Plumbing and issues concerning the toilet and bathroom are some of the main concerns for people who consider living in tiny houses.
More specifically, what kind of toilet will work best in a tiny house.
So, what is the best toilet to use in a tiny house? Let’s take a look at what people normally do.
When it comes to finding the right toilet and plumbing system for your tiny house, you have options. Making your decision will be based on what is important to you.
Here are some of the most popular solutions for toilets that other tiny house owners have found to work for them.
1) Composting Toilets
One of the reasons why people choose to downsize is that they are looking to lead a life with as little environmental impact as possible.
If this is important to you as well, a compositing toilet might be just what you are looking for.
This is because composting toilets are not only cost-effective but also great to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Here is everything you need to know about composting toilets to help you know if this is the right route for you:
What Exactly Is A Composting Toilet?
A composting toilet is a system that takes human waste and allows it to biologically break down by composting it. A composting toilet does not have running water or plumbing installed.
The first thing to note about composting toilets is that unlike popular opinion, they are not “outhouses” or “portapotties”.
All through the idea behind them is the same, you will not be required to shovel bury your waste.
While it may seem outdated, composting toilets are actually on the edge of technology when it comes to environmental impact.
So, what exactly is a composting toilet?
What is composting?
Composting is breaking down particles for reuse. Much like composting food, this system allows the waste to have multi-purposes after being broken down. This is done by using several different systems to collect and store the waste.
What Are The Different Types Of Composting Toilets?
Like most things, there are several different styles of composting toilets available on the market.
So, how do you choose?
Each one has its own set of advantages and special features that help them to stand out. Here are some of the different styles that owners of tiny houses like to use:
1) Central Composting Toilet
A central composting toilet is perhaps the most popular composting toilet system among owners of tiny houses.
This is because this two-piece system allows you to have it all when it comes to environmental impact and simplicity. Also, because this system has a separate collection tank, you can keep your waste out of sight and out of mind.
This system features a central toilet that can be placed anywhere in the home. But, the real magic happens in the central composting unit.
This unit can be placed anywhere, as long as it has a direct connection to the main toilet. The unit is where the waste will be biologically broken down.
One thing to keep in mind about a central composting toilet is that you have two main options to choose from. A waterless toilet uses air flowing technology to push the waste through to the compositing unit.
This works much like a vacuum and is a popular choice for tiny houses.
The second central system option is a water flush option. This option will allow you to flush the toilet using water, but it does its best to reduce water waste.
This is possible because this style of toilet ensures that only 1 pint of water is used per flush. This helps to reduce water waste by still giving you the peace of mind that your toilet is being cleaned properly.
2) Self-Contained Composting Toilets
Self-containing toilets are a one unit system that works to also break down waste.
However, unlike 2-piece systems, the composting will take place right in the toilet unit itself.
There are two separate ways that these types of toilets work:
- Either you can use an electric self-containing toilet that will be required to turn on and off with each use. However, there are newer versions of this system that only require you to unplug the system every couple of days.
- The other version uses air pressure and heat to move waste through the unit.
The main reason why people like this type of system is because it requires no additional plumbing.
In smaller spaces, like tiny houses, not having bulky plumbing systems is a major plus. Also, because there is no “still water”, these types of toilets are easier to clean and also don’t encourage extra bacterial growth.
Do Composting Toilets Make Your Home Smell?
No. In a composting toilet, the waste is quickly transported to a separate composting unit or a self-contained tank. These units and tanks are sealed in a way that ensures that waste, as well as its smell, cannot escape.
One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to composting toilets is do they smell? While protecting the environment and reducing water waste is important, no one wants to live in a home that smells like poop.
So, this is an appropriate concern.
The simple answer is no, composting toilets do not make your home smell like human waste.
This is because these toilets work using air pressure. This constant air pressure means that waste will not stand still in the bowl of the toilet. Instead, it gets moved instantly to either a separate compositing unit or a self-contained tank.
A strange smell in a home is usually an indicator that there is a problem within the system.
This means that either the tank isn’t sealed properly or the installment of the toilet was done incorrectly.
What Is The Best Composting Toilet For A Tiny House?
There are a few popular options for composting toilets that perfect in tiny houses, depending on what style you want.
Here are the best ones available on the market now that will work beautifully in your tiny houses:
Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
The reason why people love this self-contained composting toilet is that it is easy to use.
