What’s the one value you must know when ordering a toilet? It’s in the headline of this post, and when referring to a toilet, it means the distance from the wall to the hole in the floor where the … ummmm … waste exits.

As it turns out, standard toilets have a 12-inch rough-in. But sometimes you’ll need a 10-inch rough-in or even a 14-inch rough-in. Why? Because your floor joist might be exactly 12 inches from the wall. So you’d think a place like toiletwarehouse.com would have the rough-in value front-and-center on their website. You’d be wrong. It’s hidden deep in the supporting material.

If you happened to make a mistake and order a toilet with the wrong rough-in, how much would it cost you? It’d cost you about $195.

I know, because it happened to me. It costs about $90 to ship the toilet back to the warehouse (it weighs 100 pounds), I paid $50 to ship it out here in the first place (I got a bulk rate for three toilets), and toiletwarehouse.com charges a 25 percent restocking fee.

Then when you buy the 10-inch toilet, it’ll cost even more than you paid for the first toilet. These aren’t standard components, you know.

As it turns out, since I’m only going to get about $165 back from toiletwarehouse.com, I’ve decided to donate my brand-new, unused toilet to Habitat for Humanity. If you do the math, it will only cost me $75 to give them a $220 toilet. That’s a pretty decent return on my charitable investment.

But this toilet is going to cost much more than that. That’s because of the water damage the old toilet caused. I’ve already paid $40 for a handyman to tell me he can’t fix it. He gave me the name of a flooring specialist who he says can fix it. No word on how much that will cost, but I’m guessing it’ll be more than $100. Let’s say it’s $150. Then there’s $359 for the fancy new 10-inch toilet, shipped. Plus $270 for the first toilet, shipped. Plus $150 to install it. That’s a $969 leaky toilet that never even worked in the first place.

Get those leaks fixed, people! And don’t forget to check on that rough-in.

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One Response to “Rough-in”

  1. vincent says:

    Re Stocking fees ! I purchase a tub from Aquatic Whirlpools no where is it posted they have a restocking fee. I called to return the item and there was a 50% restocking fee plus shipping ! I called their home office turns out they are owned by Tomkins industrys in England basicly asked where this policy was posted it’s not on their site or in any paper work. I will never by from them again

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