Problems With Wall-Mounted Toilets

Compact and industrial wall-mounted toilets not only cost a pretty penny, they're not immune to day-to-day operational issues. Wall-hung models, more prevalent in Europe, but quickly catching on in the United States, do offer some concrete benefits They save both space and water. But the drawbacks start at the beginning, with a complex and potentially costly installation that is beyond the skill and scope of most do-it-yourselfers without plumbing and construction experience.

wall hung toilet
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Wall mounted toilet.

Installation Issues

Contrary to their appearance, wall-mounted toilets do have tanks -- they're just thinner, taller and concealed inside the wall cavity, along with the base or bracketing system and the in-tank flush and fill valves. This makes for an installation process far more complex than standard models; you have to break through, patch and repaint the dry wall to install a wall-hung toilet. As such, the job is best left to a professional plumber and most wisely reserved for cases of new construction, rather than remodeling. Wall-hung toilets with premium features may even require a connection to an electrical line, further complicating installation.

Operational Woes

While the form factor and arrangement of parts may differ from floor-mounted toilets, wall-mounted toilets are vulnerable to the same operational issues, including faulty valves, leaks, clogs and potentially noisy tank problems. While some wall-mounted toilets feature an access panel on the wall for easy repairs, others require access to the wall cavity to fix, which incurs additional labor and additional costs. As luxury-oriented models, wall-hung toilets are more likely to come with high-tech features such as automated lids, integrated dryers, bidets, illuminated bowls and built-in heaters. Though these features add convenience, they also present more potential repair and parts-replacement costs.

More Concerns

Wall-hung toilets lend the space a premium look, but they come at a premium price to match. As of 2013, these streamlined fixtures generally clock in at around $1,000 to $1,500. Standard toilets, on the other hand, start at around $200, sometimes less. Although wall-mounted models tend to save more water than larger, floor-mounted toilets, more water usage means that the larger models are more likely to produce a more powerful flush, though this is not always the case.

Potential Benefits

Compared to regular floor-mounted toilets, wall-hung models offer a sleeker, more modern aesthetic. Likewise, they save a significant amount of space -- up to 12 inches on some models -- making them a particular boon for small bathrooms. Because the tank and base of wall-mounted toilets are concealed, they're also easier to clean and allow easier access to the floor, making mopping less of a chore. The in-wall tank placement makes for quieter operation than standard commodes, and in terms of eco-friendliness, wall-hung toilets typically use less water than traditional models, ranging from 0.8 to 1.6 gallons per flush.