What is a Water Closet?

A water closet, commonly known as a toilet, is a sanitation fixture that is used to dispose of human urine and feces. The term ‘water closet’ originated in the late 1800s to distinguish indoor flushable toilets that were connected to a sewer system from outdoor privies.

What is a separate toilet room called? In older homes, you may come across a small bathroom with a separate toilet room. These are known as water closets.

Pink Feminine Glamorous Bathroom
Image via Style at Home / Design by Corea Sotropa

Some key features of a modern water closet include:

  • Bowl – The part of the toilet where waste is deposited before flushing. Bowls come in different shapes (elongated, round) and heights (standard, comfort).
  • Tank – The part of the toilet that holds the fresh water used for flushing. It includes the flushing mechanism and controls.
  • Toilet Seat – The removable seat that covers the bowl. Seats can be round or elongated to match the bowl shape.
  • Flush Handle – A lever or button used to initiate the flushing action that rinses waste down the drain.
  • Drain Trap – The S-shaped curve in the toilet’s drain pipe that holds water to prevent sewer gases from entering through the drain.
  • Wax Ring – A seal between the toilet and the floor drain pipe to prevent leaks.
  • Supply Line – The water supply line that brings fresh water to refill the tank after flushing.

So in summary, a water closet is the complete functional unit that safely removes human waste and transports it away from the bathroom via plumbing.

The bathroom is often one of the most used yet overlooked rooms in a home when it comes to interior design. One key feature that can make or break the look and functionality of a bathroom is the water closet, also known as the toilet! If you’re new to interior design or looking to remodel your bathroom, the myriad of options for water closets can seem overwhelming.

There are lots of different types of toilets, including one-piece versus two-piece, round versus elongated bowls, and low-flow versus standard models. Important factors like rough-in, flushing performance, bowl height, and more must be considered.


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