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How Far is Toilet Drain from Wall and Other Factors?

You should be careful if you are working on your new bathroom or renovating the old one. It is because in bathrooms, the sanitary wares are so closely packed, including the drainage system. Hence, the placements have to be precise.

So the most common question is how far is toilet drain from wall?

The answer is 12 inches from the wall to the center of the drain. If the wall is drywall, it should be exactly that. However, for tiles, it should be the tile’s thickness plus 12 inches. For example, for 2-inch thick tiles, it should be 12+2= 14 inches.

There are other pieces of information you must know about before you start working on your bathroom. In this article, we will cover all that and more.

Distance Between The Toilet Drain And Wall

The toilet has its width. It has a bowl and a tank, which needs enough space to use comfortably and work flawlessly. If the space is not provided, the installation will be faulty. There will be leaks and it will be unusable.

So the space that is needed to install a toilet is 12 inches from the front wall to the center of the drain. There is another measurement for the side walls. The side walls should be 15 to 18 inches away from the wall to the center of the drain.

However, the front of the toilet also has a measurement and it is not maintained properly most of the time. For the front, it is 15 inches from the wall, and according to UPC (Uniform Plumbing Code), it’s 24 inches minimum.

Will There Be Issues If The Gap is More or Less?

Not actually, but the standard toilet needs 12 inches of distance between the wall to the center of the drain. If you want to get a toilet for your home, the 12 inches toilet is going to be the most common one in the market. So, maintaining that gap is the safest course.

However, you can go for other options if the gap is more or less. Many believe that or say that you need to rebuild the wall and the floor if the 12 inches gap is not met. That is not needed nowadays because the market has more options now.

So, you do not need to rebuild your bathroom if it does not meet the standard drain-to-wall distance. Just look for an alternative that supports your bathroom and you should be fine.

What Happens if You Cannot Find Appropriate Options?

The standard 12 inches gap will not give you trouble if you can find options.  However, if you have a freakish kind of distance from the back wall to the toilet rough in, that is worrying.

Usually, the gap is always between 10 to 14 inches and the architects always maintain that. If it is less, you cannot find an option and if it is more, you will have a toilet with a lot of space behind. Both of the scenarios are not appealing at all.

For less than 10 inches gap, there are no other choices. You have to renovate from the bottom up. Taking off the flooring, spending money on a new rough in line. The work is going to be expensive and time-consuming.

So, you mustn’t let these kinds of mistakes happen in the first place. Also, it is quite a rare design flaw. For more gaps, it is gonna be an unsightly toilet. That will get the work done, but your toilet will look like an abomination. There will be no problem with fitting or leakage.

However, it is not something you want in your home. So, be wary and do not let these kinds of mishaps happen.

How to Remove Old Toilet Flange?

The flange acts as a connector between the toilet and the drain. It also makes the connection leakproof if installed properly.

Now changing the flange is tedious. The toilet needs to be removed and the flange is glued to the drain. Removing the toilet flange basically means breaking it and taking it out piece by piece. There is no easier way to do this. Follow these steps:

Step-1: Remove the wax seal. Simply scrap it off with a scraper.

Step-2: Take a chisel and hammer. You can also use a power tool and break it.

Step-3: Take the pieces out. Be careful to not let the pieces clog the drain.

removing old toilet flange image

Installing a New Toilet Flange

Installing a new toilet flange is easy after you have removed the old one. And you should choose your material wisely. PVC ones are more prone to breaking than any other.

So, going for the metal option is the better option. There are aluminum, brass, stainless steel, etc. The stainless steel ring ones are easier to get and are a great option.

Now follow the steps to install the new flange:

Step-1: Remove the old toilet flange.

Step-2: Take the new flange and apply primer to it. Also, apply primer around the drain.

Step-3: Then apply glue to the flange and some around the drain.

Step-4: Push the flange down the drain.

Step-5: Make sure it fits properly. Take a rubber mallet and bang it in place properly.


To conclude the answer, how far is toilet drain from wall is 12 inches. If the distance is more or less, you can find an appropriate toilet that can work for you in the sanitary section. If you cannot find an option that suits you, it is bad news.

The renovation cost might go up because you need to remove the floorings to make a toilet rough in that supports toilets. But useful information will always help you to prevent this kind of unnecessary work. So, do not play hard; play smart. Also, do not forget the safety precautions.