Toilet under extended countertop, clearance issue.

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by newowner123, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. newowner123

    newowner123 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    California
    I am replacing a 23-year-old toilet. The bathroom vanity countertop is 29.5" high (bottom of the countertop to floor) and is extended to over the top of the tank. The height of the existing toilet is 25" leaving a 4.5" clearance.

    I am looking at the 1.28 gal high efficiency toilets. It seems that most of them are very tall -- taller than 29.5" for sure. The only one recommended by Consumer Reports that might fit is KOHLER Wellworth K-3575 whose height is 28.25".
    http://www.us.kohler.com/webassets/kpna/catalog/pdf/en/1128667_4.pdf

    Questions are:

    1) Will I have trouble installing the toilet? I imagine the tank needs to be lifted above its normal sitting position during the installation process. Is the 1.25" clearance enough?

    2) Will I have trouble servicing the toilet? With the 1.25" clearance, will I be able to remove the lid, and to replace the flapper?

    Thanks much.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2012
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,268
    Location:
    New England
    My first recommendation is to ignore CU when it comes to toilets. Their testing method on these things leaves something to be desired and often, field reports show their choices are sort of crappy. CU flushes, I think, sponges. The 'real' stuff is smoother and stickier. Manufacturers know how to make their toilets look good on CU's tests, but that doesn't always translate into real world situations. It's not uncommon for a recommendation this year to be an avoid the next when people end up buying them and then complaining about real world performance.

    One-piece toilets will tend to be shorter than 2-piece toilets. One I like is the Toto Carlyle
    http://terrylove.com/pdf/ms614114cefg_spec.pdf

    which would meet your requirements. Someone with a small hand could probably deal with future maintenance, but it may be close. Toto happens to be the biggest toilet manufacturer in the world and makes many of its toilets for the USA (but not all) in Georgia with American workers. I have one, works great, looks great. Easily available repair parts (often not the case with Kohler), and inexpensive (available at Lowes, Ace, and most plumbing supply houses and hardware stores - try that with the Kohler!).

    My second recommendation is cut off that counter extension.

    If that's not something you're willing to do, then you'll have trouble with many newer toilets both getting them in, or servicing when the time comes. All toilets need some maintenance on occasion, and you not only have to have enough room to get the top off, you need to get your hand and arm in there to do things like replace the flapper valve. It gets kind of time consuming to have to remove the toilet each time that occurs, which is why my suggestion to get rid of that counter extension comes in. Your choice of toilets expands radically.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2014
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can slide a 28-1/4 tank in there. It's a bit tight to work on though. Sometimes the banjo top is about 7" from the back wall, and that gives some room to work with.

    You might also look at the standard height Santa Rosa, with a top of 27"
    http://www.us.kohler.com/webassets/kpna/catalog/pdf/en/089862_4.pdf

    In the TOTO line, the Drake CST744E is 28" +
    And the Ultramax MS854114E is 27"
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,260
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    With any 2 piece toilet that fits under there, the bowl can be set on the wax ring and secured first, then the tank installed afterword. Maintenance of components inside the tank will be a pain.
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,937
    Location:
    New York, NY
    How about something like the Toto Supreme (MS864114E) at 23.5" high, or the Supreme II (MS634114CEFG) at 25-9/16" high? Isn't this one of the applications that those are designed for?
  6. newowner123

    newowner123 New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    California
    Thank you all for the replies. You guys are truly helpful.

    I decided to go with CST744EG (same as CST744E as Terry recommended, but with something called "Sanagloss").

    @jadnashua Wanted to thank you for your recommendation of removing the extension. I briefly looked into how to cut off cultured marble; it seems to be dusty, messy, smelly, and possibly dangerous. I think this is beyond me as an average homeowner.
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,937
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The Toto Drake you are getting is a great toilet. You will be happy with it. We have two and love them.

    The Sanagloss finish makes them easier to clean and to stay clean by themselves. It's a nanotechnology thing.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2014
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