Can you access the backside of your toilet, pun intended? If you can, how much room is there? And if you can’t, is the toilet flush against the wall or is there a little gap back there? Regardless of how your toilet is installed, your rough-in plays an important role. But what exactly is it?
Rough-in is the measurement from the baseboard to the back bolt. Back bolts mount the toilet to the floor, holding it in place. It’s usually 12 inches, but it can be 10 inches for small bathrooms or 14 inches for larger ones. So which brand provides the best 10-inch rough-in toilet?
Drake Two-Piece is one of the most popular toilet models. And Toto consistently updates it to suit customer needs. This particular model uses a G-Max single flush 1.6 GPF tank. But you can get an upgraded dual flush with 1.28 GPF, 1 GPF or 0.8 GPF, depending on your needs.
Dual Flush versions of the Drake Two-Piece use Dynamax Tornado flush to make up for their reduced tank capacity. However, this older model has a cute, crescent-shaped chrome flush lever on its left side. Its high profile tank stands 30.125 inches tall, which enhances its ability to flush.
The added height adds a few Gs to the toilet’s gravity pull. So when you flush it, the water has more power and momentum than it would in a shorter tank. Coupled with its 3-inch flush valve and enlarged siphon jet, the Drake Two-Piece delivers a consistently clog-free flush.
You can buy your Two-Piece Toto in five different colors, so it’s a great styling choice. And while the seat isn’t included, you can purchase a soft-closing lid or a Washlet bidet on the side.
Its tall tank improves its gravity flushing power.
It’s a lightweight toilet that’s under 50 pounds.
Its newer versions have Cefiontect glazing for better stain resistance.
Like many two-piece toilets, you have to buy the toilet seat separately.
When you buy a gravity-flushing toilet, you want it as tall as possible. After all, the higher they stand, the harder they flush. This Kohler Highline toilet fits the bill. Before you add the seat (which is sold separately), the rim is already 16.5 inches high. And it only uses 1.28 GPF.
This Comfort Height toilet is made of china. Its customized canister flush valve is especially effective against clogs. The tank has a pretty trapezoid shape, with its chrome flush lever on the left side rather than the front. It has an elongated seat and a bulbous bowl.
The Kohler Highline is a single flush toilet, so the reduced cistern size cuts down some of its flushing power. It might benefit from a larger, secondary tank for heavier flushing. But as is, it saves you about 16,500 gallons annually, and it’s suitable for use in California.
Highline is a beautiful brand with ‘chair-like’ height and anti-clogging features. But be careful with the rough-in. It’s a 10-inch but may be mistaken for a 12-inch if you neglect the baseboard.
Its tank bolts are pre-installed so the toilet is quicker to set up.
It stands at a comfortable height of 18 inches once you buy a seat.
It’s classified as Five R for cleanliness and performance.
If you look at the Toto Aquia from the top, you might mistake it for a D-shaped toilet. And that’s not generally a problem. Except that it ships without a seat, and its tank is the same width as its bowl. So if you go by appearances, you might order the wrong toilet seat and lid.
The tank and bowl are bolted together using a closed coupling system, so there’s a tighter gap in between. This discourages dirt from gathering at the seam. But it also makes it harder to access the joint for cleaning. The toilet seat is elongated for comfort, and the rim stands 16.125” high.
Toto Aquia is a dual flush toilet that uses 0.9 gallons for ‘little flush’ and 1.6 gallons for ‘big flush’. It has a circular dual flush button mounted at the top of the tank. The bottom of the tank has a ‘skirt’, which means its trap is concealed. This feature is both functional and aesthetic.
Skirted toilets have a cleaner, more streamlined look, so they give your bathroom contemporary style. But they also eliminate the coils and curves where dust and water droplets can gather. And while the 10-inch rough-in makes the toilet’s footprint shorter, it has extended height at 31.25”.
This older Toto Aquia has a sleek, simple design and distinctive shape. It’s water-efficient, using less than a gallon in light flush, and comes in bright cottony white.
Being a two-piece toilet, it’s easier to install.
Its elongated seat is ideal for longer bathroom sessions.
The toilet is EPA compliant (though not in California).
The seat isn’t included and given its unusual shape and multiple compatible seat models, it’s easy to order the wrong one. Be sure to double-check!
