Need recs for 3 toilets with varying rough-in depths and poorly placed supply lines

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Avines, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Avines

    Avines New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    We have a home built in 1997 with 3 Universal/Rundle 1.6g round toilets and I am sick of them. I was hoping to replace them all with Totos but it looks like for at least one of them, I won't be about to use that brand with either a Drake II or UltraMax II and I wanted other recommendations or advice from the pros.

    Downstairs Lav: This is the smallest WC I've ever seen in a residence built after 1950. It is 54"x57" but the doorway is on a 45 so the door almost hits the rim of the toilet. To make matters worse, the geniuses who did the plumbing rough-in made it almost 14" (I measured at the wall, on the sheetrock, to the middle of one of the bolts). The supply line is basically on the midpoint, if just off-center to the left. Is there a way to recapture some of the wasted space from the rough-in without a jackhammer(on a slab on the mainfloor)? The door almost hits the toilet when it swings open (there is only 5" clearance at the closest point of the radius) so adding an elongated toilet with the same rough-in will make it even tighter.

    Guest Bath: This RI is 12" and the supply is essentially in the middle.

    MB: the RI is 10.5" and the supply is in the middle

    Both the MB and Lav toilets are in rooms with tile if that matters. The guest bath is vinyl. Only the Lav is on slab.

    Thanks for any advice regarding high volume toilets for each room (I have twin boys who can really clog up toilets). My personal preference is for the shorter height bowl than the ADA which feels more like sitting in a dinning room chair to me. :D
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,972
    Location:
    New York, NY
    As to rough-in, the Drake II (CST454CEFG) and Ultramax II (MS604114CEFG) will fit on 12" out of the box. They have the universal height bowl (not quite what has been called ADA height).

    The original Drake is regular height. It comes in a 12" rough-in (CST744S [1.6gpf] or CST744E [1.28gpf]). If you want the Sanagloss finish on these toilets (which is standard on the "II" models above), add a "G" to the model number (so, SG or EG).

    There is a 10" rough-in Original Drake that you could use on the 10.5 inch rough-in. (CST744SF.10 or CST744EF.10). The bowl is a little higher.for the 10.5 rough-in, so it counts as an "F", or Universal Height, bowl. Also, if you like the Drake II and Ultramax II, you can install similar, skirted versions that use a Toto Unifit adapter. The skirted versions of these are called the Vespin II (CST474CEFG) and the Carlyle II (MS614114CEFG), and work with the Unifit. I have a Carlyle II [that we used a 10" Unifit to install] and love it.

    Here is a more-illustrated thread (see reply 3 by me) on how the Unifit works. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?50103-Need-Help-Specifying-Correct-Toto-Toilet

    As to the 14" rough-in, the Unifit really shines in this application; it "reaches forward" from the wall towards the flange so that the rear of the toilet sits close to the wall. This will help recover about 2" of space that otherwise would just be filled with something; the whole unit will be moved closer to the wall. There are a number of skirted units that would work, but the Vespin II ad Ultramax II are possibilities. Look at their spec sheets and allow 3/4" off the wall to the back of the toilet, plus the dimensions shown in the spec sheet, to know how far the bowl will protrude into the room. The Carlyle II doesn't dominate the space size-wise; it will appear a nice fit, as it is in our application.

    As to the water supply location, you will need simply to install a 90 where it comes out of the wall, or use the Dahl Toto Skirted Toilet installation kit, which is a mini-turn ball valve and 90 in one little unit, designed exactly for the problem you have. See http://www.dahlvalve.com/brochure/Totokit.pdf In some cases, there is enough room between the wall and the base of the toilet that you can just install a small quarter-turn ball angle stop and it will fit. You could wait until you dry-fit the toilet to decide what hardware you will need to install on the water supply pipe, or you can just get the appropriate Dahl kit for your pipe size and composition and know it will work every time.

    Let us know if you need more detail on anything (model numbers, installation procedures for the supply, procedures, etc.).
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Toto is the only manufacturer that makes an adapter for 10" and 14" rough-ins. These adapters will only work on specific models of Toto toilets, the Carlyle II is one of these. You can see this one and the others by following the Toilet Review link at the top of this page. These models all require the adapter, even for a 12" rough-in as the under side of the toilets are made differently than conventional toilets. These are especially appealing to folks who don't care of the outline of the trap way to show because these are all skirted. Installation is a bit more involved than conventional toilets, but there are illustrated instructions that will guide one through the process.
  4. Avines

    Avines New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Thank you both for the replies. I've called our local warehouse and the Drakes are available but the Vespin II will take a little time to get here. Am I right that the only difference between the Vespin II and the Carlyle II is that one is a 2-piece and the other is a 1-piece?

    I spoke with our plumber who we've used in the past, who is very reliable, expert and fair (from all I gather), and asked him about installing these toilets for us. When I told him we were going to get Toto toilets he immediately told me the name of the plumbing supply house I found and said they had the best prices on them (which is true), and that I'd need the original Drake for the 10" RI. I mentioned moving the 14" RI to 12" with the adapter and he said I must be getting one of the skirted models which he has installed a lot of and really liked. However, he said most plumbers in Austin wouldn't install them because the shooting the anchors into the slab is more than most want to tackle (?)

    Anyway, he said that it would cost about $50 more to install than the others which were already up to almost $200 per toilet (I think this includes moving the supply line when needed), so I am looking at about $600 for the three toilets which includes haul-off. He thought it would take up to 4 hours to get them all installed, looking great, and everything cleaned up (he'd bring a helper). He is well respected around town/Yelp and when I've dealt with him I end up learning stuff I didn't know about plumbing since he is talkative and free with his information (being a Brit helps in this I suppose).

