16-Inch Rough-In Toilet Replacement Options

Sometimes, due to plumbing mistakes, you may end up with an odd rough-in size like a 16-inch toilet in your bathroom. Today, modern toilets come in standard rough-in sizes of 10, 12, and 14 inches. So, to avoid toilet installation challenges, it’s best to replace your 16-inch rough-in toilet with a size that is standard and comfortable in terms of the right clearance from the wall to the flange of your toilet bowl. There are a few tricks on how to replace a 16- inch rough-in toilet size. So, if you’re trying to figure out how to resolve your 16-inch rough-in issue, read on to learn more.

Relocate Rough-in to 12 Inches

If you can access the toilet’s plumbing, consider transforming your rough-in to a recommendable size such as 12 or 14 inches. In fact, if you opt to change it into a 12-inch rough-in, you can be sure of finding a great 12-inch rough-in toilet on the market available in numerous styles. Furthermore, if your bathroom is smaller than the standard size, you can introduce a 14-inch rough-in toilet to replace the existing 16-inch rough-in unit without too much difficulty. That means replacing the older 16-inch rough-in in an old bathroom is a space-saving project that will open up some space in your washroom.

It’s not always sensible or easy that going for this option is viable. The toilet flange was readied to 16 inches for a reason, and it’s possible that a flooring joist was designed to avoid the flange from being installed at a closer distance. In fact, this 16-inch rough-in replacement option can be quite pricey and hard if you have a concrete floor or floor joist.

Install a typical 14-Inch Rough-in Toilet

The other option is installing a regular 14″ rough-in toilet to balance out your 16″ unit. A bathroom that is 14″ in size is normally perfect for 16-inch rough-in toilets because they minimize the projection and fit into the space while minimizing the space behind it. 

Moreover, there are several 14-inch rough-in toilet models on the market to choose from. For example, the compact Cadet 3 Round Bowl toilet is 30-1/4 ″ long and has an extended bowl that is 32-1/4 ″ in size. The two American Standard Cadet 3 versions for 14 ″ rough-ins are considered the most effective American Criterion 16-inch rough-ins you can find.

Kohler, another reputable household name in the industry, also has a wide range of 14 ″ rough-in designs. One is the Kohler Wellworth K-3947-0 14-inch rough-in unit, and their other viable option is the Kohler Highline Comfort Height 1.28 GPF Bathroom K-3949-0. It’s important to note that most of the 14-inch rough-in toilets are designed to fit rough-ins that are particularly shorter than 14 inches long. So, it’s possible to end up with a gap of up to 2 inches. If you don’t keenly check the gap, your new 14inch rough-in commode will leave after installation.

Build A 3 Foot Wall Behind Toilet

The smartest and most inexpensive arrangement you should consider is building a short 3-foot wall behind your toilet. Supplanting an old toilet is often challenging because you may suddenly experience a 16-inch rough-in. Instead of discovering a bigger rough-in toilet design, some manufacturers put in a 12-inch rough-in unit.

This can happen if a manufacturer produces a 3-inch thick and 3 ft. tall divider behind the toilet that fills in the inch hole between the divider and the toilet tank. You can utilize the wall surface as a ledge shelf when opting for this 16-inch rough-in replacement option. You can effectively complete the design with an oak board to help coordinate the remainder of the bathroom space with a sleek theme.

Install TOTO Vespin II Commode with 14 ″ Unifit Adapter

Another option is to try installing a specific 14-inch rough-in toilet. The Toto Vespin II bathroom with 14-inch Toto UniFit Trapway Adapter. This is one of the best options for replacing your 16inch rough-in size. The Toto UniFit Trapway Adapter is the shortest 14-inch rough-in option you can find on the market today. From the front of the bowl to your wall surface, the 14-inch UniFit Trapway adapter is around 29 inches when it’s properly installed on a 14-inch rough-in. It, therefore, measures 31 inches from the front of the dish to the bathroom wall if installed on a 16 ″ rough-in.

