Wall-mounted toilets are relatively new in the U.S. and are not as common as in European bathrooms, but this type of commode is slowly catching up in popularity. The sudden popularity boost is most likely due to the many innovative advantages that wall-mounted toilets can provide.
That said, like standard toilets, wall-mounted ones also come with a list of possible problems that you should be aware of before deciding on installing them in your home. In this article, we will be discussing wall-hung toilets – their advantages, disadvantages, common issues, and even solutions to these problems.
What is a Wall-Mounted Toilet and How Does It Work?
From the initial glance, a wall hung toilet looks completely different from regular ones as it is mounted onto the wall and is not touching the floor. As you might have guessed, this type of toilet requires a particular type of installation. You will need to hire a professional to do so, as the process of fitting this to your bathroom is quite a task.
To begin, the wall-mounted commode incorporates three components:
The bowl and tank are standard toilet fixtures and are pretty self-explanatory. The carrier, on the other hand, is the new addition to the design. As the name implies, the ‘carrier’ carries the toilet bowl and is attached to the wall. The carrier is made from solid steel to provide adequate support for both the bowl and the person sitting on it.
To start, the components of a wall hung toilet are more expensive because you need the carrier. However, it is in the also installation where the costs go up since it’s not a simple DIY installation. Therefore, expect to shell out quite a substantial amount of cash if you plan on getting a wall-mounted toilet for your bathroom.
Wall Hung Toilet Installation Process
The first step would be to attach the carrier to the wall. In most cases, you will need to build a secondary wall to hide the carrier. While this is not mandatory, having the steel frame protruding from the wall is somewhat unattractive. For the second wall, there must be three openings included. These openings will help you check out the toilet tank and make repairs more accessible in the future.
The other wall openings will be for the pipe that will connect the tank to the bowl for flushing. Also of note, wall-mounted toilets can be either pressure-assisted or gravity-flushed. Ask your contractor which one suits best as there are factors to consider when choosing between pressure-assisted and gravity-flushed toilet systems.
Additionally, the minimum weight limit of a wall-hung toilet is 500 lbs. and above. Other high-quality models out there can provide up to 800 lbs. of weight support. It would be best if you also considered the height of the toilet bowl and always prioritized comfort when doing so.
Common Problems with Wall-Mounted Toilets
There are currently three most common problems associated with this type of commode for wall-hung toilets. Below is a list of these three major issues and fixes that you can apply to solve the particular problem.
The Problem: Loose and Wobbly Toilet Bowl
Quite possibly, the most common problem encountered regarding wall-mounted toilets is when the screws on the carrier become loose. You will notice this problem when sitting down the bowl as it slightly wobbles. Incorrect installation is the most probable cause of this issue and is best addressed as early as possible as it can lead to more significant problems in the future.
The Solution: Hire Professionals
Since the primary cause of this problem stems from installation, we highly advise you to hire professionals to handle the installation of your wall-mounted toilet. This is a pretty simple solution, albeit a bit more expensive. However, you can rest easy knowing that the toilet bowl, carrier, and tank meet the installation standards.
The Problem: Flushing Uses More Water Than Needed
Now, this one is a pretty severe problem since you will be wasting too much water, which will pile up on your next monthly bill. Additionally, the water tank will also take a big hit as it won’t be able to store the appropriate amount of water to flush properly.
The Solution: Make Quick Repairs to the Ballock and Float
Now, this one is pretty straightforward and won’t usually require a professional plumber to do. You need to bring a screwdriver and check the water tank to see if the ballock and float are loose. If they are, simply tighten the screws back into position.
If the ballock and float are irreparably damaged, you can buy a replacement from your local hardware store. Installing this component is also pretty simple for even those with no experience in plumbing.
