How to choose the right toilet for your bathroom

Unfortunately choosing a toilet isn’t like buying a new car; you can’t give it a test drive before purchasing.

Gold Coast Plumber - toilet

At Foster’s Plumbing, we want to ensure our customers get it right the first time to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes.


Our professional plumbing team has received a number of calls over the years from customers requiring a toilet installation.


After asking a few questions, it becomes apparent that the chosen toilet suite is not suitable with the current bathroom layout.


While we would all love to own a Ferrari, sometimes the only thing that fits in the garage is a Mini Cooper! And it is much the same when it comes to choosing a replacement toilet.


While a new toilet installation can give your bathroom a much-needed facelift, ensure you do your research before purchase.


Here are the questions which should be asked before you swipe your credit card!


Waste configuration


Toilet pans: Is your current toilet a P-strap, S-strap or skew trap?


The “trap” is the bend in the toilet pipe which removes the waste while stopping odours and sewer gases from escaping your toilet.


Modern toilets are either the “P-trap”, where the waste pipe connects directly to the wall, while the “S-trap” connects to the floor.


The “skew trap” is often found in older homes, where the waste pipe turns 90 degrees, extending either to the right or left hand side of the bowl and into the wall.


If you are replacing an old toilet and don’t want to change the existing plumbing, the new set-out should match the existing layout.  


Waste set-out measurements

Have you measured the distance from the back of the wall to the centre of the waste outlet?


Take your measuring tape from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet for an S-trap, or the floor to the outlet if you have a P-trap.


As these set-outs can differ, it is important you have these measurements on hand when shopping around.


Water supply tap location

Is your current toilet cistern a bottom inlet feed or a top inlet feed?


Before you shop, take a measurement from where your existing water supply tap is located.


These often fall into two categories:


  1. Bottom inlet feed, where the toilet connects to a tap on the wall underneath the cistern and fills from the base. These can sometimes get in the way if you are considering a back-to-wall toilet.
  2. Top inlet feed (or rear-entry), usually have taps located up high which connect inside the cistern and can find themselves in the way of where a new cistern needs to go.


As a general rule, changing the location of the inlet is not as difficult as changing the location of the trap, but it is best to get in touch with a qualified plumber before making your decision.


What type of toilet should I buy?


Does your new toilet fit your bathroom’s style and plumbing layout?


The style of toilet is an important consideration, as you will need to select a toilet which fits your bathroom’s size and style.


Link connector suites are often a cheaper option which are fairly adaptable to most configurations and commonly have plastic cisterns.


With close coupled toilets, the cistern and toilet pan are joined together to hide the flush pipe. The cisterns in these suites are often vitreous china. For this toilet type, set-out measurements are crucial.


Back to wall toilet cisterns are attached directly to the bathroom wall, which allows the pipes to be hidden. Some extra work may be required to ensure the bowl is flush with the wall, such as cutting into skirting boards. For this choice, you will need to check your water tap location for clearance.


Similar to back to wall styles, wall hung toilets are mounted to the wall and have space beneath them for a modern look.


Toilet bowls also come in a series of shapes and sizes. These include round-front, compact-elongated or elongated options. Elongated toilets have deeper seating areas and fit most residential bathrooms,while compact-elongated toilets take up less space but are still comfortable. Round-front toilets take up the least amount of space if you are short on it.

Water efficiency


Buying a new toilet provides you with an opportunity to reduce your water consumption – which will help decrease your environmental impact while saving on you water bill.


A 3-star rating uses six litres for a full flush, and three litres for a half flush. A 4-star rating decreases to four and a half litres for a full flush and three litres for a half flush.


It is also useful to check if your local council has a minimum star-rating you are required to install.


How can we help?


Gold coast plumbing service Foster’s Plumbing is just a phone call away when it comes to advice on new toilet installation.


“I have had situations where a customer has sent me a photo saying ‘I want this toilet’,” owner and operator Nathan Foster says.


“I know some companies would just say ‘yep, that will cost you X amount of dollars to put this toilet in’, but when they arrive, they realise they can’t have that toilet and the customer has to spend more.


“I find that by having a personal conversation with a customer, I can explain everything, saving them money and time.”

Our Gold Coast plumbers are also experts in gas fitting, hot water services, leaking taps, blocked drains, renovations and plumbing maintenance.


We are on call 24/7 for your emergency plumbing needs, including burst pipes, gas leaks and broken water lines.    


With customer service as our number one priority, we provide peace of mind by resolving any issues before they can cause further damage to your home or property.


Call now on 0415 169 603 or send us an email at [email protected].