Moreover, most of the 14-inch rough-in toilets from companies such as Kohler, American Standard, etc., measure more than 30 inches long. So, the clearance distance from the front of the toilet dish to the wall surface will be about 32 inches if you install these toilets on 16-inch rough-in bathrooms. That is why the Vespin II from Toto is the only toilet that will provide you with the largest legroom than the other 14-inch rough-in models.

The Vespin II creates minimal space between the tank and the wall surface if it’s installed on a 16-inch rough-in. You can pull your toilet more in the direction of your bathroom walls and lower the void or length of the Vespin II on a 16 ″ rough-in if the drainpipe of your flange is huge enough. 

Even with a gap of up to 2 3/4 ″, it is not easy to find bathrooms with basic rough-in sizes. If the space is sufficient, you can easily avoid tank leaking concerns and prevent mold and mildew buildup on the walls. This also means that cleaning and maintaining your commode is a breeze.

Why Vespin II?

While researching the most effective ways of replacing 16 ″ rough-in bathroom problems on the internet, we discovered that many of the users and professional plumbers were recommending the Vespin II with a 14 ″ Unifit Adapter. You should also remember that 14-inch rough-ins are truly 12-inch rough-ins with thicker tanks for hiding the gap between the wall and the toilet tank. They usually utilize the same bowl that forecasts the toilet’s flange.

Toto toilets designed to use the UniFit adapter can readjust the installation of the entire toilet. Toto’s Vespin II commode has a 12 ″ UniFit Adapter, and if you need to make a 14-inch commode, you have to purchase a14-inch UniFit Adapter along with your new toilet. The Unifit Adapter is a special component that you can use to replace or interchange the reduced half of the toilet’s trapway, and adjust it to various rough-in sizes such as 10 ″, 12 ″, or 14 ″ inches. That is why investing in the TOTO Vespin II toilet will give you more value for your money.

Install an Over-The-Toilet Storage Closet

This is a very convenient way of resolving your 16-inch rough-in toilet issue without too much difficulty. You simply set up a cabinet behind the toilet. Doing this allows you to install a 12-inc rough-in toilet and use the unexpected area for something more beneficial. You can find different designs of prefabricated over-the-table cabinets that you can purchase online affordably. The racks or toilet cabinets are designed to fit around ordinary, rough-in toilets.

Extraordinary rough-in sizes, such as the 16-inch rough-in commodes, are ideal for hiding the spaces between the wall and toilet tank. Over-the-storage space commodes are great remedies that most people prefer to use due to their space-saving capabilities and comfort in compact bathrooms. You can find a wide range of options to choose from, including over-toilet shelves, intricate cabinets, and even very cheap racks.

Note that many of the 12- and 14-inch rough-in toilets are designed to leave a hole between the divider and toilet tank when introduced on a rough-in that is 12 or 14 inches long. Therefore, toilet manufacturers have designed the hole because they realized some rough-ins could not be exactly 12 or 14 creeps due to different circumstances, including development blunders.

But, it’s important to know that having a hole between a divider and a toilet tank has its own perks. The main benefit of having that hole is to make cleaning easier and prevent the possibility of mold buildup on the divider behind the toilet’s tank. The hole also prevents the tank from perspiring ad dribbling because of water buildup concerns. Remember, some technical bathroom issues can easily lead to serious, costly water damage repairs down the line if not checked and stopped.

Wrap Up

During the 1940s, some toilet manufacturers thought it wise to produce 16-inch and even 18-inch roughs in their toilet models before the standard rough-in was institutionalized. The good is news is that these rough-ins have gradually become extinct, and no toilet maker is producing those sizes. If it’s not an exorbitant bathroom remodeling project, introduce a 12-inch to your existing 14 inches rough-in. The rack over the lavatory won’t be troublesome and will definitely create more space in your bathroom. Feel free to share your experiences and considerations for resolving a 16-inch rough-in toilet in the comments section below.

Smith Edwards

Smith Edwards is a licensed plumber and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years.

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