If there was ever an epitome if top-heavy toilets, this Champion 4 would be it. Its tank is deep, wide, and thick-set. But because it’s a one-piece toilet, it offers a smooth, seamless surface that’s easier to keep clean. Plus, it ships in one box. But unlike most one-pieces, the seat isn’t included.
The Champion 4 American Standard may look bulky, but its shrunken rough-in lets it fit even the smallest bathroom. Buy it with care though, because its large profile can dwarf your bathroom space. It has an extra-wide 4-inch flush valve and a 2.375 trap to reduce clogging.
Like many modern American Standard toilets, the Champion 4 has EverClean glazing. This keeps the toilet looking good and smelling fresh. It stops particulate stains from clinging to the bowl. It also conserves water this way, because it doesn’t need additional scrubbing or flushing.
While this model is popular and powerful, it’s somewhat controversial. Although buyers swear by it, American Standard says they don’t have 10-inch versions. So be careful of what you buy.
It has a distinctively attractive style and shape.
It’s extremely wide trap guarantees it against clogs.
It has a length 10-year limited warranty.
There’s a bit of a mix-up about whether it has a 10.5-inch rough-in version. It may have been available in the past, but it hasn’t been for a while. At least not officially.
The inside of this Kohler may be similar to its sibling, but the outside is a whole different story. For one thing, it has a rounded seat. This means it’s two inches shorter, so it’s a better fit for tiny bathrooms. But it’s also less comfortable to sit on. Its height is good though – 16.5 inches.
The Cimarron tank shape is more curvy – and smaller at 1.28 GPF. But its AquaPiston technology ensures it can move large loads in a single flush. The chrome flushing lever is on the front left side of the bowl, and its no-drill installation process lessens the chances of leaks.
This lightweight toilet is 66.7 pounds, and you only need one tool to install it (a socket wrench). Its DryLock installation lets you set up the toilet in minutes. And you don’t even have to get your hands wet! The base isn’t skirted, but it’s glazed, so it’s still easy to keep clean.
When you buy this toilet, you may notice the bowl and the cistern are different models. Which is why they ship separately. Check twice to be sure you have the right combination.
Its AquaPiston 3:2 ratio mimics a waterfall for stronger gravity flushing.
Its DryLock system lets you install it without drilling.
Its enlarged trap is glazed, preventing both clogs and stains.
Sometimes, the thing that draws you to a toilet is its decorative detail. In this case, the Sterling Riverton has a ‘pleated’ tank bottom that catches your eye. But the inside of the toilet is even more impressive. It’s a fast DIY project thanks to its 3-bolt installation system.
The tank uses 1.6 gallons for every flush, and it comes with a ‘one-flush-guarantee’. You should probably test this in the store just to be sure. Its comma-shaped flush lever is chrome coated for extra protection. It’s a light toilet – 22.6 pounds. And its seat is elongated for added comfort.
The Sterling Riverton has a 5-year limited warranty. This is not a well-known brand, so if you’re ordering online, stay in touch with your seller. The toilet ships in separate boxes, so it’s not unheard of for one half to get lost in the mail. Be sure to follow up on both tracking numbers.
This toilet looks good and promises superior flushing performance. It doesn’t have brand power behind it though, so buy it with caution. And if you can, test it at the store.
It as an eye-catching design that will jazz up your bathroom.
It’s part of the Kohler family, so while it’s a newbie, it’s not completely unknown.
Its 1.6 GPF is suitable for most US locations.
It has a shiny finish, but it doesn’t have the guarantee of trademarked brand glazing (such as RenoGloss or EverClean).
We’re used to low-capacity toilets being dual flush. And you’d be forgiven for assuming that’s the only way to conserve water. But when you’re shopping for a small bathroom, a small single flush tank fits better. This is because the shrunken tank is better at accommodating shorter rough-ins.
The American Standard Colony toilet is a good example of this principle. Its tank holds 1.28 gallons, but it lacks the weaknesses of small toilets. Usually, a commode with that little water is likely to streak. It just doesn’t have the pressure needed to move your loads without staining.
But in this case, the conservative tank size is backed up by power-wash to keep the tank spotless and odorless. Its solid vitreous china body has zero pores for germs to sink into. However, its flush valve and trap width are both a standard 2 inches, which isn’t too impressive.
