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Small Bathroom Solutions: Wall Mounted Toilets

There are tons of tips and tricks out there for saving space in a small bathroom, but one that doesn’t always make the list is actually one of my favorites: the wall mounted toilet. These sleek modern fixtures take up significantly less space than traditional toilets, and come equipped with many eco-friendly features, like dual-flush controls and uniquely designed bowls that help further reduce water consumption. They’re a little complicated to install, but simple to maintain and clean and offer a stylish, intuitive way to save space in any bathroom, no matter how small.

What Is A Wall Mounted Toilet?

S20 Wall Toilet 5507-003-0075 From Vitra
S20 Wall Toilet 5507-003-0075 From Vitra

As the name implies, wall mounted toilets are toilets that are, well, mounted to your wall. But while the phrase is simple, the actual setup isn’t. Standard toilets have a full sized tank and sit on the floor, which allows them to drain directly into a waste pipe in the floor. With a wall toilet, all the magic happens in a special tank enclosed in your wall, both flushing and filling, and the toilet itself is supported by the wall. What this means practically is that a wall toilet can take up as little as half the space of a standard toilet, adding significant floor space in a small bathroom.

Wiggle Room

S50 Wall Hung Toilet 5318-003-0075 From VitrA
S50 Wall Hung Toilet 5318-003-0075 From VitrA

Wit the toilet tank tucked safely in the wall, you have a good extra foot of floor space out front that a standard toilet would have filled. Taking away the tank also makes wall hung toilets a little less than a foot narrower, too. That means the toilet can be comfortably placed much closer to other fixtures (like the bathroom vanity, bathtub, a storage cabinet, or even the wall), liberating you from the conventional bathroom layout and making a very small bathroom feel a little less cramped. Finally, wall toilets can also be hung at any height, meaning you can easily place them lower or higher at installation to suit your own preferences. A higher seat might seem odd at first, but is an elegant way to add accessibility if you plan on aging in your home, and can be a good addition to a small, first-floor bathroom.

Cleaning

T4 Wall Mounted Toilet 4464-003-0075 From VitrA
T4 Wall Mounted Toilet 4464-003-0075 From VitrA

Maybe one of the simplest, most delightful advantages of having a wall hung toilet is how easy they are to clean. Especially in a small bathroom, the toilet can wind up crammed into a tight spot that’s almost impossible to clean around without shoving your face somewhere unpleasant. Traditional toilets also have windy, curvy, bumpy bases that are a nightmare to keep clean under the best of circumstances, let alone when there are only a few inches between your toilet and bathtub on one side and bathroom vanity on the other. But wall toilets have no bases at all, meaning you don’t have to clean them or clean around them – you can simply sweep, mop, or swiff directly underneath them. Wall toilets have almost no dust-catching surfaces, either, which means you can fully and thoroughly clean your toilet area with almost no effort at all. You’ll still have to scrub the basin, but the area around it will be much, much more accessible.

Maintenance

Toilet Vitra 5384-003-0075
Toilet Vitra 5384-003-0075

There’s a common misconception that wall hung toilets are difficult to maintain. I think this belief is so prevalent because it seems obvious: the first question you ask when you find out the tank is built into the wall is “Well, what happens if it breaks?” With a wall hung toilet, there’s no handle to jiggle if your toilet starts running, and I think people get the immediate image of having to rip out their whole wall if the toilet experiences even the slightest problem. But thankfully this isn’t remotely the case. The “handle” for a wall mounted toilet is actually a large, flat rectangular piece that sits flush to the wall and typically has two buttons to control the toilet’s dual flush mechanism. This piece can be easily removed, allowing simple access for maintenance. That said, if you want to replace the toilet down the line, it isn’t nearly as simple as replacing a more traditional toilet, because you will have to remove a section of the wall to be able to remove the tank.

Installation Considerations

Round Modern Wall Mount Dual Flush Toilet WD332 from Eago
Round Modern Wall Mount Dual Flush Toilet WD332 from Eago

Of course, wall mounted toilets aren’t without their drawbacks, and the most important one to keep in mind is installation. They can be much, much more expensive and labor-intensive to install than a standard toilet, not the least because you can’t simply exchange it for an existing toilet. You’ll need to remove a section of the wall to place the tank, and both the water feed lines and the waste line will need to be relocated to accommodate the toilet as well. Some wall toilets can require very precise placement in order to connect the recessed tank properly, too, so a professional installation is preferable. Plus, because the wall, rather than the floor, is going to bear the burden of the weight of the toilet (and of course the person using it), wall toilets often require special reinforcements to be built into the wall around the tank to ensure it’s secured and supported properly. As part of a larger remodel, this is a manageable issue, since you’ll probably be altering many of these features anyway, but it makes it almost impossible to do as a standalone renovation.

 Regardless, wall mounted toilets can be a smart, space saving (and eco-friendly) choice, and are well worth considering for your next major bathroom remodel. But tell me what you think – do you like the streamlined modern look of these toilets? Let me know in the comments below!