Toilet Too Far From the Wall? Here Are Some Solutions!

Bathroom remodels can be super exciting. You get to remodel the space and get new appliances to fit your style. One of the things many people overlook during a remodel is the toilet. Toilets are toilets, and unless you are willing to spend a lot of money on them, they all look very similar. Sometimes during installation measurements can be off and the toilet won’t be placed exactly how it should be. So what do you do if the toilet is too far from the wall?

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When a toilet is too far from the wall, you can purchase an offset flange that will allow the toilet to be moved several inches in every direction. This will allow the toilet to be moved closer to the wall.

The standard distance of toilet placement is for the toilet to be 12 inches away from the back of the wall. On the sides of the toilet, it should be 15 inches from the wall. But when the toilet is further away it can make it so the door doesn’t open all the way, you may have to reach further back than necessary to reach the toilet paper, and it can just make the bathroom feel much smaller than it really is. The obvious solution is to move the toilet.

To find out how to do this, keep reading! If you are new to DIY projects and how toilets wor

Flanges

As mentioned above, you will need to use an offset flange when moving the toilet closer to the wall. But what is a flange? A flange often connects the toilet to the pipes. The pipes can connect directly with the toilet, however, it is most common for a flange to connect the two together. The flange is bolted to the bottom of the toilet, with the pipe connected to it. This pipe connects to the main sewer pipe.

Toilet flangePin

A rubber gasket should be around the circular opening to prevent the toilet from leaking and keeps sewer gases from leaking into the home. The toilet is actually placed on top of the rubber gasket and then bolted into the flange. So, a flange just connects the toilet to the pipes. If the pipe was connected directly to the toilet, there would be leaking problems from the slightest movement of the toilet and the pipes. A flange helps prevent this leakage problem from occurring, and better secures the toilet to keep it from moving.

Here’s a more detailed look at the working of a toilet and the importance of a flange.

Moving the Toilet

Before beginning the process of actually moving your toilet, there is a pre-step that is required. Purchasing the correct sized offset flange. An offset flange, which will appear to be shaped like a tuba with a wider hole on top and a smaller hole on the bottom, can be purchased at hardware stores or online. For information on purchasing the correct sized flange, and more information on flanges in general, check out this website. Once you have the flange, it’s time to get started!

Preparation

Before even touching the toilet, you will have to prepare the space you are working in. To do this, put towels, blankets, and newspapers all over the bathroom floor. If it’s a large bathroom, just cover a decent amount of the floor somewhat close to the toilet. This will be where you place the toilet so that it doesn’t scrape the floors, and makes cleaning up any water that leaks from the toilet easier, though hopefully there isn’t too much water to clean.

You will also need to turn off the water supply. There may be a valve on either the right or left side of the toilet that will need to be turned clockwise to turn off the water supply to just the toilet. If there is no valve, you will have to turn off the water supply for the entire house. With the water turned off, you will need to drain the toilet. Flush the toilet once, and since the water is off, the bowl will not refill. You will need to flush one more time because of built-up water in the tank. Soak up any remaining water with a towel or sponge.

The last thing you will need to do before really moving the toilet is disconnecting the hose that supplies water to the toilet. The water supply hose is a small braided hose that is attached to the bottom of the toilet tank. Using your hands, small pliers, or a wench, twist the hose counterclockwise to detach it from the toilet.

Removing the Toilet

Now it is time to actually move the toilet. At the bottom of the toilet, there are small plastic caps covering the bolts, which can be popped off by hand. After these are removed, you will be able to unscrew the bolts. You will need a wrench to remove the bolts, turning it counterclockwise, or left. With the bolts removed, you should now be able to lift up the toilet. Carefully lift the toilet straight up and move it onto the towels. Toilets can weigh a lot, so if you have help, this is a good time to ask for it.

Now that the toilet is out of the way, you can see the flange and pipes. The pipe may need to be sanded down a bit so that the offset flange does not stick up out of the floor. You can do this by hand or using an electric sander. Once this is done, if it was needed, stuff an old towel into the sewage pipe. This keeps things from falling into the pipes and keeps the pipe from leaking into the house.

The Flange

With the toilet out of the way, you should see the flange right below where the toilet was. If it’s a somewhat new bathroom, the flange may be able to simply be lifted from its spot. But in older homes, it won’t be that easy. A hammer and chisel can be used to remove the old flange, though be careful to not damage the floors or pipe in the process. Once the old flange has been removed, it’s time to install the new offset flange.

Remove the towels from the pipe, then place the flange in so that the hole is closer to the wall. Make sure that the pipe and flange fit snugly together. The flange must be flush on the floor, it can not be raised higher. The bolts should be pointing up.

Reinstalling the Toilet

The bolts that were sticking up must be fed through the holes on the bottom of the toilet. You will screw the nuts on tightly, turning clockwise, or right, with a wench to ensure that they are tightly in place. Then add the plastic caps and reattach the hose line to the back of the toilet. After that, you can turn the water back on. Flush the toilet once or twice to get water back into the bowl and the tank.

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