Many toilets today go for chrome fixtures, but the flush lever on this commode is the same glossy white as the rest of the toilet. Its bowl caps are white too, giving your toilet a uniform style. And it’s a two-piece, so the seat isn’t included. Buy a round one for the best fit.
This toilet offers simplicity, elegance, and water savings. But its trap and flush valve are narrow for this brand, so you might lose out on flushing power.
It’s WaterSense compliant, even in fussier states.
Its non-porous construction reduces germs and harmful microbes.
It comes in three colors – bone, white, and linen
The cistern can be loud when it’s flushing and refilling.
In smaller toilets, decorative elements take on more significance. You have so little space to work with. And a pretty commode can lift the style of your entire bathroom. This is why the new generation Toto Aquia is so suitable for renovated spaces. Its contemporary design is appealing.
This Dual Flush Toto Aquia consumes 1.6 GPF for solids and 0.9 GPF for liquids. At a glance, the toilet seat seems round, but when you measure it, it’s elongated. Said seat is not included, but it only costs another $50 or so, and most two-pieces arrive sans toilet seat.
The toilet sits closer to the ground and has a gently curving skirt to conceal its trap and give it an easy-clean finish. It’s medium-sized at 78 pounds, and its low profile rim is only 15.5 inches high. The tank attaches through closed coupling, but you have to buy it separately.
While the smooth contours of this bowl will impress you, the new Toto Aquia is incomplete. It will meet WaterSense standards, but you still need to buy its seat and its tank.
It complies with Universal Height dimensions.
It’s dual flushing, so it uses water efficiently.
Its elongated bowl provides a wider surface area for flushing.
The list price may impress you, but don’t forget to tack on a tank and seat budget.
Toilets dispose of some heavy-duty toxins, both industrial and organic. Whether it’s something you ate or your favorite bathroom bleach, your toilet constantly takes a beating. It’s why this American Standard toilet comes armed with a chemical resistant flapper.
In addition to withstanding corrosion, the flush valve is 3 inches wide, a good inch broader than the industry standard. That extra inch reduces clogs and lowers your plumbing bill. The Cadet 3 system also includes power-scrubbing from pressurized under-the-rim air pockets.
EverClean finishes this quick-cleaning effect. It offers a lubricating glaze that stops anything from clinging to your toilet bowl. This toilet has a rounded front which saves space, but it does so at the expense of seating comfort. And, of course, the seat comes separately.
This compact toilet is an efficient addition to any bathroom. But because its trap is visible and its color is light, it could probably use a daily dusting.
It’s a lightweight unit at 55 pounds.
Its 3-inch valve breaks up potential clogs before they happen.
It uses 1.28 GPF so it’s WaterSense compliant.
The visible curves on the trap provide an obvious gathering spot for dirt.
Word on the street is U-shaped seats are better for bathroom health. They leave the front part of the toilet rim exposed. That’s the bit your intimates are most often in contact with. So having it ‘unpaved’ can prevent problems. It also protects growing body parts from accidental slamming.
This last point is crucial, because this toilet is only 10 inches tall, so it’s a common choice for nurseries, daycare centers, and elementary schools. Combined with a low pedestal sink, these toilets are ideal for kids under the age of five. They offer a quick solution to kiddie en-suites.
The toilet is also helpful for family members with height impairments. Especially the hereditary kind. In which case, you can install one in every room! The Baby Devoro only uses 1.28 GPF, so you’ll have to supervise to make sure the load is gone. The glazed trap will help prevent stains.
If someone in your family is on the shorter side … or if you’re weaning them off diapers, the Baby Devoro is a good toilet choice. Just be sure the kids don’t get too handsy with their loads.
Its U-shaped toilet seat is attractive and hygienic.
Its low profile makes it great for (potty) training toddlers.
It’s a perfect fit for pint-sized bathroom spaces.
While it’s great for kids, it’s back-breaking for everyone else, so keep an easily removable seat riser handy.
There are several reasons why you might need a 10-inch rough-in. The most common reason is renovation. You might be carving a bathroom out of a space that was previously a closet or hallway. This means you don’t have much wiggle room, so the shorter the rough-in, the better.
