Bathroom Door Hits Toilet, need a solution

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Worried New Home Owner, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    I need some help from a really creative mind. We just bought a new house, and I can't believe that we did not notice this: The powder room door hits the toilet bowl. If that isn't bad enough, it prevents the door from opening enough to admit my mothers wheelchair. The house was built in 2009 and has some special concrete slab foundation that I'm told prevents any foundation alteration, so I don't think we can move the toilet. the door is 27-1/4" wide. We have a Vortens toilet, but I don't know the model. As near as I can measure it, the bowl is very close to 16" wide. The narrowest toilets I have found is the Toto Promenade (14" bowl, but the tank is 15 1/2") and the Kohler K-3753 1.0 or 1.6 GPF Persuade Circ (14-3/16" wide all the way from the wall to the widest part of the bowl.) The Kohler would give me only 7/8" more, and it is beyond me to be able to figure out if this would give enough room to solve either problem. (I think the door will still wind up hitting these fixtures near the tank, but the door probably won't be opened that wide unless you're in a wheelchair.) I just can't measure accurately enough, or get my mind around the arc of the door, or the position of the door near the hinge. I'm just about frantic and don't know how to go about figuring this out. Do you have any ideas? All I can come up with is making the door an out swing (that is so unappealing to me), or pulling the toilet and getting templates of narrow toilets to test them out.
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Have you considered an oversized face mount sliding door?

    You could remove the old door. Remove the old jamb. Use a sliding door mounted to the outside wall and have it slide in and out of closed position. This way you have no pocket door to install and the door would be widened.

    Could be a simple change for right now. If you are careful you can put everything back later.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I like the idea of changing the door if you are trying to get a wheel chair in there.
    To find the model of toilet you have, a good start is the numbers on the back inside wall of the tank. If you can determine the tank number, then guessing what the bowl is will be easier.
    Bowls tend to come in round (regular) elongated, and ADA or comfort height.

    I don't ever see you swinging a door past a toilet in a powder room. Sliding or out swing may be in your future.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  4. queen50

    queen50 Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Washington state
    Are you sure the wheelchair will clear the toilet? Would a wall-mount toilet where the tank is inside the wall be a possibility?
  5. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for all the ideas. We don't have room for a sliding door, the entry is at a 45 degree angle to the wall on either side. But, I've got good news! Yesterday I discovered that the chair will actually "scrape through" the existing opening if I angle it just right. I can probably sand down the trim a little and maybe it wont even touch if I am careful. Now for the other problem. I think if I get a narrower bowl, no one will ever realize that if the door is opened really wide it will hit the fixture. Now if I can bother you for more information, which of the following narrow bowl toilets do you think would be the best for my situation?
    My priorities are:
    1. Bowl width as close to 14" or less
    2. No flushing or clogging problems
    3. Quiet
    4. Comfort height
    5. Elongated bowl (the existing one is elongated, there is room)
    6. Price

    Some of these have better (narrower) tanks than others

    13-7/8" Eljer Diplomat (discontinued, but still available I think) http://www.eljer.com/assets/documents/eljer/spec/SpecSheet_2563.pdf
    14-3/16" Kohler Persuade K-3753
    14" Sheffield Dual Flush

    Caroma has several models around 14" http://www.caromausa.com/database/files/Full_tech_manual_4_10small.pdf
    13-3/8" Caroma Adelaide
    14" Caroma Bondi
    14" Caroma Caravelle
    14" Caroma Royale 270
    14" Caroma Sydney
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2014
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    IL
    I would bet that the current toilet could be moved sideways a tad, and similarly a new toilet could be offset a small amount.

    I am not the one to talk numbers or technique at this point, because there is probably somebody with actual experience that could give you good info. There is discussion of mounting a toilet a little closer or farther from the wall at times, and I have to believe it would not be that hard to gain a tad.... How much would you have to move things to get the door to clear the bowl?

    Another thing that could get you moving quickly is to remove the door as John W suggested, but to hang a curtain. This does not stop you from doing a more elegant longer lasting mod. You might be able to adapt a spring-loaded shower curtain rod, and not have to make any holes.
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I'm not sure about your requirements, as you on the one hand talk about tanks being narrow and in another place bowls being narrow. Don't assume that all elongated bowls are the same, or "will fit". Some are meaningfully longer than others, based on toilet design. And the 14" is going to be the widest dimension, but the shape of the bowl may be a meaningful issue; some taper more towards the front. I'm thinking you mean "bowl" when you say "tank", because I'm surprised to see a tank less than 14" wide.

