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How to Move a Toilet Over a Few Inches: 10 Easy Steps

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Want to remodel your bath? Or are you just not satisfied with where your toilet is?

If the toilet was just one or two inches to the left, it would have been spectacular. 

Wondering how to move a toilet over a few inches?

Moving the toilet, even a few inches, will be challenging. Many things, such as the national building code, drainage system, flooring, and more, will need to be considered prior. The relocation procedure requires some tools and goods. The process itself is quite pricey. 

Curious about how to actually move the toilet? Our article here has a detailed guide just for you!

Things to Consider

Relocating your toilet, even a few inches,  is not an everyday affair. If you are planning to relocate the toilet there are some things you will have to strictly consider. Them being-

Drainage System

The waste disposal pipe of the toilet will need a proper connection with the vertical drainage pipe. There is a necessary slope that needs to be strictly maintained. Even half an inch of the gap can result in leakage. 

Adjusting the slope can be difficult but it is a must. Even slow drainage might clog up the toilet. Wherever the toilet is being relocated will need a proper drainage system. 

Vent Pipes

The purpose of vent pipes is to maintain enough air pressure in the wastage pipe. It is essential to maintain the alignment of waste pipes and vent pipes properly. This will maintain the functionings of the toilet properly.

Water Supply

The water supply is very important for flushing and the drainage system. There must be ample water supply where the toilet is being relocated. 

The water supply pipe will also need to be properly connected and sealed. Improper installation will result in leakage. 

National Building Code

There are laws and regulations regarding the distance that needs to be maintained from toilet fixtures. The building code is precise about the distance needed from the walls, sinks, showers, and bathtubs. 

You will have to consider the national building code while relocating the toilet. 

Toilet Floor

The toilet floor is absolutely crucial. You will need to break the floor for installing proper plumbing. You will have to put into consideration the amount of space you have.

The relocation process will be much easier if you are on the ground floor. Or else rebuilding the ceiling of the floor underneath will be necessary.  

After relocating you will need to retile some of the floors. How long it will take to retile will depend on how many floors you have to retile.

Preparations

As we already mentioned, the task at hand is no simple matter. You have to come prepared. The preparations include amassing the tools and materials you will need. 

Necessary Tools

Gather all the tools listed below before you start working. That way the whole process will go more smoothly. The tools you are going to need are:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Cordless drill
  • Circular saw
  • Putty knife
  • Prybar 
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Gloves 

These tools are not the only things you will need though. 

Necessary Materials

The whole process will be quite complex where multiple pipes will need replacing. Be sure to gather all these materials alongside the tools. Missing an item during the relocation process will be troublesome. 

The materials you will be needing are: 

  • PVC or ABS drain pipes: 6 feet 3-inch 
  • Push-fit or compression ring PEX fittings
  • PEX pipes: 8 feet 1/2-inch 
  • PVC or ABS pipes: 3-inch diameter long-sweep 90-degree bend
  • Toilet closet flange
  • PVC or ABS: 3-inch 90-degree bend
  • PVC or ABS drain fitting: 3-inch wye
  • PVC or ABS pipes: 5 to 7 feet 3-inch diameter
  • ABS glue

Here we are recommending some of the best ABS glues. Check these out-

Product 1
Product 2

These materials should be enough to get the job done.

Relocating the Toilet

After you have gathered all the materials and tools, you can begin working on the relocation. But be mentally prepared, it is going to be a long and arduous task. 

Keep around 8-10 hours clear to complete the relocation. You may feel the need to set up a temporary shower

And with everything said, that let us start working. 

Step 1: Removing the Toilet

Before you can move the toilet, you must remove it from where it currently is. You are going to move this toilet, so handle it with the utmost care. Avoid breaking or scratching the porcelain. 

This is a golden opportunity to clean the toilet as well. 

You can block the drainage pipe with a rag. This will prevent any tools or debris from going down the pipe and creating a blockage. 

Step 2: Gaining Access

The drainage lines of the toilet run through the floor. You can access them from above or below the floor. 

In case you have a loose-lay floating floor, you can remove the floor. Then the sub-floor can be cut out via a circular saw. This will allow access to the underlying area. 

