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 water as a modern toilet. But replacement raised two problems:
- 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.
- The old toilet was a “14-in. rough in”. That means the flange was centered 14 in. 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.
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).
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