toilet tank too close to wall

Toilet Tank Too Close To Wall [ What To Do ]

Are you replacing your toilet and noticed that the toilet tank is too close to the wall? Or was it just a toilet tank replacement? Either way you should ensure that you measure the correct rough in for your toilet.

This is the distance from the center of the toilet to the finished wall. For the standard 12 inch rough in toilets it should be 12 inches from finished wall to the center of the toilet flange.

This distance will give about 1 inch gap between toilet tank and wall once you have installed the tank. However make sure the rough in of the toilet you are replacing matches the rough in of the toilet in place.

This way you avoid the trouble of moving the toilet if need be. Otherwise you can use an offset toilet flange which also comes with its own share of problems such as clogging.

In this article we will discuss how far the toilet tank should be and how you can move the toilet tank further from the wall.

How Far Should Toilet Tank be From Wall

Ideally a toilet tank should be about 1 inch from the wall. This is because for most standard toilets the rough in size which is the distance from the finished wall to the center of the toilet flange is 12 inches.

If you are measuring from the wall studs you will need to add the thickness of your drywall which in most cases is ½ inch.

Therefore the distance will be 12 ½ inches from the drywall.

However, it’s important to know that there are toilets with 10 inch rough in and 14 inch rough in toilets. Which is of importance to note when you are replacing your toilet.

If you measure the distance from the toilet flange to the finished wall and find that you have a 10 inch rough in and are looking to replace it with a 12 inch rough in toilet then  you will have to use a 10 inch to 12 inch toilet adapter to ensure that the toilet and toilet tank fit well.

Are Toilet Tanks Supposed to Touch the Wall

Ideally toilet tanks are not supposed to touch the wall. This is because a small 1inch gap between the wall and the toilet tank will allow for air circulation and also leave some room for installation of new plumbing in the future or movement.

If the toilet tank touches the wall, then there is no room for air to circulate and this can cause dampening of the area. Which in turn leads to growth of mildew and damage to your drywall.

How Do You Move a Toilet from the wall further

There are two methods of moving a toilet further from the wall. You could either move the toilet flange hole further or use an offset flange. 

The first method is costly and time consuming that is why we advise using an offset toilet flange.

This is a flange that will add 2 inches on the side you are looking to add some inches.

See also Offset Toilet Sizes

What is the Closest A Toilet Can be From the Wall

The closest a toilet can be from a wall is approximately 1 inch. This is a normal gap which allows for air circulation to prevent any dampness on the wall 

If you find that the gap is larger than 1 inch we highly recommend fixing that gap to avoid damage to the drywall.

The best way to do this is by using an offset toilet flange if you are replacing a 12inch toilet with a 10 inch rough toilet. It will add an extra 2 inches from the center of the flange.

See also Can You replace a 1o inch rough in toilet with a 12 inch rough in toilet

Why is There a Gap between Toilet and Wall

The reason for the gap between the toilet and wall is to give room for air circulation, it should not however be more than 1 inch.

If you are replacing your toilet and did not measure the rough in of the toilet properly to get the matching toilet it requires you could end up with a larger gap than normal.

In such a case we advise returning the toilet and getting the appropriate toilet for the rough in. This is because the other option of fixing the issue is expensive and time consuming.


Now you know why your toilet tank ended up too close to the wall. You must have missed it while measuring your rough in or getting a toilet with a larger rough  in hence the tank ended up too close.

The alternatives are either returning the toilet and getting one with the correct rough in. or getting an adapter or offset toilet flange to add about 2 inches to the rough in.

See also What Happens if a Toilet is Not Used for Months

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