Ellie Broderick, product manager – Geberit Duofix, explores the drivers behind an industry shift in favour of wall-hung toilets and the potential opportunities to installers.
It’s no secret that a small bathroom can throw up design challenges. Not only is it difficult for customers to fit everything they might need inside the space, it’s also a task for them to find practical and flexible furniture solutions that suits the design at the right price. However, with some careful research, professional installers can identify bathroom manufacturers that are combatting the growing issue of space in UK homes through unique added value in sanitary technology and bathroom ceramics.
Of course, there are endless ways to make a small bathroom more appealing, but when it comes to the installation of new toilets, how can installers and builders suggest the best possible solutions for their customers?
Big design ambitions
Installers are tasked with getting the most out of a variety of bathrooms as they look to meet the changing demands from homeowners.
For example, according to a recent study, bathrooms topped the list of interior refurbishments for renovation frequency in 2017, with more than a quarter of renovating homeowners tackling bathrooms. However, according to a 2018 report by the LABC Warranty, UK homes have never been smaller, averaging at just 67.82 sqm.
As a result, a number of bathroom solutions are emerging to maximise space without compromising on style. Of course, all this leaves installers with a challenge on their hands: generating well-thought, inspired bathrooms, while contending with an increasing lack of space.
With affordable wall-hung sanitaryware now available because of product and system development from leading manufacturers – the question remains, is there a chance for installers to grow reputation, by introducing customers to the sophisticated, space-saving attributes of wall-hung toilets?
Bathrooms are valuable spaces. People naturally spend a long time in this room; hence it is necessary for users to have a bathroom that does not compromise on space and offers a sensory retreat from our increasingly busy lives through clever design that creates considered comfort for users.
Providing a space-efficient alternative to traditional close coupled alternatives, wall-hung toilets with concealed cisterns and prewall frames are fast becoming a popular choice for homeowners across the UK.
The creative flexibility afforded by wall-hung toilets is incomparable, giving installers the ability to generate thoughtful bathroom designs that create streamlined, clutter free environments for the end-user. As well as bringing order and neatness to the bathroom, wall-hung toilets can also form the illusion of a larger room, while making better use of areas dominated by windows or sloping ceilings.
Easy to clean
Another clear advantage of the wall-hung toilet is that it hovers several inches off the floor, allowing the user to clean around and underneath it with ease. The prospect of dust and dirt accumulation is significantly reduced compared to close coupled toilets and there are no hard-to-reach areas.
As well as being practical, wall hung toilets also emit a sense of modern sophistication. The fact that the toilet appears to float is immediately impressive and associated with the stylish suites seen in hotels and five-star apartments.
By designing in a pre-wall frame the user can optimise all acoustic values. For example, the Duofix frame includes integrated rubber tipped push rods to reduce noise from the flush plate when pressed for flushing, a polythene jacket insulating the cistern, circlips on threaded rods to eliminate movement and sound absorbing seals on drainage brackets.
Installers know too well that difficult installations can ramp up the cost of an overall bathroom refurbishment – another issue which manufacturers are tackling head on with versatile, quick-to-fit WC frame systems.
A good example of this advancement is the Duofix system, boasting a load bearing capacity of up to 400 kilos and a variety of options for different heights or design configurations. Specifically designed with installation and ease of maintenance in mind, systems like this make concealing the cistern inside a drywall quick and neat by eliminating the need for additional, carefully positioned studding. The result? A strong, reliable and leak free finish, thanks to its one-piece blow moulded cistern, angle bracket fixings and snap connectors.
Installing such systems typically reduces the complex installation procedures associated with wall-hung ceramics, with cleverly concealed fixings and the inclusion and position of water inlets and waste outlets.
Maintenance is also safe and simple, for example the concealed cisterns allow full access to the internal workings through removal of the flush plate or removable shelf. What’s more, reputable manufacturers will offer a suitable spare parts guarantee, with this company providing spare parts security for all function-relevant components for at least 25 years.