Pros and Cons of Upflush Toilets

See our guide to the pros and cons of upflush toilets including their cost, how it works, lifespan, and some of its common problems with an upflush toilet design.
White bathroom with indoor plants brick wall rattan basket divider tile floor and an upflush toilet People spend a lot of time in their bathrooms. So, it makes sense that you’d want to renovate it to be as efficient as possible. This often includes choosing a toilet that suits your needs.

One option that offers a lot of benefits and will save you some time and effort is an upflush toilet. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about adding an upflush toilet in your home!

What Is An Upflush Toilet?

An upflush toilet rug and blue subway tile wall in a modern bathroom Before getting into anything else, it’s important to take a moment and explain exactly what an upflush toilet is – you might also hear this type of toilet referred to as a macerating toilet. If you haven’t heard of the option before, the name might seem kind of confusing.

Upflush toilets are much more common in Europe than North America but they’ve been growing in popularity. They’re made to help you add a toilet in a tight space without necessarily needing to go through all of the hassle of adding all new plumbing to the bathroom.

They do this by a process through which they get their name which is carrying waste up and away from the toilet rather than downward, like most toilets. They’re a versatile choice that can save time and money.

How Does An Upflush Toilet Work?

Modern bathroom with free standing bathtub wood floor upflush toilet and windows with blinds The key to an upflush toilet working as intended is the macerating pump – also sometimes called a grinding pump – that works within the system.

These stainless steel pumps grind any flushed waste, making it easier to pump through the piping and into a septic tank. This pump activates automatically when you flush the toilet and start to notice the water rising. 

It doesn’t take long for this to work either. The macerating pump usually grinds the waste to an appropriate size in as little as three seconds.

Then, the waste is sent to your septic tank up through the pipes and you’re left with an upflush toilet that’s ready for its next use. At this point, the tank of the toilet is also empty save for a water seal.

Upflush Toilet Pros

Modern bathroom with stone tile floors and walls sink toilet plant and storage rack Just like anything else, there are pros and cons to owning an upflush toilet. Let’s get started by looking at some of the benefits that upflush toilets have. 

Easy to Install – For one, they’re convenient. As we mentioned before, these types of toilets are much easier to install than their common contemporaries since they don’t require as extensive installations and changes to plumbing.

Versatile – These ease of installation makes them a very versatile choice when you’re trying to renovate your bathroom. With the proper maintenance, they’ll last you quite a while as well. You can expect as long as a decade of use in some cases! 

Environmentally Friendly – Additionally, upflush toilets tend to save water. This offers a dual benefit to it that not only is it more environmentally friendly but an upflush toilet could help you save a few dollars on your water bill as well. 

Less Expensive Installation Cost – An upflush toilet is much cheaper than plumbing and installing a traditional toilet. This savings can be used for other home renovations within the home.

Increase Home’s Resale Value – Adding another bathroom to a home can increase the resale value more than 20%. With the return on investment of adding this type, you may be able to expect more money when you sell your house at a later time.

Upflush Toilet Cons

An upflush toilet tile floor and wall granite countertops in a bathroom On the other hand, there are a few things about upflush toilets that aren’t as great. However, it’s crucial to understand what these cons are and how they might affect you. 

Higher Purchase Cost – The first thing you’ll notice is the upfront cost. We’ll get more into the specific costs that go into purchasing an upflush toilet shortly but you’ll notice it’s higher than a standard toilet that relies on gravity.

Yet, as we’ve said, you’ll have the chance to save on costs other than purchasing the actual toilet including saving on installation costs. 

Louder Flush – You’ll also notice that these toilets tend to sound louder when you flush them thanks to the use of the grinding pump. 

Needs Power – The final issue is that the pump needs a power supply. This means that if you find yourself in a power outage without a generator, the pump won’t work.

Bad Smell – A common complaint with uplush toilets is they can have bad odors. This is generally caused by scale build-up. The minerals from the scale mix with waste and can cause these smells to occur. With proper descaling maintenance you can avoid bad smells coming from your toilet.

Upflush Toilet Cost

Macerating upflush toilet kit with elongated bowl See this upflush toilet at Amazon [sponsored link]

As we said, the upfront cost of an upflush toilet can be slightly high. On the other hand, you’ll also want to take additional costs into account. Here, we’ll take a look at what types of costs you can expect from an upflush toilet.

To start, let’s look at the upfront cost to purchase a unit. Buying an upflush toilet without installation costs an average of $600 to $800. Of course, this can vary depending on the brand, model, and where you buy the toilet. 

When it comes to professional installation, that will usually only take an hour or two – a huge improvement on standard gravity system installations.

Again, this can depend on the installation team you work with but it’ll typically add $100 to $200, bringing the total cost between $700 and $1,000 on average.

Upflush Toilet Problems

Ceramic toilet bowl with toilet paper in a basket and plant on the side There are some common problems that can bother upflush toilet owners. These are a few complications that you probably want to be aware of. 

One of the most common issues is the toilet – more specifically the macerator pump – continues to run well after use. This is usually caused by a blockage in the line that needs to be cleared but it can also be the fault of physical damage to the rubber membrane that works with the pump or something causing the switch to misfire. 

If your toilet starts on its own, that also comes down to the microswitch misfiring or damage to the rubber membrane. You can try cleaning and restarting the microswitch but a rubber membrane will likely need total replacement. 

How Long Do Upflush Toilets Last? 

White macerating upflush toilet with round front standard bowl See this upflush toilet at Amazon [sponsored link]

As we briefly touched on before, one of the great benefits of upflush toilets is that their durable and long-lasting. This means that when you invest in one, you won’t have to buy a new one very soon, so long as the toilet is properly maintained. 

Most upflush toilets will last you quite some time – around 10 to 15 years! That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to completely replace the toilet at that point but you can at least expect to have to replace some of the components after so long.

With the many benefits of an uplush toilet they are definitely worth a look. They can be an excellent way to add a bathroom to a basement or other area in the home without spending many more thousands of dollars on contractor renovations. This alone may be the reason to choose this type of toilet for your home.

Visit guides on types of toilet seats and types of bidets for more related bathroom content.

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Written by Veronica - Author

Veronica Pannell is an avid reader and researcher who has been writing about interior design and home improvement since 2018. Her favorite design style is eclectic, and she's always on the lookout for the latest new and exciting design trends.

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