To be sure your new toilet fits perfectly into your bathroom - even if you're remodeling - you'll need to measure.
Your toilet is the most important seat in your home, but the day will come when it needs to be replaced. If your new toilet doesn't fit exactly, you're risking water leaks, unnecessary damage, and potentially expensive repairs. So how do you measure a toilet? Before you start browsing, you'll need a tape measure, a pencil and paper on which to write your measurements and a general idea of how you see your new toilet fitting into your bathroom.
How to Measure a Toilet: Rough-In Measurement
The distance between the wall behind your toilet and the center of the closet bolts or the center of your floor drain is your rough-in, and you'll need to know that number before you start shopping. Take your tape measure and put the end of it against the wall and extend it out to the middle of the drain or the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor.
Most bathrooms - in both refreshed and remodeled spaces - have a rough-in of 12 inches, improving your chances of finding a toilet that fits your style and your room.
If you are remodeling your bathroom, you should consider the elbow room you'd like around your toilet and how traffic will move around your room. Elongated toilets are widely thought to be the most comfortable but can extend up to 30 inches into the room. You should plan for at least 24 inches of clear space in front of your new toilet.
Ideally, there should be at least 15 inches between the nearest side wall and the center of the toilet and at least 30 inches between the center of the toilet and the nearest sanitary fixture, like your bathroom faucet.
How to Measure a Toilet Seat
A loose or ill-fitting toilet seat can make you feel less than confident during one of life's most intimate tasks. If your toilet doesn't come with a toilet seat - and many don't - or if you just need to replace your toilet seat, you'll still need to take some measurements.
Specifically, you need to know the width of your toilet bowl at its widest point and how long your bowl measures from back to front. Pay attention to how the seat attaches to the bowl because you'll need to be sure your new seat is affixed the same way.