Wall Mounted Toilet - Opening a Can of Worms?

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TipsMcStagger

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I'm planning my master bath renovation. This is a single floor home built on a slab in Florida. The location of the toilet will change, so regardless of which type of toilet I ultimately choose, the rough-in will change and the slab will have to be broken.

The plan calls for a floating vanity. The toilet will be directly adjacent to the vanity and I've become enamored with the notion of an in-wall toilet system with a wall hung bowl. I like the aesthetics and think it would look great next to the floating vanity. The wall on which it would be mounted will be tiled floor to ceiling with 12x24 porcelain.

This area has few high-end homes. My contractor, who has been in business in this area for 30+ years has never had a client install a wall hung toilet. Not one. Even the Geberit website shows the closest qualified installer as two hours away in Orlando.

I've watched the Geberit and Toto installation videos and while it's not rocket science, there will clearly be a learning curve and it surely seems that the installer should be experienced with this type of installation. In all likelihood, any plumbing sub-contractor around here (and there are many) will have little to no experience installing in-wall units. I'm fearful of problems that could ensue as the result of an installer's inexperience.

So with all of that said, am I opening a can of worms going down this road?

Just trying to get some perspective from professionals. There is no substitute for experience and hindsight is 20/20.

Thanks.
 
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Terry

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I think as long as they slow down, read the instructions, it should be fine.
Determine the height of the bowl before you start out and put the measurements on the instructions. The bowl height is determined by the carrier and how you set that up. Once you've walled it in, there is no adjustment. I went out to one job to finish another plumbers job and found the top of the bowl was about 22" off the ground. You needed a step ladder to hop on the thing. It would have been a simple job to set that up for something common like 16".

They do save space, and I grew up with wall hung bowls. My parents figured with five boys that it made sense. They weren't so worried about the two girls making any messes.

The Geberit and the TOTO do work well.
 

TipsMcStagger

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I think as long as they slow down, read the instructions, it should be fine.
Determine the height of the bowl before you start out and put the measurements on the instructions. The bowl height is determined by the carrier and how you set that up. Once you've walled it in, there is no adjustment. I went out to one job to finish another plumbers job and found the top of the bowl was about 22" off the ground. You needed a step ladder to hop on the thing. It would have been a simple job to set that up for something common like 16".

They do save space, and I grew up with wall hung bowls. My parents figured with five boys that it made sense. They weren't so worried about the two girls making any messes.

The Geberit and the TOTO do work well.

Yes, the Geberit carrier (for 2x4 walls) with the Toto Aquia bowl is what I'm interested in. I appreciate your reply. It's at least encouraging to read that this setup in and of itself is not inviting unnecessary complications.

If I move forward with this, I'll make sure the installer watches the videos and above all, takes his time.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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We've installed dozens of them and there is a learning curve. As Terry noted above, looking over the cut sheets from both the toilet and the carrier is critical to a successful outcome. Also the metal frame Must be securely fastened to the framing and that framing must be securely framed. The carrier frame also should be flush with the rough wall so that there is no gap between the tile backerboard. You do not want any flex in that wall created by a space or gap.

You might consider installing power and water for a bidet / washlet seat as well. We sell a lot of them and lots of my clients set up their bathrooms planning for them even if they don't initially install them.
 

TipsMcStagger

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We've installed dozens of them and there is a learning curve. As Terry noted above, looking over the cut sheets from both the toilet and the carrier is critical to a successful outcome. Also the metal frame Must be securely fastened to the framing and that framing must be securely framed. The carrier frame also should be flush with the rough wall so that there is no gap between the tile backerboard. You do not want any flex in that wall created by a space or gap.

You might consider installing power and water for a bidet / washlet seat as well. We sell a lot of them and lots of my clients set up their bathrooms planning for them even if they don't initially install them.
This will be a gut renovation, so I will make sure the wall is overbuilt. I've also read a couple of threads that highlighted the importance of making sure the carrier frame is flush with the face of the framing, though the installation videos do a good job of making that point.

I've reached out to the plumber to whom my contractor usually subs his work. I haven't heard back from him yet but I want to have a conversation about this plan before moving forward, or moving forward with this sub.

I have given thought to the bidet seat. I travel abroad for a living, so I encounter these seats frequently, especially in Japan. Part of me wants to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) because I'm fearful of having issues at the expense of a local plumber's learning curve. But then again...

