How To Rough In A Toilet

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Before you Begin

A rough in is a term used to describe the measurements and plumbing required for a proper installation of a toilet. The basic rough in for a toilet will only cover the distance from the wall to drain flange. However, it is much more than that.

Depending on how much work is required (new install versus a repair, for example), you will need to rough in for the toilet, the water supply and possibly the drain, vent, and plumbing associated with the toilet.

There are two important factors that you must understand prior to starting this project.

First, most states require a permit for plumbing. You should seek professional assistance, or hire a plumber to do the rough in for you. If a permit is required and you do not wish to hire a professional, you must acquire the permits yourself.

Second, this guide will cover the basic rough in dimensions for a standard toilet. It would be near impossible to cover every measurement for every toilet on the market. Because there are size restraints, handicap accessible stalls, and other factors that go into the final installation you will need to check with the manufacturer of your toilet to ensure you have the measurements required for proper installation.

Drain materials using three inch PVC for downflow and 2 inch PVC for wet and dry vents.

Drain materials using three inch PVC for downflow and 2 inch PVC for wet and dry vents.
Basic plumbing tools.
Carpenter tools including saws, hammers, and levels.
Generator (if using electrical tools and electric is not yet supplied to the area)
Markers, pencils and a tape measure.

This guide will, however, provide you with the rough in details that will cover the vast majority of toilets. A standardized guide, such as this, will not be able to determine your bathroom size, measurements, and accommodations. Some leniency on your part will be required.

Again, if you are ever in doubt, hire a professional to do the rough in for you. As this is just a guide, we will assume that the rough in will take place in an unfinished area. Safety must be adhered to, and this guide will not cover a new rough in for a finished area. (read: we don?t cover removal of tile, baseboards, etc.)

There are several things you will need, and this is just a brief overview. There are specialty tools you can use, or simply use basic hand tools. The choice is yours. However, you will need:

What Will You Need?

The basic rule of thumb is 12 by 15 inches. All measurements are taken on a finished wall. The flange, for example, will mark the center of the toilet and will need to have clearance from both sides as well as front and back.

You need to maintain 12 inches from the back wall to the flange center and at least 15 inches on either side. The front spacing should be at least 21 inches, but in general, the front space won?t be an issue.

Space Requirements

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