    I am thinking my buddy the contractor and I can set the two Drakes and use him for the Vespin II for $250 if that seemed over our heads, but I wanted the pros opinions here. I do not mind paying for professional expertise and I especially don't want to get halfway into something and screw it up - my wife would not be amused. :eek:

    Love this forum and I'd like to thank whoever added my avatar - it is a nice welcoming touch.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    It really depends on your skill level and tools available. To mount the Vespin, or any Toto with the Unifit adapter, you have to drill four holes in the floor. Depending on what the floor and floor covering is made of, it can be easy, or harder. A really dense porcelain tile may require a diamond bit, a concrete floor only needs a carbide bit, and a hammer drill on concrete cuts quicker than a regular drill. The Unifit comes with a template, so alignment is pretty simple. Basically, you put the template down, drill the indicated holes, set the wax ring, set the adapter on the wax, anchor it with what would normally be those bolts that hold the toilet down, then anchor the wall end of the adapter. Then, you just set the toilet down on the adapter (it has a gasketted seal), and then anchor it to the adapter. Depending on what you have to do with the water supply, that could get more complicated.
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
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    Location:
    New York, NY
    The Unifit also has a 10" version. If you want something more upscale for the master bath, then the Vespin II or Carlyle II with the 10" unifit would work. However, the Original Drake comes in the regular-height bowl, which I know you prefer.

    Is Josco the company that you found in Austin? We have had two good comments on them recently -- want to make it 3? Or alternatively let us know where you found a good price in Austin.

    If you're not going to use the plumber for the job, could you encourage him to move to New York? Sure would love to have someone like that up here!!! :)

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  7. Avines

    Avines New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    So the company that was recommended by my plumber in Austin was Economy Supply. They are a 6 store operation here in Texas. From them, a Vespin II, 14" unifit, with the Toto softclose elongated seat is $522, including tax.

    I spoke with Josco as well and they are both really helpful. Josco is $558. Both locations are close enough as to be the same. I think we are going to have to piecemeal this project together and do one toilet at a time so the Vespin II will go in first and even at the probably $250 installation price, I will be using a plumber. :cool:
  8. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,972
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Thanks so much for the info! When people have experience with good, affordable, local suppliers, I like to keep track of who they used! Sometimes, these suppliers come close to prices available in other channels, sometimes they don't; here, they don't, by about 25%, but people have had good experiences with them.

    You can also watch the plumber do his magic, and see if it doesn't look like something you could do yourself on the next one! If I didn't mention it before, the Vespin II is like a skirted Drake II and the Carlyle II is like a skirted Ultramax II. In the locations where you don't need the Unifit adapter, and aren't aesthetically-opposed to a non-skirted toilet (most people don't even notice), the non-skirted version works great!
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  9. Avines

    Avines New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Would you recommend National Builder Supply as an online resource? It would save me about $100 with them which would be great if the toilet came in just the two pieces it is supposed to.
  10. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,972
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The culture of the forum is such that we're not allowed to discuss the online merchants when it comes to the porcelain. The idea is that the stuff can break in transit and Terry likes to support local merchants who charge sales tax. One thing that I don't think anyone objects to, however, is to use that price to hondle a little with the local merchants, i.e. to see if they can do a little better on their price. If they can, they can, if they can't, they can't.

    I think we're the only culture in the world where negotiating is seen as unseemly. It misses the point that everything is a negotiation, but here it's a take-it-or-leave-it one. Because people aren't used to negotiating with Merchant 1 after finding out Merchant 2's price, Merchant 1 loses out (i.e. you'll go to Economy because they quoted the better price, rather than give Josco what they should consider to be an OPPORTUNITY to match or beat it, yet some people will say, "How dare he ask me to cut my price!"). That culture means that people often lose the business rather than get a chance to make the sale, either for some better price ("I'll do it for his price!") or better service ("I can't match his price, but I can have it delivered to you first thing tomorrow morning!"). I also think it's fair to say that I haven't seen any complaints about the guys you mention.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Purchasing online can save money, but there may be a trade off. As already noted, breakage can be a problem. If you choose to buy a toilet online, inspect it well before accepting delivery. The seller will replace it and deal with the shipping company, but you will have to wait for the replacement. I would suggest you discuss all of this with the online company before placing the order. The company you mentioned advertises extensively, but that doesn't really prove too much about how they will deal with broken shipment, and of course, they can not promise the shipping company won't cause the breakage. So, I'm saying it's not a total crap shoot to order online, but be aware of the possible SNAFUs that can happen and what the shipper can do about them. A few buck extra to buy locally can sometimes be money well spent.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    When a dealer buys things like toilets, it's likely they're packed on pallets, strapped together which provides some protection. WHen you buy a single one, the better on-line retailers repack them, since the package is really designed for a pallet, or end-user who cares about preserving the product, and that is the biggest variable. I've ordered 5 toilets on-line, and had one in bits when it was on its way. The shipper had it replaced...all I noted was it took longer than they indicated. THis is about normal, a 20% breakage factor. Sometimes, the local people will come close to the on-line prices - it doesn't hurt to ask. If you order more than one at a time, ask them to ship strapped on a pallet - that can improve the odds, and do look at them carefully before signing! What may be better, is to pick them up at the terminal - one less transfer, one less chance of damage as it gets moved around in the back of the local delivery truck.
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