Monday, February 20, 2012

A Toilet in a Straw Bale House

Whoever thought I would write a post on toilets? It is actually a very important topic for the owner builder...or anyone contemplating building a house or simply replacing a toilet.

The pan and toilet seat shape are of extreme importance as we discovered after the toilet had been installed. We (that would be ME) chose a squarish shaped pan and toilet seat. Looks modern, unusual and suited our quirky little straw bale house.

All good.

Until we started rendering the walls and someone used the toilet seat and lid as a ladder to gain higher up access to the surrounding walls around the toilet. It started as a slight crack in the seat. Which eventually deteriorated into a full thickness crack in the seat that was a real pain in the arse. Literally. Bunnings and other plumbing places do not supply just toilet seats in that particular shape, or ones that even come close to fitting!

We had to buy a whole new toilet just to get the confounded seat to fit the existing setup and that model is no longer made!!!! I had to scour eBay for a supplier of end of model toilets to get one.

So people, when shopping for a toilet, do not be sucked in by sexy unusual shapes, go for the standard slightly rounded in the event that should you need to replace a toilet seat down the track, you can. You know that avocado green toilet that every house had installed in the 70s´? You can still buy a replacement seat that fits today. Stylish? No. Fashionable? Never. Trendy, yes, for all of 43 seconds in 1974....but you can still get away with buying a new seat for it down at Bunnings tomorrow morning.

While we are here, when toilet shopping sit on many to determine comfort levels. Some seats are just plain uncomfortable. Can you endure completing your daily diabolical sudoku on it? Digest some Readers Digest without squirming. Expel that dodgy chicken vindaloo over the course of three or fours hours with minimal collateral damage? If not, shop for comfort or increase your fibre intake.

Also look at the pan, does the flush focus just at the back of the pan, or is it a pan round flush? Are there nooks and crannies that will harbour germies, or will it be easy to clean? Will you need your miners helmet and HAZMAT suit to get in and clean under a rim that no toilet duck could ever reach? These are all important points when it comes to selecting a toilet.

I should have gone with avocado green.


  1. I would argue dear Daff, that those coloured suites are a la mode! Especially the avocado green ones! My grandparents still have the pink suite! Although there are generally pink ones left at wreckers yards. maybe the pinks still daggy?
    I agree with the comfort factor issue. My mum bought a trendy looking square one that is too uncomfortable to sit on for any 'extended' period of time!
    Long term replacement factor- I never thought of... Good thinking.

  2. I actually want a series of those pastel pink and blue pan bases for my chookie laying boxes. HH is not impressed with my vision.

    He lacks imagination.

    You have no idea how annoyed I was at myself for buying that trendy little toilet. Comfy? Yes. Practical? NO WAY! I have an extra toilet pan and cistern sitting in my storage container doing nothing except causing me heartburn every time I look at them. That was one expensive toilet seat!

  3. Your blog caught my eye because my husband and I are building a straw bale house this spring. check it out at
    I, too, have admired toilets that step away from the crowd, but your make a very, very good point.
    From a sustainability perspective, it is better to get something very standard.
    Thanks for the reminder!