks, heated towel rails, or even adding some ornaments if there’s room. From deciding on a style that will suit the rest of your bathroom interiors, to judging how well it will fit into the space - all whilst considering your budget, choosing a toilet appropriate for your space can be time consuming. 

From close-coupled toilets to back-to-wall options, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that most of us seem to be unfamiliar with the different styles of toilets currently on the market, particularly if you're a first-time home owner. Our helpful guide will talk you through the various types and styles of toilets, so you can decide on the best option for your bathroom interior. We’ll also provide some useful Panel Company DIY tips on effectively installing a toilet once you’ve decided on the final look.

Types of Toilet

When it comes to choosing a toilet, it’s important that you choose a basin that not only suits the style of your bathroom, but meets the needs of your household as well. With many shapes and sizes available, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the vast number of options, so we’ve listed some of the most popular toilet styles to help make this choice that bit simpler.

Close Coupled Toilets

With a separate pan and cistern, close coupled toilets are a popular style seen in many homes across the UK. Unlike many older styles where there is distinct separation between the bowl and cistern, the name ‘close coupled’ refers to the structure of this style which stacks the cistern directly onto the toilet pan for a more compact unit. Close coupled toilets boast a much more contemporary look with their compact style, the flushing mechanism adds to this effect as it most often consists of an in-built button that sits on top of the cistern. However, this isn’t always the case and you can also find options with traditional handles, such as a classic-style front lever.

Whether you’re looking for a toilet to suit a modern interior, or a more traditional style bathroom, there are a large variety of close-coupled styles available. This style is a great budget-friendly option, and is considered to be one of the most affordable styles on the market.

Kartell Embrace Toilet

This contemporary-style toilet from the Kartell Embrace collection consists of a pan, seat, and cistern (sold separately). Featuring a rounded square design, this stylish fixture is the perfect addition to any modern bathroom interior. Easy to install and complete with a soft-close toilet seat, the sleek build makes this model a very popular choice for bathroom renovations.

Back-to-Wall Toilets

An option that can be easily mistaken for close coupled toilets, the main difference between the two is that, instead of a mounted cistern, the back to wall design features an entirely separate back unit placed directly behind the pan. If you’re still a fan of the simple and elegant style, but you’re looking for a more concealed unit, a back-to-wall toilet might be the perfect alternative.

Karrtell Astley Toilet

If you’re looking for a traditional option in your bathroom, this elegant choice from Kartell maintains the minimal design we see more commonly in contemporary styles, whilst still incorporating traditional bevelling to the back and base of the cistern. Featuring a durable build, this back to wall toilet package (including a cistern, pan and seat) available in black and white, is manufactured to a high standard and is perfect if you’re opting for a classic style in your bathroom.

Wall Hung Toilets

A practical and innovative addition to the contemporary range of toilets - as the name suggests, wall hung toilets are hung directly on the wall, creating a much more unique style compared to other more traditional designs.

Having easily accessible floor space underneath this fixture can provide a more spacious feel to your bathroom and makes cleaning your floors a breeze. Another great benefit to this style - wall hung toilets offer a great practical solution for those who require the toilet to be at a specific height for mobility or comfort needs as these types of toilet can be easily mounted to a height of your choice.

Toilet Styles

From toilets built to accommodate smaller bathrooms and en-suites, to options that follow a more traditional style, we’ve listed a number of our favourite toilet styles that we’ve seen below that might be worth adding to your interior design inspo list.

High and Low Level

A more traditional option, high and low-level cisterns are perfect for those looking to style their bathroom following a classic design. While high level cisterns are placed high on the wall with a long flush pipe and low-hanging flush handle, low level toilets are set lower on the wall and feature a shorter flush pipe, making these ideal for smaller spaces with lower-set ceilings - or where there are other obstacles in the way, such as a high-set window located above a toilet. 

Combined Toilet & Basin Units

The perfect option for bathrooms where space may be limited, combined toilets and units provide a neat and compact addition to all kinds of small bathrooms. Helping to create a contemporary look, their sleek built-in style makes them the ideal choice for bathrooms where space is limited.

Kartell 2-in-1 WC and Basin

Featuring a simple and minimal design, the Kartell 2-in-1 WC & Basin is the ideal addition to any en-suite or smaller bathroom. Designed with a durable ceramic toilet pan and a soft-close seat, this practical toilet is easy to install, and the extended base design helps to minimise build up of dirt behind the loo that can be tricky to clean.

How to Choose a Toilet Seat

When considering the size, style and functionality of a toilet, it’s worth keeping in mind which seat will best suit this. The range of toilet seats sold on our website either come included with the toilet, or can be sold separately, where we include pairing recommendations to make the buying process easier. Whether you purchase these as a set, or separately, most of our toilet seats include soft-closing features, and are durable and easy to install. One Panel Company tip when selecting a toilet seat for your new loo is to follow the same colour, finish and style as your toilet.

Panel Company Toilet Installation Tips

Once you’ve made the decision on which toilet to purchase, you will now be faced with the job of correctly installing the toilet. Of course, there’s the option to get someone to do this for you,  which we would recommend. However, if you’re feeling ambitious and are looking to have a go yourself, take a look at our Panel Company tips below, and don’t forget to consult a professional for additional advice before getting started.


    Consider plumbing connections

    One of the most crucial points to consider is the plumbing connection you’ll need, which will ensure your toilet is functioning and working as it should. These connections will usually depend on the toilet you’ve chosen. For instance, you may need a separate cistern with either a visible or concealed style, or you might even need a unit. While concealed cisterns are best for more contemporary options, such as wall hung styles, which may also require a wall mounting unit, visible cisterns are suited to both modern and traditional options, such as back-to-wall styles.
  2. Make sure it fits the space

    Before purchasing a toilet, we advise checking the dimensions and measuring this area in your space to give you a thorough indication of how this will fit into your bathroom, allowing you to save space and preventing an overly crammed appearance.  Things you might want to consider when measuring the space you plan to install your loo is to include the height of the toilet as this may need to be lower if you have children in your home.
  3. Look at the direction of the soil pipe

    It is important to check where the soil pipe is located on the toilet before you buy, as this will help to dictate how your toilet will be plumbed into your bathroom. Not all soil pipe connections are the same, and can vary depending on the type of toilet. With horizontal, vertical, left or right positions, it’s advisable to check the location of the stack so you can choose the correct toilet.

Toilets & Toilet Seats at The Panel Company

Whether you’re looking for a contemporary close-coupled toilet, or a more traditional back-to-wall option, we have all the toilet fixtures and fittings that you’ll need to choose the perfect toilet for your bathroom. Featuring classic and modern styles that are functional and attractive, discover our durable pans, cisterns and soft-close toilet seats at the Panel Company.


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