How to Measure Toilet Rough-In Distance

Before you buy a toilet, it’s essential that you take certain toilet measurements beforehand. One of the things that you should measure is the toilet rough-in distance, which is the distance from the center of your existing toilet’s waste outlet or floor drain to the finished wall.

In this blog, we will discuss how to measure toilet rough-in distance and also why you should measure it before purchasing a new toilet.

How to measure toilet rough in

How to Measure a Toilet Rough-In

  • Step #1: In the first step, carefully place the tape against the finished wall that is behind the toilet. It’s essential that you don’t consider the baseboard to be a part of this measurement. Also, don’t take this measurement if the wall is not finished yet.
  • Step #2: In this step, extend the tape from the finished wall in a straight line to the central bolt that keeps the toilet in place (for no existing toilet). If you already have a toilet, then you may find that there are two bolts, one in front of the toilet and another in the back. In this case, extend the tape till the back bolt’s center.
  • Step #3: Note down the exact measurement, as you would need it when you purchase your brand new toilet.

Why is measuring the Toilet Rough-In Distance Important?

After you determine your toilet’s rough-in distance, you can search for toilets in the market that would be compatible. A lot of people make the mistake of purchasing a new toilet without paying any importance to the rough-in distance, which can be quite a hassle.

If it’s a large toilet, then you may have to make a lot of changes to the plumbing, which can be an expensive affair. If it’s a small toilet, then it may be difficult for you to use the top of the tank as storage, as there may be a gap between the tank and the wall. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to return the toilet.

The Standard Measurements and Measurement Mistakes to Avoid

The most common toilet rough-in distance is 12”. However, older homes may have distances of 10” or  14”, which is why it is essential that you take the measurements before you purchase a new toilet.

There are certain mistakes that people commonly make while measuring the toilet rough-in distance. You should avoid these mistakes at all costs as even a minor discrepancy during measurement can affect the compatibility of your new toilet.

  • Mistake #1 – Including the Baseboard Measurement: As mentioned before, you should not take the measurement of the baseboard into account. However, some people do make this mistake, which typically results in the measurement going astray by half an inch.
  • Mistake #2 –Considering Larger Rough-In Distances for Big Toilets: Many people have the misconception that big and elongated toilets need larger rough-in distances. However, there are many big and elongated toilets that have been designed to be compatible with 10”, 12” and 14” rough-ins.
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Now that you know how to measure toilet rough-in distance, here’s hoping that you buy a new toilet that is perfectly compatible.

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