Published onJune 27th, 2022
Modern Toilets for Small Bathrooms: Space-Saving Technology with Luxe Appeal
Condominiums and co-op properties in New York City are often found in renovated pre-war buildings and converted structures, meaning the bathrooms tend to be on the small side. However, having a compact bathroom or powder room doesn’t mean you have to give up amenities or innovative technology when it comes to selecting a toilet. Here’s a review of the latest space-saving features found in modern toilets for small bathrooms, which are just as luxurious as their larger counterparts.
Making the Most of a Small Footprint
Low flush volume
One way to cut down on the amount of space a toilet takes up in the bathroom is to reduce the size of the tank. You’ll recognize these toilets by the narrow tanks that are about half the width of their predecessors.
Some are one piece, meaning the tank and the bowl are made of the same material, rather than being two separate units. This gives the toilet a trimmer look and may reduce leaks between the two pieces.
A bonus with this type of toilet is it also uses less water. Instead, it relies on one of several new power flushing techniques to remove waste. Some of these flush so well that they reduce the frequency with which the toilet needs to be cleaned.
When selecting one of these toilets, look for models with a quiet flushing noise, a large flushing valve, and a wide, fully glazed trap, which helps avoid clogs. Also, when choosing a small toilet in general, try to find models with sleek surfaces and a minimum of carved-out areas (e.g., a “skirted” toilet that runs straight to the floor). This will make the toilet less prone to accumulating dirt, and it will be easier to clean in tight quarters with limited elbow room.
No external tank
You can take the reduced tank size a step further by opting for a toilet with no external tank at all. How does it work? A push-button mechanism activates a timer to fill the bowl with water and rinse the sides. At the end of about 15 seconds, the water shuts off, leaving a small amount of water in the bowl as with other toilets.
By eliminating the tank, you drastically reduce the amount of space a toilet takes up on the bathroom floor. This makes tankless models perfect for tiny powder rooms or full baths where knee room is an issue due to a narrow floor plan.
Another advantage of using a toilet with no external tank is that you don’t necessarily have to have plumbing directly behind the toilet. You can run a line from a nearby sink area to the toilet. In New York City condos and co-ops in older buildings, this can be of use when adding a powder room or remodeling a bath where drilling through ultra thick walls or floors is a challenge and you want to minimize labor.
If installing waste piping through the floor is impossible, look for a wall-mounted unit. These toilets hover off the floor, which also gives the bathroom an airy feel and gets rid of the grime that can build up where the toilet base and floor meet.
It’s also possible to reduce the depth of a toilet by finding a model with a smaller bowl. Like when you reduce the height of a toilet (good for baths with low ceilings), you need to find a balance here between efficiency and comfort.
Sometimes an elongated bowl is a better choice when width, not depth, is the issue. A longer, thinner bowl can afford users more space on either side of the toilet when those inches are needed to fit in other fixtures.
If you’ve ever seen a corner cabinet used in a kitchen or dining room, you know how it maximizes space in a cramped room. Likewise, corner toilets are the most efficient when you’re trying to make the most of the square footage in a bath.
Older versions of this invention use separate tanks and bowls, with the tank being a rounded triangular shape. However new versions are emerging with modern curved semicircular tanks that lend sculptural appeal while still taking up little space.
Be aware that corner toilets, as well as tankless toilets, are usually trickier to install. It’s recommended to have a professional plumber put them in to avoid any errors that could hinder operation or ultimately cause water damage.
Luxury Features for Comfort and Cleanliness
Spa-like amenities and helpful extras
With all the innovations in toilets these days, you may be surprised to see all the features that accompany even the tiniest of models. Some amenities are included, while others are optional and can be added on. Know that some toilet models also don’t come with a seat; like buying a luxury car and choosing your own tires, you can select your own toilet seat to personalize the fixture.
Here are some extras that you might want to explore when upgrading your space-saving toilet:
- Soft-close lid that avoids slamming (a concern in multi-unit dwellings)
- Easy-clean surfaces that reduce waste accumulation
- Pressurized rim spray to scour the bowl more thoroughly
- Quick-release detachable seats for easy cleaning or replacement
- Hands-free flushing to reduce the spread of germs
- Bidet function
- Lights to assist with nighttime bathroom use
- Sounds and music for auditory privacy
- Odor control to keep the bathroom smelling fresh
Are you ready to upgrade your toilet in a small space? Need help selecting or installing a model? Sanitary Plumbing is your local expert with a century of experience working in New York City residences and commercial properties. Call us today at 212-734-5000 to schedule a consultation at your convenience.