replacing toilet- are all toilets the same size for the floor??

sheilaaus122January 12, 2013

We have previously remodeled 2 full bathrooms upstairs, where we pretty much replaced everything and kept the footprint the same. (but this did include replacing flooring and everything)
My question is regarding the full bath we have in a rarely used guest room off the kitchen. It needs some serious updating, but I do not want to replace the floor and wall tiles if possible. I want to replace the toilet for starters. At first I figured this was a simple thing, and I certainly hope so -- but my question is- are toilets somewhat standard in the floor space? I mean, when we remove the existing toilet and replace will it fit in the same spot or will we have to rethink floooring. I would also like to replace countertop with a ready made one I 've seen at HD for $199 it is black granite and includes a sink. The vanity is 48", and I would also like to replace the faucets in the tub area and sink.......but if the toilet thing mandates a new floor--- I need to re think it all. The floor tiles, toilet, and tub are all gray. I would like to bring in a white toilet and white sink, leaving the gray tub and floor and wall....thoughts?
Thank you

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Toilets are specified as having a certain "rough-in size"; 10", 12", 14", etc. The "rough" is the distance from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the toilet's waste pipe in the floor.

Take a tape measure and measure the distance from the wall behind the toilet (not the baseboard or any trim, but the wall) to the center of the bolt caps that secure the toilet to the flange and floor. That will be your "rough". The measurement might not always come out to exactly 10", 12", or 14", but it should be within a half-inch of one of those numbers. In today's construction, 12" is the standard.

The measurement could be off a bit because of added wall thickness; tile or wainscot added over the original drywall, etc, or simply because the plumber was off by a bit when he set the flange.

You'll want to replace the toilet you have with a same-sized "rough". I've seen cases where there has been 3" or so between the toilet tank and the wall. That's a case of the toilet being too small for the space. A 12" toilet set on a 14" rough, for example.

As far as the overall size of toilet itself, getting the proper rough will allow the toilet to fit the space. Toilet sizes vary beyond the rough though. Round bowls don't project out as much as elongated, and then there are variations within the round and elongated categories as well.

So your primary goal is to match the rough. Once you establish the rough, you can look for a small round, or a longer round, or a small elongated or a longer elongated as you see fit.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Thank you!! I kind of figured there was some standard because I havent heard of major issues with replacing toilets, but then again what do I know. I just measured, and it looks like it is 12 1/2. At least I now know what I need to check. Again, thank you for the prompt informative post.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:35AM
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You are welcome, I'm glad to have helped.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:56AM
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mongoct's advice is all good. One thing that could be added -- so I shall add it -- is that the two major Japanese rivals, Toto and Inax, both make adapters for their toilets that allow the same toilet to fit securely in spaces that have rough-ins ranging from 10" to 14". (Some users have said that, at the extremes of the adapter, the flush may be a bit louder due to the extra piping between the toilet's trapway and the drain, but -- apparently -- flushing performance is not adversely affected.)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 6:56PM
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Your toilet has a 12" rough-in. The footprint of each toilet is different, so you may wish to find a toilet with a larger footprint than your old one so that you don't have to replace the flooring.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:23AM
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Posted by mongoct (My Page) on Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 9:56

Toilets are specified as having a certain "rough-in size"; 10", 12", 14", etc. The "rough" is the distance from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the toilet's waste pipe in the floor.

Great Answer above, mongoct ! Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Yes, I know this thread was started last year, but, ...

I will add that we replaced ourAmerican Standard(?) with a Toto, and only after we bought the Toto, we discovered that we had to move the water supply line in the wall over3 or 4 inches to the left. The back left side of the Toto would have been up against the turnoff for the toilet preventing us from turning off the water if need be.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 11:05AM
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