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Toilet Rough-In Measurement: A Step-by-Step Guide

Oct 4 2022
A toilet and bidet

There comes a time when every toilet needs to be replaced. This is because wear and tear are bound to cause cracks, leaks, or other types of damage over time. 

When you’re ready to get a new toilet for your bathroom, it is of utmost importance that you get the right measurements. Sizing a rough-in for a toilet is the only way to be certain that you are purchasing a suitable replacement that will fit the allotted space. This part of the process is especially vital for smaller bathrooms. 

Read on to discover quick tips on how to measure toilet rough-ins.

What Is a Toilet Rough-In? 

Before we get to the step-by-step method, let’s answer this question in detail: what is a toilet rough-in? 

The rough-in size of a toilet is basically the distance between the wall and the centre of the toilet drain pipe (also commonly referred to as the toilet flange). 

Knowing how to measure the toilet rough-in is important because manufacturers don’t always produce standardized toilet models. Having the exact measurements can prevent your bathroom from ending up with a toilet that is too big or too small. 

While you may be able to estimate that most toilets have a rough-in of 10 to 14 inches, buying a unit with identical measurements as your current toilet will ensure that the installation is seamless and cost-friendly.

So, always measure before you make a purchase. 

A toilet being installed

How to Measure Toilet Rough-Ins 

Follow these simple steps to measuring toilet rough-ins

Measuring a Standard Toilet Rough-In

If you still have your old toilet installed, here’s how to get the rough-in measurements: 

Step 1: Find where the toilet is bolted down to the floor. Look for small bolts at the base of the toilet, which are typically in the trapway on the back side of the fixture. Use painter’s tape to mark where the bolts are situated.

Step 2: Use a tape measure to calculate the distance between the wall and the center of the toilet’s base bolts. This is the toilet’s rough-in measurement. If you measured it correctly, it should be either 10, 12, or 14 inches. 

Important Note: If the wall has a baseboard or other types of mouldings, make sure to adjust your measuring tape in order for it to start from the bare wall right above the baseboard.

How to Measure a Corner Toilet Rough-In

If you have a corner toilet, the measuring process will look something like this: 

Step 1: Look for the spot where the toilet is bolted to the floor. 

Step 2: Locate the drain pipe or toilet flange. Given that the existing toilet covers the drainpipe, you will simply need to make an estimate of its location. Base this on the placing of the bolts. The drainpipe will be at the centre point between the two bolts.

Step 3: Next, mark the toilet flange location with tape. 

Step 4: Now, you can measure from the center of the toilet flange to the adjacent walls. Make sure you measure from the toilet flange outward at a 90-degree angle toward the walls on the left and right sides of the toilet. Use a measuring square to get the exact angle.

You will find the toilet rough-in where both measurements meet at the midpoint of the toilet flange.

How to Measure a Wall-Hung Toilet Rough-In

Waste flushed from wall-mounted toilets travels via the wall rather than through the floor. To obtain the rough-in measurements for this type of toilet, simply measure vertically from the bare floor to the center of the waste drain. 

A wall-hung toilet installed next to a bidet and toilet paper holder

Rough-In Plumbing Services You Can Trust 

Need a reliable plumber to handle a rough-in for your toilet?

Look no further than 1st Rooters’ premium repair and replacement services to keep your home’s plumbing system in mint condition. With over 25 years of excellence in the industry, we’ve become the top choice for plumbing solutions in Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville.

Give us a call for more information on our rough-in services, or any other plumbing concerns.

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