More than that, users claim this toilet is more comfortable than traditional style toilets. This is or the high back seat and the sleek design.
When it comes to disassembling the composting tank, people love how easy and streamlined it is. This Nature’s Head toilet only takes a few moments to empty using a vent hose and fan. Also, with the addition of an easy to lift handle, you can empty your composting tank quickly without making a mess.
You can find the best deals here on Nature’s Heaf Self Contained Toilets.
Sun-Mar Model 511, 1 Pint Flush Toilet
This composting toilet is part of a central system. This means that in addition to purchasing the toilet itself, you would have to purchase a separate composting unit. This system used a 1-pint flush motion that limits the amount of water that is needed to push waste through the system.
Also, the Sun-Mar Composting Toilet uses air flow and gravity to ensure a clean flush each time.
The main reason why owners of tiny houses like to use this system is that is specifically designed for RVs and traveling homes. Since tiny houses are lifted on wheels or a trailer, it makes sense to use a toilet that functions perfectly for RVs.
You can find the best deals on Sun-Mar Composting Toilets here.
2) Dry Toilet
Another option for a toilet system for your tiny house is a dry toilet.
Owners of tiny houses love to use these non-flushing toilet systems in their homes. This because they not only are smaller in scale, but they are easy to use and install.
Finding simple solutions to bulky traditional toilet systems is an important thing, especially in smaller spaces.
Here is everything you need to know about dry toilets and why so many people prefer to use them:
What Exactly Is A Dry Toilet?
A dry toilet is often referred to as a “bucket toilet” because of its very basic design. However, unlike a bucket, a dry toilet is a streamlined designed system that lends itself to a sleek design.
This is mainly because this type of toilet has no need for a back tank. Without a large seat tank, the toilet can attach directly to the ground.
The biggest perk of a dry toilet is that it takes up very little space. Since tiny houses don’t have any extra space to give, a dry toilet fits right in line with the downsized way of thinking.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are some dry toilets can also double as composting toilets.
This way you can get the best of both worlds when it comes to saving space and reducing environmental impact.
How Do Dry Toilets Work?
Dry toilets can either be hooked up to your home’s black water tank or a composting unit. This is done by attaching the dry toilet directly to the floor with the assistance of a hose and plumbing pipes.
Using gravity and air pressure, these type of toilet systems pull waste away without needing any water.
These types of systems are often used in rural and developing areas so that water doesn’t go to waste, literally! Without still-standing water, there is also less of a chance of bacterial growth with a dry toilet.
Once the waste is pushed through the bowl, it will travel to either your home’s tank or a separate composting system. This helps to also protect the ground surrounding your home. By flushing waste without water, there is no chance that the ground or the groundwater can be contaminated.
This also helps to make dry toilets one of the safest options for your tiny houses.
What Are Common Issues With Dry Toilets?
Like mostly anything, dry toilets have seen its fair share of user error.
The number one issue that people have is that they find their dry toilet smells. This is because unlike composting toilets, dry toilets to not have a water seal.
This means that if the toilet unit is not properly cleaned often, a smell can occur. The other problem that people have is properly emptying the tank. However, it is important to keep in mind that this only happens if the dry toilet is not hooked up to your black tank or a composting system.
But, in the case of a tiny house, chances are your dry toilet will be directed through one of these units.
What Is The Best Dry Toilet For Your Tiny House?
When it comes to finding the best dry toilet for your tiny house, you have some great options. One thing to keep in mind is that when you looking for a dry toilet is that there will be two styles to choose from.
There are traditional dry toilets and portable dry toilets.
Portable dry toilets are meant mostly for camping and hiking adventures. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use one of these portable toilets for your tiny house. It just means that you would be responsible for emptying the unit because it doesn’t hook up to a tank.
Here are some of the best dry toilets that are available on the market today:
Sun-Mar Dry Toilet
The Sun-Mar Dry Toilet is a basic design of a dry toilet and is very user-friendly. However, the biggest reason why it is good for tiny houses is because of the whole unit only 15 inches tall. But, the seat of the toilet is a standard size which offers comfort and stability.
Also, this unit comes with its own liner which makes cleaning an absolute breeze. All you need to do is periodically remove the liner and rinse it for a perfect clean.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to purchase a separate kit in order to hook it up to your tank.
