It’s hard to overstate the value of an attractive, fully functional and hygienic toilet and bathroom. There are few rooms in the house that have greater impact on the health and well-being of your family. Plus, a neat, easy-to-clean and stylish toilet delivers peace of mind while adding value to your house.
This blog focuses on upgrading your toilet; subsequent blogs will address other aspects of upgrading your bathroom. A toilet upgrade can seem daunting at first, but fear not, we’ve compiled a list of toilet plumbing issues to consider to ensure your project is a success.
Choose new Sanitaryware early in the Process
Your first decision is whether to acquire a new toilet or use the one you already have. In most cases, upgrading involves installing a brand-new toilet in your home. Choose your style of toilet before plastering or tiling. This way, you avoid having to make alterations late in the upgrade process because the water and waste pipes will be in the correct positions from the start.
S-Pan or P-Pan?
This refers to the waste outlet specification of your toilet. The waste water discharge outlet has a curve or a trap — a P-Trap or an S-Trap — that is always full of water. It forms a liquid seal that prevents gases and smells from the drain coming back up into your bathroom or toilet. Most modern toilets are universal; their pans can accommodate both options. With a P-Pan outlet, the waste exits through the wall behind the pan. With an S-Plan toilet, the waste goes down through the floor. If you’re replacing a pan in an older home, check which you require or call in FlowFix Plumbing for advice.
Check out the size of the trap way too – that’s the exit route of the waste from the bowl. The bigger it is, the less likely blockages are to occur.
It is important to know where the water inlet is located, i.e., left or right, bottom or top. Swapping a new toilet for an old one in the same position is the most economical way to complete a toilet upgrade. But if you choose a toilet that is a different style or want to move the position of the toilet in the room, the water supply pipes will most likely need to be extended or moved and the waste pipe re-routed too.
All the pipework should be concealed for a neat and easy-to-clean room. The wall will need to be opened up, and you may require a handyman or builder to help you fix it afterwards. Remember to choose plastic pipework because it’s flexible and goes around corners without joints.
The aim is to have a floor covering that follows the outline of the toilet’s base. If you remove your existing toilet and replace it with a new one, uncovered areas of the floor may be exposed; then you have to redo your floor covering so it fits the outline of the new toilet base which takes some skill.
For a high-quality finish, with a better seal against water damage, always tile the floor first before fitting the toilet. It means your floor tiles don’t have to be cut to awkward shapes to fit, and the layer of tiles under the toilet will protect the floor should the waterproofing sealant fail.
Back-to-wall (BTW) toilets are very popular these days and can be used in one of two ways: positioned against a false wall with the cistern concealed behind it or combined with a furniture unit that contains the concealed cistern. But if you have a tile skirting, it may need to be cut to accommodate the BTW toilet, which could risk breaking the waterproofing seal or damaging the tiles. If this is a concern, you may want to choose a different style of toilet, perhaps a modern and attractive close-coupled toilet where the pan and cistern form a single unit. There are further options in this style, including a fully shrouded design with all parts concealed for easier cleaning.