Q: I enjoyed the “Tiny Bathroom” article in the December 2015 issue. The toilet with the tank in the wall was very interesting, but was any access provided to get to the tank for future maintenance?
A: Daniel Lewis, an architect based in Northborough and Centerville, Mass., responds: The in-wall tank for the Toto toilet was installed in a wall shared by a basement stairway. In that particular old house, the covering on the stairway side of the wall was tongue-and-groove beadboard. If a problem did develop with the plumbing connections, accessing the tank would be fairly easy and minimally invasive. But even if the tank were mounted on a wall with drywall on both sides, cutting open the wall to access the connections would still not be difficult. Plumbing connections concealed in a wall are also common with most shower valves (including the shower in the tiny bathroom).
As far as accessing the guts of the tank, that is done through the push plate where you activate the flush mechanism. The installation manual has detailed instructions for removing the plate and pulling out the flushing mechanism inside. So far, that operation has not been required; if it ever is, I would call on the plumber who installed the toilet. But the toilet has been working flawlessly, and I’m not banking on any problems for at least the next 20 years.