Thanks for the input.
 

jadnashua

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When figuring the height, make sure to account for the tile and anything else you might install (thinking about in-floor heating?), as that will raise the finished floor typically around 3/4" from the subfloor, and it could be more. Depending on the average height of those in the family, you might want to raise or lower the 'standard' height a little. Safest is to use something like 16" or so, but as we age, getting up off of a too low toilet becomes more of an issue, especially if you're tall. You could compare it to a dining room chair, but on those, you're usually wearing shoes, which need to be taken into consideration when selecting the height. Some seats are thicker than others, but that usually isn't as big a variation.
 

TipsMcStagger

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When figuring the height, make sure to account for the tile and anything else you might install (thinking about in-floor heating?), as that will raise the finished floor typically around 3/4" from the subfloor, and it could be more. Depending on the average height of those in the family, you might want to raise or lower the 'standard' height a little. Safest is to use something like 16" or so, but as we age, getting up off of a too low toilet becomes more of an issue, especially if you're tall. You could compare it to a dining room chair, but on those, you're usually wearing shoes, which need to be taken into consideration when selecting the height. Some seats are thicker than others, but that usually isn't as big a variation.
No in-floor heat. Not really needed here in FL. It will just be 12x24 porcelain tile on the slab. But your point is duly noted.

If I move forward with this, I'll make sure to properly determine the mounted height. The other toilet in the house is a Toto Ultramax, which measures 15" above the finished floor (not including the seat). I'll likely plan for the same height or maybe an inch higher.
 

TipsMcStagger

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Well, the plot thickens. I'm getting very close to finalizing plans for the this renovation and the GC has a plumbing sub coming out tomorrow to discuss details.

I read some information that I wanted to vet so I just got off the phone with Geberit tech support and now I'm back to wondering if I'm asking for trouble going with the in wall system.

The first issue is that my home (located in Florida) had a slab leak prior to my ownership and has been replumbed through the attic. Geberit says supplying the in-wall carrier with a line routed through the attic will probably cause condensation build-up on the face plate. Granted, the house currently has two traditional floor mounted toilets fed through supplies routed through the attic and I have never seen condensation on the porcelain. But now I'm concerned. Obviously, the in-wall carrier is not the same as a traditional floor mounted toilet.

The other issue is that I had read that despite all lumber in the US being of nominal dimensions (2 x 4 = 1.5 x 3.5), the Geberit 2x4 carrier needs 4" of actual depth for installation. Geberit confirmed that the carrier can be physically bolted to a nominal 2x4 structure but it does indeed need a full 4" of actual depth in the cavity.

The toilet will be installed on an outside wall (another thing that Geberit does not recommend). The house is of concrete block construction. Currently, there is simply furring strips and drywall on interior of the concrete block.

The plan had been to remove the drywall and furring strips, laminate the interior of the concrete block with 1/2" or 3/4" foam board and then frame a 2x4 wall against the foam. It now seems that the 2x4 wall would need to be constructed at least 1/2" inside of the foam board, in order to provide the necessary 4" of overall depth.

The bathroom is only 5' wide as it currently is (prior to renovating), so with the planned foam board, 2x4 framing, drywall and tile, the room is getting closer to 4'7" wide. There's not a lot of width to spare.

This also gives me great pause because the rough-in for the waste will have to be repositioned in the slab and I'm starting to think the chances of it being positioned "just right" are slim to none.

Thoughts are appreciated from those with experience.

Thanks.
 

taylorjm

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I think as long as they slow down, read the instructions, it should be fine.
Determine the height of the bowl before you start out and put the measurements on the instructions. The bowl height is determined by the carrier and how you set that up. Once you've walled it in, there is no adjustment. I went out to one job to finish another plumbers job and found the top of the bowl was about 22" off the ground. You needed a step ladder to hop on the thing. It would have been a simple job to set that up for something common like 16".

They do save space, and I grew up with wall hung bowls. My parents figured with five boys that it made sense. They weren't so worried about the two girls making any messes.

The Geberit and the TOTO do work well.

With 5 boys in the house, you should have had a urinal! That would probably cut down on a lot of cleaning and the girls would have really appreciated not having to touch the toilet seat after the boys!
 

Tuttles Revenge

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You're good to be looking at these small details now.

