Home>Discussions>TV>Ask This Old House>Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
11 posts / 0 new
Last post
font_mark
Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
font_mark

I had some questions about the "Rotate Toilet" segment.

Was the toilet shimmed off the floor? I thought I saw a piece of wood under the base when it was bolted to the floor.

I thought code required the toilet to be caulked to the floor.

If the drain is 12" of the wall and you rotate the toilet, doesn't that make the toilet 12" from the wall? I thought code was 15". Would a building inspector grandfather it in?

MLB Construction
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
MLB Construction

i noticed the same thing regarding the toilet being 12" from the wall. you are correct that from the centerline of the toilet to the wall you're supposed to have 15" and i don't believe it's something that falls under the grandfather guideline as there is enough room on the other side to bring it up to code. the wood shim, i think, was to level the flange and the toilet would still be sitting flat on the floor. toilets are not supposed to be caulked to the floor, at least they aren't in massachusetts. i've asked a plumber about this and his reasoning was, which makes sense to me, that if the wax seal fails, you'll notice the leak or smell it before the situation gets worse.

A. Spruce
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
A. Spruce
MLB Construction wrote:

toilets are not supposed to be caulked to the floor, at least they aren't in massachusetts. i've asked a plumber about this and his reasoning was, which makes sense to me, that if the wax seal fails, you'll notice the leak or smell it before the situation gets worse.

Caulking of the toilet base seems to be regionally determined, meaning some areas require it, some do not. I prefer not, for the reason you state, though many other regulars here have voiced that it's a requirement of their local municipality.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
HoustonRemodeler

If you do caulk your terlit to the floor be sure to leave at least a 2 inch gap in the rear for any water / sewage to escape when the seal fails.

Fencepost
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
Fencepost

Well, I haven't seen the episode, but if it's an older home, it's quite possible that the flange is already 16" away from the wall. Back in the day, many toilets were installed with as much as a 16" rough-in. These toilets often had a wall-hung tank, which connected to the back of the bowl by means of a closet flush elbow. If that's the case, then there would be enough clearance from the wall to the center of the toilet when rotated.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
HoustonRemodeler

NO, the old flange was too close to the side wall by an inch. Under the code for my fair city, but I have seen worse.

keith3267
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
keith3267

After he rotated it, it was awfully close tot he wall at the side. He measured to centerline of the drain to the side wall and it was 12". However, when he measured it, the old toilet was still in place and he said that the 12" was the standard rough in. This I would contend as most of the new houses I've seen only have a 10" rough in so they can use the cheapest toilets. When its on a slab, it is hard to upgrade the toilets.

Fencepost
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
Fencepost
keith3267 wrote:

After he rotated it, it was awfully close tot he wall at the side. He measured to centerline of the drain to the side wall and it was 12". However, when he measured it, the old toilet was still in place and he said that the 12" was the standard rough in. This I would contend as most of the new houses I've seen only have a 10" rough in so they can use the cheapest toilets. When its on a slab, it is hard to upgrade the toilets.

I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with your contention of costs. 12" is the standard rough-in (at least in my part of the country); 10" is a special order and often costs more. The same amount of material is used to produce 10" as 12"; but the cost ends up being higher due to economies of scale: there are so many, many more 12" than 10" produced that the per-item cost of the 12" is lower. 14" rough-ins are also available as a special order item.

keith3267
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
keith3267
Fencepost wrote:

I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with your contention of costs. 12" is the standard rough-in (at least in my part of the country); 10" is a special order and often costs more. The same amount of material is used to produce 10" as 12"; but the cost ends up being higher due to economies of scale: there are so many, many more 12" than 10" produced that the per-item cost of the 12" is lower. 14" rough-ins are also available as a special order item.

You make a lot of sense here, if you are only using logic. However whenever I look for a toilet with a 10" rough in, the premium toilets are only available in 12". You have to settle for the lower models to get a 10". I.e., the American Standard Champion series which has their highest flush ratings is only available in 12" but the lower performing and cheaper Cadet series can be ordered in 10". The big box stores don't usually stock the 10" models.

But around here all the builders, even those building high end houses will use a 10" rough in and the cheap Mayfair toilets unless you specify something else in the contract.

Fencepost
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
Fencepost

About a year ago, we replaced two toilets in our church. The old ones were made in 1946, had wall-hung tanks (just above the bowl, not the really old kind way above your head!) connected to the bowls by means of a 2" brass elbow. The toilets themselves were designed for a 16" rough-in (!). We had ordered Gerber Avalanche toilets (a premium model) with a 14" rough-in, the biggest you can get nowadays from pretty much any manufacturer. That still leaves a 2" gap between the back of the toilet and the wall. Just think if we'd got 10" rough-in... it would feel like the toilet was sitting in the middle of the room!

Mastercarpentry
Re: Episode #1311, Rotate Toilet questions
Mastercarpentry

12" is the standard rough-in here. It's actually the cheapest option since there are so many choices in this size, everyone seems to have an 'economy' version for it. Never vary from standard dimensions without thinking deeply about the future first- then you'll settle on the standard. Oddball stuff is best when nothing else will work in an oddball situation and someday it may become no longer available whereas standard sizes will always be there for you.

When I saw the episode my first thought was "He's going to add an offset flange to get closer to center". I've seen Richard use them before. When he didn't I was flabbergasted! It ended up as bad as it started, only in a different direction- what a waste of time and money. It's getting to the point where I'm seeing lots more misses and fewer bullseye hits from all the guys who once had my utmost respect. Kind of sad.

Phil

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.