Toilets can be put into two categories: floor mounted and wall-mounted (also referred to as wall-hung). Like any other fixture or finish that you choose for new home renovations, toilets have implications related to aesthetics, ergonomics, cost, installation, and maintenance. While floor mounted toilets are the historic standard, their wall-mounted counterparts are a serious option to consider.
A wall-mounted toilet has a tank and supports installed within the wall behind the toilet. This saves space, makes for easier cleaning, and has a modern look. Wall-hung toilets tend to be a more expensive option, but their installation does not require cutting into the floor to accommodate the drain. For renovation projects, drains can be installed within the wall instead.
If you are going for a clean, modern look in your bathroom, a wall-mounted toilet is a sleek, space-saving solution. It eliminates the unsightly tank that is ever-present in a floor mounted option.
Some wall-hung toilets on the market skew more utilitarian, sporting a boxy and traditional look (think public toilet). However, the vast majority of options have a modern aesthetic, which could be an appealing advantage for some but a disadvantage for others. After all, bathroom design does come down to personal tastes, and the aesthetic of a wall-mounted toilet most certainly isn’t for everyone.
Tank Inside The Wall
The tank of a wall-mounted toilet is, unsurprisingly, installed in the wall. This is the primary difference between wall-hung and floor mounted toilets.
Installing a wall-hung toilet’s tank inside the wall allows for space savings of up to ten inches depending on the model. The average tank is available in sizes that fit between a 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 wall stud.
The wall carrier contains the components of the toilet that go inside the wall. A carrier contains the tank and supports required for installing the toilet. While all parts are necessary, the toilet, wall carrier, and push plate are commonly sold separately.
Easy To Clean
Beyond just a clean aesthetic, a wall-mounted toilet literally makes the cleaning process easier. No one enjoys wiping the dirt out of the nooks and crannies of a toilet base, and with a wall-mount version, there is simply no need. Conveniently, you can quickly sweep or mop the floor beneath with nothing to get in the way.
Custom Height of Installation
One feature of wall-mounted toilets that could be seen as either a pro or a con is height customization. Rather than being dictated by the toilet itself, the height is set during the process of installing it. This means it is a decision to be carefully considered because once the height is set, it cannot be changed without breaking open the walls.
For those who are taller or shorter than average, a customized height can be a great benefit. On the other hand, it could also potentially cause conflict when people of varying statures utilize the same toilet.
It is worth noting that in any design project, this is just another compromise that has to be made. Besides, standard toilets don’t even offer the choice!
You may now be wondering, how exactly are wall-mounted toilets installed?
A cast iron or steel carrier is mounted between two studs, the tank is suspended between, and then a bolt anchors the bowl to the carrier. It’s important to note whether your existing studs are either 2 x 4 or 2 x 6, as carriers for the tank are available in both dimensions.
Wall-mounted toilets do not need a drain in the floor as traditional floor mounted toilets do. This actually has a great benefit that we often take advantage of in New York.
In the event that you have a toilet installed on a concrete slab, you would need to chip the concrete in order to move locations or add a bathroom. This especially poses a challenge in a multifamily buildings where there are apartments below you. Most building management companies or Condo Co-Op boards do not allow architects to work around this, making bathroom renovations difficult to accomplish. This is when using wall-mounted toilets proves to be beneficial, as we can horizontally tap into the plumbing sanitary riser.
When renovating, it is my experience that a wall-mounted toilet provides the most flexibility for moving the location of a toilet by not requiring drainage through a floor. That is why we normally use wall mounted toilets when renovating in buildings with concrete floor slabs, and especially when adding a bathroom in NYC.
Repair and Maintenance
What happens when your wall mounted toilet clogs or needs repairs? Picture a demo scene where it may be difficult to access the mechanical components. With wall-hung toilets, there is a push plate that comes off very easily, and any mechanism is reachable from the space behind the plate.
How much weight can a wall-mounted toilet support?
Wall-mounted toilets usually support approximately 500 pounds, but there are models that can support up to 800. They must be installed properly to achieve there full support capacity.
Wall-Hung Toilets are More Expensive
Wall-mounted toilets are more complicated, therefore more expensive to install than floor mounted versions. The cost is also higher for the fixture itself to account for its multiple parts.
Wall-Hung Toilets Usefulness
The biggest downside to wall-mounted toilets is that they are expensive and challenging to install. For many people, this can be an ultimate deal breaker. However, from an aesthetic perspective, wall-mounted toilets win out over standard ones when striving for a modern look. By saving a lot of floor space, they’re ideal for small bathrooms or challenging configurations. Finally, there is no contest when it comes to their cleaning. With all of these benefits combined, we often use them on our projects here at Fontan Architecture.
Thank You for Reading Our Blog Post on Wall Hung-Toilets
I hope this was helpful. If you would like to speak with an architect about a potential project you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.