Different Types of Toilets Explained: Indoors and Outdoors Options

When it comes to rearranging the living space, every detail matters, and a toilet is no exception. However simple choosing a toilet might seem, it should meet a number of requirements. First of all, any toilet has to fit the bathroom’s dimensions, it can’t steal too much space. Secondly, it has to be comfortable and ergonomic. Finally, any toilet needs to suit the design you want for your bathroom. In this article, we will focus on various types of toilets and consider which conditions they suit best.


The first thing you consider about a toilet is its construction. Depending on how spacious a bathroom is and which style you want to create, you can select one among five main types:

    • A close-coupled is the most common type of construction. Such toilets have a tank and a bowl coupled close to each other, which makes them easy to install, maintain, and replace over time. Moreover, due to their simple construction, they are perceived as the cheapest. On the other hand, they take more space than other types I will name below. Although close-coupled toilets are widespread, they are not the best option for small bathrooms.
    • If there is a space between a water tank and a toilet bowl, this toilet is a low-level one. The tank is attached to a wall and connects with the bowl via a tube. Depending on the construction’s features, some low-level toilets can fit small bathrooms since the hung tank allows for installing the bowl a bit closer to the wall. Low-level toilets look traditional and elegant, they suit thoughtfully designed bathrooms.
    • High-level toilets have a similar construction to the previous type, yet a water tank is placed much higher. It makes a toilet look even more traditional or antique, but it also makes it more difficult to maintain and clean. 
  • A corner toilet might be a good option for bathrooms with untypical planing. Such a construction provides a wider range of models and allows for more creative solutions than traditional ones. However, this construction is widely used in small spaces, some corner toilets dimensions are bigger than the dimensions of other toilet types. Corner toilets have large tanks, so when selecting such a type, notice if it allows for saving water.
  • Back-to-wall toilet is another option to save some space in your bathroom. The toilet is closely attached to the wall, and the water tank might be visible or hidden. Depending on the room’s features and square, there are two options to hide the water tank. If the walls are thick enough, you can consult professionals about mounting the tank into the wall. The second option is to create an artificial installation to hide the tank and make your bathroom at least look more spacious.
  • Wall-hung toilets are never attached to the floor; they are only fixed to the wall, which makes this type of construction the easiest to clean. They also allow for hiding the tank in the wall to save even more space. Wall-hung toilets look succinct and suit modern interiors.

Flushing Systems

The flushing system is the invisible part of any toilet that also makes a difference. They are divided according to the water tank construction and bowl features.

  • A gravity-flush system is the simplest and the most widespread. It uses a natural force of gravity to make the water run. Water fills the tank and, when you push the flush button, it squeezes into the tube under pressure.
  • A tornado-flush system gained its name due to the flushing water direction: Instead of running down like in the gravity-flush system, it makes a circle inside the bowl and then flows down. Such a movement is provided by a special bowl construction and its main advantage is much less cleaning than other systems require.
  • A single-flush system provides you with one button and allows no control over the amount of water you spend. Tanks with such a system are easier to maintain than ones equipped with dual-flush systems, yet a waste of water is a great disadvantage. 
  • The dual-flush system provides two buttons, which allow flushing bigger or smaller amounts of water depending on your needs. It is an effective way to save some money.

Toilet Bowl’s Shape

Apart from technical characteristics, design and comfort also matter. Here are four shapes of toilet bowls you can select from.

  • Oval bowls are widely used and perceived as the most ergonomic and comfortable. On the other hand, they take up a bit more space than round ones and might not suit tiny bathrooms.
  • Round bowls are a few inches shorter than oval ones, which might be important for cramped rooms.
  • D-shaped bowls are associated with sophisticated and expensive design projects. They are considered both ergonomic and fashionable.
  • Square bowls are the rarest, they are usually chosen for untypical design solutions. Square bowls are the least comfortable, yet they look extraordinary. 

Other Options

Apart from the toilets you install indoors, there are a few various options for outdoors using and even for traveling.

  • An outside toilet is a small structure that is separated from a house. It is usually a pit latrine that requires regular maintenance. Some outside toilets are equipped with a septic tank that makes them more suitable for sanitary standards and allows basic sewage treatment. This type is used in rural areas.
  • Chemical toilets collect human waste in a special tank that contains a mixture of chemicals or a nitrate-based solution to reduce odors. They are necessary at building sites and are widely used during large gatherings.
  • RV toilets collect waste in RV’s black water tank which needs to be drained from time to time at an RV dump station. They can flush, but unlike home toilets, they have no tank to constantly keep water.

Three Main Parameters to Notice

Toilets are divided by their construction, flushing system, and the shape of the bowl. The construction influences the dimensions of a toilet, so it is crucial for fitting into the bathroom space. The shape affects how comfortable a toilet is, and the flushing system determines the amount of water you waste. These three parameters are essential for selecting the toilet that suits your needs.

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