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14 inch flange

I need help! Our 1920's toilet, although an oldie but a goodie, started to show it's age. The bolts attaching the tank to the wall were corroded and the elbow from the tank to the seat was paper-thin and started to leak. It was recommended that rather than replace the elbow (because we may not be able to find that part), we replace the toilet. We've done that. But because we have a 14 inch flange, the toilet sits about 5 inches from the wall. To make matters worse, the bathroom is only 3 1/2 feet wide. I found one 14 inch flange toilet on-line for almost $600. And I'm not clear on how an adapter would help or work. Does the adapter allow you to use a modern toilet on a 14 inch flange so that the toilet sits against the wall? And how much is an adapter? I can't find prices on-line. Thanks!

Re: 14 inch flange

you could use an offset closet flange, but that will give you around 2" I really don't like them and would only use in a situation that has no other solutions. Not sure how much of a project you want to make this, but I would open the floor and replace the lead bend (probably lead) and re-rough with new closet bend.
Sure its a project and will require some work, but it will be the best solution that will provide the best fix.

Re: 14 inch flange

There is no adapter that will work without cutting open the floor and replacing the existing flange and pipe. It will be a big job; if the closet bend (the sewer pipe under the toilet) is cast iron or lead, I recommend calling a plumber as it will take special tools and skills that you may not have.

If you can find an old, respected plumber you may have better results. Nobody uses lead pipes anymore, and the methods for fitting cast iron pipes have changed completely since yours were installed. The younger guys may not have the experience to work with it.

Re: 14 inch flange

An offset flange adapter may work, but those I'm familiar with are all PVC so you'll be into the floor anyway to make up that joint. Another issue is that this may be the top of the main stack (ground floor crawlspace) and you may have to do more to move the flange back to keep the other drains intact. The alternative of a lead offset is good if you can find someone who can still do this- modern plumbers are lost when you go back this far in time (including me). I would use a new steel flange ring for that- far better than the old closet screws which will pull out of the wood flooring sooner or later. To do that you'll likely be replacing some subflooring anyway if the toilet has ever leaked- and almost all toilets have.

This is where what seems like such a simple thing can grow into something massive. Bathroom floors- especially at the toilet- are often in need of more repairs that is obvious at first. It's only when you uncover things or go deeper than the surface does the damage become evident. I always tell homeowners this and make it clear that any price I quote is for specific work- anything more will be additional. Most plumbers aren't good with floor carpentry, and most floor carpentry guys aren't good with plumbing. I'd find a really good old house restorer and hire them to assess the work needed before starting on this one. I'd avoid whoever it was that said to replace the toilet in the first place- it seems to me that if they really understood old plumbing they could have found the needed parts or another 14" toilet but didn't want to do that much work. If you can just slip in an offset flange and be done, go buy a lottery ticket because it's your lucky day.

I always advise against using any non-standard fixtures in case you have to deal with them later on. In your case you might be able to find an old 14" toilet for a better price than you quote though that will take some looking around. Perhaps an older local contractor has one stored away so call around.As long as it takes standard parts you'll come out cheaper that way and you can service it easily if you need to. This is one case where non-standard is likely the best way to go in order to avoid all the other hassles as well as a way to maintain the character of the old house.

Re: 14 inch flange

In the U.S. you are not going to be able to buy an old toilet at retail unless it meets the federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 which mandates a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush. Even if someone has one that doesn't meet this standard gathering dust in the back of their shop, it's illegal for them to sell it to you.

I've seen toilets mounted on a 4" high platform to accommodate an offset flange where the original flange was too far from the wall. You have to step up to/down from the toilet.

Re: 14 inch flange

There should be no problem finding a 14" rough toilet. Don't use a offset flange as they restrict the opening in the line. Here is just one manufacture that has 14" rough toilet available.
Once onto the site go to bathrooms then toilets - round front - 14".

American Standard also makes a 14" rough. Being that you have such a tight space to work with I suggest a round front toilet as they are 27"-28" from the back wall to the end of the bowl. That's about the smallest toilet you can get in 14" rough.


Re: 14 inch flange

I believe that a new Flush Ell could be found to fix your original Toilet. If not, I know I could make one from copper...

Antique Flush Ell Toilet I restored and installed in my Brother's Baltimore, MD home circa 2005...


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