Replace an existing toilet – what are the most important measurements?
July 22, 2017 4:09 PM   Subscribe

I have an existing toilet in a small bathroom. The rough-in at the bolts is 14 inches. I'm having trouble finding toilets with the same rough-in size. Tell me what I need to know about replacing this toilet in the most straightforward way.

I'm apparently looking for an unusual toilet – round bowl (to preserve space in front of the toilet), 14" rough-in, regular height (a kid uses this and I think the comfort height would look dorky in this small bathroom).

What are the consequences of a different rough-in? It's frustrating because I want a good toilet, if possible, and not just the only toilet that matches the rough-in.
posted by amanda to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, if you put a standard 12" toilet in your space, the only problem will be an extra 2" of space behind the toilet. But this problem has a solution and it is an offset flange to replace the current flange.
posted by ssg at 4:25 PM on July 22, 2017

As it happens, I was just researching this today. Wayfair actually had the best filters for finding what you need, and here are the results.

That being said, I would corroborate the 14" rough-in by either looking up your old toilet's specs or confirming that your house is if the right age for it, as I measured wrong before I double checked.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:05 PM on July 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sorry, I got excited and didn't read carefully enough! Yes, you either leave space behind it, or get a Toto Unifit that addresses the issue. However, they don't come in standard heights, although the universal height isn't too tall.

The offset flange is against code in my jurisdiction, so I'd want to double check that.

I personally would find the gap to be really weird and annoying, but there's no technical reason why it would be a problem.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:12 PM on July 22, 2017

Depending on your bathroom layout you can disguise a 2" gap at the back of the toilet with either a built in shelf or an extension to your counter. Especially in a small bathroom the extra shelf space is often appreciated.
posted by Mitheral at 8:35 PM on July 22, 2017

Installing an offset flange is a big effing deal. Just live with the extra bit of space behind. Two inches of gap if fine.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:45 PM on July 22, 2017

It's not just the space behind - it's the space in front. We need to leave as much space as possible due to the small size of the room. Everything comes in "elongated bowl" now.
posted by amanda at 6:41 AM on July 23, 2017

You can still find round bowl toilets. Ask for "contractor grade" toilets.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:55 AM on July 23, 2017

We just replaced the toilet in a tiny basement bathroom with this one. It's very compact, and I was also left with a gap behind the tank but it doesn't stick out any further into the room than the old one.
posted by cabingirl at 10:34 AM on July 23, 2017

Regarding round vs. elongated, there is a Gerber model with elongated bowl and a skinny tank, so that the whole thing comes no farther forward than a model with round bowl and standard tank. This worked for me in a half-bath with no room in front of it. (I also recommend the comfort height or whatever the higher ones are called.)
posted by beagle at 11:36 AM on July 23, 2017

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