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How To Measure Your Toilets Rough In

How To Measure Your Toilets Rough In

Today, we’re diving headfirst into the world of plumbing (well, sort of) to learn all about measuring a toilet rough-in. It might not sound glamorous, but trust me, it’s a crucial step if you’re planning to replace your toilet. So, grab your tape measure and let’s get started!


What’s a Toilet Rough-In, Anyway?

Before we start measuring, let’s get the basics down. The toilet rough-in is the distance from the wall behind your toilet to the center of the floor drain. It’s essential because it determines the size and type of toilet you can install in your bathroom. Most rough-ins fall within the 10 to 14-inch range, with 12 inches being the most common.


Tools of the Trade

You won’t need a toolbox as extensive as your local handyman, but a few tools are essential:

  1. Tape Measure: This one’s a no-brainer. Get a reliable tape measure; it’s your best friend in this process.
  2. Pen and Paper: To jot down your measurements – trust me, you don’t want to rely solely on your memory.
  3. A Friend (Optional): Having a second set of hands can be handy, especially if you’re measuring in a tight space.


Here’s How to Do It:

  1. Clear the Area: Remove any obstructions around your current toilet. Trust me; you’ll want a clear workspace.
  2. Measure from the Wall: Start by measuring the distance from the finished wall (the one with the drywall or tiles) to the center of the toilet drain. Make sure you measure to the exact center – add the width of the drywall (usually ½ inch and any tile or trim) this is your rough-in measurement. For example, 11.5 inches from the drywall to the center of the toilet drain, plus ½ inch for drywall = 12 inch rough in.
  3. Double-Check: Measure twice, cut (or in this case, shop) once. It’s an old saying for a reason. Double-check your measurement to ensure accuracy.


Some Key Points to Remember:

  1. Standard Rough-In: The most common toilet rough-in is 12 inches. If that’s what you have, you’re in luck, as it’s the standard size for most toilets.
  2. Non-Standard Rough-Ins: If your rough-in is not 12 inches, don’t panic. Toilets come in various rough-in sizes, so you’ll find one that fits your space. Just be aware that non-standard sizes might limit your toilet options.
  3. Account for Baseboard or Tile: If measuring from baseboard or tile, make sure to add the width of these items to your rough in number… for example. ½ inch of tile, ¾ inch of baseboard, ½ inch of drywall… Add 1and 3/4″ to the distance to the center of the toilet drain for your rough in distance.
  4. Consider Your Bathroom Layout: Think about your bathroom’s layout and where you want the toilet to be. This can affect your rough-in measurement.
  5. Get a Professional Opinion: If you’re unsure about measuring or selecting the right toilet, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional plumber.


In conclusion, measuring a toilet rough-in might seem like a small task, but it’s an essential one for a successful bathroom renovation. With the right tools, a keen eye for detail, and a dash of patience, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect toilet for your bathroom. So go ahead, tackle that bathroom project, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done!

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