Best Flushing Toilets

Deciphering the Challenges of Irregular Toilet Rough-ins: Valuable Insights from an Experienced Plumber

As an experienced plumber, I regularly face the intricate challenges presented by atypical rough-in dimensions during standard toilet installations. The reality is, it’s a puzzle – the toilet options become restricted and the fitting costs can occasionally exceed the toilet’s price itself.

Therefore, if you’re in the preliminary stages of designing your new washroom, well done! Take this piece of advice to avoid non-traditional rough-in dimensions. Stick to a 12-inch gap from the completed wall (excluding the baseboard) to the middle of your floor flange.

There’s considerable debate around the potential benefits of a 10-inch rough-in for saving bathroom space, or the purported perks of a 14-inch rough-in. My recommendation? Adhere to the 12-inch rough-in. It will spare you a multitude of issues when you need to upgrade your toilet down the line.

Why so? Because every toilet producer aiming for the American market ensures a standard 12-inch rough-in is part of their range. Whether we’re talking about the tiniest compact toilets or the most high-end ones, they all accommodate a 12-inch rough-in.

True, there are 10 and 14-inch variants available, but they lack the diversity of the 12-inch ones. Some producers don’t even choose to stray from the 12-inch norm.

So, what constitutes an ‘Unusual Dimension’ in the realm of toilet rough-ins?

Though they are not as widespread or preferred, the 10 and 14-inch rough-ins also count as standard sizes, joining the 12-inch. If you’ve purchased real estate that’s 30 years or older, you’re more likely to come across 10 or 14 inches rough-ins. Sometimes, you may even stumble upon an uncommon 10-1/2″, 11″, 13″, or 13-1/2″ rough-in. If you’re facing this scenario, what are your options?

Below are some strategies to handle non-standard rough-ins. Remember, some of these solutions might need expert assistance and could lead to elevated installation expenses.

Select a Toilet Compatible with Your Rough-in Size: This is the easiest and most cost-friendly alternative. Look for a toilet model that matches your rough-in size (like a 10-inch rough-in toilet). Nevertheless, it may be challenging to locate one that fits your design and functionality desires, especially for 14-inch rough-ins.

Update Your Drain Pipe: This alternative provides you a broader assortment of toilet options, but it’s pricier and demands more effort. You’ll need to dismantle the existing drain pipe and fit a new one with a 12-inch rough-in.

Employ an Offset Flange: This requires setting up an offset flange to link your drain pipe to a standard rough-in toilet. The fitting can be complicated, and you need to ensure it properly aligns with the toilet’s waste pipe.

Opt for a Toilet with a Flange Adapter: Certain toilet brands offer flange adapters that can link a toilet to a 10 or 14-inch rough-in. For instance, models like KOHLER Corbelle and TOTO Carlyle II utilize a flange adapter to accommodate 10, 12, and 14 inches rough-ins.

If your rough-in measurement falls at 11-1/2″ or 12-1/2″, you’re still within a manageable area. Though it’s not perfect, you can fit a 12-inch rough-in toilet with slight adjustments, which will lead to a larger or smaller space between the wall and the back of the tank.

In summary, when determining the most suitable solution for your specific rough-in, consider the costs, installation simplicity, and design. In certain scenarios, it might be beneficial to transition to a 12-inch rough-in for its long-term advantages and a broader array of future toilet choices. This minor plumbing upgrade could even augment the worth of your property!

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