I am in the midst of remodeling a bathroom and have removed all the previous flooring and am down to the joists. I am putting down 3/4 plywood, cement board and then 1" hexagon tile.

I'm having issues with the old toilet flange. Here at my house we went through great lengths to choose a skirted toilet and matching sink. I measured the center of the flange and it was 11.25. I thought this would allow me to still squeeze a 12" rough-in toilet into the existing space. But after a plumber gave us an estimate he said we had to use a toilet with a 10" rough-in.

Another plumber said that we needed a 4x3 offset spigot flange. He can't seem to find one and I'm combing the net going slightly mad as I'm having no luck.

The plumber and I are working with one another via phone and text at this point. I messaged him with this image since I can see it is a 4x3 offset flange. But it's not an offset "spigot" flange. He is saying by this image below that the bottom hub is too big. Am I to understand that a spigot flange has no hub that adds thickness to the bottom? The tubular piece is the same diameter from top to bottom?

enter image description here

For the existing flange, I have to carefully cut away at the old flared portion of it which will allow me to get rid of the old metal ring. It appears to be a 3x4 flange, the opposite size openings for my needs. I was told to carefully grind away the inside that has been permanently bonded so that I can install a 4x3. I don't understand why I can't use this offset flange that I found online in the image above.

Here is the old current flange. enter image description here

Here is a side view:

enter image description here

I showed him the 4x3 offset flange and he said that due to the hub at the bottom that it won't fit. I don't have it in front of me. I'd have to order this online but isn't the total diameter of this 4x3 as in "three" total inches including the larger bottom hub? So I'm guessing a spigot flange is one without a hub? I can't seem to find a 4x3 offset spigot flange anywhere. He's trying to suggest that I go with a toilet that has a 10" rough-in because there are spigot flanges that will fit right in the existing position (after we cut away and grind the existing ABS in the floor to make it fit).

Does anyone have any suggestions to make this work so that I can the toilet we bought that has a 12" rough-in? I hate to have to give up our new beautiful toilet. Not to mention I don't want to return the dang thing as it's so heavy (it's a one piece toilet). :)

The last thing I should probably mention as it might be important is that since I removed two layers of fir planking and three prior linoleum flooring, each with their own thin plywood backing, the floor is now lower than before. The flange is too high so I will have to shorten it as I cut it by approximately an inch, give or take. So this also starts to lessen the amount of leg room that I have to work with. Just thought I would mention this since it's part of the issue I'm dealing with.

Suggestions, solutions or a miracle would be greatly appreciated!



Am I to understand that a spigot flange has no hub that adds thickness to the bottom?

Yes, the "hub" is designed to fit over a standard size pipe, a spigot fitting is designed to fit into a standard size pipe hub or fitting. Nothing is designed to fit into a pipe.

why... can't I use this offset flange that I found?

You can, that flange can be easily made into a "spigot" fitting by gluing a small piece of 3" pipe into it's hub end. Your new higher finished floor height should accommodate doing that.

However... this simple fix would have been readily apparant to a competent plumber, so I suspect there is more to the story. You need to post a side-view picture that shows the closet flange connection to the assembly below.

Note: you are mistakenly thinking that size terminology is a reference to actual dimensions (it is, but not in the way you think). When a fitting is listed as "3 inch" or "4 inch" it means only that it is designed to work with 3" pipe/fittings or 4" pipe/fittings, it does not correlate to actual dimensions (the size designation is the nominal inside diameter of the actual pipe, nothing to do with fitting dimensions).

  • I went back into the original post and provided a side view of the flange connecting to the ABS line below it. I'm guessing it's a 4" fitting from end to end of the pipeline below the flange. I'm talking about the hub that is part of the ABS line just below the flange. – Adrien Feb 25 '18 at 21:51
  • OK, now replace that image with one that shows the entire assembly, including how the bathtub line ties in. P.S. - clean up all that crap around there before you take the picture. I don't mean to be rude, just saying that the best work is methodical and sanitary, so the work area should be also. – Jimmy Fix-it Feb 26 '18 at 0:12
  • I already pointed out that the smaller ABS pipeline that is to the left of the flange in the first pic (downward view) of the old closet flange is the line for the bathtub. What more do you need to see for it to sink in? And too late. You are being rude. i'm working like a dog here. I'm overwhelmed and I'm working on a room that has no floor but joists and it feels like a balancing circus act for me. You've provided me nothing here other than maid cleaning advice. – Adrien Feb 26 '18 at 5:31
  • LOL. we can't tell you how to fix it if we don;t know what fitting the closet ring is attached to, it's obviously not a standard closet bend. Your pictures do not show it. It is my opinion that your problem can be solved, but we are not there so your pictures and description need to tell/show the whole story. Whatever... good luck bro, I'm out. – Jimmy Fix-it Feb 26 '18 at 5:38

I am assuming you have ABS drain pipe there? I would just cut the pipe so that you could add a coupler and the appropriate length to get you to the 12" center R.I. then use a standard closet ring flange. Make sure you build your sub-floor up properly for the tile, this could also alter the floor height and change your ring height. Tile installed over wood floor systems should have a minimum of 1-1/4 inches of solid material beneath it. This means you can have a 3/4 inch wood subfloor covered by 1/2 inch plywood, cement board, or approved gypsum fiber underlayment. Add your tile to that with the thinset material in the 2 layers and you might be up to 1-1/2 inches or higher depending on your tile used.

  • 3/4" subfloor, 1/2" cement board, 3/8" tile, and thinset between the subfloor and cement board and between the cement board and tile is about 1/8"-1/4" all equals about 1-1/2" minimum for floor thickness from the joist. – Jeff Cates Feb 25 '18 at 6:46
  • Yes, it is all ABS. I was told that 3/4 plywood and then cement board would be enough to lay the tile on. But I will look into doing half inch plywood in addition. – Adrien Feb 25 '18 at 11:30
  • Yes, it's all ABS. I was told that 3/4 plywood and cement board would be enough to lay the tile on. But I will look into doing half inch plywood in addition. As far as your answer is concerned are you suggesting that I cut the horizontal portion of the pipe to help me extend the rough in from the wall to be 12"? If I understood you correctly that's not an option. See the smaller ABS to the left of the flange opening that's at 90 degrees? That's the drain pipe for the bathtub that all runs into the same line. Yes it was all NOT done to code. I need to do this using an offset flange. – Adrien Feb 25 '18 at 11:40
  • Maybe change that drain from the tub to be somewhere else...down or upstream from the toilet. Yes not a very good idea to have the toilet dump and have the shower right there. Now, if you had to get permits, you might need to bring that to code....then you would have to reconfigure those drains anyway. I would do it just because ABS would be easy to redo, and then you get to keep the toilet you picked out. – Jeff Cates Feb 25 '18 at 23:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.