Small Toilet Ideas | 5 Clever Ways To Maximise Space
Incorporating a small toilet can help to save that extra centimetre or two of space and avoid a tight and cluttered-looking cloakroom or bathroom. Just taking a moment to think about and research your options could make all the difference. And with so much choice these days you’re sure to find the perfect solution!
In this post, I’ll share some small toilet ideas to help maximise the space of a small bathroom or cloakroom.
Let’s dive in!
Consider First: Is There Enough Space?
Before you order your small toilet solution, you need to know if your family will be able to use it in the intended space.
A traditional toilet measures between 68 to 75cm deep. You will also need another 52.5cm in front of the toilet, per government regulations. A small toilet can measure as little as 60cm deep, but you still need that 52.5cm for your knees.
If you are planning to fit the tiny toilet in an equally small closet, it might be facing the door. The door cannot open in–like in most traditional bathrooms–as it will likely run into the basin or even you. Think about a sliding door or switch the hinge, so the door opens into the hall.
Another dimension to measure is the available width. You must have a minimum of 38cm measured from the centre of the bowl to the closest wall or cabinet on either side of the toilet.
And lastly, how are you going to plumb the bathroom? If there is no room to hide the waste pipes behind the wall or under the floor, you might be looking at surface mount pipes. That will also eat into the available space in the bathroom.
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Small Space Saving Toilet Ideas
Now that you know there is enough space for the door, the pipes, and the toilet, let’s think about the design of some popular small toilets.
A wall-hung toilet is mounted to the structure of your wall instead of supporting itself on a porcelain pedestal. You can run a mop under the bowl and most have a sleek contemporary design.
A wall-hung toilet can save you a few inches on your tiny bathroom project. If it has a cistern, the tank will be hidden in the wall, giving you around 10-20cm of space back into the room. However, not all wall-hung toilets are manufactured for a small footprint. So always check the dimensions!
Some toilets offer features like a bidet, lights, and even a powered pump flush system. However, these can add to the bulk at the back of the toilet, restoring the centimetres that you saved on the depth of the water tank.
Some of the smallest compact wall-hung toilets run around 40cm from the front of the bowl to the back of the unit (not including the concealed tank). This extra space can make a big difference when compared with a traditional piece.
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Short Projection / Slimline
Both short projection and slimline toilets refer to the industry standard of a compact toilet. They look and function just like your traditional toilet, but have been sized down for smaller bathrooms.
Most are no deeper than 62cm from front to back. Some have shrunk the width of the bowl down to 33cm, which gives you an extra 5cm of wiggle room between the walls and the vanity.
The best part of short projection or slimline toilets is that you have a huge variety available on the market at affordable prices. This is because the UK has a lot of tiny bathrooms in old homes.
You can find a pedestal or wall-hung toilet that is a touch smaller in the compact toilet section of your favourite plumbing supply store.
Fully Shrouded or Back-to-Wall Toilet
Fully shrouded (or back-to-wall) toilets will conceal the waste pipe and water inlet (fully shrouded) within the ceramic, so the toilet sits flush against the wall. They are available in pedestal style or wall-hung designs.
The difference between a fully shrouded pedestal and a wall-hung toilet is a pedestal will have the waste going down into the floor, not into the wall (like a wall-hung toilet would).
Most back-to-wall toilets have a depth of around 65cm with a standard 38cm wide seat. Some back-to-wall toilets will have a visible cistern, but they are tall and slim, so they do not add too much to the overall size of the unit. Making them a good option for small bathrooms.
As its name indicates, a corner toilet fits into the corner of the bathroom. While most corner toilets do not have a smaller overall dimension, they offer more flexibility for the user.
Your knees are not blocked in by a wall on either side of the toilet. Even in the smallest bathroom, a corner installation gives you the feeling of a full-size WC.
Most corner toilets have the traditional close-coupled design with a visible water tank and pedestal design.
Expect a compact corner toilet to have a depth of 70 to 75cm. Just remember that you are more likely to have that extra 52.5 cm in front of the toilet as it is positioned on the diagonal. Add a corner basin and that surprisingly small bathroom provides a comfortable experience for your family and friends.
Combination Unit (Toilet and Sink)
A combination unit may not be the most popular option when designing an upscale cloakroom. But when you really need an extra toilet and only can fit it under the stairs, this is a functional option.
The basin is mounted on top of the cistern positioned behind the toilet seat. Yes, your guests have to reach over the toilet to wash their hands. But when faced with the option of a line at the bathroom during the morning rush and having a secondary option. It can make all the difference!
The basin can be sold separately from the toilet and is manufactured to fit specific cistern measurements. You will want to work with a licenced plumber to run all the supply and waste pipes as efficiently as possible.
With this type of combination unit, you can literally have a water closet measuring a total of 85cm wide and 127.5cm deep.
Don’t get distracted by sales for combination toilet and sink products that include cabinetry. Those are not designed to save you tons of space, but rather are a fast solution for adding your sanitaryware and storage with one purchase.
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There you have it! Some small toilet ideas to help maximise the space in your bathroom or cloakroom.
With lots of options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect solution and style for your small bathroom needs.
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Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.