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Small toilet room...way to fix this?

Posted by Komeht (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 19, 12 at 1:08

We have three of these toilets that are elongated and comfy height, dual flush and Ada compliant (must be for build)

Ok- they work fine in the powder room and the gues bath room.

But challenging in the master. The Master has a private privvy room for the toilet. The problem is, when you go do do you business, with the door closed the space is very cramped and awkward with just a few inchess passed the knees. Think Airplane. Really we need about 6 more niches to make this work.

Option 1 would be replace toilet with tanked toiled and round bowl. I don't like this because it means having a small uncomfortable seat in the master.

Option 2 would be to install a wall mounted toilet. Assuming this would work, it looks like we'd be gettin 9 additional inches, which would be luxurious. What kind of costs and I looking at? Buy toiletc,buy inwall tank/wardwar...then what? Bhire plumbers, carpenters, tilers, painters? How big a deal is this? Do I need to go through a GC to handle the job?

Anyone install a wall mounted retrofit? Experiences,


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

The "privy room" needs to be at least 30" wide and 60" long simply to meet building code. Does it?

Also to meet code, you need a minimum of 21" of free space from the front of the toilet to the wall.

While those are the minimum allowed by code, it's generally recommended to have a 36" wide water closet and 30" of knee space in front of the toilet.

Toilets are not all the same size. You could shop around and maybe create a few more inches with a smaller toilet, even maintaining the elongated bowl.

That's simply to meet non-ADA requirements. ADA bathrooms need larger clearances.

As to a wall mounted toilet, the answer to retrofitting is "it depends".

It usually entails opening up the wall, adding brackets/hangers for the toilet, and fitting the toilet workings within the stud cavity space. Traditional installations may have the toilet stack in that same stud space. So changes to the framing and plumbing may need to be made.

As to the trades needed....definitely a plumber who can do the "demo" and replumb. But I don't trust plumbers to frame. Their favorite thing to do is to seemingly destroy anything and everything structural (sarcasm intended for any plumbers out there) with a sawzall. So a plumber can generally do the demolition and install the toilet. But then you'll need the walls repaired, the flooring repaired where the toilet waste was previously located, etc. The "repairs" could be done by a single person or by a string of tradesmen. So very much the answer is..."it depends".


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

In all probability if they were to install a wall mount, the back wall would have to be enlarged to a wet wall and you would end up with the same space in front of the bowl, just a shorter room


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

I've done a Duravit and am contemplating a Toto in-wall install for the same reason. This is what you're dealing with with an in-wall tank:

This is what the result looks like after it's installed:

LOLing at "I don't trust plumbers to frame. Their favorite thing to do is to seemingly destroy anything and everything structural" - I recently removed a recessed medicine cabinet in my bathroom only to discover a load-bearing 2-by-4 was sawed down to 2-by-1 to make room for the recessed cabinet.

Also, there are corner toilets that may better fit some spaces. (mongoct, do you know the code requirements work with these?)


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

Mongoct: the room is 35 x 45 leaving just 13.5" in from of the toilet. 35" wide is fine, but space in front of toilet is insufficient. As for meeting building code, I am 100% certain the house passed multiple inspections. Building codes are local matters anyway, are they not?

Lazypup, my solution only works obviously of the tank can go into the existing wall between the studs. If they have to build a wall out I won't gain anything.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

"As for meeting building code, I am 100% certain the house passed multiple inspections. Building codes are local matters anyway, are they not? "

Some areas don't have any code requirements at all. For those that do, IRC generally applies, and it's a national code. State and local code can be more restrictive than national code, but in general they can't be more lax than IRC.

The fact that you've had inspections means that code probably does apply.

The fact that an architect possibly designed a code-violating space is not a tremendous surprise. Virtually every set of drawings I've received from an architect either contains violations, or literally, and I truly mean "literally", things that can't be built as drawn. Not even close.

The fact that the plans were reviewed and a permit was issued? Not a surprise. The fact that the house has passed several inspections? Again, not a tremendous surprise. There are inspectors that are ignorant and inspectors that are apathetic. Then there are those that don't know what they are looking for, nor do they care. lol

I'm not trying to slam the industry as a whole, but it sure sounds like it.

As you can see with your toilet space, there's a reason the space doesn't "work" as a water closet: Because it doesn't meet code. Code isn't the end all to satisfying construction. It's simply a minimum set of guidelines and standards that are in place to provide for safe and habitable housing.

I'm not trying to come across as preachy, believe me, it's certainly not my intended style. At it's most basic level, whoever designed that space should have at least sat on a toilet with a tape measure and realized that "geez, this won't work".


