Wall hung toilets are commonplace in Europe, but in America they are only seen in public bathrooms. They take up less space in a room than conventional floor toilets and are slowly becoming a fad in bathroom remodelling and new home construction.
Advantages of wall-hung toilets
The toilets that we are used to seeing are typical floor-mounted toilets with a water tank situated on top of it. That's the standard Western structure. Wall-hung toilets are most often used in public places where space is an issue. Yet although we're more accustomed to floor-mounted toilets, wall-hung toilets have distinct advantages over the former.
One of these advantages is the way wall-hung toilets are flushed. Years ago, toilets had strong flushing power, as they sent up to 5 gallons' worth of water down the drain with each push of the handle. Today, the average toilet is mandated by law to release no more than 1.6 gallons a flush, a considerably reduced volume, and some claim that that even that amount is barely enough to rid the bowl of normal amounts of human waste. The wall-hung toilet, however, enlists the aid of gravity in flushing, as it is usually mounted at a certain height on the wall. The height adds pressure to the water that comes rushing into the bowl, and even at a small 1.6 gallons, the flushing power is compounded.
Unlike what we're accustomed to seeing, the water tank is not visible and employs flushometer valves with large supply pipes. This deals with having to see unsightly metal pipes protruding from the wall, thus making it more aesthetically attractive and makes for a cleaner design.
In addition, wall-hung toilets save resources, as less water is needed to flush the bowl after use. They are also easier to clean and maintain, sanitation-wise. Floor-mounted toilets perpetually have grime accumulating at its base, and require chemical solutions plus a lot of patience to regularly keep the base clean. Wall-hung toilets don't offer the same predicament, as cleaning underneath the bowl is simple.
Disadvantages of wall-hung toilets
Installation of wall-hung toilets costs about $100 to $500 more than for floor-mounted ones. The price varies based on the toilet manufacturer and the design. As a wall-hung toilet is not so commonplace, it falls under the principle that "trendy" looking designs will definitely cost more. On top of the initial expenditure for installation, repairs that may need to be done are also more expensive. Wall-hung toilets utilize a specialized seal, while floor-mounted toilets use wax rings. A gasket can cost about $3 for a standard toilet, but a gasket for a wall-hung toilet runs at about $20.
Another disadvantage is that most homes in the United States are not designed to support the weight of a wall-hung toilet, plus the additional weight of a person using it, and over time the toilet may slowly pull away from the wall, causing problems in plumbing repairs and additional expense for toilet replacement.
Style versus practicability
In deciding which toilet variation to have installed in your home, you will have to decide which of two qualities you value more: style or predictability. If you prefer a no-fuss, practical approach it's highly recommded that you get the floor-mounted toilet. On the other hand, if you're willing to take a little risk and would like a fresh change of wind (no pun intended), a wall-hung toilet will offer aesthetic appeal as well as take ordinary toilet functionality to a whole new level.
Average price of wall-hung toilet
Wall-hung toilets, as aforementioned, can be quite expensive, so prepare to sacrifice a little more money when planning to invest in one. One of the highest quality brands of wall-hung toilets is Geberit. Geberit has been in business since 1874 and offer different styles and designs of toilets. Kohler and American Standard are also established names in the toilet business. High-quality wall-hung toilets usually fall under the $300 to $500 price range, midrange quality will cost less. Clarify if prices include toilet installation. If not, you're going to have to dish out a little extra for it.
Pay attention to small details that might increase the price of toilets so you can decide whether you really need them. For example, the color can do much for a toilet's monetary value, and colors other than white will definitely boost the overall cost. Remember that the color or exterior design will not affect the toilet's overall functionality in any way, and you might be better off purchasing a plain white wall-hung toilet, at the same time saving on add-ons that you don't really need.
Aside it being expensive, wall-hung toilets are great step to getting the most out of a simple bathroom fixture, in terms of home design and basic toilet functionality.