top of page

Bathroom Terminology You Need To Know

When you're looking at renovating your bathroom, or you're designing a new space, it's always good to know what you're talking about (and what the sales team are talking about). So here is your not-quite-exhausted list of what you need to know.

The Fixtures

A concealed cistern is where the flushing components of the toilet (inside the back bit) are hidden in the wall.

Free flowing waste remains open at all times; you cannot close the plug.

white, square basin with linear free flowing waste and black wall mounted tap.
Free Flowing Waste & Wall Mounted Tap

A wall hung pan literally hangs on the wall leaving space underneath.

A concealed shower valve is hidden in the wall and controls single or multiple outlets (shower heads).

A deck mounted tap is fitted onto the worktop or basin.

Square, tan coloured basin with deck mounted tap
Free Flowing Waste & Deck Mounted Tap

A smart toilet uses smart technology to respond to the user; designed to improve hygiene. A vanity unit is attached to the basin and can have drawers/cupboards.

The Fittings

A stud wall is made up of timber and plasterboard. It can be used to hide pipework, create recessed shelves and/or create a partition.

Exposed stud wall with wall hung basins and vanity
Stud Wall and Wall Hung Vanity

PIR is the electric sensor used for automatic/motion lighting. Mood lighting is used to create atmosphere or ‘half-light’. Most commonly an illuminated mirror and/or under shelving.

A tap isolator is used to regulate the flow of water from the mains to a water service pipe and means there is no need to turn off the mains water if there is a leak.

Preformed wet floors have a built in slope to direct water to the drain. Used in shower areas and wetrooms.

Tiled preformed wet floor with linear waste
Preformed Wet Floor & Linear Waste

A durgo valve, also known as an air inlet valve, is designed to let air into the system to balance the air pressure but not escape from it, preventing problems with odours.


A decoupling mat is used when installing flooring on uneven or unstable subfloors; they absorb and reduce movement in the tile.

A mitred edge is when the edge of the two tiles that meet are cut at a 45degree angle to create a minimal and seamless profile.

Marble effect porcelain tiled basin with mitred edges and a wall mounted tap
Mitred Edge on a Wall Hung Basin with Wall Mounted Tap

A rectified edge tile is cut to an exact and precise size. Epoxy grout is made of epoxy resins and filler powder, is waterproof and almost completely resistant to stains.

Book matched matches the grain or pattern of a pair of tiles so, when placed next to each other, they look like a mirror image.

Marble vein book matched corner tiles
Book Matched Tiles

The tanking system is a waterproofing system that creates a barrier between the top layer and the wall, keeping water in.


Recessed is a sunken area. Most commonly shelving and lighting, a space is built into a wall, ceiling or worktop so the shelving/lighting is ‘set-in’ to the space around it.

Pink onyx tile with recessed shelves
Recessed Shelves with Wall Hung Worktop and Wall Mounted Taps

Wall hung literally means hung on the wall, leaving space underneath. This needs support.

Freestanding refers to fixtures and furniture which aren’t attached to the wall. This may need support.

Level access means there are no steps between one area and the next i.e. from the shower area to the floor space.

Level access floor into shower with large format tiled walls and black hardware
Level Access

Linear waste can be used in a shower or basin. Where traditional waste is square/round and grid like, linear waste is long, slim and ‘invisible’.

This is, by no means, an exhausted list but we have picked out the most common, as well as some current and up coming trends. Knowing what these things mean can really help when designing your own bathroom. We haven't gone into the logistics/possibilities because that's a whole other blog!

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page