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Turning Toilet 90°

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Turning Toilet 90°

So, I have a bathroom where the toilet was seemingly installed by a complete idiot; the toilet faces towards the wall, which is about 30cm from the front of the toilet, instead of towards the sink, which would mean it's got like 2m of space in front of it. It's obvious it was originally supposed to be installed 90° to it's current position, but someone wasn't paying attention ~45 years ago, and did it wrong. Coincidentally, they also made the door swing the wrong way (swung inwards), which made it so it could barely open because it crashed into the sink @ ~45°. Even pushed the sink right into the wall to add more room for the incorrectly installed door; very sad stuff.

Now, I've not installed a toilet in a very long time, but I'm confident I'm easily capable of doing the install, assuming no modifications. However, turning it 90°: Are there generally provisions to move the bolts to another position? I vaguely recall the last flange I looked at, the bolts were installed in a channel, but I'm nowhere near 100% on that, and I'm also decently sure that one was plastic. The floor of my bathroom are those little 1/2" tiles (probably attached to a cement sub-floor), the pipes are copper, and everything is original from 1970. I have access underneath the toilet, but from the bottom, I only see a copper pipe going up through plywood; I expected I'd potentially see the heads of bolts, but obviously they only go through the flange and not the floor.

I don't want to take the toilet off only to find there is a project waiting for me that'll take a lot longer than the hour it takes to install a toilet, then I'm down to one toilet until I have time for a more involved fix.
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I am not very confident from you descriptions. Generally a toilet/bathroom door swings inward. Generally a toilet does not "face the sink"

Before you start ripping stuff out, maybe a simple plan of what you have would enable us to help you on the overall project rather than the specific question you asked (the answer to which is "who knows, depends on the flange that was installed 45 years ago"..)
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Cough wrote: I am not very confident from you descriptions. Generally a toilet/bathroom door swings inward. Generally a toilet does not "face the sink"

Before you start ripping stuff out, maybe a simple plan of what you have would enable us to help you on the overall project rather than the specific question you asked (the answer to which is "who knows, depends on the flange that was installed 45 years ago"..)
Sure! Here's a quick CAD representation of what's going on (note that, currently, the toilet is too close to the wall on your left ... when/if I turn it 90°, it would then have clearance "to code"):
bathroom maybe.PNG
Magenta is the bathroom door, squiggles represent airflow from the vent, red arc is door motion, cyan is the centerline of the toilet flange
On the left is how the bathroom is now, on the right is how it eventually will be.

Note that the sink placement is approximate; I haven't yet picked out a replacement sink, so this is roughly where I'd install it if I were to move the current one.
Edit: This is what the bathroom would look like if I installed the toilet to the existing flange, in the existing orientation:
bathroom maybe2.PNG
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If I were you I would expect nothing but trouble with the existing flange. Chances are it's a metal, corroded old flange, that's too low because tiles were laid over old tiles, etc.
I ran into issues like that the last time I replaced a toilet. What should have been a quick swap ended taking much long with trips for parts.

Reversing the door is definitely a good idea. I'm not sure if the toilet is worth it though. I suppose you could always just put it back the way it was with a new wax seal if it ended up being too much trouble.
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engineered wrote: If I were you I would expect nothing but trouble with the existing flange. Chances are it's a metal, corroded old flange, that's too low because tiles were laid over old tiles, etc.
I ran into issues like that the last time I replaced a toilet. What should have been a quick swap ended taking much long with trips for parts.

Reversing the door is definitely a good idea. I'm not sure if the toilet is worth it though. I suppose you could always just put it back the way it was with a new wax seal if it ended up being too much trouble.
I'm kindof thinking I should just remove the brass/copper flange and replace it with a plastic one; I've heard stories of the copper pipes leaking after a while, and they're generally worth more in scrap than you'll spend on materials replacing them. The pipe underneath looks gross from the toilet presumably previously (maybe currently?) leaking, so it's probably time to refresh it. As well, the pipe comes out of the toilet and goes horizontal for a bit; it's supposed to be angled down, as far as I am reading.

As for value of getting into this project: if you sat on this toilet, you'd laugh at how stupid it feels to use it (shoulder against the wall, knees almost against the wall, and if the AC comes on, you'll have a very cold knee). It's much smaller than the main bathroom, but it's perfect for a 2 piece setup. Currently it's not too bad with the shorter toilet, but the new toilet I'll be sitting a bit more forward (from the flange-centerline), so knees will be even closer to the wall/likely touching @ that point.
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Have you considered a slimline sink so that you could leave the door swing inwards. Looks like you might fit in a 15" sink
Image


And yes I would replace the flange with plastic one
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Where does the door open to? If it's a hallway or other space with a lot of traffic, it should swing inward because you don't want to hit people walking past. Even if you and your family know to open the door slowly, you could be having a party and there could be a lot of accidents when friends swing the door open quickly (not knowing to open it slowly) and hit other friends walking past (not knowing to be wary of that door, because it swings outward).

Also, if the CAD drawings are to scale, yes, you will have more room in front of the toilet, but less room in front of sink (compared to existing setup). Looks like you'd lose about six inches. Perhaps your heels or legs will constantly bump against the front of the toilet, so you're exchanging one annoyance for another. This can be mitigated with a new, smaller, sink, however.
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Pocket door on the bathroom? Not a difficult install, just time intensive for DIY.
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Cough wrote: Have you considered a slimline sink so that you could leave the door swing inwards. Looks like you might fit in a 15" sink
Image

And yes I would replace the flange with plastic one
The door swinging inwards was always dumb; my free solution of changing the door swing made that bathroom seem like much less of an afterthought, and has been workable for the last 1.5 years.
jm1 wrote: Where does the door open to? If it's a hallway or other space with a lot of traffic, it should swing inward because you don't want to hit people walking past. Even if you and your family know to open the door slowly, you could be having a party and there could be a lot of accidents when friends swing the door open quickly (not knowing to open it slowly) and hit other friends walking past (not knowing to be wary of that door, because it swings outward).

