In this handy buying guide, we explain everything you need to know about concealed cisterns, explaining what they are, how they work and which one is right for you.
Providing a space-efficient alternative to the more traditional close coupled toilet, concealed cisterns are fast becoming a popular choice for bathroom designers up and down the country.
So, what do you need to know about them? Click on any of the links below to jump to a section:
- What is a concealed cistern?
- Size and location
- Valves and access
- Where to buy concealed cisterns
- Different types of concealed cistern
- Further help and advice
What is a concealed cistern?
As the name suggests, instead of being on display, the cistern element of the toilet is concealed, either behind a wall or within a furniture unit, with just the toilet pan visible. This helps contribute to a cleaner, more minimalist style bathroom that's both easy to maintain and effortlessly stylish. Some concealed cisterns are as thin as 75mm, meaning they can fit into the wall cavity of a stud partition wall, providing the perfect solution for smaller bathrooms.
Size and location
Concealed cisterns are only going to be an option if you have the space. If using in a partition, check the height and depth of it carefully against the array of concealed cistern sizes available.
Remember that concealed cisterns are only viable for a back to wall pan which makes them the only real option for a back to wall or wall hung toilet. If you are looking to install a back to wall toilet with furniture unit, your concealed cistern should fit neatly inside.
Your concealed cistern should fit neatly within your furniture unit giving you easy access should it ever require maintenance
When shopping for a wall hung toilet, you should be looking for a concealed cistern that also incorporates a wall mounting frame. This frame will sit behind the wall and carry the weight of the pan as well as providing a neat housing for the cistern itself. Whatever the pan, make sure it's fully compatible with the cistern you want beforehand.
Read our wall mounting frame buying guide for further information.
A wall hung toilet, such as this one from the Cooper collection, looks clean and stylish, with your cistern concealed behind a partition wall
Valves and access
Concealed cisterns are valve operated, with either a cable or pneumatics. If possible, go for pneumatics as this is less likely to seize up over time and shouldn’t need to be replaced too often.
Regarding maintenance, it is vital to consider access when installing your concealed cistern. If something goes wrong will you be able to access it quickly and efficiently? Can you get to the flush pipe and can you isolate the water easily?
By using an easily removable panel (such as the flush panel on our concealed cistern & mounting frames) you can ensure access is never a problem for either emergencies or general upkeep.
Choosing a flush style might seem a stylistic choice but with a modern concealed cistern, using pneumatic valves, you'll want to go for the push-button flush. By choosing a dual flush you get the added bonus of saving water. This will (usually) give you the option of either a 3 litre or 6 litre flush. Look out for WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approval.
If you're really set on the traditional lever style flush, then you'll need to look at older style concealed cisterns. Just bear in mind that lever flushes always require more maintenance and are less reliable than push buttons due to their cable and ball operation.
Where to buy concealed cisterns
We stock a large selection of high quality concealed cisterns and to make buying for your bathroom even easier, you'll find most of our wall hung toilets and back to wall toilets are also sold with concealed cisterns included.
There's wide range of big brand names to choose from, including the following:
Different types of concealed cistern
To help you choose the right concealed cistern for your bathroom, here are just some of the models we stock.
For back to wall toilets
Macdee Wirquin compact concealed toilet cistern
One of our bestselling concealed cisterns, this model from the experts at Macdee Wirquin, comes with a dual, water-saving flush of 3 or 6 litres. The shallow depth of just 140mm, makes this a popular choice for use with slimline back to wall toilet units. WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approved, the cistern features a cable operated flush system, 210mm x 170mm flush pipe and push button.
Ideal Standard concealed toilet cistern with top inlet and chrome flush plate
This concealed toilet cistern from our friends at Ideal Standard has been built to perform. With all components pre-fitted for easy installation, this cistern comes with a water-saving dual flush of 4.5 or 6 litres, with top water inlet which also allows for connection to the sides.
Conforming to British Standard BS EN 14055 for added peace of mind, this high quality concealed cistern comes complete with a sleek and stylish flush plate, for a more designer appearance.
For wall hung toilets
Grohe Rapid SL Set 3 in 1 wall mounting frame with round button Nova Cosmopolitan push plate
The Grohe Rapid SL sets provide everything you need for your wall hung toilet, including adjustable wall mounting frame, concealed cistern and a choice of stylish flush plates. As the name might suggest, it is designed to be fitted quickly and easily, with fixing bolts providing a stable and secure installation.
With a fully insulated cistern and a ½" water supply connection including integrated angle valve and push fit flexible hose union, this high quality 3 in 1 set is also WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approved.
Macdee Wirquin universal wall hung toilet frame and cistern with motion sensor flush plate
A great hygienic option for accessible bathrooms, especially for those with restricted mobility, this wall hung frame and concealed cistern comes with a battery-operated motion sensor which automatically flushes the toilet after use.
However, despite no touch being required, it can still be used as a conventional push button flush, thanks to the chrome effect plate with button and dark blue glass effect sensor pad.
Further help and advice
Whatever type of toilet you're after, check out our expert guides before you buy.