Buying a new toilet for your bathroom might seem simple, but there are some important measurements you need to know to ensure your project’s success. If you’re about to begin a bathroom remodel, then you might be asking yourself, “How wide is a standard toilet?” At Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. in Chicago, we can answer all your questions and offer expert tips and insights. Read on to discover common toilet sizes, factors that contribute to toilet dimensions, and tips to make installing your new toilet a breeze.

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How Wide Is a Standard Toilet?

White ceramic toilet bowl
White ceramic toilet bowl with cover by Giorgio Trovato is licensed with Unsplash License

Several factors influence toilet width, including design trends, plumbing constraints, and accessibility requirements. A standard toilet is usually 20 inches wide, but there are several measurements you’ll want to take into consideration. Other dimensions to pay attention to include toilet depth, usually between 28 and 30 inches, and height, typically between 27 and 32 inches.

Another important measurement to make sure everything lines up correctly is the rough-in, which determines how far your toilet sits from the wall behind it. Standard toilets typically have a 12-inch rough-in, but models can range from 10 to 14 inches, especially in older homes.

How To Measure a Toilet

Finding a toilet that fits your space perfectly requires a little bit of math and attention to detail. Grab your trusty tape measure and a notepad to write down each of these important measurements before heading to the hardware store:

  • Seat height: Measure from the top of the toilet seat to the floor.
  • Tank height: Measure from the top of the toilet tank to the floor.
  • Toilet depth: Start at the very front of the toilet rim and measure to the back of the toilet.
  • Toilet width: Measure the distance across your toilet tank or seat, whichever is widest.
  • Rough-in: Measure the distance between the wall behind your toilet and the middle of the bolts.

Choosing the Right Toilet

There are several factors to consider when selecting a toilet for your bathroom.

Toilet Model

Start by deciding whether you prefer a one-piece or two-piece toilet. While a one-piece unit may be easier to clean, two-piece toilets are very common and typically less expensive. Both have similar functionality and performance, but in the two-piece design the separate bowl and tank bolt together. Another model growing in popularity is the wall-hung or wall-mount toilet. If you have modern decor throughout your home, you may want to consider this style. Just keep in mind that installation may require a few plumbing modifications and additional wall support.

Seat Height

When choosing a functional seat height, think about your needs as well as those of your family and close friends. Medical and age-related factors may also impact your decision.

  • Standard: The standard toilet seat is the most common option and an excellent choice for homes with children. It’s usually 15 to 17 inches off the ground.
  • Chair: For families and those with restricted mobility, chair-height toilet seats can be easier to use since they’re a little taller, measuring 17 to 19 inches off the ground.

Toilet Bowl

When selecting the ideal toilet bowl for your bathroom, keep in mind that the shape can impact both comfort and space utilization. Here are two of the most common toilet bowl shapes:

  • Round: If you’re trying to maximize space, consider opting for a round toilet bowl. This style is a great choice for compact areas or guest bathrooms.
  • Elongated: Add extra comfort to your bathroom with an elongated toilet bowl. Usually 2 or 3 inches longer than the round design, this pear-shaped bowl is the perfect choice.

Tank and Flushing System

While most standard toilets have approximately the same tank capacity, it’s important to pay attention to the flushing system you purchase. There are two main types of flushing systems compatible with most standard toilets:

  • Gravity flush system: This system simply uses the weight of the water to force the contents of the tank into the bowl and move them through the trapway. The siphoning action that completes the flush is usually quieter than other models.
  • Pressure-assisted flush system: This option uses pressurized air to move new water into the toilet bowl when you flush. Many people find this noisier than the gravity flush system.

Tips for Choosing a Toilet That Fits

Here are a few additional tips to ensure your bathroom remodel is a success:

  • Consider over-the-toilet storage racks, cabinets, and shelves: If you plan to include these in your final bathroom remodel, make sure you leave extra space around your toilet so everything fits properly.
  • Give yourself extra room in front of your toilet: Leave at least 24 inches of space to make sure you have plenty of legroom. This is particularly important if there’s a shower door or a closet nearby.
  • Factor in space around the toilet bowl: We recommend leaving a minimum of 30 inches for your toilet to make cleaning and repairs easier in the future.
  • Measure from the back wall, not the baseboard: This is crucial to ensure you get the correct measurement when calculating the rough-in dimension.
  • Make sure your new toilet includes all installation parts or purchase them separately: Items you may need to buy to install your new toilet include a wax ring with a sleeve, a toilet seat, bolt caps, and closet bolts.

Ready To Replace Your Toilet?

Explore our line of toilets from Toto and American Standard to find one that fits your bathroom perfectly. At Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co., we provide premium bathroom toilets that blend comfort and elegance seamlessly into your decor. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated toilet with advanced flushing technology or a functional toilet with surfaces that are easy to maintain, we can help. Visit our showroom in Chicago, or explore our wide range of toilets online to learn more. If you have any questions, simply send us a message, and we’ll help you create your dream bathroom.