Toilets (WCs)

November 12, 2015

Red WC from Porcelanosa

Types of Toilets/WCs
Just as there are innumerable types of components  there are also innumerable types of WC compositions and which you opt for will depend on your decor and requirements.

The cistern of a high-level WC is positioned high up on the wall and connected to the pan by a flushpipe. The cistern is typically activated by a pull chain. The benefit of having the cistern at such a height is the strength of the flush it provides. The cistern should always be installed at the height stated in the manufacturer’s instructions, which is typically around 2000mm from the underside of the cistern to the finished floor level. Although high level cisterns often have decorative brackets fitted under them for additional support the wall is the main support and so will need to be quite strong to support the full cistern.

Tip: To prevent the flushpipe on a high-level WC from damage it is wise to protect it from the toilet seat when the WC is in use.

Similar to the high-level WC the low-level WC also has a separate cistern but the flushpipe between it and the pan is much shorted. As with traditional toilets this cistern is activated by a handle on the front of the cistern.

Close-coupled WCs are now the most commonly specified type of toilet. With these models the cistern sits on an extended platform at the back of the pan. The WC’s typically have a smaller footprint than more traditional WC’s. The cisterns on these WCs are either operated by a lever on the front or by a push-button on the top. Portrait arranged cisterns have become very popular in recent years and lend a more contemporary edge to a bathroom.

Back-to-wall WCs are more commonly seen in commercial settings but their neatness has made them very popular in domestic situations. With this arrangement the cistern is concealed behind a false wall and integral sides conceal the trap leaving just the flushing mechanism showing. Proprietary framing and flushing systems are now available to streamline the whole installation and final result.

Due to the surge in interest in wet-rooms the wall-hung WC has become one of the most popular WC styles at the moment.  There are two main advantages with this type of WC, firstly you can mount the pan at any height and secondly you can clean the floor more easily. As with back-to-wall WCs these typically come with a concealed cistern, which is located behind a purpose-built unit or wall.

Tip: If you’re fitting a concealed cistern remember to provide access to the concealed pipework.

Due to their small footprint Corner WC are popular in ensuite and cloakroom bathrooms.

Squatting WCs, more common in Asian and Arab countries, are mounted at floor level and allow the user to straddle the unit. They require quite a lot of space under the finished floor and so are best suited to ground floor locations or where there is a large floor void.

Material Options for WCs
Most people’s WC will be made from vitreous china, a composition of fired white clays and finely ground minerals which when fired gives a very smooth and hygienic finish to the final product, but stainless steel is an alternative that sometimes makes an appearance in modern interiors.

WC Suite Components
The humble toilet is actually a composition of a number of separate components including the pan, the cistern, the toilet seat and the flushing device. It is this collection of components that we commonly refer to as the WC.

The Pan
The washdown WC pan is the most common type of pan on the market. It is cleared by careful distribution of the force and volume of the flush water.

Syphonic WC pans create suction to assist the clearance of the pan. A double-trap symphonic WC is very quiet and efficient in operation but there need for more water than the washdown pan typically makes them unsuitable for use in the Irish market.

Pans come in two shapes; round and elongated. Most adults find the elongated bowl more comfortable than the more traditional round design but it can be dauntingly large for a child to negotiate.

The latest development in pan design has been the rimless pan which promises a more hygienic and easier to clean pan.

The Seat
Toilet seats are generally available in three main styles, rounded, elongated and wrap-over, and typically come in either plastic or timber. Some seats are available with mechanised hinges which slows down the movement of the seat at it closes.

are available in vitreous china and plastic.  Some cisterns have silencing tubes installed on their valves which direct incoming water into the cistern below the water level thus quieting down the refilling process.

The trend in the world of cisterns is towards greater water efficiency. This is to be welcomed but before buying ensure that the model you prefer cleans the bowl properly .

Flushing Devices
WC flushing devices include traditional level operated siphons and pushbutton operated valves. Valves can be operated by touch-free sensors, manual push buttons or pneumatic pushbuttons. Dual-flush systems are becoming more commonplace in domestic situations. These allow the user to choose between a full flush of 6 litres and a reduced flush of 4 litres.

Tip: When choosing a WC with a lever remember to specify which side you want the lever to go on.

Tip: It has become much more popular to pick your sanitaryware from different collections but to avoid a mixed-bag look co-ordinate all of your brassware, right down to your WC’s cistern lever.

These allow you to install WCs in situations where a gravity system would be too disruptive or expensive, although they can only be installed where there is access to a gravity discharging WC. One of the best know brand name is this field is Saniflo. Their units carry out two functions: to reduce solid waste to liquid and to pump waste against gravity.  The Saniflo range utilises two discharge pipe sizes depending on the model; 22mm and 32mm with a 1% (1 cm in every metre) fall along its length. The vertical rise on a Saniflow unit should be no more than 300mm from the start of the pipe run and pipe runs of more than 12 metres should be done in 32mm diameter pipe to eliminate risk of trap siphon age.  After installation the unit should be easily accessible and removable in the event of maintenance being required. Any motor operated device can be noisy and the Saniflo units operate at a noise level of approximately 55 decibel.  Also saniflo units usually do not function correctly when fitted to syphonic pans.

Tip: It is recommended that you do not use do not use flexible or push-fit pipework with this system.

Tip: As macerator WCs contains a motor you may need both an electrician and plumber to install the device.

Locating a WC
As a general rule of thumb to avoid locating the WC directly in front of the door to the bathroom as it is disconcerting to use a WC in such a position.

When locating a WC pan make sure to allow enough knee space in front of the pan and take into account the swing of the door.

Try to locate a WC as close to the external soil stack in order to avoid a long run of 100mm diameter pipe in your bathroom, which you may have to box in.

WC pans should never be set onto a solid bed of concrete as the lack of flexibility might cause the vitreous china to, instead a cement mortar should be applied between the two materials.

Also ….. Technical Information on Bidets , Washbasins, Baths and Showers




  1. […] ….. Technical Information on Toilets (WCs) , Washbasins, Baths and […]

  2. […] ….. Technical Information on Bidets , Toilets (WCs), Baths and […]

  3. […] ….. Technical Information on Bidets , Toilets (WCs), Washbasins and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: