A “planter top” toilet tank lid from Eljer


A PLANTER MOLDED RIGHT INTO A TOILET TANK LID? Well, this is a new one to me… found in this ad for a 1964 Eljer Estate toilet. And of course – LOVE it. Has anyone ever seen this? Let’s all be on the lookout. Like spotting rare and endangered species in the (retro)Amazon. Carry your cameras, readers!


planter-top-toilet-EljerUPDATE: Props to Facebook follower Kae, who spotted these Eljer “planter top” toilets for sale on the Columbus, Ohio Craigslist. Mega thanks to the seller for allowing us to archive this photo — the first actual spotting of one of these in the wild.

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  1. Patd says

    omg I want it! I think a fern or something would last a while in there. Why don’t they design things like that anymore?

  2. veg-o-matic says

    There was some catalog–Miles Kimball, maybe?–that for years offered a replacement toilet tank top that was a planter. Made of plastic most likely, and had some kind of ropy thing that hung down into the tank to “automatically” water the plants.


  3. atomicbowler says

    Maybe a nice fern or something that would like the shower steam?
    Not sure about the green with the pink in the example, but, um, I guess the flooring nicely compliments the plant?
    Hey…no matter what…it IS surely a hip commode. Wonder what good ol’ Thomas Crapper would say if he could see THAT!

  4. sumacsue says

    This toilet lid would go well with the combination radio/toilet paper holder that hung on the wall in my grandpa’s bathroom back in the 1970s.

  5. says

    I would love this! Actually, many plants thrive in the moist bathroom air – pothos, just like in the pic, would do great, as long as there’s a window for some light.

    The planter-top that Veg-o-matic describes with the automatic watering rope = ingenious!

  6. Joe says

    I just had a flashback to high school, circa 1977. I attended a private high school and made friends with Keith, who one day wanted me to see the cool suburban custom development home his parents bought brand new in 1964. What a house! 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Each bathroom had one of these toilets. Each bathroom had a different color for the fixtures (grey, green, pink, blue, yellow), with complementing 2-tone ceramic tiling. The kitchen was AMAZING! All GE appliances (push-button of course) in pink porcelain enamel, with pink ceramic tile countertops. It had built-in Nutone 5-in-1 appliance center and Intercom system and AM/FM Stereo 4-track music system. There was an adjoining laundry room that really was a laundry room! GE washer & dryer (in pink) with the push-buttons, built-in ironing board and a standing ironing machine (in pink enamel). There was custom cabinets and countertops to match the kitchen’s. The other side of the kitchen was the casual dining area (separate from the formal dining room). The laundry/kitchen/dining area was terraced, in that the kitchen was lower level and you had to “step up” to get to the laundry or dining areas (with wrought iron railings running across). Oh, the kitchen was equipped with EVERY CONCEIVABLE electric kitchen small appliance and gadget known (in either pink or chrome). The entire back wall was floor-to-ceiling glass the entire length and had a fantastic view of the woods and stream. The living room was “sunken” and just said “cocktail party 1960’s style” with a huge windowall and fieldstone wall opposite with a huge fireplace (which was “open” to be viewed also from the dining room). I never forgot that house! I understand it was the “talk of the town” and very envied. I heard several years ago that the parents decided to downsize to an adult community in the same town and really didn’t want to sell to an outsider, because the house was a perfectly preserved time capsule. Their youngest daughter charmed them into selling it to her and her husband for practically nothing, promising to maintain it just like they did. No sooner than the ink dried on the bill of sale, her and husband gutted the house and tossed all “that dated, tacky, crappy stuff” and remodeled it to reflect “current trends” circa 1996. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

  7. Phil says

    Hi – Anyone know where to get a more conventional replacement tank lid for a light blue toilet? Ours broke today.
    Or how about a match on the toilet color light blue paint to paint a replacement cover with?


  8. Lois says

    Hi! I actually have one of these toilets in a pale yellow color. Had no idea what the tank lid was used for before now. Found this website trying to find replacement seat in color close to commode color.

  9. Jeff says

    I have this Eljer toilet with planter but it’s in olive green. Looking to renovate my bathroom so this toilet and matching sink and tub are soon on their way out. They are still in good condition, but really not wanting my bathroom to look so dated anymore.

  10. Donna Butler says

    I had a tanktop planter and loved it. A friend gave it to me in the early 70s. Believe me, plants flourished because of the steam from the shower. Because it was plastic, and I was having to take it off freqently due to my toilet running constantly, it broke. I have looked and looked for another. How beautiful it was with all the plant-life in the bathroom. Help. Does anyone know where I can find another one. (Mine didn’t have space for books.)

  11. Judi Wentz says

    my mom’s bathroom has a plastic planter lid for the tank! I recently refurbished it by buying new wicks (like for kerosene lanterns), giving it fresh soil and new plants. The wicks keep it watered. Nobody has added any water for 6 months and the plants are flourishing! Looks wonderful and I would love to find one for myself. I think my mom bought it through one of those “gadget” magazines.

  12. Natalie Black says

    Remember these as a child….don’t worry about the plants dying! Only the finest plastic fauna was used.

  13. Miss Wynonna says

    My Mother had the after-model planter toilet planter……..was cool but for some reason it tended to drop dirt in the toilet tank ……It only lasted a year or so before my mother got rid of it and went back to the old lid

  14. Brad says

    I have two white complete Eljer planter toilets that were original equipment in my house built in 1963. For the life of me, I could not figure what the planter portion was for until last year when I came across an old picture of one. Anyway, both my bathrooms are interior rooms and don’t have windows, so planters do little good in that environment. The planter tops are not plastic such as some of the imitations out there. These are the real deal ceramic. I am making both available on Craigslist (Huntsville, AL) http://huntsville.craigslist.org/app/4421216893.html

    • Mareline says

      Having one yellow, one pink and one blue planter top, i use the larger opening for tissues, and the smaller opening for wipes.

  15. cindy hill says

    Recently, I visited our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. Donations are taken in and then resold to support the Habitat for Humanity projects. All items in the store are donated. They consist of left over building materials, appliances, household fixtures, etc.
    While shopping in there, I ran across this unusual toilet and fell in love with it. It is in perfect condition. No one there had ever seen one like it.
    My husband and I are finishing our basement and this toilet is going in the bathroom. I am so excited.

    • Bobbie says

      You’re lucky cindy. Our Habitat for Humanity Restore on the central coast of California will not take donations of any toilets unless they are “low flow” which is 1.6 gallons per flush or less. We are missing out on the possibility of finding the classic retro style and they are probably going to the dump when people remodel!

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