We’ve compiled a homeowner and home decorator guide to different types of toilets, including installation types, designs, bathroom styles, and materials.
It might not be the most glamorous appliance that you’ll buy for your home, but choosing the right option among numerous types of toilets is certainly important! Shopping for a toilet can be overwhelming since there are so many different options on the market. You’ll definitely want something durable, comfortable, and water-efficient. While you’re at it, a number of styles and designs are also available, so you can make a choice that is both useful and fits into the aesthetics of your bathroom. Different materials each have their own set of qualities that can be important to consider depending on your needs.
Some homes have the luxury of multiple bathrooms but many have a single one, so it’s important to pick a toilet that will stand the test of time. As well, toilet models have a wide range of efficiency in terms of water usage. If minimizing your ecological footprint is high on your list, then you’ll want to choose an option that uses less water. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want your toilet to have some extra cleaning features like a bidet, keep in mind it may require a more elaborate plumbing setup. Finally, depending on the amount of space you have, certain installation styles might be more convenient than others.
Read on for a better understanding of the types of toilets available, and some pros and cons that can help guide your decision making process.
Related: see our guide to different types of bathtubs.
Toilet Types by Installation
Galassia displays a wall-hung toilet installation in the picture above. It certainly takes up minimal space, jutting out of the wall and hanging above the floor. A wall-hung installation can be advantageous for cleaning since you won’t have to clean behind or around the toilet. These types of toilets require sturdy support from the load-bearing wall, or some sort of steel framework to ensure the weight can be carried. Aside from these factors, a wall-mounted design is a fuss-free option for your bathroom. As well, due to the concealed cistern, it often has a lower water usage which makes it an environmentally friendly option for your home.
Cielo shows off a floor-mounted toilet installation style, which is durable and easy to set up. You won’t have to worry about too much pressure on the back wall since the floor will provide the bulk of the support. With the fixture tucked against the wall, the rest of your bathroom area is free for you to move around. This installation also makes for an easy clean-up since the toilet is fixed as one large piece. A floor-mounted design can have either a concealed cistern as pictured above or an external cistern usually placed above. Allow for the amount of available free space in your bathroom to dictate your decision.
Back to Wall Toilets
This back-to-wall toilet installation method by Rak Ceramics is partly supported by the floor and further by a supportive back mounted to the wall. The cistern can be hidden by the back wall or integrated within it, resulting in a sleeker design. If you’d rather have a full model with standing back, this design is ideal. Due to their aesthetic and efficient style, back-to-wall toilets can be a bit more expensive than their wall-mounted counterparts. Nonetheless, for a traditional style that will last, a back-to-wall option offers great value.
This toilet design by Galassia displays a close-coupled system where the cistern is attached to the bowl. The entire look is sleek, and the installation process is just as smooth. If you’re looking for an option for a classic or modern bathroom, you’ll be satisfied with a close-coupled system. Since everything is combined into one piece, an advantage of the feature is that the final cost is generally lower. Even better, close-coupled models are known to be resistant and durable.
This stylish rimless toilet model by Geberit shows off the sleek design, a perfect match for contemporary bathroom decor. Not only is a rimless style aesthetically pleasing and unique, but it is certainly among the more hygienic choices. Eliminating the surrounding rim reduces the nooks and crannies that can accumulate bacteria. With a single efficient wipe, you’ll be able to clean the entire surface of the bowl. Similarly, the water flow with each flush tends to distribute the water more evenly around the bowl, making this design more effective when it comes to water consumption.
Toilets with a Bidet
This sleek toilet design by Geberit has an additional feature that is not immediately visible at a quick glance. Thanks to technology, this model has an incorporated bidet. Unlike traditional designs which are separate from the bidet, this kind of toilet combines the two, making for an efficient bathroom visit. There are plenty of advantages to a bidet, such as better hygiene and a lower environmental impact. While it might take a bit to get used to if you’re accustomed to an ordinary roll of toilet paper, the concentrated stream of water is undoubtedly an effective way to stay clean.
Compact Types of Toilets
This compact design by Duravit is sleek and durable regardless of its small size. If you’re looking to save space in your bathroom without sacrificing comfort, you’ll want to opt for a compact toilet. This kind of model is specially designed with minimal space in mind, and often uses lower amounts of water which gives it an additional ecological advantage. Thanks to their small size, compact toilets are easy to install and might be the only type possible if you have a small bathroom. For extra ease of installation, opt for lighter-weight materials to simplify the task.
Toilets with an External Cistern
This external cistern design by Flaminia can be a good option for spacious bathrooms. Compared with an integrated cistern, some additional space is required. However, thanks to the visibility, if you need to tinker inside the cistern, access is straightforward. Given the separation between the two distinct parts, the plumbing may be slightly more complicated. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to make adjustments thanks to the setup. While most cisterns are placed directly above the seat, there can be some variation depending on the plumbing and bathroom layout.