Also, if the CAD drawings are to scale, yes, you will have more room in front of the toilet, but less room in front of sink (compared to existing setup). Looks like you'd lose about six inches. Perhaps your heels or legs will constantly bump against the front of the toilet, so you're exchanging one annoyance for another. This can be mitigated with a new, smaller, sink, however.
Door swings into an open area; no chance of hitting anyone. Accurate observation! My toilet scale is slightly larger than what it'll actually be, but the sink will be getting replaced with a smaller one, so that'll eliminate this issue regardless.
Jerico wrote: Pocket door on the bathroom? Not a difficult install, just time intensive for DIY.
This is the eventual solution; the door-swing change is stop gap. Pocket door also involves moving some electrical. This house has a bunch of pocket doors; not sure why the bathroom, that obviously should have had one, didn't get one.
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I've seen some places with barn style doors where the hardware is on the outside vs pocket. This way you don't have to move internal electrical. You can even use a regular door slab as well vs barn board ($$)

Image
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l69norm wrote: I've seen some places with barn style doors where the hardware is on the outside vs pocket. This way you don't have to move internal electrical. You can even use a regular door slab as well vs barn board ($$)

Image
I'm not a fan of that style, though I realise it looks good in some cases (IMO, not this pictured example, but it's not my house); my home doesn't look very "rustic".

Funny enough, above the door, I have move than a door's height worth of space in the attic; if I wanted to do something custom, which would require reasonably little demo, I could make a custom vertical pocket door that lifts right into the useless attic space :). Pocket door would still take less time probably. I tried to sell the GF on a "door" of beads; no dice ;).
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l69norm wrote: I've seen some places with barn style doors where the hardware is on the outside vs pocket. This way you don't have to move internal electrical. You can even use a regular door slab as well vs barn board ($$)

Image
Really?? Have you seen the SNL superheroes party??

Image

Image
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I've seen powder rooms where the door swings into the hall. It's not ideal of course but with small washrooms sometimes you don't have a choice. If you cannot turn the toilet 90deg, probably best to purchase a round bowl versus an elongated bowl. It will fit better.
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ChubChub wrote: Sure! Here's a quick CAD representation of what's going on (note that, currently, the toilet is too close to the wall on your left ... when/if I turn it 90°, it would then have clearance "to code"):
The original toilet layout looks more normal to me....the 2nd one looks weird.

The vanity/sink on the other hand should've been on the left wall imo.
With a shallower vanity your door should be able to clear the door completely.

A bathroom door that opens outward is weird and "unconventional". (I am sure you guest won't get used to it...)


Also, if you turn the toilet 90degree, are you sure you will have enough space at the back for the toilet? (Right now it is 15" from flange center to the wall? After you turn it you only have 12". Assuming your new toilet is same size, there ought to be at least 3" gap between the back of the toilet and wall right now.)
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ChubChub wrote: I'm not a fan of that style, though I realise it looks good in some cases (IMO, not this pictured example, but it's not my house); my home doesn't look very "rustic".

Funny enough, above the door, I have move than a door's height worth of space in the attic; if I wanted to do something custom, which would require reasonably little demo, I could make a custom vertical pocket door that lifts right into the useless attic space :). Pocket door would still take less time probably. I tried to sell the GF on a "door" of beads; no dice ;).
I have a raised ranch and the front hall closet has a full 7' above it. I considered doing a weighted door that lifted like a window inside of it as I HATE the closet door.
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pinkdonut wrote: The original toilet layout looks more normal to me....the 2nd one looks weird.

The vanity/sink on the other hand should've been on the left wall imo.
With a shallower vanity your door should be able to clear the door completely.

A bathroom door that opens outward is weird and "unconventional". (I am sure you guest won't get used to it...)


Also, if you turn the toilet 90degree, are you sure you will have enough space at the back for the toilet? (Right now it is 15" from flange center to the wall? After you turn it you only have 12". Assuming your new toilet is same size, there ought to be at least 3" gap between the back of the toilet and wall right now.)
Yes, 12" is the proper distance from the back of the toilet to the wall. Currently, there is a 3" gap on my current toilet.

As for the door; nobody has ever made mention of it; I suppose you might assume it goes in, but quickly adjust. Not sure.

On to the original question:
I think I'm going to keep the toilet's orientation the same, but move the flange to the proper position; move it back 3", and to the side 3". There might be some exposed area around the toilet, but I'll just move over a few tiles; not like it's a gorgeous bathroom right now anyways. From underneath, there's nothing stopping me from moving the flange in this way, so that's good.

Since I'm already smashing the ground up a bit, I'm going to swap the sewer piping to be proper as well, and replace with plastic (or ABS, whatever it is supposed to be). The door project will remain as it currently is; lame, but less lame than swinging inwards. I'll keep an eye out for a cheap pocket door, since that has been on the shortlist of "would-be-nice" projects since I swapped the door swing.

Also attached to the walls are a towel rack, soap dish, and a "cup" dish; I've been warned not to try and move those items, so for now, they stay. Underneath them is likely a "mounting tile", which means if I move any of them, something else has to go in their place. So, moving the sink to the logical wall location might work, but the towel rack is super brutal. Then the medicine cabinet would be weirdly placed as well, so the sink is staying approximately where it is, potentially replaced with a "low profile" one.

Thanks for the suggestions anyways guys; I wanted a pretty simple answer, but I suppose I should probably have considered everything, which you helped me do.
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