• Geoff Burke

4 Measurements You MUST Take Before Replacing Your Toilet


This week, on How NOT to Call the Plumber, we’re going to talk about the 4 measurements you need to take before replacing your toilet. When it comes to replacing your toilet, there are quite a few options out there – its important to get them right!

There are many reasons why you’d want to replace your toilet. Whether it’s old and inefficient, a huge water waster, or the repairs would cost more than the toilet itself. Before choosing your new toilet, take these things into consideration:

1. Tank Height It’s important to make sure the new toilet you buy is going to fit in the existing space you have. Whether there is a built-in shelf or a more temporary space saver above the toilet, you need to make sure the height of the new toilet tank will fit! To do this, simply place one end of your measuring tape on the floor and measure to the top of the tank. If there is something above it, also measure how much room you have to work with!

2. Bowl Shape Many of you subconsciously know this but have never had to think about it – there are actually two different shapes of toilet bowls! We call them “Round Front” or “Elongated”. The round front is well, round. Elongated toilets are what you will see in commercial buildings such as restaurants or offices and are more oval shaped. If you have the space in your bathroom, they tend to be a more comfortable option, but protrude further out into the room. If looking into an elongated toilet, be sure that things like doors can still open and you have sufficient room to move with the bigger toilet.

3. Rough-In Dimension This is the most important measurement you can take. The rough-in dimension is the distance between the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor and the drywall (not the baseboard) behind it. Toilets come in 10”, 12”, or 14” rough-in dimensions. Most common is a 12” rough-in, but always double check to make sure before purchasing the toilet. Simply measure from the centre of the bolts on the floor to the drywall behind the toilet.

4. Other Obstructions This is the last area where we often run into trouble. Water lines, valves, or an extra thick baseboard may all cause issue for your new toilet purchase. Newer, “skirted” toilets extend the bowl all the way to the floor and often to the back wall. We sometimes run into issue where the location of the existing water line, valve, or baseboard will not allow us to install toilets like this! Just be sure to take these things into account!


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