The Problem: Water Leakage
If you notice water leaking on the wall of your wall-mounted toilet, then you best act fast to solve the problem asap. The leading cause of this problem tends to be poor plumbing or damage to the pipes. Water leakage in any plumbing system is considered a significant problem that should be addressed quickly. In addition, this issue can lead to water damage in the surrounding area, which can be costly to repair.
The Solution: Check Every Component Thoroughly
First, you will need to locate where the leak is coming from, then turn off the water supply for the toilet. The fix will depend on where the water leak is coming from; you should also consider using a color dye to locate leakage better. Here are the fixes that you can apply:
- Tighten the toilet bowl to the carrier.
- Check for cracks on the toilet bowl. If there are cracks, then you might want to replace the whole bowl.
- Double-check and tighten the pipes with a wrench.
- Check the braided hose to see if it has any damage. If it does, replace it.
- If the above solutions did not work, the problem might be due to a cracked wax seal between the bowl and wall. Remove the toilet bowl, remove the old wax ring, replace it with a new one, and re-apply the wax seal.
In some instances, the problem is due to a faulty water regulator. In these instances, it is where you should consider contacting a professional plumber.
The Pros and Cons of Wall-Mounted Toilets
To further help you make an informed decision regarding whether to install a wall hung commode or not, here are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of toilet.
Pros of Wall-Mounted Toilets:
It Can Effectively Save Floor Space
This factor is the most significant advantage of choosing a wall-mounted toilet. This type of commode will occupy zero floor space, making it an ideal choice for bathrooms or restrooms with limited space. If you are looking to optimize the floor space of your bathroom, you might want to consider a wall hung toilet.
Easy to Clean
Since the toilet bowl is not attached to the floor, cleaning is made significantly easier. You won’t need to bend down to clean the typically hard-to-reach areas in the bathroom, such as the surrounding of the toilet bowl.
Versatility in Height Adjustment
Unlike regular toilet bowls with their set height, a wall-mounted model can easily accommodate your height to offer optimum comfort. As a result, you can kiss uncomfortable toilet bowls goodbye with a wall-mounted unit.
Modern Minimalist Appeal
Since the water tank is behind the second wall layer, only the toilet bowl will be visible. However, accomplishing this will be a bit more challenging due to the need to tear down the drywall to install the water tank and carrier. That said, once done, you will have a sleek-looking bathroom with an optimized space.
Cons of Wall-Mounted Toilets:
It Is Complicated to Install
Well, the major hurdle when it comes to wall-hung toilets is the installation. Basically, expect to renovate a section of your bathroom if you wish to have this type of commode in your home. Because of this, we highly recommend you hire a professional to install wall-hung toilets. Also, you have to consider the carrier screws becoming loose over time, so it is best to have it properly installed and attached to avoid future problems.
Repairs Can Be as Complicated
Since wall-mounted commodes will require a second wall layer, opening or access panels on the double-wall will make things easier regarding repairs. Some models will feature access panels for the double-wall, but standard units won’t have this luxury. As such, we can’t stress enough how vital these wall openings are when it comes to overall convenience.
It Usually Comes with New Built-In Features
This aspect is both a pro and a con, but I decided to include it in the ‘cons’ category, as any new features that malfunction means costlier repairs. Some of the new features included in wall-mounted toilets are built-in dryers, automatic lids, and even illuminated bowls, to name a few. While these features surely enhance comfort and convenience, it also means more possible problems to fix in the future.
Installation is Expensive
Finally, the biggest drawback of wall hung toilets is that it is pretty expensive to install. While the parts themselves are pretty affordable, having the components properly installed will be quite an endeavor and will surely be costly as well.
The advantages of having a wall-mounted toilet can be pretty appealing as it certainly adds a level of modernity to your home. That said, you should also consider the pros and cons of such a commode. As you can see from the most common problems associated with this type of toilet, it all stems from the installation. As such, we highly recommend you opt for a professional to handle this task to avoid potential headaches in the future.
If you’ve decided that this is the type of toilet for you – check out the best wall-hung toilets currently on the market.