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How to Rotate a Toilet

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner rotate a toilet to a more sensible orientation.


  1. A standard toilet has a 12” rough in dimension- the distance from the wall to the toilet bolts.
  2. If the new toilet location differs from standard, a 10” or 14” rough in toilet can be ordered to better fit.
  3. Before doing any plumbing work, ensure water is off at the toilet and the tank and bowl are drained.
  4. Remove the closet nuts holding the toilet to the floor.
  5. Carefully remove the toilet.
  6. Remove the old wax ring from the closet flange.
  7. If the existing flange doesn’t have space to accommodate the new bolts, use a flange repair kit.
  8. Use the wax ring to make a connection between the closet flange and the flange repair kit.
  9. Secure the flange repair kit to the floor using a hand screwdriver.
  10. Add a longer flexible supply hose to the shut off valve.
  11. Bring the toilet in and ensure both bolts on the flange repair kit go through the bolt holes on the toilet.
  12. Attach the toilet to the flange using a washer base, closet bolt, and bolt cap. The closet bolt may need to be cut off if too high.


The American Standard Cadet Pro Compact Right Height Elongated Toilet 14” Rough-In can be found at the local plumbing supply store.

The Danco HydroSeat Toilet Flange Repair used for this project can be found at the local home center or at Danco online.

The additional flange adaptors, wax ring, and masonry screws can be found at the local home center.