When designing a new bathroom it is easy to overlook a very important aspect of the room and that is the toilet suite.
Purchasing a complete set of fixtures and fittings to go with your bathroom wall and floor treatments can give your room an instant lift, making it appear more luxurious than it is.
The toilet suites themselves come in various designs, from traditional to modern designs, from the all-in-one option to the semi-flush option.
Choosing a suite that compliments your existing bathroom fittings can make a difference in the appearance of your room.
One of the options that have come on the market recently to replace the standard tiled area in the bathroom is the discrete cistern.
This cistern hides away all the waste products, including the liquid used to flush the toilet, and protects the wall from stains.
Available in both glass and stainless steel materials, the discrete cistern also has the advantage of not slowing down the movement of the water within the wall pipes.
Although these toilets are available with both a non-bled and bled finish, most opt for the glass option as they provide a much cleaner flush, with no streaks or spots remaining.
There is also a solution to the problem of messy pipes, and this solution comes in the form of the two-part flush pipe and the link suite.
Although not technically a combination toilet suite, the two-part suite does exactly what the concealed cistern does, but with the addition of a second pipe that links the two pieces together.
Once the liquid has passed through the pipe, it then links up with the two pipes which have the link suite attached.
Although this saves space and makes cleaning easier, the downside to this is that the pipes often need to be redone to match the other suite.
Another option that gives the option of having both a concealed and visible cistern is the double flush toilet suite.
These are relatively recent innovations and date back to the ’80s, which are the modernizing of the hideous toilet suites.
As with the non-bled and link suite, there is the additional problem of liquids getting into the cistern.
This problem can easily be solved by opting for the plastic coating that surrounds the outer edge of the flushing chamber, although many people do prefer the sleek, modern look of the stainless steel pan itself.
The downside to this is that it means the pipes must be re-pointed, which can mean a more expensive and inconvenient process.
It is worth bearing in mind that you will probably have to pay for the plastic coating twice if you go for the double flush option.
The last type of toilet suite to be mentioned is the vitreous plinth.
Although these toilet suites are not as widely available as the previous two options, they do have their place in a modern bathroom.
The vitreous plinth consists of a flat, metal tray that rests upon a pedestal and the flush and tank of the unit are linked directly to the plinths via a central hole.
The vitreous plinths are the lowest level and, as such, it is not linked to the pipes and it is not important to keep the water in the pipes when using the vitreous flush.
In short, then, we have three main options when considering new toilet suites.
Linking up the plumbing and using a cistern is the cheaper option, particularly if you are looking for an all-in-one solution.
However, the link-up is not always that straightforward and the small amount of plumbing work required can be time-consuming and frustrating.
There is the option of the non-bled, link, and vitreous plinth toilet suites, but the latter is more suitable if you are interested in providing a very clean and neat finish.
If you are considering the lowest cost option then the non-bled, non-link, and vitreous suites are the ones to choose from.
The suite that uses the standard, non-bleached white cistern is the most suitable for those who are only interested in providing a clean, minimalist look.
The other option is to link up your toilets and use a cistern.
Although this sounds easier than it is in practice, and the installation can be quite daunting for someone that is less experienced than you, it can also provide a clean finish that is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than the previous option.
As well as being a much simpler job, the installation of concealed toilets is also simpler and the resulting finished product will last longer than any other style of toilet suite.
The only disadvantages of this option are that the concealed units are harder to maintain. Sometimes the leaking from the pipes can cause major damage to the lining of the new fixtures.
Finally, if you are looking for the cheapest option then the cheapest way to install your toilet suites is to buy the basic unit, with the pipework already attached.
This will save you a fair amount of money, especially if you buy the units directly from the supplier, and will require less plumbing work than some of the other options.
The downside is that the concealed units can look a little odd if you choose anodized or dark-colored fixtures.
They are also flimsy and may break during transit, which will be a great pain if your toilet suite was installed by a professional.