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My architect is recommending the Catalano Zero 55 Toilet:

enter image description here

I'm more a fan of Toto toilets. They have a wall-hung model called the Aquia, which is somewhat less graceful looking:

enter image description here

Does anybody have any experience with how these actually function?

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Be sure that installation is done by a qualified person - if such unit is not attached to a strong enough construction or the attachment itself is not strong enough you face serious risks of having it fallen off and broken and its pieces causing severe injuries (pottery is extremely hard and will have extremely sharp edges). That's not what you care that much in case of floor-mounted toilet, but it's extremely important in case of wall-mounted one. –  sharptooth Apr 27 '11 at 13:57
    
I'm pretty sure that these come with a mounting framework that's concealed in the wall and floor; they're not just cantilevered off the drywall. –  Joel Spolsky Apr 27 '11 at 14:11
    
Okay, but that framework must be attached properly as well and the person doing that must be qualified enough to not fasten it with tiny screws to some weak drywall framework and declare it done - any negligence can have dire consequences here. –  sharptooth Apr 27 '11 at 14:17
    
I mean... if you look at the spec sheet (PDF) there's an L-shaped framework it connects to... it's not depending on support from the wall at all. Although of course you are right that a bad installer WILL find a way to install it badly. –  Joel Spolsky Apr 27 '11 at 14:36
    
That L-shaped thing extends forward to suspiciously big distance (big waste of metal). I'd rather believe it's some imaginary set of lines to illustrate how in general the toilet should be positioned rather than an actual construction. –  sharptooth Apr 27 '11 at 14:43
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2 Answers 2

The main difference between this bowl and the "standard" one is that the waste goes out the back and then down rather than straight down:

toilet bowl cross section

(the red arrow I've added to this cross section).

In the UK all toilets (wall or floor mounted) tend to have this arrangement.

As far as everyday operation is concerned they're the same as the "standard" as it's the action of the water rather than gravity on the waste that flushes it away.

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Does that mean they're not as good at flushing as a standard toilet? –  Joel Spolsky Apr 27 '11 at 14:10
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@Joel Spolsky: I'm in very eastern Europe and I've never seen a live "standard" (with "flush down" inner pipe) toilet in my whole life - only "flush back" models are used here and we have state standards and codes that regulate how "flush back" toilets should be manufactured and they flush just fine until you throw a whole ununwinded roll of toilet paper or a whole newspaper into it which I guess would clog any kind of toilet. –  sharptooth Apr 27 '11 at 14:20
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We replaced all three toilets in our house about four years ago - two with Duravit/Geberit wall-mounted toilets, and one with an American Standard low-flow. I would whole-heartedly recommend the wall-mounted toilets, but there are a few considerations:

Cons:

  • The tank is inside the wall. (Duh.) In the case of Geberit tanks, this means that the wall must be built of 2x6 studs instead of 2x4; that required a bit of a last-minute remodel for us, so it's a good thing to know going in.
  • Forget about 10,000 Flushes or anything similar. It's a major pain to remove/replace the access panel to put any kind of water treatment in there, and it's a lot easier to block the flush mechanism by careless placement than in a standard tank. The first time you find yourself twisted into a pretzel, with your arm stuck in a wall up to the elbow, fishing around in hyper-chlorinated water trying to find the bleach tab you dropped in there so blithely... you'll question your life choices.

Pros:

  • Since the tank is tall and thin, you tend to get a noticeable gravity assist on the flush - much more oomph per gallon, so to speak.
  • It's much, much easier to clean under and around.
  • It looks awesome.
  • Unlike a standard toilet, you get to choose (albeit only once, at installation) your preferred seat height. Our Geberits are the most comfortable toilets I've ever sat on, simply because I chose a seat height that fit my own legs.
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