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Thread: Toilet Deelimma

  1. #1
    DIY Member Soapm's Avatar
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    Default Toilet Deelimma

    We have some seniors in the church complaining about the toilet height being too short. The church voted to spend the money so I called a plumber and asked for "taller, handicap toilets." We're a small church so this was a major investment for us ($450 for two toilets, men and women's room). The plumber admits what he installed is the same height as what he took out. In fact, we still have the old ones so there really is no dispute there. Why would he do that without letting us know what to expect?

    Anyhow, one of the mothers of the church is fuming, saying the one put in her home is taller and made for "handicap people". What exactly does she have if he installed handicap toilets???

    I am at a loss and don't know how to proceed to resolve this situation. The plumber says he did what we asked, but obviously we didn't get what we expected. Am I speaking the wrong language to this plumber or does he know what we're asking but won't admit he should have "seen what we wanted to do" when he brought out the same size toilet as the ones we had? I am thinking this was an easy fix before he installed them.

    Also, the plumber billed us and we've yet to cut him a check. My christian heart won't let me not pay if this is my fault but not everyone in the church shares my christian values, sentiment and desire for fairness. What would you do here? Did I cause this problem?

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Go get a tape measure ant tell us the following:

    (1) The distance from the floor to the lip of the bowl with the seat raised.

    (2) The distance from the floor to the top of the seat with the lid up but the seat down (i.e. what you would sit on).

    THen we'll have an idea whether it falls iwthin the minimum specs of an ADA-height toilet.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Soapm's Avatar
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    I won't be at our church until tomorrow but if there is a minimum then there must be a max. Sounds like he installed minimum when the Mother has a max? What is the range?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    There is very little min/max. Most "tall" toilets are 17" to the rim, (not to the top of the seat), but Kohler's are 16 !/8" to 16 1/2". You can increase it by buying different seats. He must have just wanted a "paycheck", otherwise he WOULD have told you if the ole ones were already ADA height units. I cannot see how YOU could cause this problem because I am sure you just told him you wanted higher toilets, but did NOT tell him a make or model, but even then, if he were competent and ethical he would have advised you if there were no better ones available. Personally, if it were I, he would reinstall the old toilets IF THEY ARE THE TALL ONES, and let him find a customer to install the new ones some day.
    Last edited by hj; 04-11-2014 at 05:36 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    DIY Member Wallijonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soapm View Post
    We have some seniors in the church complaining about the toilet height being too short. The church voted to spend the money so I called a plumber and asked for "taller, handicap toilets."
    If they're complaining then they are too short, probably about 14+5/8" tall to bowl lip. ADA toilets are usually about 16" tall, one or two manufacturers advertising about 17", although that may be with a 1" toilet seat. See if he installed taller wooden seats instead. I take it that there were hand guards already installed.

    Toto ADA, is about 16+1/8":


    Kohler Comfort Heights are about 16+1/2": http://www.us.kohler.com/webassets/k.../1137547_4.pdf

    American Standard Cadet 3 Right Height is 16+1/2": http://www.americanstandard-us.com/a...Sheet_4158.pdf

    The ADA spec calls for the toilet seat top (not the top cover, the lid) being at least 17" from the floor. So if you have a bowl that is 16+1/2" from the floor and you install a 1" thick wood seat, that brings it to 17+1/2" and if the lid is 1" high you will be at 18+1/2", which is within the range of 17"-19", which is what the disability regulations call for. If he installed a 14+5/8" toilet and then added 2" for the toilet seat and cover, he may think that that is within specs but it is not since it comes out to 16+5/8" so it doesn't meet the 17"-19" overall height regulation. What you want is about 16"-17" bowl top (definitely not the seat top) to floor. If it's not that height then you weren't given what you requested. Have him return them for the correct size and make sure he doesn't double charge you for the double installation. If he installed a toilet that is exactly 15" high then he cheated you since he thinks that a 2" toilet seat will bring it up to specs.

    You'll probably want an elongated toilet for the Men's Room and a Round toilet for the Woman's Room. Both ADA compliant. And yes, ADA toilets can be too tall for some, especially if you install a 16+1/2" toilet bowl and a 1" toilet seat. I went with the Drake ADA and a 1/2" Kohler seat, for a total of 16+5/8". Plastic seats are usually slimmer than wooden seats. If you get plastic make sure that the hinge pins are metal (well, at least that is what I prefer, thinking that plastic hinge pins will probably break).

    http://www.ehow.com/facts_7305476_he...ilet-seat.html
    Last edited by Wallijonn; 04-11-2014 at 06:09 PM.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure all ADA toilets are all elongated. In addition to ADA height, there are also "comfort height" and "Universal height" These may be close to ADA height but not quite meet all ADA requirement.

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    DIY Member Wallijonn's Avatar
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    You are absolutely right. Good job! I have Drake Round on the mind for my hallway bathroom. And I do not want it to be ADA because of the children. But I do want it round for the wife.

  8. #8
    DIY Member Soapm's Avatar
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    I'm not good with a measuring tape but they're taller than 16.5 but not 17. The seat is just over 17 but the seats isn't flat, they're kind of concave so they have a dull outer edge that's not too comfortable on the backside. Like a dull cut for those of us with large caboose.

    I'm thinking maybe higher seats would do the trick but I'm not suggesting anything to him. I sat on one tonight and I'm not paying for what he installed. Forget the height, the seat is very uncomfortable. I don't know what the manufacturer was thinking when they made that seat.

    No handrails or wooden lifts, just toilets in NOT handicap sized stalls.

  9. #9
    DIY Member Wallijonn's Avatar
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    And just for future reference, Kohler's Cimmaron is 16+1/2" tall and round. American Standard has the Cadet 3 and Champion Pro, at 16+1/2" round bowl. Obviously there could be others.

    Soapm,

    You'll want to go down to your local Home Depot, Lowe's Hardware, Costco, WalMart, Target and Ace Hardware (I guess in that order since HD & LH have a large selection of toilet seats. You'll probably want to take a tape measure with you to measure the wooden seats, which many prefer, seeing them as much more sturdy. Figure about $25 on average. many starting at about $14, probably for the exact same seats. wood seats from Comfort Seats, Bemis, Mayfair, Kohler, American Standard, etc. I just checked my Kohler round wood seat and it is 1+3/16" tall, 1+3/4" to the top of the lid. Beyond that you'd probably have to go with plastic tall seats, usually 2", 4" and 6" tall. Toilet seats are very personal, some liking the soft squishy type, others liking wood, others liking plastic, some liking the "deep dish" seat cutouts, some liking the Toto style seat that pushes the rear of one's bum forward, etc. You'll have to start with what you know - what you have in your own house, what was in the Church before, etc.

    When you measured, it was from the floor to the top of the bowl porcelain, right?
    Last edited by Terry; 04-14-2014 at 11:22 PM.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Soapm's Avatar
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    Yes, to the top of the bowl then to the top of the seat...

    Man, one of the ladies got real upset. You would think someone took her favorite seat?? Or did we??? I didn't expect that but I have the check and he'll have to come get it so we can go from there...

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