The Trend of Open Rim Toilets
Rimless Toilet is the name if modern and stylish is how you want your bathroom to look. They come in various designs and colours, so you can easily find one that perfectly matches your expectation. But beyond the exterior, it is a much better toilet design offering better hygiene and flushing efficiency.
If you are considering upgrading your old water closet, go for a rimless one. Be it the regular close-coupled, back to wall, or wall hung, there will be one that fits your requirement, given the vast range of rimless toilets in the marketplace.
Rimless loos are also becoming increasingly popular in commercial settings such as schools and hospitals because they are more hygienic, easy to clean and save water.
So, what are rimless toilets? How good are they compared to the regular rimmed pan, and what is their disadvantage? Do they really save water? Most of all, how much do they cost? Let’s find out.
How does it Work?
The magic is in the rim channel design or the lack of a rim that gives rise to a unique flushing system. Unlike the decades-old jet-holed inner rim, as the name suggests, the rimless porcelain bowl has no rim on the edge. You will see one or two large horizontal openings or outlets, either positioned at the sides or centralised at the back of the pan.
When a flush is initiated, water from the tank flows out directly from the outlets and swirls around the pan in a sweeping manner. This direct flow of water into the bowl offers more ‘scrubbing’ power than the rain-down from the distributed rim holes, which appears to merely wet the pan surface.
Difference Between the Rimless Toilet and the Traditional WC
You can never tell the difference when the seat and cover are down. Besides the rim design, the rimless loo is no different from the traditional toilet. Instead of a close rim on the pan edge with those little jet holes underneath, it is open with one or two large water outlets at the side. Water will gush out through the outlets to clean the bowl and flushes waste away with great power.
What are the Advantages of Rimless WCs?
Hygiene and water saving are the two main benefits of rimless toilets. The simpler open rim design makes cleaning the toilet much less difficult. It eliminates all opportunities for bacteria and limescale growth, thereby a much more hygienic option than traditional rimmed toilets.
Hygienic and Easy Clean
Typically, the rim of the toilet is the most difficult part to clean. When debris finds its way into the rim, there’s nothing you can do to clear them. You can only hope that they get flushed out through the jet holes. But what about the limescale that formed inside the closed rim? You can definitely relate to how you have tried to remove them; they are quite a pain in the rear.
But with the open rim, there are no hidden crevices to trap dirt and for bacteria to breed. You have full access to the inner rim surface, which makes it much easier to clean – simply give it a quick wipe around the bowl rim with some disinfectant or the family’s secret concoction against limescale, and you’re done!
In fact, some pan design allows a clear view of the rim so that you can easily spot dirt or stain and nip it in the bud before it can gather underneath the rim. Literarily there is no surface in the bowl that is hard to reach.
Gone are the days when you have to jet spray to dislodge any debris stuck in the jet holes. Or to sacrifice a wire hanger to clear stubborn limescale buildup inside the closed rim that hinders water flow. Also, not to mention the forming of those ugly stain lines because of the difficulty to spot and clean thoroughly at the source.
Better Water Economy (Or Efficiency)?
Almost every buying guide or review claims that rimless toilets use less water than the regular rimmed models. But is it true?
And a 4.5 litres flush capacity is quite common among some of the popular brands in the UK. But you will still be able to find the 6 litres capacity rimless models.
So, instead of saying they use less water, the more reasonable claim would be – they clean better. Which is to say, for the same volume of water, the rimless WC will have all its pan surface covered during a flush. And the water is literary ‘wiping’ and not just wetting the bowl surface.
The flushing efficiency is significantly higher than the conventional rimmed toilets. If you choose a 6-litres toilet, you are almost guaranteed a clean flush every time because of the sheer water volume. But not every rimless toilet is made with the same efficiency; that depends on the make and model.
A good example is the Grohe 3920600H wall hung loo; the 5-litres of water distributed through 3 horizontal outlets create a powerful Triple Vortex that looks like a tornado scouring every inch of the bowl surface. A perfect storm in the pan, if you will.
What is the Disadvantage of a Rimless Toilet?
The rimless design is a significant improvement over the close-rim pan. One common issue is water tends to splash out during a flush. But to be fair, even the regular rimmed pan has the same problem when the water level is set incorrectly in the cistern.
However, this issue is almost unheard of now with improvements to the rim and overall toilet bowl design. Especially the more established brands, which regularly roll out new and improved models. So if you are concerned about out-splashing, you can’t go wrong with a well-known brand like Toto and Duravit.
But it is always recommended to do a few test flushes on your new rimless toilet to check for out-splashing, regardless of the toilet make and brand. If necessary, you can adjust the flow-rate valve to find the best position for optimum flushing power and ensure water is well contained within the toilet pan.
And rimless toilets generally cost more than their standard relatives. But not much to make you feel the pinch. Definitely worth the extra pounds if hygiene and ease of maintenance are your preferences.
How Much Do Rimless Toilets Cost?
A quick ballpark figure could be anything from £160 to £550, depending on the toilet type and brand. The lower price range typically belongs to the close-coupled models. As you move to the wall-hung range, expect anything from £400 to over £550.
The price is not much different from the standard toilets these days as more and more manufacturers are phasing out the old rimmed models. So if you are looking for a toilet, regardless of type, there is a high chance you will land yourself with a rim-free loo.
However, the price difference between a regular close-coupled and rimless model is about £50. Then again, it depends on the brands. Duravit, Grohe or Toto will have a much higher price point for their close-coupled toilets.