How Far From the Wall Should I Install a Toilet?

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Toilets should be around 12 inches away from the wall.
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When designing or renovating a bathroom, you'll need to know the toilet rough-in placement and measurement. This is how far the floor trap or toilet flange is required to be from the wall. The trick is that this rough-in measurement varies, depending on the toilet style, but it's typically between 10 and 14 inches.

Tip

Toilet rough-in distances are between 10 and 14 inches, generally, with 12 inches being most common. A 10-inch rough-in can be handy for small spaces.

Toilet Rough-In: Standard Measurements

On average, toilet rough-in placement tends to be 12 inches from the back wall. Some models go as low as 10 inches and others as high as 14 inches. ​Better Homes & Gardens​ mentions a reminder to do-it-yourselfers to include the baseboard's thickness in the measurement from the flange to the wall if measuring from the lowest point.

If you're updating a bathroom and keeping the existing pipe layout, you'll need to find a toilet model that uses the same rough-in distance as what exists. If you're just designing the bathroom, consider your floor space and distances before you choose your toilet, because it makes a big difference in a small bathroom.

While it can free up as much as 4 inches of floor space, a shorter rough-in distance doesn't necessarily mean you'll be compromising throne comfort. Many comfort or stylish options exist with short rough-in needs, even toilets with elongated bowls or comfort heights.

The Other Measurements

It's typically required that toilets be a minimum of 15 inches from any side wall, shower or tub. This distance is always measured from the center of the toilet bowl. However, if you have a bidet next to the toilet, there should be a minimum of 30 inches between them. In front of the toilet, it's recommended you have a minimum of 24 inches, though some codes go as low as 21 inches.

Local Codes and Accessibility Matter

Designing a great bathroom is an expensive endeavor, even if you're doing all the work yourself. Make sure your money and time aren't wasted. Consult the local building code to check all the specifics on what's needed in bathrooms. But, beyond the local codes, consider "best practice" and accessibility.

A lot has changed in the last 20 years as home design has become more considerate of those with physical challenges, and few rooms have had as many adaptations as the bathroom. If you're designing for yourself, consider buying the NKBA Kitchen & Bathroom Planning Guidelines With Access Standards. From comfort toilet height to the most accommodating shower styles and best arthritis-friendly drawer pulls, it's all there.

A well-designed bathroom that takes disabilities and accessibility into consideration from the design phase on up isn't just for the elderly. It's for those days you tweak a knee on a jog or mornings when your back appears to have a vendetta toward you. Not only that, but if it adheres to the most recent accessibility standards, it'll be easier to sell down the road, as your home will appeal to a wider variety of consumers.

references

Steffani Cameron is the daughter of a realtor and interior decorator mother and a home contractor father. Steffani is a professional writer with over five years' experience writing about the home for BuildDirect and Bob Vila. Raised with a mad love for decorating, Steffani gave up her Art Deco apartment to travel and work remotely for five years. She's in love with experiencing traditional decor around the world, including stays in Thai teak plantations on the Mekong River and cave homes in Turkey.

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