You might also need a shorter rough-in for corner toilets or upflush toilets because they hit the wall at unusual angles. Finally, if your original plumbing was badly done, the drain may be inappropriately placed. It may be in a weird, inconvenient part of the room.
Shorter rough-ins can help you resolve this problem by adjusting the positioning of the toilet. So what factors can help you buy the best 10-inch rough-in toilet for your bathroom? We’ve already looked at ten suggested toilet models. Now let’s dig deeper into your selection criteria.
Just because your toilet is functional doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. Most toilets are white, but you can get colored options as well. The most common shades are black and brown, though they’ll have fashionable names like bisque or bone. You can also get blues and pinks.
Pick a color that fits your thematic choices. It could accent one of the hues in your floor tile. Or it could pick a hue from your bath linens. Black toilets hide dirt better, but that’s not always a good thing. After all, bathroom dirt can lead to potentially fatal infections. Hiding the dirt won’t help.
Think of it this way – you could touch unseen waste and end up getting sick. So instead of choosing a color that camouflages stains, you want one that shows them clearly. That way, you can be sure you’ve disinfected every germ and eliminated every pathogen in your space.
If you’re shopping for a 10-inch rough-in toilet, you’re probably replacing an old one. So the easiest option is to buy a newer version of your existing toilet. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to replace the damaged part instead of buying a whole new toilet. But that depends on the age of the toilet.
Older models may no longer be in production. Meaning spare parts are harder to find and might be more expensive. You can still find spares on eBay or garage sales. But these pieces will be originals, so they’re likely to have deteriorated with time. Even if they’re unused.
Besides, new technology flushes better and uses less water, so you could opt for an updated model. Weigh the price against the features, then decide if it’s worth upgrading. In case you’re buying a new toilet rather than a replacement, check your other bathrooms for reference.
Water Restriction Standards
Colorado, Texas, and California require toilets to use a maximum of 1.28 GPF. Other states are fine with 1.6 GPF. You should also test the number of flushes you need to dislodge dirt. Some toilets have tanks as small as 0.7 gallons, but you have to flush them three or more times.
If you’re shopping at a hardware store, ask them to do a flush test for you. Online purchasers can check flush test videos or user reviews. Another water conservation solution is to buy a dual flush toilet. In liquid flush, they use half the amount of water, sometimes less.
This simple tweak can save over 20,000 gallons every year because we typically do more Number 1s than Number 2s on an average day. So instead of skipping the pee flush, buy a toilet that saves you water in light flush. You can also buy a pre-wetting toilet to save more water.
Pre-wetting may seem counterintuitive because it uses more water. But by wetting the bowl before Number 2s, you make it harder for waste to cling to the toilet surface. This means you use less water in scrubbing, and you don’t need multiple flushes to remove stains and streaks.
These days, almost every toilet brand has a patented glazing system. They include EverClean, RenoGloss, Cefiontect, and SanaGloss. These ceramic glazes lubricate your toilet bowl, preventing toilet waste from clinging to the inner surfaces of your toilet.
Sometimes, the outside of the toilet is glazed too. Glazing keeps toilets clean, preventing stains, smudges, and potentially infectious dirt. Toilet brands also use fancy terms to describe their flushing categories. You’ll hear words like Power-Scrub, G-Max, Cadet 3, or Double Cyclone.
These systems have two main flushing techniques gravity and pressure. Gravity toilets use natural forces to pull water from the tank and down the drain. Pressurized toilets add a pumping mechanism. They strengthen power, speed, flushing momentum while using less water.
Upflush toilets have an electrical pump as well. It thrusts water upwards or sideways towards a distant drain pipe. These pumps have grinding blades that mash, thin, and liquefy waste, making it flow faster. Which saves energy and reduces resistance while pushing waste further.
We’ve discussed some toilet shopping thought-starters and looked at the key features of popular brands. Of the ten models we’ve assessed, our preference is the Toto Drake Two-Piece. It’s a firm favorite across multiple bathroom categories, and we think it’s the best 10-inch rough-in toilet.
Both the older and newer versions are ideal because the high profile CST744SF has enhanced gravity flushing while the updated CST746CSMFG has dual flush and Cefiontect. Both models are low-fuss and streak-free. But they both need separate seating so add that to your budget!
(By Sunrise Specialty)
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