Adjust the circular saw blade to a depth of around ⅛ inches larger than the subfloor. This will minimize the damage to the joists. 

You can also remove the drywall ceiling. This will allow you to get to the pipe from above. This can only be done if the room underneath the toilet is open and available. 

Step 3: Removing the Toilet Flange

It is time to get the screwdriver or drill driver. Use it to unscrew the toilet flange from the flooring. 

After that proceed to detach the flange from the drain pipe. 

If the flange was sealed using solvent glue, you will have to cut it. Use a reciprocating saw to cut the flange away. 

But you will need to break the flange with a hammer if it is sealed using cast iron. But we recommend getting professional help for it. Uncareful hammering might create unwanted damage on the floor. 

Step 4: Cutting the Toilet Bend

Use the reciprocating saw to cut the toilet bend. Cut the bend as near to the stack of the waste-vent as possible. The new drain is going to be slicing into the severed bend. 

Step 5: Repositioning the Drain Location 

Even if you move the toilet just by a few inches, the drain will need a minimum gap. The repositioned drain needs a distance of at least 15 inches from the side walls. The gap needs to be ensured between the shower and bathtub. 

The space is needed to make sure that the toilet can be installed freely. There won’t be any obstacles 

Step 6: Running the New Drainage System

Run the drain pipe from the waste vent stack to where the toilet will be relocated. Where the severed old drain is, install a new wye fitting. Then direct the drain pipe to the relocated toilet using a long sweep 90-degree bend.

Use fitting glue, along with compatible solvent glue, for fitting all the pipes together. Ensure that the drainage pipe is sloping down by a pitch. The pitch should be at a minimum of ¼ inches per horizontal foot towards the stack. 

Use straps for supporting the pipes to the joist. 

Step 7: Installing the Drain Stub Out

Get the 90-degree toilet bend and glue it to the endside of the new drainage pipe. After that, glue another pipe to the upwards socket. It should extend up via the flooring. 

Step 8: Running the Water Supply Lines

The relocated toilet will have water coming from the previous supply line. Extend the supply line with a single run of PEX pipe. Run it through the joists. 

You can connect PEX pipes with the water supply’s copper pipes in a few different ways. One of the simpler ways is using a push-fit union fitting. Use support for the PEX pipes along the joist. 

At the relocated toilet, end the PEX pipeline with a fixture shut-off valve. Has it been exposed through the wall? At the exposed spot, use a copper stub-out elbow alongside a flange nailed to the stub. 

The PEX pipe will have one of its sides attached to the elbow. And the other side is attached to the fixture shut-off valve. 

Step 9: Fitting the New Toilet Flange

You have to replace the subfloor and complete the flooring system. Then at the level of the subfloor, cut off the drain pipe. Use the reciprocating saw for this purpose. 

Then install the new toilet closet flange on the floor. Use solvent glue to fit it with the drain stub-out. Then screw the flange to the subfloor. 

Be careful about the height of the flange compared to the floor. The flange being higher than the floor might create problems. 

Step 10: Installing the Toilet

And now for the final step. You are now to install the toilet on the newly installed toilet flange. 

After installing the toilet, connect it to the water supply. Proceed to run a few test runs to make sure functioning is working smoothly. 

FAQs

How much does it cost to relocate a toilet?

The cost of relocating a toilet can be from anywhere around $2,000 to $4,000. A big chunk of this cost goes into redoing the drainage system. Connecting the relocated toilet to the old sewer system and water supply is challenging and expensive. 

Can you put a toilet anywhere?

The toilet can be technically moved anywhere, as long as the national building codes are followed. These codes specify the distance that needs to be maintained from the toilet fixtures. Apart from that, you only have to consider connecting the toilet to the sewer system and the water supply. 

Is it easier to move a toilet or a shower?

It is easier to move a shower than a toilet. Moving the shower requires you to just redo the water supply. But moving a toilet requires the relocation of the water supply and drainage for the toilet. Connecting the toilet to the drainage system can be pretty challenging. 

Conclusion 

With that, we know how to move a toilet over a few inches. It is a tough undertaking that will take a lot of time. 

Gather all the tools and materials before you start working. And follow our instructions properly and hopefully you won’t have any trouble. 

Best of luck!