Wall-hung toilets are becoming more popular in the US, and with their striking sleek, modern look, it’s not hard to understand why.
However, there are also some downsides to consider before deciding to install one in your home, so in this post we discuss wall-hung toilet pros and cons to help you make up your mind.
What are wall-hung toilets?
Before we get into the pros and cons of wall-hung toilets, let’s take a step back and talk a bit about what they are.
While regular floor-mounted toilets rest on the floor and have a water tank above them where you can see it, wall-hung toilets are mounted on the wall – and the tank is concealed within the wall.
Behind the wall and out of view, the tank is mounted on a frame called the “carrier”, which is usually made of steel or cast iron and is held in place by two studs. The carrier also serves as an anchor for the toilet itself, which allows it to bear the weight of a person sitting on it.
During installation, three holes are made in the wall for the plumbing – two holes are for the supply pipe and waste pipe, and the third is for the panel that houses the flush mechanism – and which also gives you some access to the tank for minor repairs.
Wall-mounted toilets are more popular in Europe than in the United States, and they are also a more common sight in hotels, where they create a clean and clutter-free look.
However, these striking fixtures are now becoming more common in residential settings in the US as increasing numbers of people look to install something bold and eye-catching in their bathrooms. So now let’s move on to think about the pros and cons of this style of toilet.
Overview Wall-Hung Toilets Pros and Cons
Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of wall-hung toilets – you’ll find a more detailed discussion of these points below.
- Easy to clean
- Can be installed at custom height
- Can help save space in the bathroom
- More expensive to buy
- Cost of installation
- Weight limit
- Harder to fix if they break
wall-hung toilets Pros and cons in detail
So now let’s look at each of these pros and cons in a bit more detail.
wall mounted toilets Pros
The main reason people choose to install a wall-mounted toilet is because of the way they look. They are striking fixtures that make a bold statement, creating a classy modern look in any bathroom.
Since the unsightly tank is not in view, they make the space seem more uncluttered, giving your bathroom an extra level of elegance that can’t be matched by a traditional floor-mounted toilet.
For similar reasons, wall-mounted toilets are a good option for smaller bathrooms because the lack of a visible tank can make the space feel bigger than it is.
2. Easy to clean
Another big advantage of having a wall-mounted toilet is that they are easier to clean than standard toilets.
If you have a floor-mounted toilet in your bathroom, you have to clean around the base and behind the toilet – as well as around the toilet’s tank itself.
However, since with a wall-mounted toilet, the toilet bowl doesn’t touch the floor, it’s much easier to simply wipe underneath it with a mop. Furthermore, there’s no tank to clean, giving you one thing less to worry about.
So put simply, wall-mounted toilets have fewer nooks and crannies that can accumulate dirt, making the job much easier.
3. Can be installed at a custom height
With regular toilets, there’s no way to adjust the height. Toilets come as standard height models or comfort height models, which are a bit higher. However, beyond that, there’s very little you can do to customize how tall your toilet is.
However, with a wall-mounted toilet, there are no such limitations since you can mount it as high or as low as you like, giving you more flexibility over how high your toilet is.
This adjustable height may be a big positive for people with disabilities or with limited mobility.
4. Can help save space in the bathroom
We mentioned above that a wall-mounted toilet can make the space appear larger and less cluttered, but they can actually help save space in real terms too.
Since they don’t need to sit on a pedestal like a regular toilet, wall-mounted toilets take up less floor space.
This can be an important practical consideration in some areas where building codes require a certain amount of space in front of the toilet.
Choosing a wall-mounted model can save up to ten inches, so in some cases, they may be the only type of toilet permitted.
In other cases, they may also give you more flexibility over the layout of your bathroom since you can install a wall-mounted toilet where a regular one would not be permitted.
What are the disadvantages of wall mounted toilets?
1. More expensive to buy
The major downside of choosing a wall-mounted toilet is the cost, and the first part of this is simply buying the toilet itself.
Although there are some less expensive models available, on average, a wall-mounted toilet is likely to cost you at least a couple of hundred dollars more than a traditional one.
2. Cost of installation
The cost of buying the toilet itself is not the whole story though.
Once you’ve chosen your toilet, you also need to have it installed, and this is where most of the extra cost comes from since fitting a wall-mounted toilet requires a significant amount of work.
To install one, you have to remove a section of the wall to fit the carrier, and you will probably also have to adjust the supply lines and waste lines.
Because they are still not so common in the US, many plumbers might not even have the skills to fit one, and plumbers willing to do it may charge premium prices.
Unlike fitting a regular toilet, it’s not something most people will be able to DIY, either.
Finally, another hidden cost that might not immediately spring to mind is the fact that if you are replacing a regular toilet, it will leave you with a hole in the tiles or whatever other surface you have in your bathroom.
This means you’ll have to find some way to fill in the hole that the old toilet leaves, and for the cleanest solution, you may end up having to re-floor the whole bathroom.
So in short, for all these reasons, once you’ve factored in the price of the toilet itself plus the cost of having it installed, you could easily be looking at paying up to three times what you would expect to pay if you chose a regular floor-mounted toilet.
3. Weight limit
One issue to consider is the fact that a wall-mounted toilet has a limit to the maximum amount of weight it can hold.
In the US, the minimum permitted weight limit is 500lbs, so for most people, this is not going to be an issue. However, if anyone of that weight or above will need to use the toilet, this is something to bear in mind.
If you need a higher weight limit, some wall-mounted toilets have higher ratings, and the strongest models can hold up to 800lbs.
4. Harder to fix if they break
Wall-mounted toilets may give your bathroom a sleek and stylish look, but when they go wrong, they can be tricky to fix.
Usually, the panel on the wall that houses the flush button can be popped off, allowing you to reach inside and potentially deal with blockages or some other minor problems.
However, if something goes wrong with the flapper, the toilet float or anything else that requires replacing, it means you are potentially looking at cutting open the wall again to get at the tank and everything else to repair it.
This will bump up the price of any repairs that need to be carried out down the line.
Is a wall-mounted toilet the right solution for you?
As we have seen, the main advantage of having a wall-mounted toilet is the way it looks, and if you appreciate the sleek, modern, uncluttered look a wall-mounted toilet provides, it’s a solution that’s worth considering.
However, since the major argument against having a wall-mounted toilet is the cost, it will essentially come down to whether you can afford one and whether you are willing to pay a whole lot more just to own a beautiful-looking toilet.
Aside from this, choosing a wall-mounted toilet can be a good practical solution if you have a small bathroom, and in some cases, choosing a wall-mounted model may be the only permitted option due to local building regulations.
In this case, the extra cost of choosing a wall-mounted toilet may be irrelevant since you have no other choice.
Finally, you should also remember that if you have a wall-mounted toilet, if it develops a problem, you may need to open up the wall again to get at the tank to repair it, which might be a factor that puts some people off choosing this option.
A striking option – if you’re willing to pay
Wall-mounted toilets are an undeniably attractive addition to any bathroom, giving the space a stylish contemporary look.
However, they don’t come cheap and require some major work to install – so these are all factors to consider when deciding if this type of toilet is something you want in your home.