How to measure a toilet – 4 most important dimensions

Jerry Riggs

Even though a toilet is one of those things that easily last decades, it need to be replaced at some point in time. As it ages, it can develop leaks and its components can start malfunctioning to a point where buying a new toilet is a more reasonable alternative.

One of the most important parts of the process of replacing a toilet is to make sure you got all the dimension and measurements right. Measuring a toilet is the only way to ensure a hasle-free installation of a new toilet.

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Table of Contents

How to measure the toilet the right way

What you’ll need:

  • A pocket tape

Toilet height

To measure the toilet height, you’ll be measuring two things. The height from the floor to the top of the tank and the height from the floor to the top of the toilet seat.

Standard height of toilet bowls is about 14 to 15 inches while toilets labeled as “comfort height”, “chair height” or “tall height” measure between 17 and 19 inches. The toilet seat can add an inch to two inches.

Find more toilet height differences in our standard height vs comfort height tolet guide.

Toilet depth

Toilet bowls and seats are either elongated or round. Round bowls take up less space while oval are a bit more comfortable to sit on. The difference in depth of an elongated bowl and round bowl differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it’s roughly between 2 and 5 inches.

Measuring of the toilet is done from the back of the tank to the front edge of the bowl. If you’re comfortable with your current toilet, buy a toilet with similar depth. If your bathroom is tiny and you want to save a few inches of space, go for a smaller round bowl. If your current bowl is round and you feel it could be more comfortable, you might want to look for options with elongated shape.

Toilet width

Most toilets bowls measure around 20 inches in width. The width of the bowl is measured between the widest edges. The tank however is often wider than the bowl, so make sure to take the width of the tank into consideration as well. No matter the situation, there should be at least 10 inches of space between the toilet and other elements in the bathroom.

Rough-in distance

The rough-in distance is the distance between the wall behind the toilet and the center of the waste pipe. It’s arguably the most important measurement of the toilet because if your new rough-in is too long, the toilet won’t fit as-is. If the rough-in is too short, the whole toilet might take a few inches more space in the bathroom.

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