    It sounds like the the Toto Eco Drake (original Drake) would do you well: CST744E (or CST744EL at comfort height). 14" wide bowl. 19.5" wide tank. Great flush. Affordable. The Eco-Drake also comes now with an optional new tank that is more "Transitional" looking -- CST744EN (for "New tank") or CST744ELN for comfort height. http://terrylove.com/pdf/cst744eg_spec.pdf

    Also good for you would be the Toto Drake II, CST454CEFG. Don't know the bowl width, but the tank is 16.5" wide. Great flush, double-cyclone rinse, comfort height, comes standard with Sanagloss finish. A great value. Now one of the most popular Totos. http://terrylove.com/pdf/cst454cefg.pdf
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2014 at 4:32 PM
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    IL
    Here is a sketch that tries to show what I think I am reading. Door is red.
    The OP could make sketch that tells the story better.
    Huge_door_hits.png
  9. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    The width of the bowl is the main issue. The arc of the door continues to get bigger past the point of contact. I can't figure out if the width of the tank really matters, because I can't predict accurately where that door really travels, but I'm thinking the narrower the better all the way along.
    I found a really narrow American Standard toilet, bowl at only 12-3/16", tank at 15-3/4" for under $300

    http://www.americanstandard-us.com/assets/documents/amstd/spec/SpecSheet_4440.pdf

    What do you think of that model?

    I'm realizing too that the width isn't the only factor to consider, I need to think about how far from the back wall is the widest part of the bowl.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    AS QA/QC is somewhat spotty...get one that's good, it can work fine; get a bad one, and it can be REALLY bad. This is more an issue when you buy one at a big box store verses a plumbing supply house...seems to get the price at a big box store, they skip the final inspection - since most of them off the line are good, you may save some money, but there's no certainty. People have reported significant listing to the side, uneven bases, cracks, bad glazing, poor repairs, etc. Then, you have people that got one that works as designed and is about as perfect as any manufactured product can be so you'll have them crowing that they're great (well, they can be, but YOURS may not be).

    I do not have any experience with that particular model, and my comments are based on lots of people's experience that post here which you can search and read yourself.

    Is there any way you could reverse the swing of the door? What's along the wall to the left? Another option would be to have the door swing out of the room, rather than into it.
  11. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Here is the powder room:


    Powder Room.gif
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    IL
    [​IMG]How about a bi-fold door?
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If the door opens to a right angle to the wall, that's as good as it gets.
    The American Standard Cadet Concealed trapway in your spec is pretty long, and there is no savings on bowl width.

    Bowl width is consistently the same for all elongated bowls in the US.

    There "are" slight differences in how far they extend from the back wall.
    The A/S is 30" plus from the back wall on a 12" rough.

    [​IMG]
  14. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Actually, no you didn't. Take another look at that spec sheet. The tank is 14 inches wide at its base and the bowl is almost the same width. The 12 inch measurement is underneath the lip of the bowl, thus explaining the discrepancy. You have to look carefully at the spec sheet to see it. As Terry said, most bowls are the same nominal width, because of this, seats are largely interchangeable and standardized. Go with the Toto and you will be happy. AS is not what it used to be; you should have some serious concerns about quality control.
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    IL
    Here is another idea. Look up something called a "swing clear hinge". It is designed to give the full opening of the frame without the door blocking the way. Combine that with a double door arrangement, and you could have something like this: huge2.jpg
  16. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Oh my gosh, you guys are so wonderful! The idea of a french door and the swing clear hinge to allow for a more comfortable entry for a wheelchair is genius. The bi-fold door could work too, if it was also on hinges and could swing far enough. But since my mom can actually get in, and knowing I could sand down or remove the lower door stop for a little extra space, what I need to figure out is what is less off putting? Door hitting the toilet,or french doors? Whatever I do, I know I have to decorate this FABULOUSLY in order to keep guests attention away from any funkiness of the design. I'm thinking a trompe l'oeil mural.
    Thank you everyone for your input. I love this forum.
  17. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    I can't believe that California Building codes allow a major developer to build homes without at least one toilet accessible to a wheelchair. Seems to me it should be standard, but that waivers should be easily gotten with disclosure required. I have purchased one home build in 1945, and built two semi-custom homes since, never considering this issue. Now I buy a home built in 2009 and run into this. I feel stupid. My realtor knew of this material issue. . .
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  18. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Arizona
  19. Worried New Home Owner

    Worried New Home Owner New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Another creative solution! However, this is the powder room, off a hallway, but near to the entry and great room, so we definitely need a real door.
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If the door is hitting the bowl, it should not make any difference how wide the tank is. But as a practical matter, since seats are generic, there will be little variation in the size of the toilet bowls. Maybe changing the door to an "out swing" would cure the problem, and that is very easy to do, possibly even using the current one.
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