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Thread: yet another toilet recommendation

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member lindrix's Avatar
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    Default yet another toilet recommendation

    I'm getting the floors changed out and thought it would be a nice thing to replace the old 60's toilets with some low flush models. I've got three bathrooms but when I saw the price on the recommended toilets I thought I would just replace the master bath toilet.

    I bought a Toto Drake from the local rip-off high priced plumbing supply. The drain hole pipe in the master bath sticks up about 1/2" to 3/8" from the floor from originally having thick ceramic tile. The Drake's clearance from the floor to the ceramic curved part is less than 1/2" making the bottom of the toilet almost a full inch off the floor when in place. I thought this was a bit extreme and so returned the Drake (for a credit not money). I measured the clearance on the bottom of the existing toilet and it's about 3/4" making any shimming purely to level the bowl.

    So now I'm stuck with my old, 5 gallon flush toilets and less money. Personally I find it a bit weird to *have* to pay $350 or more to get a decent, environmentally sound toilet.

    I've seen the Glacier Bay flapperless and there's no practically no water in the bowl; I mean this has got to be unsanitary or useless due to multiple flushes to clean the bowl.

    I'd love to find a decent, good flush, seldom clog, clean bowl style toilet for around $150 that will fit my master bath. Heck I'd even spring for three if they were under $150.

    Any help out there?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Fix the toilet flange, and then use the credit to get back the Drake! It might be easy, or it might be hard. Very few toilets will fit with an elevated flange, plus, the thing must be anchored to the floor, or you risk breaking it and maybe the toilet in the process. What material is the drain? Do you have access from underneath?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member lindrix's Avatar
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    Default can't fix the pipe

    Hi jadnashua,

    Can't fix the pipe easily. It's a large thick pipe going into the concrete floor. It has a curved out section at the top. Under the curved section the builder put the flange which is bolted to the floor; meaning the flange cannot come off without doing something to the pipe. Concrete slab.

    I would have to saw off the curved out section of the pipe then take the flange off and saw the pipe once more to slightly below or even with the flange. Too big a job for this do-it-yourselfer!

    The old toilet fits just fine so I'm thinking the Drake's poor clearance is an anomaly or something to do with European toilets.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Toto is international, home office, Japan, and has manufacturing plants all over the world, including the USA. It is not a European thing. A properly installed flange sits no more than about 1/4-3/8" above the finished floor. Nearly any toilet you try to install there will have problems with it sitting 3/4" above the floor.

    It sounds like you may have an offset flange without the proper depth. A picture would help.

    You will have the same problem with almost any toilet until it is fixed per specs.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Don't blame the toilet. The problem is your old flange. As noted, a flange should set on top of the finished floor, be level, and anchored to the sub floor. I would suggest a professional plumber install a new flange that meets specs. You will pay more for a Toto that for other comparable toilets, but it is worth the extra to have a toilet that will rarely, if ever, clog, need very little upkeep, and that will perform as you would expect a toilet to perform for years to come.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member lindrix's Avatar
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    Default

    The old, existing toilet fits just fine. The Toto measured a scant 1/2", the old toilet measures a generous 3/4".

    I visited the local Sam's Club and measured their low flush, mega cheap toilet and it too has a little more than 3/4" clearance.

    Indeed the pipe and flange assembly isn't installed to modern code and I don't blame the Toto, but... Calling in a plumber, cutting down the drain pipe, re-installing the flange and *then* buying a high price toilet just isn't in the budget.

    There's another post here on the Sam's Club toilet; I'm wondering if anyone has experience with the bowl clean out and water level in the bowl. Is it good or barely adequate?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Default

    I once read a book about how to buy a used Mercedes-Benz. A quote from the book: "There is no more expensive car than a cheap Mercedes-Benz." The author was, in that one sentence, conveying a lifetime of observations of folks thinking that they had gotten the buy of a lifetime, only to find that they ended up spending so much on repairs and parts that they would have been money, not to mention time and aggravation, ahead had they spent a bit more up front for a good specimen.

    Don't be lured by the siren song of a cheap toilet and a mediocre job. The toilet in your master bath should work well and not have pinhole leaks, clog frequently, etc.

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