Remodeling 101: Placing the toilet in your bathroom renovation

As many homeowners know, a bathroom renovation rarely entails just changing a few tiles and calling it a day. Even the simplest projects have many details and moving parts, creating a domino effect of one choice impacting another. One of the most important choices you can make during your renovation is one that can be easily overlooked: the toilet placement. And as if it’s not difficult enough, tile installation, vanity location and shower door choices can all influence your toilet placement. Use these tips to get your space construction ready.

The toilet can be considered the “problem child” of the bathroom because of its unwavering ability to impact all the other design elements. In many spaces, toilet placement dictates the rest of the choices, like whether or not a larger vanity can be accommodated or if certain plumbing can be shifted around. Unless you’re constructing a new build or pursuing a complete remodel, it’s rarely economical to move the placement of existing toilets because major rerouting of plumbing can start in the thousands.

To start, a minimum of 15 inches is needed from the centerline of the toilet to nearby objects. If space allows, 18 inches is ideal for a more comfortable distance. Codes also require a minimum of 24 inches of clear space in front of the toilet, and the more the better. Remember, there’s nothing worse than not being able to circulate freely and not having enough space to get ready in the morning.

When it comes to your bathroom, these minimum dimensions are also handy when choosing a toilet type and size. Toilets come in standard and elongated configurations, with elongated ones typically extending a few more inches into the space and allowing for more legroom. If your bathroom is tight and plumbing allows, in-wall toilets can provide extra space.

No matter the size of your space or toilet choice, one thing is certain, keeping the toilet out of the major line of sight is the most important design tip you should consider. Do your best to make sure the toilet is not the first thing others see in the bathroom. You could also create a separate water closet within the bathroom—this will let multiple people to use the bathroom at once and allow for more privacy. Even a glass divider or half wall breaks up the eye and keeps the toilet tucked away. Make a beautiful shower or a stunning vanity the centerpiece of the bathroom, and you’ll be on your way to a show-stopping space.

What construction tips have you used in your bathroom renovation?

This guest post was written by Kerrie Kelly, an award-winning interior designer in California who writes for The Home Depot. Kerrie is the founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab and the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. For more research on bathroom renovation options available online at Home Depot, click here.

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2 thoughts on “Remodeling 101: Placing the toilet in your bathroom renovation”

  1. Thanks for including the tip to have 15 inches from the centerline of the toilet to nearby objects. You don’t want to have that space cramped. Make sure to get a contractor and maybe even a plumber if you want to rearrange your bathrooms floor plan; remodeling a bathroom involves rerouting pipes and plumbing.

  2. Renovation can be a huge undertaking. Sometimes, it may be a small repair or maintenance and in other times, it may be a complete facelift. When we carry out the task, we have to arrange and install all the items at appropriate places so that they can serve their purpose completely. Let’s say the position of the toilet. It should always be installed at the corner of the room and more commonly at the opposite side of the door. The in-wall toilet as given on the post is a good idea for ensuring space management.

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