Toilet choices confusing

Has anyone purchased a back to wall toilet with the cistern in the wall? I’ve had quotes from Reece, Tradelink and Eagles plumbing and read reviews on some of the brands and it really puts you in panic mode wondering are they all just junk. The one I’ve been quite from Reece has terrible reviews and prices at $1300.

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Cant help with your actual question, but I have one of my own… why would you want to have one in the wall, when cisterns are usually the thing that goes wrong, if anything does, so how would it get fixed? For myself I’ll stick with ON wall stuff.


Welcome to the Community @Bob6

I do not have one either but my take is they are not designed for functionality, they are decorator items (eg jewellery). Decorator items come with commensurate prices.

As @SueW mentioned they need to be installed with access panels as they could need service some day. Many assume there will be a reno every 10 years that will take care of whatever but the in-wall types are designed to be pretty such as a toilet can be, and if they work well a bonus. Unlike yourself who is doing diligence, most buyers assume a toilet will ‘just work’.

We updated some top end Caromas (from 1998 in the new build) with flush fit units in 2011 that look OK and modern, and are fully serviceable - why? Because the seats were large and non-standard. The update was cheaper than more iterations of just replacing those seats again and again, all before the ACL.

Few think about it wandering the isles at Bunnings but seats can get very expensive when you have to buy the manufacturer’s product because of shape or size. Accidents happen where they get damaged and some seats are made with materials that are prone to short lives to deliver other qualities such as soft feels (not to be confused with soft close hinges).

This Choice article may be helpful

The [Member Content] is not a test just a review (market survey?) of manufacturer literature but includes a few in-wall examples and RRPs that could make your Reece quote look cheap.


No and never will. The structure of my house does not permit it and when some part of the flushing system fails and it leaks or won’t flush properly, as they inevitably do, it would be a huge PITA and expense to get in and fix it.


The concealed toilet cistern
seems to be very popular at the moment with home buyers: looks good, no ugly pipework; saves space especially in a small ensuite; toilet bowl can be wall hung; less to clean.

On the con-side: expensive to get and to maintain.

( Maybe get the one concealed in the vanity unit if at all possible)

Consider if Sale appeal is important.


I can see why it might be attractive, especially if one has a very small tight WC or bathroom (the cistern/tank may take up valuable real estate). Also possible advantages for public toilets installations to reduce vandalism and make cleaning more efficient.

The ones I have seen installed are in high rise unit complexes and hotels, where space is at a premium. It also appears the front cover panel can be easily removed to gain access to the cistern…so access for replacing perishable parts shouldn’t be an issue.

I take $1300 is for the toilet only. The installation will also be substantially more than a traditional arrangements. Even more if existing plumbing doesn’t match. One has to think if the very high cost is worth it.


Have you approached a plumber and carpenter re quotes to install? We found similar to @syncretic when replacing a standard Caroma. The concealed units would have required a significant amount of work with a new false rear wall the cheapest and best solution. Carpenter plus tiler plus plumber. Perhaps these are in the renovation budget?

Unless a toilet was designed for a concealed cistern and optionally a suspended pedestal, the work required is a big unknown. We went with an on floor pedestal flush to wall (wall faced) replacement which required only a few hours to install.


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Some points to consider @bob6.

  • As has been said, the servicing of ‘hidden’ cistern can be considerably more expensive than for a standard cistern. I have been regaled with stories from a plumber friend of the trials and tribulations of servicing in wall cisterns, including having to rip out walls to get sufficient access to fix problems.
  • In-wall cisterns do NOT save space unless you have a suitable cavity in place already behind the toilet. Otherwise a false wall has to be built involving work by a plumber, carpenter for framing, waterproofing, and a tiler. The hidden ones you see in commercial settings such as shopping centres have a ‘service room’ where all the cisterns are in the open and can be easily accessed. Often the male and female toilets back onto opposing sides of this room. In high-rises and hotel accommodation, they often have the cisterns located inside mandated service ducts which have to have access panels anyway.
  • Hidden cisterns are in my opinion a ‘fashion’ or ‘on-trend’ item for residential homes at the moment. As with other such whimsies they will go out of fashion, especially once the true maintenance costs start to come are realised after several years of use.

Unless there are over-riding reasons to get an in-wall cistern, I suggest you stay with a standard wall mounted toilet suite. If you are pushed for space modern slim line systems are more than adequate.

There may be specialist ‘bathroom’ stores near you or even plumbing suppliers who could advise on the best solution for your requirements.


Here is a little gem. Concealed cistern, toilet pan and a functionable bidet seat.

But wait there’s more! It has a remote control as well. And up to 400 kg loading bear! And a light! $4,300 plus installation.

Aside from the cheapskate idea of a light (a decent model would have a camera as well so you didn’t have to twist your neck) there are some other problems.

How do you get the 400 kg bear out when he is finished?

Is it WiFi enabled and do they have an app for it?

And what does ‘functionable’ mean?


Just for the sake of argument:
If there’s a suitable cavity (such as a double brick wall) to conceal the cistern, then a hung toilet can be installed and give a saving of 10” of space, (and the bowl height can be adjusted too).
It would look neater without the pedestal and the plumbing works behind it;
it would be easier to keep the area under and around the bowl hygienically clean (I hate how close I need to get to reach in that area to insure it’s well disinfected);
it would give a minimalist, modern look to match the rest of a classic up-to-date new or renovated home.

But it does need deep pockets and for me it’s just wishful thinking :wink:


I have one which I installed. The only attractions are you don’t see the cistern and the bowl sits out from the wall so is easy to clean underneath. I can access the cistern from a panel outside.
Changing the washer in the cistern is difficult. I have to watch a video to remember how to do it. Had to buy a complete new toilet seat when the automatic closing mechanism went faulty. Had to buy their seat and it was expensive.
I would not recommend them.


Welcome @Sandy_Basin to the community.

Sounds like you have some skills to do a self install. It’s regulated work where we live.

Being able to access the cistern from outside is a good outcome. It’s common for the design of modern homes to locate pedestals with the back to an external wall. The last home we had was like that, but it was core filled rendered masonry block. Being cyclone rated there would have been extra reinforcing and tie down bars to avoid. Perhaps not so easy a retrofit depending also on what purpose the adjoining outside area served.

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