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

Wow! Your room is about 15" too short...
Post up your layout, and we'll see if there is any possibility here. It will involve wall changes.


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corner toilet code

"Also, there are corner toilets that may better fit some spaces. (mongoct, do you know the code requirements work with these?)"

It remains the same. A minimum of 15" between the centerline of the toilet and any adjacent wall or fixture. A minimum of 21" of "knee space" in front of the toilet.

The 45-degree angle can create clearances open for interpretation, but in general, if you're complying with the spirit of the code, which in this case would to simply have adequate free space in front of the toilet, you're fine.

"...the room is 35 x 45 leaving just 13.5" in front of the toilet. Lazypup, my solution only works obviously if the tank can go into the existing wall between the studs. If they have to build a wall out I won't gain anything. "

If you're long dimension is 45" and you only have 13-1/2" of knee space, your toilet is 31-1/2" deep. The typical wall hung toilet projects 22" out from the wall.

So doing what Lazypup advocates, increasing your probably 2x4 toilet wall to a 2x6 "wet wall", will cost you 2" of room space. But converting from your current 31-1/2" toilet to a 22" toilet will gain you 9-1/2", for a net gain of 7-1/2" of knee space. Ading that to your current 13-1/2" of knee space puts you right at 21" of knee space, the code minimum.

And here's where the "spirit of the code" sort of comes in to play. The idea behind the minimum dimensions for a water closet are to provide adequate space in front of the toilet with a typical toilet installed in the closet. You'd have an atypical toilet installed in a non-compliant closet, but the atypical toilet gives you compliant knee room. So an inspector at face value could fail you for an inadequately sized water closet. But when noting that you have the code required knee room, they could allow the closet as it is built because your space complies with the "spirit of the code".

Then everyone can hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and have a few celebratory potato chips.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

kirkhall - there is not fix involving wall changes.
mongoct - 21" of knee space would be perfect. Sounds like I can make a wall hung work (assuming we can get the tank in the wall).

In the meantime, the privvy room has a pocket door that can remain open - there is a door to the bathroom for privacy.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

I have a question about this? What are the rules for final inspection? Can the inspector refuse to issue a CO because the room does not meet code even if it passed the rough-in plumbing inspection? If so, that would mean that walls may have to be moved.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

There are space saving elongated seats, where the neck between the tank and bowel is shorter. I saw them at Lowes back in February. It would only gain you a few inches, but it would be worth using some google-fu to see what you can find. Replacing the toilet would by much less spendy than converting to a wall mount.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

Ha ha...funny typo, williamsem! I'm picturing this guy is pretty cramped already, but trying to get his neck between the tank and his bowel...yikes!

Thanks for the giggle!


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

I keep saying I wont post when I'm tired, but I do anyway. At least we can all laugh! One of these days I'm going to get myself in real trouble.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

"I have a question about this? What are the rules for final inspection? Can the inspector refuse to issue a CO because the room does not meet code even if it passed the rough-in plumbing inspection?"

Yes. If IRC applies to his building jurisdiction, the water closet should have been first flagged when the plans were first reviewed for permit. So "as is", the permit never should have been issued. But that's assuming that the plans were submitted for permit with the too-small water closet drawn as-is. Sometimes changes occur during construction that make what was compliant in the plans non-compliant after changes were made on-site during construction.

While inspectors can have a "holistic approach" while doing the subsequent electrical, plumbing, framing inspections, etc, they might simply be looking at the specifics; the electrical specifically, or the plumbing specifically, or the framing specifically.

In an office with a large jurisdictional area, the plumbing inspector might simply be concerned with the plumbing: The size of the pipes and tubing that make up the supply system, the size and pitch of the drain system, that the system as a whole is adequately vented. That the proper valves are used, that joints are properly made up, etc. The plumbing inspector may not even know about the non-plumbing issues like the minimum required size for a water closet.

When they do the final inspection for CofO and see the too-small water closet, they could then fail the inspection and not issue the CofO despite the plans having been reviewed and a permit issued and despite inspectors having been on site and having passed other inspections.

The owner, and the builder, have no real legal "look back" defense, in that they can't claim that the permit was issued "as is" and that previous inspections passed "as is", so the CofO should be issued with the water closet "as is".

If it's non-compliant, it can be noted as non-compliant any time during the process. It's the builder's responsibility to know the code and to build the structure IAW code. It's the inspector's responsibility to enforce code. If the inspector doesn't catch a violation and red flag it until the CofO inspection, well guess what...he still caught it.


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RE: Small toilet room...way to fix this?

What mongoct said... Post up your plan; and we'll see if there is a fix.


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