How to Determine a Toilet's Rough Opening


A toilet’s rough opening is the space from the wall to the center of the drain, and it should include clearance for the tank lid. The information that comes with a new toilet will tell you its rough opening requirements. If you don’t have the information, or if you need to measure the existing plumbing’s rough opening, you only need a measuring tape or ruler. In newer homes, the rough opening for a standard toilet is usually 12 inches. An older home or non-standard, contemporary toilet might require you to move the drain to take the measurement.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Place the lid on the toilet tank.

  • Move the toilet against a wall, leaving an inch of space between the back edge of the lid and the wall.

  • Measure from the bolt opening on one side of the base of the toilet to the wall, accounting for the thickness of the baseboard, if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • The rough opening for a toilet that is already installed is measured the same way -- from the floor bolts to the wall.
  • If no toilet is installed, measure from the wall to the center of the floor drain.
  • Toilets are usually porcelain and can crack with rough handling.

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