If you’re looking to spruce up your bathroom suite, then the chances are a new toilet will be a main feature. It’s estimated that your toilet will flush 140,000 times in your lifetime, so it’s an area that is worth some thought. If you feel a bit panicked – don’t worry! It’s not as daunting as you think. Our handy buying guide will walk you through the process. Here's a quick checklist for the topics you need to consider:

First things first - design! Do you want Contemporary or Traditional?

With so many toilet designs on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. However, it’s useful to know what design of toilet you would like before you make a purchase. Things to consider are:

  • Are you going to buy the toilet as a part of a whole new suite or are you looking to buy a toilet to match your existing bathroom suite?
  • Are you looking for a contemporary or traditional looking toilet?

As a general rule, the two different designs of toilets available are contemporary and traditional.

Contemporary Toilets

With contemporary toilets you will find that the designs will be more angular in shape, with hidden flushes and pipework that fits into a more minimalist styling. This is to fit in with modern bathroom fixtures such as squared sink basins and sharper angled baths.

Traditional Toilets

Traditional toilets tend to favour a more curved bowl, where there is more emphasis on the shape of the cistern. You may have seen some styles replicating early toilet systems with a high cistern and pull-down lever. Traditional styles are often chosen for their timeless appeal as they are less likely to look dated in years to come. If you’re after more of a vintage themed bathroom, a traditional style could also be the choice for you.

Where shall I put my toilet?

It’s a good idea to think about the size of the space you’re working with before you make a decision on what type of toilet you want. For example, if it’s a small downstairs toilet you’re looking for, you’ll want something that is compact and makes the most of your space.

First things first! Measure up the space of your room – it will help you out so much in the long run. That way, you can take the measurements of your toilet and work out where it will sit. You’ll also need to think about how far away from the wall your toilet will sit, the width and how high it will be.

If you’re looking to save a bit of space, you may want to think about installing a wall-hung option. It will enable you to maximise your space by concealing the cistern. Alternatively, there are smaller sized closed-coupled toilets, designed especially for small bathrooms. Take a look at our short projection range - there is sure to be something that will be the perfect fit.

What types of toilets are there?

Close Coupled Toilets

It’s likely you will already own a close coupled toilet as they are the most commonly installed. They consist of two pieces, the cistern and the pan. The cistern is mounted on top of the pan and comes complete with a flush button or lever. The reason close coupled toilets are so popular is because they’re easy to install, potentially saving you time and money in addition to being more flexible in terms of the position of the soil pipe. There is also a more extensive range of toilets available, giving you greater choice. You can browse our carefully chosen range of close coupled toilets, here.

Back-to-Wall Toilets

Back-to-wall toilets are a great option if you’re going for a more contemporary, minimal bathroom interior. To coincide with the simplistic design, the cisterns are often hidden or concealed within the wall or specially fitted bathroom unit. Just because they look fancy, don’t assume that they’re difficult to access as they’re normally fitted with an easy-access panel in case any adjustments or repairs need to be made. Back-to-wall toilets are often chosen because of their simplistic aesthetics and their ability to make a bathroom seem less cluttered. Back-to-wall toilets are fantastic for being used with furniture and you can easily make them co-ordinate to your range. Alongside the practical benefits, they are also incredibly stylish. You can view our great range of back-to-wall toilets, here. if you have a shower or bath enclosure. As the name suggests, mixer taps mix both hot and cold water, which is a great preventative measure against scalding and keeps the whole family safe. Our stylish selection of mixer taps is right over here!

Wall-Hung Toilets

Wall-hung toilets take minimal design to the next level. The cistern will be hidden or concealed within the wall or a furniture unit and the pan will be suspended above the floor. As well as providing a real wow-factor to your bathroom décor, wall-hung toilets can be a good idea for those with mobility issues as they can be mounted at a height to suit the user. They also have the added benefit of being incredibly hygienic as you can clean underneath the toilet. They are suspended using a strong wall frame that is also hidden from view. Wall-hung toilets are also a good idea if you’re looking to save on space with a compact toilet system. We have a great range of wall-hung toilets available, which you can view here.

What is a toilet cistern and what types are there?

A toilet cistern is the part of the toilet that contains the water before you flush. Traditionally, you’ll find the cistern mounted directly onto the pan, just like a close couple toilet. However, you may come across the cistern sitting high above the toilet bowl in more traditional style systems. This is because they were originally designed to use gravity to create the flush.

The flush is the part of the toilet you press or pull to activate the cistern. Flushes can either be handles, buttons or levers but it’s worth thinking carefully about your toilets flushing ability. After all, this will be its main function! Buying a toilet with an eco-friendly flush can be a great way to save water and money. As toilets are responsible for around 30% of all the water used in the home, investing in a water-saving option is a good choice.

Most modern toilets are now fitted with a dual flush mechanism to help limit the amount of water used. Dual flushes allow a single flush or double flush option. With a single flush, the cistern only empties partially, using less water as a result. A double flush however, empties the cistern completely, resulting in a more powerful flush.

What size basin should I buy?

As there are so many different styles basins available, we’d recommend that you work out what size you want. There’s no point buying a large, rectangular basin only to find out it doesn’t fit when you come to install it! One way to tackle this is to work out the size of your current basin (if you’re replacing it) or to measure up the space where you want your new sink to go.

Chances are you’ll be looking for a single mixer tap to install in the basin. Mixer taps combine both hot and cold water so that it’s easier to find the perfect temperature. Single mixer taps also offer a more modern design to keep in trend with contemporary styles. However, if it’s a traditional style that catches your eye then you may want to consider a basin that offers two tap holes.

Luckily, all of the basins on our website contain a detailed specification breakdown, including size, weight and number of tap holes.

What styles are available?

Here at soak.com, we know the importance of finding a basin that suits your needs perfectly, whether that’s style or design.

Pedestal Basins

Pedestal basin are your quintessential basin option and probably the one people recognise the most. The benefits of a pedestal basin is that it hides any pipework, leaving you with a clean and tidy finish. The basin is actually supported by a fixture to the wall so you needn’t worry about the pedestal taking the weight of your basin. We have a superb range of both contemporary and more traditional basins, which you can find, here.

Wall Mounted Basins

Wall mounted basins are a great choice if you’re working with a small space. They attach to the wall which allows you to utilise the space underneath the sink. It’s important to remember that with wall mounted basins, the pipework underneath the sink will be exposed and visible. This doesn’t need to be unsightly, however, so investing in chic chrome basin wastes and bottle traps can turn it into a stylish addition. You can browse our selection of wall mounted basins, here

Counter Top Basin

The bathroom is an area of the home where space is usually at a premium. Installing a counter top basin is a handy way to utilise space as there’s no need to fix a pedestal. A counter top basin also has the added advantage of bringing a super stylish, modern edge to your bathroom. As it looks as if the basin has simply been placed on the countertop or vanity unit, it leaves your bathroom with a minimalistic, orderly finish and plenty of space for furniture and storage. If you’re looking to breathe some life back into your bathroom with a counter top basin, you can view our range, here.

Shop our range of Toilets & Basins.

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