Advice for replacing an old toilet who's dimensions don't seem to exist any more

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Jesse Hazel

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Just looking for some general advice here before I start tearing anything out. Our house was built in the 1930's when toilets were apparently much smaller. We have a 1/2 bath which has an American Standard that just cracked at the rear of the bowl and leaks profusely when flushed. The only thing resembling a model # in the tank is F4051 54 with an April 1937 date stamped on it.

The two key dimensions here are 14" rough in and is just a hair under 26" in depth. I realize that this is probably not a common issue, but that depth is particularly important. Why? Because one of the doors in front of it barely has enough clearance to open.

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The thing that I'm finding over and over with current 14" toilets are they are all way too deep (>28"). At least that's what I'm seeing so far (haven't found a way to search by depth, have to dig through every single ones spec sheet). So has anyone here ran into an issue where they needed to replace a vintage bowl like this or they needed (and found) an ultra compact <26" toilet?

Thoughts I've already had:
* Fix the cracks. I suspect due to the location (right below the tank) and the severity, that no fix would last very long if at all.
* Switch to a 10 or 12". There appears to me to be alot more options in these sizes. We run into some possible clearance issues there from the bottom in the basement with an old cast iron pipe and joists. I could engineer something but... this bathroom tile is sitting on about 4" bed of concrete. Neighbors advice from experience was to "not ever mess with the bathroom floors in these houses" unless last resort.
* Modify the door (swing the other way, pocket door, etc). Unable to make any realistic modifications here due to layout on the other side.
* Demo the room and make it larger. This room is near the middle of first floor of a 2-story house. Pretty sure it would require quite a bit of engineering to make any drastic changes.

Thoughts?
 

Reach4

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Sure you cannot turn the door into an open-out door? A bi-fold door reduces walking width some.

You will probably have to move the closet flange if you cannot get 28 inches from door to wall.
 

Stuff

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Another option to go to a construction salvage place look for something similar to what you have.

If you do a total gut of the bathroom consider an ultra modern wall hung toilet as you can gain quite a bit of space.
 

Jesse Hazel

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Sure you cannot turn the door into an open-out door? A bi-fold door reduces walking width some.
Easier to attach a pic to hopefully illustrate why changing to open-out is a no-go. It's a poorly designed setup where the basement door and back door are on the other side and both open toward the bathroom. I suppose a bi-fold could work if I have to go this route.

If you do a total gut of the bathroom consider an ultra modern wall hung toilet as you can gain quite a bit of space.
Interesting. As you can see, I have tile backer. Is this something that could be done without ripping out the wall if I could access from either the other side or underneath?

Edit: looking from the basement up into the wall cavity, framing may be an issue for an in-wall as stud runs right in the middle/behind existing toilet and cast iron sewer pipe from upstairs running beside that. There's also about 3/4" of plaster + metal lathe that would need to be removed if we did have to get into the wall.

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Terry

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Your best bet may be to change from a 14" rough to a 12" rough and pick up a standard 12" rough round bowl.
The bowls that adjust between 10" and 14" are elongated which puts you at 28.5" from the wall at the least.
A 12" round bowl would be 27.5" at 12" and 26.5" on an 11" rough with a TOTO CST743E

Your'e right about your walls. Nothing can move. Absolutely nothing. They really pined you in there.

Whatever toilet you choose, assemble it and put it against a wall to check how close it can be installed, and then move the plumbing below to fit that.
 

Jesse Hazel

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A 12" round bowl would be 27.5" at 12" and 26.5" on an 11" rough with a TOTO CST743E
Hmmm... this model might work. Looking at the spec sheet, they specify a 3/4" gap between lid and the wall (the tank looks convex so I'm assuming that 3/4" is at the apex of the curve?) So the most I could move rough in would be 11 1/4", correct? I totally agree with mocking it up first then moving plumbing. I want to try to get my measurements exact from both top and bottom side and mock something up before I order anything.

At 6'3", I was really hoping to try to find a comfort height one. But I realize I am probably asking too much there.
 

Koa

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Would a little bit smaller door clear? Trim out the latch side jam smaller. Might even be able to use same door.

What’s happening with the door by the sink? Can that be reconfigured? Then maybe a barn door slider could replace one by toilet.

Seems like a bi-fold door by toilet would give you most options for a new toilet. Cut the existing door down the middle and install hinges?
 

Peterson

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That's an old Standard Cadet toilet from the 1930's. Are you sure that toilet isn't a 10" rough in? You would want to measure from the back set of bolts to the wall. 14" rough ins were more common for low tank toilets. If it's a 10" rough in, you have plenty of choices to replace it with. That is a very nice and well preserved bathroom you have. The tilework is impressive!

"The two key dimensions here are 14" rough in and is just a hair under 26" in depth."
 

Jesse Hazel

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Not sure if I win some sort of plumbing forum award for taking this long to start a project? Anyways it's been a rough 2 years, please don't judge me.

Peterson was right, this is a 10" rough in. I feel like an idiot for mis-measuring it. Certainly opens up my choices in toilet size. So anyway after pulling the old one off and carefully excavating what I assume was putty and some concrete stalagmites, I have unearthed the flange. My question now is: am I still in DIY territory or should I make a full stop and call a pro? I do possess elementary plumbing skills and have replaced toilets and flanges before. Never anything this old or with metal pipe though. I'm not afraid of a challenge, but wanted to sanity check before I continue the excavation. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

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Dana

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If the closet flange isn't cracked and is still fairly flat you should be able to pick away at whatever they grouted it in with (often it's plaster of Paris, sometimes something a bit harder) and use it.

If that section of lead drain pipe is leaking or showing signs of corroding through it would have to be replaced. Vertical sections of lead drain can last well over 100 years, so it might be just fine, but inspect it from the inside & out with a bright light. Horizontal sections of lead pipe often corrode through with pinhole leaks at the bottom over the decades due to constant wetting.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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There is clearly enough room around those joists to move the flange to 12" and open up the widest range of toilets. Easiest method would be to cut the hub off of that cast and install new pipe up to a new flange. Good time to buy a $100 sheet of plywood to patch under the shiplap flooring that has lost some of its integrity too. Looks like that tiling method where they inlaid ship lap on the ledgers and floated a couple inches of mortar?

And if you purchased the toilet ahead of time that will fit the space between the wall and the door, you could fit the flange to that exact distance. I find that Toto toilets have more space behind them than their dimensions allude to.
 
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