Toilets FAQ

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1. Important information about Toilets

When choosing a toilet, it’s important to first establish the “set-out” required. The “set-out” is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet(for S-trap toilet pans where the waste is in the floor). The set-out can vary greatly depending on the age of the house. Most new homes will have a standard set-out of about 140-165mm, which will enable most toilet suites on the market to be installed. However, if the set-out is more than 200mm or less than 100mm, it will limit your choice in the type of toilet you buy. So, first check the set-out, then take the advice of the sales staff on the type of suite which best suits your needs.

Toilet suites come in a variety of styles. A close-coupled suite is one where the pan and the cistern are fully integrated to form one complete unit. There is little or no flexibility to vary the set-out. On the other hand, a “link suite” is one where the cistern and the pan are linked only by the flush pipe and by a plastic plate to conceal the flush pipe. The “link suite” therefore enables greater flexibility -- the pan can be moved forwards or backwards to accommodate an unusual set out. Back-to-wall suites have clean lines which disguise traps. All new toilet suites sold in Australia must have a water saving rating. They should deliver no more than 6 litres of water on full flush and 3 litres on half flush. But most modern toilets are even more efficient, delivering as little as 4.5 litres on full flush.

Pans come in what’s called S-trap or P-trap. S-trap pans have the waste outlet in the floor, and are common in most Australian houses. P-trap pans have the waste outlet in the wall, and are most often used in high-rise buildings, hotels etc. Wall-hung pans are bolted to the wall and have a clearance underneath them.

Cisterns come in a range of styles and prices -- from all china to plastic. You might also consider having a concealed cistern, which means it is placed in the wall and covered with a panel. Don’t forget, however, that you must allow access to this panel if you are installing a concealed cistern -- just in case something goes wrong!

Cisterns also have what’s called a bottom or top (back) inlet This means the water enters the cistern at its base, usually from an outlet on the wall, or it enters the cistern at the top, via a specially designed hole at the back, so that it is concealed from view. Make sure your plumber knows whether you are installing a top or bottom inlet cistern, or you could find your water line is in the wrong place!