Offset Toilet Flange to the Rescue

Updated: Jan. 24, 2024

An offset toilet flange lets you swap out a modern low-flow toilet for an older water hog. Read on to learn more about this topic.

After 90 years of service, this old toilet was ready for retirement. Aside from being rust-stained and chipped, it was a water hog, using about three times as much as a modern toilet. But replacement raised two problems:

  1. The old toilet flange — the part that connects the toilet to the drain pipe at the floor — had almost disintegrated. That’s normal with old toilets.
  2. The old toilet was a “14-in. rough in.” That means the flange was centered 14 inches from the wall. (You can check a toilet’s rough in by measuring from the wall to the toilet bolts.) Today, the vast majority of toilets are 12-in. models, and 14-in. versions generally cost more. With the toilet model I chose, a 14-inch version was twice the standard price. And the only thing I hate more than spending money is spending more money.

measure rough in for offset toilet flange

The solution for both problems was a new “offset” toilet flange, available at home centers. Unlike a standard flange, which is centered on the waste pipe, an offset flange is off-center. That lets you shift the location of the toilet by a couple of inches — left, right, forward or back.

standard toilet flange with stainless steel ring

offset toilet flanges with stainless steel rings

P.S. Flanges with stainless steel rings cost a few bucks more than all-plastic versions. But since they don’t break, they’re a good deal — even for a cheapskate like me.

— Gary Wentz, Editor in Chief