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Thread: Would you believe a 17" rough-in?

  1. #1

    Question Would you believe a 17" rough-in?

    We're newbies trying to replace a toilet in a guest bathroom (house built circa 1985). Just discovered that the rough-in is nearly 17" -- the gap was hidden by a now-gone banjo-type vanity top. Is a one-piece toilet our only/best choice, with some decorating trick to not feel like it's in the middle of the room? Would a 2-piece with a 14" rough-in do the trick, or is that still too far from the wall? Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Almost any toilet has some gap behind it when installed per the specs, so even with a 14" rough-in toilet, you'd have over 3" of gap behind it. So, what may be best is to either move the flange, or build a shelf or bump-out behind it. If you bought a 12", you could do a 2x4 studwall with drywall on it and have a reasonable sized gap. Now, some people like a gap there.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3


    Moving the flange is not a practical option for us, but we've considered building a bump-out. I don't strongly object to the gap (good for getting a paint roller behind!) but we were warned about a 2-piece toilet that "someone will eventually lean back on the tank and it'll snap right off" -- with ensuing shattered porcelain disaster. If that's not a serious concern with a 3 - 5" gap, we can solve it cosmetically, I guess.
    Anyway, many thanks.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I really don't think you would have much worry about a two piece toilet breaking, but one piece toilets are very nice. I also appreciate the reluctance in moving the flange, although I believe that would be the best option in the long term. My primary reasoning is that there are fewer options in toilets that have a 14" rough-in and this is something that once you do it, will be what you will live with forever. I suppose a "bump out" could be satisfactory, but hard to say without actually seeing the room. An offset flange would lose a little bit of the space behind the tank, but some pros are not too fond of them.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    NY Capital District


    Again, whether it works appearance-wise is a ???????, but-
    You could go for a 12" rough and use the 5" to provide storage space (shelving, cabinet). You can never have too much storage space.

  6. #6


    Thanks, all. Still contemplating the options, but I appreciate your help.


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