I came across a situation where a house had a toilet installed with a 15 inch offset from the back wall. The typical offset is 12 inches for most residential toilets. As a result, the toilet was 4 inches behind the tank. He looked like he was trying to participate in bathroom activities rather than sitting quietly until needed. It seems like a hopeless situation. I mean, who wants to completely remove and cut out a new toilet drain hole? In fact, you can fix it by using a simple solution. We show you how to install an offset toilet flange to move a toilet closer or farther from the wall.
What is an offset toilet flange?
Buy from your local home improvement store and you will find a device called an offset toilet flange. This product gives you an additional distance of approximately 2 inches in any direction from the existing toilet sewer pipe. It works with 3 inch and 4 inch sewer pipes. The outside diameter (OD) fits inside a 4 inch pipe. The inside diameter (ID) allows you to fit it on 3 inch PVC pipe. Typically, offset toilet flanges cost less than $ 15.
This is what an offset toilet flange looks like:
How to install an offset toilet flange
As you can see, the offset toilet flange is mostly PVC, with a metal or PVC flange ring that surrounds the top and can be turned to center the bolts as needed under the toilet. It also gives you an added advantage. The toilet can be moved in any direction: forward, backward and even diagonally if necessary.
Stationery (based on 4 ″ PVC sewer pipe, adjust for 3 ″ accordingly):
- Offset toilet flange
- PVC pipe 4 ″ annex 40
- PVC coupler annex 40 4 ″
- PVC cement in one step
- Wax ring and bolts (double thickness kit)
- Great Stuff Expanding Foam for Windows and Doors
We intended to move our toilets right away. To do this, the following steps illustrate how to install an offset toilet flange for this purpose:
Remove existing toilets
Use an adjustable wrench to remove the nuts from the retaining bolts and lift the toilet off the existing flange.
Remove the old wax ring
Remove and discard the old wax ring. Clean the base of the toilet for the new wax ring and flange.
Block the waste hole
Insert a thick cloth or disposable towel into the existing hole in the toilet. This prevents sewer gas from escaping into the room. You will thank us later.
Plan your adjustment
Plan how your new offset bridle will fit. The base of an offset toilet flange typically fits more 3 inch PVC pipe or inside a 4 inch pipe. Do your best to make sure the waste flows down the sewer line unimpeded. You don’t want any seams or anything that could cause a backup or restrict the flow of …waste.
Hang out with the old man
Remove the old toilet flange by removing the screws that secure it to the floor. Use a Dremel or similar tool to cut around the piping from the inside to connect a new pipe. If you have a crawl space, you can cut the pipe from below using a reciprocating saw. You want to end up with a pipe that you can couple to the new offset flange. Make sure to measure the depth so that you can successfully use a coupler. At worst, you may need to use a rubber boot to put the two new pieces together.
Finally, remove and discard the old toilet flange.
Cut out the floor to make room
Using a reciprocating saw, cut where the offset flange will need to be in order to place the toilet further towards the wall. This is best done with a wood or a demolition blade. You may need to tilt the blade slightly to avoid cutting too much material. Remember that you need the new clamp to fit snugly so that you have enough wood left to secure it securely to the ground.
Test your new fit
Dry fit the new offset strap until you are satisfied with the fit.
Install the new offset toilet flange
Apply a generous amount of one-step PVC cement to the pipe and the end of the offset flange and assemble them. Alternatively, if you must use a rubber boot, place the boot over both pieces and secure it with a flathead screwdriver. Typically, a start will only be possible with a crawl space environment, as you need access to operate it.
In our particular situation, we also had to cut out additional floor tiles. For this we used an angle grinder with a continuous diamond wheel. This allowed us to make the appropriate curved cut so that we could install the new toilet flange directly on the floor.
If there is a gap along the front of the new offset flange (and there should be, if you did it right), fill it with Great Stuff Window & Door Expanding Foam. Be careful not to over-trim it. If you overdo it, wait until it is dry and use a razor blade or something with a serrated blade to cut it flat. The toilet should cover the exposed area you just filled.
Install the hardware
Insert the new hardware bolts into the offset flange. This secures the toilet to the flange and to the floor so that it does not move.
Install the new wax ring
Place the double-layered wax ring on the flange, waxy side up, with the short flange inserted into the opening in the flange. We always recommend a double layer wax ring as we have had too many toilet installations where the space exceeded the depth of the base wax ring. You almost can’t be late because of the wax ring.
Replace the toilet
Replace the toilet by carefully lining up the holes in the base with the bolts protruding from the new offset toilet flange. This step is much easier with two as the toilet itself tends to block your view of the flange bolts. Lower the toilet until it is flat on the floor. Secure the bolts with the washers and nuts provided.
As a final step, cut the bolts to length with a pair of bolt cutters. You can also use a metal blade on your oscillating multi-tool or reciprocating saw. Then you can place the plastic caps (if included) to cover the bolts.
That’s all we can say about it. You can now “enjoy” your newly relocated toilet as if it was properly installed initially. This is a relatively easy project to undertake. Knowing how to install an offset toilet flange and doing some advance planning will usually determine whether or not you have an easy or difficult time.