The most important fixture we have at home is probably the WC, but how much do you know about choosing the right one? We lay down the facts.
The Roca In-Tank Meridian wall-hung WC is available at Carera and retails for $3,488.
These illustrations from Toto show the S-trap (top) and P-trap (bottom) systems.
The Philippe Starck-designed Me by Starck wall-hung WC is available at Duravit, price upon request.
For a closed coupled WC which has a concealed water inlet and back-towall design, try the Duravit Durastyle (right), $1,968, from Ferrara, or the Duravit Starck 2 WC (far right) designed by Philippe Starck, $3,996.
The cistern for the Roca In-Tank Meridian closed coupled WC from Carera can be concealed behind a wall or ledge.
The GSI Panorama 661511 closed coupled WC is available at Hemsley and costs $1,925.
Rimless toilet bowls from Toto’s Neorest range, feature a tornado flushing system and Cefiontect, which ensure minimal bacteria stay on the WC after each use.
We spend a lot of time thinking about the design of our bathroom, but not that much about the WC. On average, we go to the bathroom six times a day, so maybe it’s time to move the WC up the priority list, and learn how we can choose one that best fits our requirements and preferences.
These days, WCs come in all shapes and sizes, with technology that makes systems more hygienic and easy to clean – some even come with automatic sensor-operated seat covers!
Did you know that a WC goes through rigorous flush tests before being approved to be sold on the market? Flush tests must be done in independent, recognised test labs to ensure that they are able to flush waste away efficiently with the least amount of water possible; the volume of water allowed per flush is controlled by the Public Utilities Board under the mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme. They are then rated with ticks – from one to three – depending on its efficiency. The more ticks the better!
Here’s what you need to know when you’re shopping for a WC.
Most WCs are made from vitreous china as it is durable, scratch-resistant and less porous as compared to other materials such as fire clay and ceramic.
“Based on international standards, the ideal seat height of toilets should be approximately 400mm,” highlights Luann Leong of Ferrara – a distributor of sanitaryware from brands such as Duravit and American Standard. Toilets which are built higher are often used only for assisting users who require help getting on or off.
WALL-HUNG OR FLOOR-MOUNTED
When talking about WCs, contractors and retailers often use the term “trap”, which refers to the drainage outlet in a WC where waste gets flushed out. Traps located on the floor are known as S-traps, while those located on the wall are called P-traps. They are named after the shape of their ceramic bodies.
Knowing the type of trap you have at home will determine whether or not you can install a wall-hung or floor-standing WC. If you have a P-trap, you can choose a wall-hung WC (which can only be used with P-traps) with a concealed cistern (water tank). However, there are some models, such as the Roca In-Tank Meridian from Carera (pictured above), which come with built-in automatic flushing systems. Wallhung WCs are gaining popularity as they create an uncluttered look, and allow the bathroom floor to be cleaned more easily.
Closed coupled WCs – which can be used with both P- and S-traps – have an exposed cistern tank which incorporates the flush button on the tank itself. You can also conceal the cistern tank behind a wall or ledge. If the trap distance is too far from the wall for you to use a wallhung model, floor-standing WCs are good alternatives.
The trap distance in every bathroom is different, so it is important to take note of this when you shop for a WC, to ensure its suitability. The distance for S-traps should be taken from the wall to centre of the trap, while distance for P-traps, from the floor to centre of the trap.
The function of the flush is more than just to remove waste in the bowl. Traditionally, flushing systems do not run on electricity as it takes advantage of the basic science of gravity, with the water running downwards to clean out the waste.
New technology has improved that. Japan’s leading producer of sanitaryware, Toto, has a range of WCs which utilises a tornado flushing system instead of a wash-down one. In order to have a tornado flush, the company introduced rimless toilet bowls in 2002.
The tornado flush comprises three jets of water shot out at a high pressure so that dirt from the bowl’s surface is efficiently removed – in fact, it removes almost 100 per cent of all waste with just one flush, based on tests recognised by industrial standards in the US, China and Japan. Toto bowls are also coated with Cefiontect, a proprietary ceramic glaze to create smooth surfaces, to prevent germs from accumulating.
Also, the rimless toilet has no hard-to-reach crevices for germs and bacteria to lurk in, making cleaning easier, says Sebastian Chia of Toto’s product development department here.
One model in Toto’s superior range of WCs is the Neorest, which is not only built with the tornado flush and rimless bowl, but also has functions such as a pre-mist sprayed on the surface of the toilet bowl before use to ensure that waste does not stick, and a UV light that activates after each use to kill bacteria and keep surfaces clean for up to eight hours.
TOP IT OFF
You can add these accessories to your WC to enhance user comfort and convenience.
Washlets are separate accessories which can be added to any type of WC as long as the toilet seat they come with fits – they provide bidet functions and more. Powered electrically, washlets need to be situated near a power socket, and come with features such as a seat warmer, oscillating and pulsating sprays, an air dryer and self-cleaning nozzle.
Toto washlets are available from $1,370.
Duravit Durastyle WCs have extra-flat seats and seat covers which are available with soft-close hinges to prevent the seat and covers from slamming down onto the toilet bowl.
Some models in Toto’s premium Neorest range come with automatic opening of the WC seat cover which can be activated via a sensor when the user stands close by, or via a remote control.
Duravit Durastyle exudes simplicity and elegance, price upon request.
Introduced in Singapore two years ago, toilet lifts can be installed with Toto WCs, to aid postsurgery users, or elderly folks who require assistance standing up. The handles by the side and the seat – which lifts – help users off the seat.
The Toto toilet lift retails for $9,275.
■ CARERA BATHROOM 26 Tai Seng Street, #01-06 Tel: 6261-6133 www.carerabathroom.com
■ FERRARA 33 Ubi Avenue 3, #01-27 Vertex Tel: 6235-0020 email@example.com
■ HEMSLEY 39A Jalan Pemimpin, #07-01 Halcyon Building Tel: 6337-3136 www.hemsley.com.sg
■ TOTO BY W. ATELIER 75 Bukit Timah Road, #01-01/02 Boon Siew Building www.watelier.com