Toilets

Toilets are probably the last thing you think about when designing your dream home, but it is a purchase that is very easy to get wrong without doing your due dilligence first.

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Buying a flimsy toilet can mean having to replace it a year or two down the line, whilst one that is uneconomical with flushing could see your annual water bill skyrocket.

Here's our guide to keeping costs down.

Style

Most sensible homeowners agree that minimalism is the best way to go when choosing a style for you new toilet.

This is because the toilet is one of the household appliances that is most likely to break through persistent use (regardless of how big or small the people using it are). It's a lot easier, not to mention cheaper, to replace a standard curved seat, for example, than it is a snazzy square one.

For this reason, it's usually recommended that you stick to a traditional white hue. Aqua blue and avocado green may be fashionable these days, but finding replacement parts can be tricky - and buying a whole new one at the first sign of trouble will put a hole in your wallet.

Moreover, the simpler the design, the easier it is to clean. Toilet cleaning equipment and solutions are designed for a standard model, so getting anything too elaborate will probably mean you hunched over in your bathroom for a couple of hours every time it needs a good scrub.

Types of toilets

Most of the toilets we see and use in the UK are gravity-assisted, which means that they release water into the bowl on being triggered by the flush lever to clear away any waste.

The other type of toilet flush system that is prevalent is pressure-assisted. Here, the waste is cleared from the bowl and down the drain using pressure.

Generally, the former is recommended: they are a lot quieter to operate which means that you don't have to worry so much about pulling the lever and waking people up during the night.

The latter, however, can be useful if you have a large family, as the waste is cleared down the drain quicker, decreasing the chances of a drain blockage (a problem which can be tricky and expensive to resolve).

In terms of cost, there is often no significant difference. The ceramic structure in which you place your flushing device can usually support either type - although gravity-assisted ones, as a rule, tend to be slightly smaller in terms of width.

But remember that maintenance of pressure-assisted toilets could prove more expensive in the long-run - this is because not all plumbers will be able to troubleshoot them.

Where to shop

Budgetary restraints will obviously dictate where you shop, but we recommend having a look in traditional homeware stores like B&Q and Victorian Plumbing as a first port of call. They will have models of all prices, and suitable replacement parts on standby in case anything goes wrong in the first few months.

For more ambitious bathroom designs, you can check out specialist online retailers instead, but remember to read up on the manufacturer to ensure you are getting the best quality - and, if you can, get a guarantee of a repair before you sign on the dotted line.

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