Toilet Clearances And Dimensions You Need To Know

When renovating a bathroom, you want to make sure you have all of the correct fixtures and features so your bathroom looks the best that it could!

Toilet Clearances And Dimensions You Need To Know

This may seem like a simple task of picking out the features and fixtures that look the best.

However, this is not the case, and there is actually a lot more that goes into choosing the best features for our bathrooms. 

Take the toilet for example. Did you know that there are different types of toilet clearances and dimensions, and only certain types will work in certain bathrooms?

In this article, we will talk you through the various clearances and dimensions of toilets, so you can make an informed decision about what is best for you! So, if this is of interest to you, then read on! 

What Are The Standard Toilet Dimensions?

It is important to know the dimensions of toilets because you will need to know what kinds can fit into your bathroom.

You do not want to end up with a toilet that you cannot install and put a halt to all of your renovation plans. 

So, how exactly do you find out the dimensions of your current toilet to know what models to look for when replacing it?

Well, the best thing you can do to find out this information is to search the model or name of the toilet on the manufacturer’s website. 

Once you have found it, check out the specification sheet and look through the drawing of the model. You should find all the information you need in these drawings. 

Knowing the dimensions of your toilet is vital, especially if your bathroom is small. 

The dimensions of a standard toilet are as follows: 

  • Depth: 27-30 inches 
  • Height: 27 to 32 inches 
  • Width: 20 to 12 (ish) inches 

It is important to note that toilets of chair height will have a higher seat height when compared to standard toilets, and round toilets have shorter bowls than elongated toilets (Curious about material? Check out our guide to wood VS plastic seats). 

Confused yet? 

Not to worry, let’s check out the dimensions of toilets in further detail! 

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Rough-In 

First, is the toilet rough-in. This is the distance between the center of the toilet drainpipe and the back finished wall of the toilet.

It is vital that you do not measure from the baseboard when trying to work out the dimensions of the toilet rough-in, but the finished wall. 

This is because measuring from the baseboard to the drainpipe will cut one and a half inches out. 

It is good to note that if you have a toilet already installed, then you will be able to measure the rough-in from the back, finished wall to one of the toilet bolts which keeps it anchored to the floor.

If you are finding it difficult to find the bolts, note that they are sometimes covered with a plastic cap. 

For the majority of modern toilets, the standard size for a rough-in is around 12 inches.

Some toilets will have a rough-in of 14 inches while some are 10 inches. Although, the latter two dimensions mostly apply to toilets in old homes. 

You will be able to replace a toilet with a rough-in of the same or smaller size, but not one that is bigger than your current one.

For example, you will be able to replace a 12-inch rough-in with another 12-inch rough-in or a 10-inch rough-in, but not a 14-inch rough-in. 

Now, these measurement techniques apply to standard toilets. So, this begs the question, how do you measure the rough-ins of a rear outlet or corner toilet?

A corner toilet is placed in the corner of the bathroom simply to save space.

You will be able to determine the size of the rough-in by measuring the distance between the center of the drainpipe of the toilet and either of the toilet’s finished walls. 

Meanwhile, to measure the rough-in of a rear outlet toilet, it is necessary to measure the space between the center of the outlet of the toilet and the finished floor. 

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Bowl Height

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Bowl Height

To find out the height of the toilet bowl, you need to measure the distance between the toilet’s base and the top of its rim. 

As a general rule, there are two kinds of toilet bowl heights. One is the comfort bowl height, and one is the standard bowl height. 

Toilets of a standard height have a toilet bowl that sits at 15 inches.

These toilets are great for children! Meanwhile, comfort height toilets, also known as Universal/chair/ADA-compliant/right height toilets have a height that sits between 17 to 19 inches.

These are great toilets for adults, seniors, and those with limited mobility. 

You will find comfort height toilets in many public restrooms, especially after the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in the interest of Americans with disabilities when using public restrooms.  

If you have a standard height toilet in your home that you want to switch to a comfort height toilet, then this is entirely possible!

All you need to do is invest in a raised toilet seat, which gives standard toilets anywhere between two to seven inches extra in height. 

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Bowl Shape

Elongated and round are the two shapes of a toilet bowl. Round toilet bowls are, as you may have guessed, round in shape. Meanwhile, elongated bowls are more oval-shaped. 

In order to find out the length of your toilet bowl, you should measure the space between the front of the toilet bowl and the toilet seat mounting holes.

It is best for the toilet seat to be taken off the toilet to do this in the most effective way possible. 

Round toilet bowls measure around 16.5 inches in length, while elongated toilet bowls measure about 18.5 inches in length.

So, if you have a smaller bathroom you may be better off with a round toilet bowl because they are more spatially economical. However, they do provide less comfort than elongated toilets. 

However, it is important to note that you can buy compact elongated toilets, which have the same dimensions as round toilets! 

Additionally, an important dimension you need to consider is the bolt spread. The bolt spread is the space between the two mounting bolt holes on the toilet seat. 

The standard dimension size for US bolting holes is 5.5 inches. 

The average width of toilet bowls is between 14-15 inches. 

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Height

To measure the toilet height, you need to measure the space between the top of the tank and the base of the toilet.

Generally, toilets will not exceed 32 inches in height. However, it is vital that you know the total height of a toilet before you invest in it.

This is particularly true if you have a storage facility that you need to use for the toilet. 

As a reminder, it is best to consult toilet drawings to find the specific height, and other dimensions, of your toilet, or you can measure it yourself. 

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Depth

To know the depth of a toilet, you need to measure the distance from the front of the rim of the toilet to the back of the toilet.

This is vital if you have a small bathroom because you want to maximize the space. 

Toilet Dimensions: Toilet Width

You can get an accurate width measurement of a toilet by working out the dimensions of the toilet tank – which is generally the widest component of the toilet as a whole. However, do not forget to measure the handle, too! 

Typically, the handle is measured because it is situated on the side of the toilet.

However, sometimes the flush can come in the form of a button, so you do not need to worry about this necessarily. 

Toilet Dimensions: The Toilet Seat

Just like with toilet bowls, toilet seats are either elongated or round. Elongated bowls require elongated toilet seats and round bowls require round toilet seats. 

You do not measure a toilet seat for its dimensions. Instead, you will need to measure the toilet bowl, which we explained a few steps above!

Dimensions Of Public Toilets 

Public restrooms are law-regulated and should meet ADA requirements. 

Here are the recommended dimensions as laid out by the ADA: 

  • There should be space for a wheelchair to turn around, meaning there should be around 28 inches from the back wall and a 30-inch radius. 
  • The cubicle side walls need to be between 16-18 inches from the middle line of the toilet. 
  • There should be grab bars on the back wall, and they need to be around 36 inches in length. Sidewall grab bars need to be 42 inches in length and sit at around 33-36 inches above the floor. 
  • The comfort height of a toilet should be between 17-19 inches. 
  • The sink needs a 27-inch knee clearance and needs to be anywhere between 11 to 25 inches deep, 34+ inches tall, and 30 inches in width. 

Toilet Clearance

For a toilet to be installed in your bathroom, there are specific building codes that you must meet. For example: 

  • Other sanitary fixtures in your bathroom need to be at least 30 inches+ away from the drain of your toilet 
  • Toilets need to have 24 clearance inches in front of it. 

Final Thoughts 

There are various different toilets out there, and it is important to understand their various dimensions so you know what works best for your bathroom.

Additionally, you will need to meet clearance standards, so you must pick the right toilet that will allow you to do this. 

We hope this article helped you to understand toilet clearances and dimensions!

Adrienne Carrie Hubbard
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