The Pros and Cons of a Concealed Toilet Cistern

pros and cons of a concealed toilet cistern

Last week I had an exciting opportunity to offer bathroom renovation advice for a big interior magazine (which not so quietly, I’m really excited about). I’m in my zone when I’m asked plumbing advice. Anyway, one of the questions asked was about recessed toilet cisterns. Are they dearer than a normal toilet suite and what should renovators look out for if they choose to install one of these toilet suites?


To firstly explain… a recessed/induct/ concealed toilet cistern is one where the top tank part of the toilet is installed in the wall or behind a cabinet/cavity, and only the buttons are exposed on the tile wall. Often they can be hidden in void.

The cistern is concealed behind the wall and can be accessed through the button panel for maintenance. Often these types of cisterns are popular in high rise public bathrooms or apartments, where a void is available for the plumber to service the cistern when needed. We installed many of these toilets in the Brisbane CBD high rises.

concealed cistern caroma
Caroma Invisi Series II Cistern

Pros for a Concealed Toilet Cistern

1. It’s modern and sleek

It’s a modern look. The buttons are usually stainless steel which offers a stylish look for the interior of your bathroom. With different tap finishes like matte black and brass becoming popular, the buttons and plates can usually be ordered to match tapware for a unified look.

2. Saves space in the bathroom

It’s a great space saver if you have a small bathroom. It can make a small bathroom look less busy.

3. Offers a hygienic option and is easier to clean

It’s hygienic as the box style cistern is thought to harbor dust and bacteria in and underneath the cistern.

Cons for a Concealed Toilet Cistern

1. Not always easy to replace

Should you ever need to replace the toilet cistern, this becomes difficult because of the tiled wall. Having a wall void or access for the plumber to get behind the wall works around this.

2. They can be expensive

They can be more expensive to purchase than a typical tank toilet cistern as they aren’t as popular as the normal toilet suites. Although their surge in popularity of late is making them more affordable. Often the buttons aren’t included in the cistern price either. They are extra. Installation costs may be a little more as it needs to be roughed in before the walls are sheeted and tiled.


3. Can’t manually refill a concealed cistern

You can’t manually fill the toilet cistern if the water is turned off to your property and you need to flush the toilet. Alternatively, you can use a bucket of water to flush down the toilet pan if the situation is dire.

4. Not easy to turn the water off to the cistern

For the homeowner, it can be hard to turn the water off to the cistern as it’s not readily seen, unlike your typical toilet suite where the tap is beneath the cistern or inside the top under the lid.

5. Must be installed with specific toilet pans

The cisterns often require a wall faced pan or wall hung pan, which requires a bracket to not only hold the pan in place, but to also ensure it can carry the weight of the person sitting on the toilet suite. Sometimes the installation of this bracket can incur extra labour costs for installation.


Concealed cisterns work best in bathroom renovations where all the walls have been removed and the space is back down to the stud work, or in brand new house builds.


Choose a well-known brand of concealed cistern as opposed to a cheap non-brand. It may be hard to find parts for the unknown brand in the future.

Concealed cisterns are becoming a more popular choice for toilet suites. With this becoming the case, we may see the supply costs decrease as the manufacture of these suites increases.

Do you like the concealed toilet cistern look? Or just happy to sit on a toilet that flushes?