A waterless kit is needed so the toilet can properly work in a tiny house. This kit hooks up to the unit so that air can be moved through. Also, since this kit allows you to use air pressure, it will help to prevent odors and mess.
The Sun-Mar’s Dry Toilets can be found at the best prices here.
Camco Portable Travel Dry Toilet
If you’re looking for a high-quality portable dry toilet that is specifically designed for RVs and moving homes, this one is right for you. It is important to remember when shopping for a portable toilet that has to be able to withstand daily use.
That is exactly what this portable toilet claims to do.
The holding tank on this toilet is over 5 gallons which means that you don’t have to empty it every day. There are also secure latches and handles for the tank so you don’t have to worry about it dislodging and making a mess.
Also, because of it’s lightweight design, it is very easy to take apart and clean if needed.
You can find the Camco Potable Travel Toilets here at the best prices.
3) Normal Toilet Systems
Having options for a toilet system for tiny houses is a good thing.
This gives you more to choose from depending on your particular needs. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to buck tradition either.
Plenty of tiny houses use more “normal” style toilet in their home.
Using a normal toilet means that your tiny house has to be hooked up to a septic tank. There are plenty of tiny houses that use small-scale septic tanks. But, one thing to keep in mind is how much water your toilet will be using.
Since your home may not be hooked up to water each day, you want to conserve the water you have in your tank.
Most tanks that are used in a tiny house and in RVs are 10-gallon tanks. When you consider that you can use 1/8th of a gallon of water per flush, that is a lot of wasted water!
But, don’t get discouraged! There are many ways that you still get your fancy toilet without having to worry about water usage.
What Should You Look For In A Traditional Toilet?
When shopping around for a traditional style toilet, you need to keep in mind that you don’t live in a traditional house. The first thing you need to consider is size. In this day and age where houses are getting bigger and more excessive, appliances like toilets are getting smaller and more streamlined.
This is good news for tiny houses who are on the cusp of technology yet still small in scale.
Another thing to keep in mind when shopping is how eco-friendly your toilet may be. Many water appliances, like toilets, come with an energy star rating.
Finding one that has a positive eco-rating can help you live a more reductive life.
This will not only help to cut down on electricity but water usage as well.
Lastly, you want to make sure that the toilet you buy will work well in your tiny house. If you are planning on rigging the toilet up to composting system or an on-site septic tank, you have to be sure the toilet was designed to handle it. Your tiny houses’ black water tank needs to be able to attach correctly to your toilet.
Keep in mind you may have to purchase a separate connection kit in order for this to happen.
What Is The Best Traditional Toilet For Your Tiny House?
Now that you know what to look for in a great traditional toilet for your tiny house, it is time to do some shopping!
Here are the top two eco-friendly traditional toilets that have been used in tiny houses:
EAGO TB336 High-Efficiency Toilet
People love this toilet for its sleek, square-shaped design. But, this design is much more than eye-catching! Because of its unique shape and size, this toilet fits perfectly into smaller spaces.
The one things that make this toilet stand out from the rest is how it circulates waste and water to your pump system. Instead of using a traditional ball and chain technique, this toilet relies on an efficient flushing valve.
This valve does much more than just offer a clean flush! It also helps to cut down on water usage which lends itself to this product’s high eco-rating.
Swiss Madison SM-1T254 St.Tropez One-Piece Toilet
Another uniquely designed traditional toilet that is great for a tiny house is the Swiss Madison St.Tropez Toilet. The first thing to note about this toilet is that it is an eye-catching design with non-traditional fittings.
However, the best feature of this toilet is that the base of the trap-away of the toilet is not an enclosed system. This means that you can quickly and easily clean this toilet without spending the entire days on your hands and knees. This is good news for tiny houses since space in the bathroom is already tight!
Humans are curious beings. Being a tiny house owner you are going to be bombarded with curious people wondering just how you live in such a small space.
However, you may be surprised to know that people most frequently are curious about the toilets.
You have plenty of options when it comes to finding the best toilet for your house. But, even better than that, you have amazing options. Whether you are looking for a traditional, dry or composting toilet, there are some seriously amazing options out there for you.
Plus, most of them do good for the environment by reducing water waste which also does well for your wallet. Good luck.
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.