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Thread: Looking for a toilet that fits in a small space

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    DIY Junior Member LookingForAQualityToilet's Avatar
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    Default Looking for a toilet that fits in a small space

    I am leaning toward getting a Toto to replace a round Eljer toilet. My bathroom is small and the Eljer stands only 27" from the wall. The tank is 19" wide. Is there a Toto that can be adjusted to fit in this space?
    Last edited by Terry; 07-05-2012 at 09:48 AM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    First, measure to the finished wall from the flange bolts. How far is it exactly? I think all of the Totos that use the unifit adapter will project further into the room than your current toilet. If the rough-in is exact, they typically have 3/4" space behind them and are in the 28-29" depth range, depending on the exact model.

    If you go to the www.totousa.com you can check out the various models and review their specification sheets.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    First, measure to the finished wall from the flange bolts. How far is it exactly? I think all of the Totos that use the unifit adapter will project further into the room than your current toilet. If the rough-in is exact, they typically have 3/4" space behind them and are in the 28-29" depth range, depending on the exact model.

    If you go to the www.totousa.com you can check out the various models and review their specification sheets.
    Like he says, the rough-in depth measurement is going to be critical. The round-bowl drake is itself only 26 3/8", but it stands off the wall just about an inch on a 12" rough-in.

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    DIY Junior Member LookingForAQualityToilet's Avatar
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    The distance is 14" to the flange bolts and there is a 1" space between the wall and tank. Does anyone know if it is feasible for me to change to a 12" rough-in so the measurement from wall would be 27 3/8"?

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    If I understand your question correctly, changing the rough-in would mean moving the centerline of the flange 2" closer to the wall. The flange is sitting on top of a waste pipe that is turned upwards to meet the floor. In older homes, this is often made of a heavy metal, and, of course, the hole in the floor and subfloor for that pipe has already been cut for a pipe whose centerline is 14" from the finished wall. It's certainly doable in the sense that any floor can be torn up and any plumbing changed and/or replaced. But I believe they will tell you that it's usually a significant amount of professional work and a significant expense. (But I don't presume to speak for the pros who know what this entails.)

    A more cost-efficient alternative, if it works for you, is the Toto-exclusive Unifit Adapter. The idea behind it is that the toilet will sit in the same position from the rear wall regardless of whether the rough-in is 10, 12 or 14 inches. A male fitting on the toilet, facing down, is slid into a female fitting on the one end of the Unifit, pointing up, which fittings are near the wall. The Unifit, depending on its size, "reaches forward" so that its other end will cover and attach to a flange that is positioned with its centerline either 10, 12, or 14 inches from the wall. The toilet's always going to install in the same spot; the only difference is how far forward the Unifit will reach. It's a neat idea, and like all things Toto, they have tweaked it over the years to improve it. (You actually install the Unifit first, and then mount the toilet on it, but I'm hoping that the "reaching forward" idea will help you visualize how it works.)

    I took a few minutes to look at the spec sheets for the various Totos that use the Unifit. As Jim says, on the 14" rough, the toilets vary from 28" even to 28-7/16" for the toilet plus 3/4" to get the total distance from the finished wall to the front of the toilet. If your flange is a smidge less than 14" from the finished wall, then the total distance will be less; a smidge more then a smidge more. Some of the current models that use the Unifit are:

    Carlyle II (I have this...love it): MS614114cefg nominally 3/4" from wall plus 28 5/16" toilet length, only 16 1/2" wide "tank" (it's a one-piece).
    Vespin II (two-piece): CST474CEFG, (exact same specs as above, including tank width)
    Eco Soiree (one piece) MS964214CEFG 28 1/8" length, 17 3/4" wide lid (lid is wider than tank)
    Legato (one piece) MS624214CEFG 28-7/16" length, 15-13/16" china width (plus 1.5" trip lever on left)
    Aimes (one piece) MS626214CEFG, (same dimensions as Legato)
    Carolina II (one piece) MS644114CEFG, 28-5/16" length, 17.5" incl trip lever width
    [old] Carolina (one-piece discontinued) MS884114 only 28" length, only 16.5" wide, 1.6gpf old Power Gravity flush -- some still out there apparently
    Lloyd MS934214EF (one-piece) 28-1/8", 18-5/8 wide, E-Max 1.28gpf flush (no double-cyclone) [also SF for G-max flush] [also MS934304EF or SF, same toilet with different seat]
    Guinevere MS974224CEFG (one-piece) 28-1/4"length, 18" wide incl trip lever

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by wjcandee; 07-06-2012 at 12:00 AM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    When using a Toto with a Unifit adapter (not all Totos use it, and no, it does not work with other brands!), the whole concept is that the toilet sits EXACTLY the same place in the room whether it is on a 10, 12 or 14" rough-in, so no, moving the rough-in won't help, at least with that series.

    The problem you have is that most companies that actually make a 14" rough toilet often only make the tank thicker to fill in that extra space - the body of the toilet bowl just sticks out the same it would from a 12" rough, but now because that connection is further into the room, it sticks out more than one designed specifically for 14". Basically, it costs a LOT to design a whole new bowl for a new rough-in, and few do it, only make the tank thicker. The vast majority of toilets in the USA are designed and sold as 12" rough. Volume drives what's available. Now, if you could move it to 12", you might have other choices from other brands, and other choices from Toto.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    More specifically, 26-3/8" for the original round-bowl Drake plus about 3/4" behind the toilet if you could move the rough-in to 12". Where I have the round-bowl Drake, I probably worried too much about space; if I had it to do over I would take the extra little bit and get the elongated-bowl Drake.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    By design, most toilets have some space behind them to the wall. THERE IS NO STANDARD ON THIS, so it could be almost touching to as much as a couple of inches even when the rough-in is exact. Now, if you want to roll the dice, the toilet doesn't 'need' that space, but if it does end up getting flushed many times in the row and the humidity is high, you may get condensation there that can't easily evaporate eventually. You could relocate the flange closer to the wall, say the toilet you want nomally has 3/4" behind it...if you moved the toilet flange say 1/2 to 5/8" closer to the wall (say 13.5 to 13-3/8"), you'd gain that space out into the room. This is risky, as there are tolerances in the build of any toilet, and the next one you might want to install might not fit at all.

