8-Inch Rough-In Toilet Replacement Solutions

The distance from the front and sides of your toilet to the walls or the center of the closet flange and rear wall is known as clearance. You can experience an 8-inch rough-in toilet problem when replacing a toilet unit with an 8-inch rough-in with a modern design with 10-inch, 12-inch, or 14-inch rough-in. When installing a new toilet during a bathroom renovation project or in a new home, you need to be extra careful to get it right the first time and avoid costly repairs down the road. First, you need to get the measurements right before purchasing a new toilet system to avoid investing in a unit that is either too small or too big for your available bathroom space.

Even if you try a few workarounds and tweaks to make sure the toilet fits the designated space, you’re likely to face unwarranted plumbing problems in the long run. So, before you even start thinking about the perfect toilet brand and model for your bathroom remodeling project, it’s prudent to get the toilet rough-in right. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to resolve 8-inch rough-in toilet problems like a professional.

Resolving An 8-Inch Rough-In Problem

It’s important to have the right clearance that is sufficient enough to accommodate your new toilet system. With an 8-inch rough-in clearance, installing a toilet can be quite challenging. That is why most established manufacturers of modern-day toilets focus on producing toilets that require a clearance of 10, 12, and 14 inches. But, in case you come across a toilet with an 8-inch rough-in distance, you should try and resolve the odd rough-in size.

Here are a few tricks that can help you resolve the odd 8-inch rough-in toilets by replacing them with 12-inch or 14-inch rough-in options that are modern and efficient.

1. Install Wall-Mounted Toilets

You can resolve the odd 8-inch rough-in size toilet problem in your bathroom by replacing the entire unit altogether. But, if you don’t want to dispose of the old 8-inch rough-in toilet unit, you can have it replaced with a wall-hung toilet instead. While floor-mounted toilets are designed to drain through the floor surface, wall-hung or wall-mounted designs drain through their rear sides. 

However, if you choose to go for this particular option, you need to install a new plumbing waste line for your toilet. Today, wall-mounted toilets have become popular in modern homes and commercial buildings. This is mainly because these toilet designs are great space-saving units that are also easy to clean and maintain.

Additionally, you need to be aware of some wall-mounted designs that sit on the ground just like their floor-mounted counterparts but with a rear part that touches the wall connecting with a drain stub on the wall. So, don’t be surprised to see a new wall-hung toilet that doesn’t hang from your wall. In such situations, you need to seek help from a professional plumber to help you fix your new commode.

Toilet with too narrow left clearance
Toilet with too narrow left clearance

2. Try Offset Commode Flange

The other viable option you should try out in resolving old 8-inch rough-in size issues of your toilet is using the commode flange drainpipe. Replace the pipeline with a 1- or 2-inch offset flange. This option is one of the most inexpensive ways of resolving the 8-inch rough-in toilet problem in your bathroom. This solution works best for toilets with rough-in sizes that are too close to the basement walls.

A commode flange is the electrical drain outlet connection device for fixing the commode. Your existing toilet may have an older flange shaft that protrudes under the floor’s surface to attach the toilet to the sewer line. The capacity for balancing out a new Offset Commode Flange ought to be 1 or 2 inches. That means you’ll have to move the toilet’s center by a distance of 1 or 2 inches from the wall surface. 

At a clearance of 8 or 9 inches, you need to enhance the size to a 10-inch rough-in size. Furthermore, there are better rough-in size commodes on the market, such as the 10-inch Toto Drake bathroom that you can invest in, and you’re good to go.

This is the most affordable and quickest way of resolving the current 8-inch rough-in toilet installation problem you’re facing. However, you may need to chisel out part of your bathroom to resolve the problem with a countered flange.

Below are some great 10-inch rough-in toilets you could op for:

3. Renovate Your Walls

You can renovate some parts of your walls to increase the distance between the wall and the toilet drain. That means you can resolve the 8-inches rough-in size by moving the wall back two inches to create sufficient space for a 10-inches rough-in toilet. However, you should remember that the only types of walls that you can adjust safely without the help of a professional contractor are partition walls or non-load-bearing walls. That is why it’s advisable to consult a professional if you’re not sure of the type of walls abutting your toilet system.

Resolving Insufficient Clearances

According to the recommendations of building codes, the clearances for toilet installations should be sufficient enough for safety and comfort while using a toilet. In other words, you should feel comfortable and be able to retain the use of all your limbs when handling your business in the bathroom. The clearances for installing an accessible bathroom from scratch are even greater than those of replacing standard toilets in many households. 

The building codes may require you to have clearances of 15-18 inches from both sides of your unit and around 2 ft. clearance from the wall or any other plumbing fixtures to the toilet bowl’s front tip. While you can meet these accessibility clearance requirements through wall renovations, you can also invest in a smart toilet design to meet the codes. You can also rearrange the locations of your shower and sink to open up sufficient space you need to meet the clearance codes.

As you try and figure out the best way of resolving the 8-inch rough toilet problem in your bathroom, there are certain critical considerations you need to keep in mind, such as:

  • Older residential and commercial properties with small bathrooms often have round-front bowls that can allow you to install 10-inch rough-in toilets.
  • The most standard rough-in measurement (the 12-inch rough-in) allows you to install different toilet bowl shapes and designs.
  • Larger bathrooms that are more spacious can comfortably accommodate 14-inch rough-in toilets and offer you more variety when choosing the perfect toilet style for your bathroom.

It’s important to be accurate when measuring the size of your bathroom before you set out to shop for a new toilet system. In fact, it pays to measure the size of the toilet’s designated space in the bathroom a few times so you can be sure that everything is consistent. If you don’t get it right, you might experience various toilet problems, such as a toilet up-flushing on your walls.

Round bowl toilet with correct clearance
Round bowl toilet with correct clearance

How To Properly Measure The Rough-In Size

To resolve 8-inch rough-in problems, the first step is to take some measurements to lay down the base work before you start doing the real work. Roughing in is required in plumbing, construction, and electrical variants. If you manage to get the right measurements the first time, you’ll save a lot of effort and strain and make the entire toilet installation process simpler.

Make sure you measure against the back wall, not from the baseboard to the flange. Take a few more measurements and if you come up with 10 or 14 inches, consider substituting with the right fitting size toilet.

Be sure to measure from the wall behind the unit to the middle of the closet bolts. You want to take the right measurements before detaching the unit to expose the flange. If the measurements you get are not exactly 10, 12, 14 inches, simply round up the number mathematically to get the correct dimensions.

Taking Rough-in Measurements for Toilets with 4 Closet Bolts

If the toilet unit has four closet bolts, be sure to measure to the center of one of its rear bolts. This is considered the precise way of getting the correct measurement of the distance between the wall and the center of the flange. Take about 15 inches from the wall to the center of the flange if you to accurately define the distance on both sides of your unit.

Add about a half-inch of the wall to your measurements to account for the drywall if your wall is unfinished. When measuring the range between the wall and the front of your toilet, ensure the range meets your plumbing code. According to the IPC (International Plumbing Code), the minimum size of your plumbing code should be at least 21 inches.

But, if the plumbing code is under the UPC (Uniform Plumbing Code), the minimum size of your plumbing code should be at least 24 inches. In case your floor is unfinished, you may also need to account for the height of the flooring material so you can get the right measurements.

Wrap Up

Knowing the clearance of your toilet or the distance from the unit’s front and sides to the adjacent walls is very critical when investing in a new toilet system. Having the right clearance makes accessibility to the unit more comfortable for the users. Feel free to ask questions or share your experiences resolving 8-inch rough-in toilet problems in our comments section below.

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