How to Measure for a 10 Inch or 12 Inch Rough in for a Toilet

Installing toilets in new construction requires precise measurements so the drain pipe lines up with the toilet's trap. The drain pipe is installed long before the toilet, using the rough-in measurement that matches the rough-in dimension for the toilet. When these measurements are incorrect, the toilet's tank may end up sticking into the finished wall or positioned several inches away from the wall.

Toilet and valve
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Installing a new toilet
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Check the building plans

Step 1

Check the building plans to locate the general spot where the toilet will be installed.

Underneath sink
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Calculate the distances from neighboring fixtures

Step 2

Calculate the distances from neighboring fixtures and walls to the center of the toilet. Use called-out dimensions on the plans, or measure the distances on the plans and convert them using the plan's scale to arrive at the real world measurements.

High angle view of domestic bathroom
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Mark a line on the sub-floor perpendicular to the wall that will be behind the toilet

Step 3

Mark a line on the sub-floor perpendicular to the wall that will be behind the toilet, and that represents the center of the toilet relative to the objects on its sides.

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Get your measurements right

Step 4

Measure 12 inches (or 10 inches) outward from the edge of the bottom plate of the wall behind the toilet along the line drawn in Step 3.

Corner of bathroom with toilet and towels on stool
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New toilet

Step 5

Add the thickness of the finished wall to the measurement. If the wall will be 1/2-inch drywall, add 1/2 inch to 12 inches to arrive at 12-1/2 inches. If the finished wall will be 5/8-inch drywall, and the rough-in for the toilet is 10 inches, add 5/8 inch to 10 inches to arrive at 10-5/8 inches.

Step 6

Mark this location on the line drawn in Step 3. The toilet drain pipe will be centered on this mark.