Toilets with a Waste Macerator
Although it might not be a consideration for the average city dweller, sewage systems can be hard to come by in rural areas. That’s why toilets with an integrated waste macerator like this model by Sanitrit can be incredibly useful. This type of system pulverizes all waste into liquid and pumps it out as needed. If you’re trying to install a toilet and are running into issues with the plumbing components, choose a type with a built-in waste macerator for total efficiency. You will notice it isn’t as quiet as a traditional model but the lack of sewage-related issues will give you some peace of mind.
If anything, you want your bathroom fixture to be durable so that it lasts a long time without needing to be switched out for a new model. That’s why ceramic material is ideal for toilets, not to mention aesthetically appealing as you can see in the Bath&Bath design pictured above. A glossy surface makes ceramic easy to clean, and it will maintain its shine over time. Thanks to ceramic’s non-porous quality, toilets retain their clean condition regardless of how much they are used. Ceramic is incredibly sturdy and unless it receives a heavy blow, it is unlikely to crack. If you’re looking for the ultimate throne, chances are it’s made from ceramic.
Metal toilets like this model by Ceadesign are certainly sleek and novel. Stainless steel is a common option thanks to its resistance against rust. Compared with ceramic, metal is relatively light making it easier to install. Keep in mind that unless your bathroom is well heated, with the cooler temperature you may notice the seat is uncomfortably cool. Nevertheless, a small space heater is all you need to make the experience more comfortable. Temperature aside, a metal design is the perfect completion for contemporary decor.
If you’re looking for a bathroom fixture that is anything but ordinary, we guarantee that a glass model will do the trick. This style by GSG Ceramic Design combines glass and ceramic for the best of both worlds. A sleek transparent lid and seat add a whimsical factor to your bathroom design. You’ll want to be sure that the cover has some pads to avoid any cracks if you slam the lid shut. Glass is easy to clean using a basic glass cleaner so you’ll easily be able to eliminate fingerprints and keep your toilet spic and span.
Incorporating wood into your toilet design is a great way to bring some warmth to your bathroom decor. This model by Rapsel pairs a wooden lid and seat with a metal base for a stylish contrast you’ll love. The look is earthy, creating a natural look for your bathroom. While it isn’t the sturdiest option around, wood is comfortable and fairly resistant. An enamel or veneer finishes are the usual options to seal the porous wood. You’ll have to ensure that the outer finish remains perfectly intact for maximum hygiene.
SDR Ceramiche makes a stylish toilet out of composite materials. Thanks to the mixed qualities of different composites, the ideal set of characteristics are incorporated to fit the requirements at hand. Regardless of which of the various types of toilets you have, easy sanitation, resistance to cracks, and comfort are key factors. Composite materials can be useful for wall-mounted models if you are looking to minimize the weight that the wall must bear. As well, they can offer some characteristics of more expensive materials at a more reasonable cost.
Toilet Decor Styles
50s Style Toilets
This 50s style model by Bleu Provence is high on the glam factor! It even looks like a pedestal thanks to layered molding details at the base. Pair it with the matching bidet and some stylish metal accents and your decor will bring you right back to the 50s for a flash to the past. For an even greater effect, try installing checkered tiles on your bathroom floor to match your retro decor. Whether your entire home decor follows suit or your bathroom is its own time travel room is up to you!
Bleu Provence makes a number of fixtures that are suitable for industrial-style bathroom decor. Unlike many traditional styles of toilets, this industrial design has a rectangular shape with slightly rounded edges. You’ll want sleek lines for your industrial-style toilet to pair with other geometric details in your bathroom decor. As well, we love the black and white combination pictured above, a perfect fit with the floor and walls. Sharp contrasts in color and shape work really well in industrial decor.
Toilets with a Classic Style
This elegant design by Azzurra shows off the charming qualities of the Victorian style. Thankfully plumbing has come a long way since the Victorian era! The molding pattern at the base and along the wall where the fixture is attached add subtle details that instantly elevate the appeal. As well, the bidet incorporates large knobs and metallic accents, making the design even more stylish. For a sophisticated addition to your traditional bathroom decor, you can’t go wrong with a Victorian-style toilet.
Toilets with a Design Style
Cielo makes an attractive design style toilet with curved edges and an oval shape. Design style can be minimal yet incorporate features that take the look to the next level. On the other end of the spectrum, such pieces can be one-of-a-kind models with unique layouts. If you want something fairly simple that also has a unique touch, you’ll want to choose this style for your bathroom. If you’re looking for different toilets that look great in minimal modern interior decors or as a funky addition to classic decors, a design style is a great idea. Opt for the matching bidet and the look is complete!