It sounds like if you faced the exterior with foam and your framing is butted up to the foam you might have to scarf a small portion of the foam where the drain is towards the bottom. If you have doubts that the drain will be located where it needs I would have your frame on site during construction and prior to groundwork so that it can either be installed or referenced. I don't know the particular logistics of your project, but we often have walls constructed over the top of our trenches so that we plumb both the groundwork and the in wall rough in. A lot less chance of missing a target or a wall being moved a fraction after the fact.

I doubt that you will have enough volume of cold water to create a condensation effect, that just doesn't make sense. Insulate all your cold water lines to guard against it if its still concerning. Condensation is prevented by a vapor barrier which a well sealed pipe insulation creates.

Geberit doesn't want the tank agaisnt the exterior wall because of freezing I would assume.. unlikely a concern in florida.
 

TipsMcStagger

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A rep for the plumbing sub was here this morning. He seems to have a great attitude and acknowledged all of my concerns. But he personally, has zero experience with in-wall systems. He asked me how to spell Geberit, which was an obvious indication that he'd never heard of the brand.

Turtles Revenge, your points are well received. I spoke with the GC and we agreed that if needed, we would rip 2x6's to make our own studs at whatever depth is needed. 4" or 4 1/2" - yet to be determined. And the plumber and I discussed framing the wall prior to the toilet rough-in in order to facilitate a precise location.

It's a fairly large company...I think he said about 140 plumbers...so he said he was going to determine who, if anyone, has experience installing this system.

We both agreed, I will not be a Guinea pig for this installation. If need be, I will have to find another plumber or forgo the wall mount.
 

Reach4

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Regarding condensation, in Florida your vapor barrier is outside of the insulation, and in NY it is inside. As long as they keep the Florida vapor barrier intact, I expect you would be fine.
 

TipsMcStagger

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I'm at a crossroads. The plumber texted this morning and said only one of his guys has installed an in-wall carrier, and only one time. And I have no idea what brand carrier he installed. I'm reluctant to move forward with this company.

I don't know if this is acceptable and if not, I apologize in advance but if anyone reading this knows of a competent plumber who services west Pasco county Florida, who has experience installing Geberit in-wall units, please let me know.
 

ss3964spd

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It isn't rocket science, the most difficult part is getting the drain located properly. The rest is basic carpentry and plumbing.

Given your block wall you'll have to pay special attention to how you anchor the false wall top and bottom.
 

Samat

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Just reframe the wall with 2x6 without ripping them down gives more working room. I installed a Cheviot wall hung which is very similar to a Geberit and once the plumber and carpenter saw the carrier and toilet it was very easy to figure out. My plumber had never done one before but installation was really straight forward. Unit works great and saves a lot of space.
 

TipsMcStagger

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The contractor hasn't had a client opt for one in 30 years. I'm still searching for a plumber who has some experience.

I don't want to use the full 2x6 because the bathroom is only 5' wide as it is. With 3/4" foam board, a full 2x6, drywall, thinset and tile, I'd be losing more than 7" of width.

I've already made it clear to the contractor that I want the wall strong enough to support a tractor trailer. There will be a floating vanity on the same wall, so it needs to be stout.
 

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IF they're calling for a full 4" space it could be to allow a 3" coupling to fit in the cavity without bulging out the wall. There is an internal coupling for that. It came with the Toto frame I believe. It arrived on the job a day late. I'd already talked the carpenter into scooping out the backside of the sheetrock for me. A decorator was in charge of getting the materials.
 

ss3964spd

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The Geberit and Toto carriers for 2X4 walls assumes a finished wall on both sides of the carrier. As such you do not need to frame the wall with anything other than 2X4's (1.5X3.5). The section of the bottom (sole) plate directly below the drain outlet is basically removed/eliminated. Don't bother with trying to drill a 3" hole centered in the bottom plate, that will leave you with only .25" on either side at best, and zero wiggle room, just cut out that section.

Frame the wall, make sure it is exactly where it needs to be, make sure it is plumb, and temporarily secure it. Then mount the carrier, make sure it is square and plumb in the frame, AND at the height you want it. Then remove the section of bottom plate. Measure where the drain needs to be, remove the wall and carrier, bust up the concrete.

Reinstall the wall and carrier, and attach the drain elbow to the carrier frame. Mock up the drain line and use the rubber coupling between the drain elbow and the drain riser to do so. Once you're sure all the bits fit properly, glue/couple it all up, then back fill the most of the hole with the proper back fill material which will keep the drain line from moving. Remove wall/carrier again and fill the rest of the hole with concrete; be sure the new concrete is securely anchored to the old. Reinstall wall/carrier.
 
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