    The biggest reason people need a shorter toilet is a door. There are ways around that - one I like is a pocket door...no hassles since it does not swing. ANohter is to change the swing so it is out rather than in, or change it from L-R opening or R-L opening, or relocate the toilet altogether.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member MikeQ's Avatar
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    Default Small spaces

    I am also looking for a good toilet that will minimize the distance the bowl sits from the wall. It has a 12" rough-in. I've noticed models with elongated bowls typically add almost 2" to this dimension and I'm a fan of elongated bowls to help prevent the "dongle dangle" issue.

    Do the various Toto round bowl models vary in their "dangle clearance"? The product data sheets seem to omit this most important specification! I'm thinking I might not need an elongated bowl if the toilet is designed properly to begin with.

    Thanks,

    MikeQ

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The very nature of a round bowl toilet is why we often say that a round bowl toilet is not male friendly. This is one reason why there is less selection of round bowls compared to elongated. You can go to the Toilet Review at the top of this page and follow the links to Toto toilets. The specs for many of the popular Toto models are shown.

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Mike Q: I have been used to the round bowls since that is what we had in the house. I replaced a round bowl 1950s A/S with a round-bowl Drake, and an elongated Kohler with an elongated Drake. The elongated Drake adds 1-5/8" to the total length (28" rather than 26-3/8"), and it's a well-used 1-5/8". The round bowl Drake is comfortable in the seat for a guy, but I find myself sitting with better posture, if you know what I mean. The elongated definitely gives you more room in front to sit in a more relaxed way. If I were to do it over again, I would probably not worry so much about that additional little distance, and would have bought the elongated to replace the round bowl, although it would be a close call because the shorter bowl gives a little more room to walk in the smallish room. Although I'd love to steer you to the Drake, note that it sits about 1-1/8" off the finished wall on an exact 12" rough-in, so that's about another 3/8" more than the 3/4", give-or-take, that might seem "normal" to you, and you add that to the total distance that the front of the toilet protrudes into the room. Ultimately, it's a quality-of-life issue that I analyze this way: when you are in that area of the room, you are going to spend most of your time in a sitting position, so you might as well be comfortable, so unless you have a hard restriction like a doorway, or you need to pass between the toilet and, say, a tub in front of it to get further into the room, I'd worry less about the aesthetics and more about the comfort when I'm sitting.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 07-17-2012 at 11:11 PM.

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    DIY Member MikeQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    You can go to the Toilet Review at the top of this page and follow the links to Toto toilets. The specs for many of the popular Toto models are shown.
    I've been comparing the specs but I can't seem to find the "dangle" spec!

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    DIY Member MikeQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjcandee View Post
    Although I'd love to steer you to the Drake, note that it sits about 1-1/8" off the finished wall on an exact 12" rough-in, so that's about another 3/8" more than the 3/4", give-or-take, that might seem "normal" to you, and you add that to the total distance that the front of the toilet protrudes into the room. Ultimately, it's a quality-of-life issue that I analyze this way: when you are in that area of the room, you are going to spend most of your time in a sitting position, so you might as well be comfortable, so unless you have a hard restriction like a doorway, or you need to pass between the toilet and, say, a tub in front of it to get further into the room, I'd worry less about the aesthetics and more about the comfort when I'm sitting.
    Thanks, that's helpful feedback.

    Still a tough decision. I have the floor stripped to the sub-floor so I could move the drain 3/4" closer to the wall but that probably doesn't make sense for 3/4". The room is 59.5" wide but I have to walk between the end of the toilet and a wall (with a towel rack) to get to the shower and stacked washer/dryer. And the W/D is close enough that it is necessary to stand pretty close to the toilet when loading/unloading/transferring laundry. But I'm leaning towards seated comfort.

    MikeQ

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    FWIW, if you go with the Drake (not the Drake II or any other toilet in the Toto line), you could move that drain so it's 11" off the finished wall and the Drake will fit (but also beware the baseboard or whatever at the floor level, if there is one). However, that's probably a lot of work that's then going to leave you with a very challenging situation if you decide to or otherwise need to swap the Drake for something else (or if you or your successor wants to put in a different toilet ten years from now), so it's not something that's probably all that brilliant an idea.

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    DIY Member MikeQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjcandee View Post
    FWIW, if you go with the Drake (not the Drake II or any other toilet in the Toto line), you could move that drain so it's 11" off the finished wall and the Drake will fit (but also beware the baseboard or whatever at the floor level, if there is one). However, that's probably a lot of work that's then going to leave you with a very challenging situation if you decide to or otherwise need to swap the Drake for something else (or if you or your successor wants to put in a different toilet ten years from now), so it's not something that's probably all that brilliant an idea.
    That's what I was thinking (too much effort for too little gain).

    I have the wall behind the toilet stripped to bare studs. I wonder if I should consider a wall mounted toilet with the tank in the wall? This could achieve a gain of 8 or 9 inches. I notice the Toto Aquia but the specs don't appear to mention whether it has an elongated bowl or not (it looks like it does) and the flush action of this model is not rated on Terry's consumer toilet reviews. I would need to mount the tank at the minimum height due to a horizontal plumbing vent in the wall. Would this reduce the flush action?

    MikeQ

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