Sometimes you may want to change your bathroom, maybe to remodel it or update it. Perhaps, the changes you wish to make involve moving your toilet. However, you’re not really sure if you can move a toilet.
The short answer is yes, but it will require significant plumbing work. The waste and supply lines will both have to be relocated. In many cases, the available distance you can move your toilet will be limited by the necessary vertical drop the drainpipe must-have.
The Process of Moving a Toilet
To move a toilet, you must alter the drainage line, and to move your toilet more than a few inches, you will need to change the water supply line. If you are determined to move it, first figure out how far.
Moving your toilet only a few inches may allow you to avoid having to alter the plumbing significantly. This simply will install a few more pieces that cost less than $30.
Moving your toilet more than a few inches will necessitate altering the drainage system and water supply in your bathroom. This will vary significantly in difficulty depending on the type of bathroom and the floor beneath it. However, it is likely to be difficult for the average homeowner.
Moving A Toilet Isn’t Always Easy
Moving a toilet is a challenge that can be very different depending on how far you wish to move it. Therefore, we will address it separately moving it based on whether it is a few inches or more.
How to Move a Toilet a Few Inches
Moving a toilet a few inches can be accomplished by the average homeowner but will take a bit of effort. Depending on your floor, you may need different tools to clear space for an offset flange, so check what your floor and subfloor are to prepare appropriately.
- Drain the toilet. Shut off the water supply and flush the toilet until the tank is empty. Sop up the remaining water with a rag.
- Remove the tank. Remove the water supply hose from the tank. There are typically 2 or 3 nuts holding the tank to the bowl to remove these. Now lift the tank up and over the retaining bolts.
- Remove the bowl. The bowl is held to the floor by 2 nuts. They are located one on either side of your toilet, remove these. Then, lift the bowl up and away carefully using a knife to remove any caulk holding it down if present.
- Check the size. Before you do any permanent harm to the drainage pipe, check the size and make sure you have the correct size of the offset flange. Typically, the drainpipe is 3” or 4”.
- Remove the old flange. Remove the screws that hold your old toilet flange to the ground. Then, use a rotary grinder on the inside of the waste pipe to remove the old flange.
- Make room. Use a reciprocating saw and cut room for the offset flange pipe to sit in.
- Fit a new pipe. Use a PVC pipe of the same size and a PVC connector or rubber transition to connect a length of pipe long enough to join the offset flange and end up at floor level.
- Install the new flange. Apply PVC cement around the pipe side of the offset flange and the end of the drainpipe. Then, insert your new flange into the drainpipe.
- Fill the hole. Insert expanding insulating foam or caulk into the hole. Be careful not to use too much, but if you do, just use a flat razor, and trim the excess.
- Reinstall. Reverse the disassembly process. If the water supply hose does not reach the new location, use an extension hose. Typically, these are sold in most hardware stores.
Moving More than a Few Inches
Before you start moving your toilet far find out where your drainage stack is and make sure you can keep the necessary vertical drop. Also, significant changes to the bathroom may require a permit and building inspection, so check with your local city hall before starting your project.
Exact procedures for this project will differ significantly, but for general steps, read below.
- Shut off water. You will need to replace the water supply to move your toilet far, so make sure to shut off the household water supply before starting.
- Remove the toilet. Drain the toilet and remove it.
- Ensure access. You will need access to the drain line from underneath. This will require a crawlspace or a ceiling underneath the toilet location.
- Make a hole. You will need to cut a hole in your floor for your drain line. Make sure it is not blocked by a flooring joist. If it is, you will need a professional to determine if it is okay to cut a hole for piping.
- Plan New Drain Line. Suppose you are moving your toilet a greater distance than an offset flange can handle. In that case, you will need to replace your drainpipe with a new one that leads to the new location. This will need to lower 1/4” for every 4’ moves horizontally.
- Replace Drain Line. Cut the distance you need of the old drainpipe to reposition to your new location. Then, connect a new pipe onto the remainder and position as you need to reach your new site. Next, ensure it is positioned with the correct gradient.
- Install the new flange. Attach your new flange to the new drainpipe. Then, connect the flange to the floor with new screws.
- Replace the water supply. You may be able to tie into the old water lines depending on your system. However, with compression systems, you will likely have to lead an entirely new line. Cap off or crimp any old lines.
- Reconnect. Reinstall your toilet and check for any leaks.
Is it Expensive to Relocate a Toilet?
Hiring a plumber for this job can be a good idea, especially if you are not experienced with plumbing. The average cost to have a plumber move your toilet plumbing is about $850.
This is pretty costly, but it could cost significantly more if you accidentally damage plumbing or suffer a major leak. This could not only necessitate repairing your plumbing but also repairing damage to your household.
Doing the work on your own is relatively inexpensive for a few inches, likely less than $30. The cost increases as the distance increases, but plan on spending at least $150 to $200.
What Happens if You Don’t Vent a Toilet?
If you don’t vent your toilet, the pressure will not equalize in the pipe when the toilet drains. This could cause water from other attached drains to be pulled up into the toilet. Therefore, it is essential to vent your toilet.
Your house will have a main venting stack that vents out through the roof. All the plumbing in your home connects to this vent. So, you will need to make sure your toilet connects to it.
Can a Toilet Drain Drop Straight Down?
No, a toilet drain should not drop straight down. For the drain to work effectively, it needs to drop somewhere from one-fourth to one-eighth of an inch per foot.
Any less of a drop could cause the toilet not to drain correctly. Whereas, a steeper drop could lead to clogs due to waste building up in the pipe.