How to Move a Toilet?

Changing the layout of your bathroom can be quite a challenging DIY project if you decide to move the toilet bowl as well. When you change the location of your toilet, you need to move the drainage system and the water supply line before installing the seat on the new site. The job requires a good understanding of plumbing and should not be taken lightly. 

Moving the toilet to a new location within your bathroom involves moving the drainage and water supply to the new site before installing the toilet seat. While reworking the drainage and water supply can be difficult and time-consuming, installing the toilet seat is relatively easy.  

If you decide to move the toilet seat in your bathroom, be prepared for extensive plumbing and peripheral work. Here is how you move your toilet and change the layout of your bathroom. 

How to Move a Toilet to a Different Location in Your Bathroom?

toilet in a bathtub

Whether you decide to move the toilet for added privacy, for an aesthetic reason, or to free up a bit more space for a vanity design, it is a job that requires advanced DIY skills. You can do it if you consider yourself a competent DIY aficionado and feel you are up for the challenge. 

Moving a toilet to a different location involves more than merely reinstalling the fixture (the actual seat) to a new place. Most of the work is rejigging the new layout’s plumbing and water supply system. Once you have all the necessary plumbing and water system reworked, the actual installation of the toilet takes less than an hour!

Here are the two key steps of moving a toilet.

Moving the Draining System to the New Location

Planning is essential if you are thinking of moving the drainage system below the toilet. The toilet drainage pipes are usually about a few inches in diameter, and it can be difficult to route them through beams and rafters. Besides, many other services, such as electric wires, water lines, etc., can make it even more difficult. Hence, it is essential to work everything out before even thinking of lifting a tool. 

replacement of new toilet pipe
Image from Pro Electric Dynamic Services

You should also remember that the toilet pipes are gravity-fed. So, you must ensure that the new drainage system drops at the rate of at least a quarter of an inch for every horizontal foot. If you don’t maintain this slope, your toilet won’t drain properly, and you will see occasional backups and clogs. 

If you have a 3-inch waste line, you can easily place your toilet within 6 feet of the stack. If you have a 4-inch waste line, you can go as far as 10 feet from the stack without flushing issues. 

Although you can maintain this slope level, it limits the distance you can move your existing toilet. You need to ensure that the new drain has enough space to run between the beams and joists. You don’t want to notch out beams to accommodate the new drainage line as it can compromise the structural integrity. 

Moving the Water Supply to a New Location 

Your toilet needs running water to be functional. You need to rework the water supply lines to the new location so the water can be fed to the flush tank. Thankfully, the water supply piles are significantly smaller than the drainage pipes; they can be run through joists and beams. You can even use bendable PVC pipes rather than rigid copper pipes, doing the DIY job much easier. 

plumbing and water supply system

What Should You Consider Before Moving Your Toilet?

Before you decide to move your toilet to a different location, here are a few things you should keep in mind-

Maintain the drainage

The waste pipe from the toilet needs to be connected to the vertical sewer pipe. You must get the slope right to allow all the water from the bathroom to reach the sewer pipe. If you miscalculate and don’t provide enough of a hill, your bathroom will back up, and you might have to rework the whole project. So, be extra cautious about calculating the sufficient slope before beginning the work.

Aligning the vent pipe

The vent pipe maintains adequate air pressure within the drainage pipe. If there is a misalignment in the vent and drainage pipes, it might create drainage problems leading to your toilet backing up. 

Installing the water pipes

Installing the water pipes is also an essential component of the project. Ensure the water pipe is not leaking behind the walls and have the correct pressure to prevent any knocking sound. While it is easier to relocate the water pipes than the drain pipes, if you are not thorough, leaking or burst pipes can cause a major water issue. 

Remodeling the floor

replacement of bathroom floor tiles
Image from Konwent Kreations

As most of the plumbing you will end up modifying is beneath the floor, you might have to break into the floor, increasing the project’s cost. If you consider relocating a toilet that is not on the ground floor, things can get even trickier as you might need to redo the ceiling after the remodel. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I move my toilet myself? 

Moving your toilet to a new location with your bathroom can be difficult. You should avoid doing it yourself if you don’t have enough experience and skills. It is best to hire a professional plumber to move the toilet. 

How much does it cost to move the toilet?

If you are reusing your existing toilet seat, moving your toilet might take anywhere between $300 and $600. The cost is reflective of the raw material you will need. You can expect the price to rise significantly if you hire a contractor or a plumber to do it.

How long will it take for me to move my toilet?

If you have the necessary skills and experience, it might take 8-10 hours to get everything fixed in the new location. The time required can significantly alter depending on your skill level and experience. The job can take as little as 4 hours if you involve professional plumbers. 

To conclude

Moving your toilet to a new location can spruce up your bathroom. However, it is a major home improvement project that requires thorough plumbing knowledge and experience. It would be wise to hire a plumber if you are not confident to pull a complicated job like this one. 

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