Here's Why It's So Expensive To Move A Toilet To A Different Spot In Your Bathroom

A toilet may not be the most aesthetic part of a bathroom's design. Most homeowners want the shower, free-standing tub, or even the vanity to be the focal point of a bathroom. Sometimes, in order to achieve that, you might have to move the toilet. Unfortunately, moving the toilet isn't always the easiest or most-cost effective option. That's because toilets have a lot of plumbing components, such as the supply line, which fills the tank with new water, and the drainage, which takes out waste and old water. Moving a toilet would require moving these systems, which often requires moving the plumbing in the walls or under the floor.

The final cost can also be impacted by the location of the bathroom, as bathrooms on a second floor may require more plumbing that those on a lower floor. Flooring and foundation materials can have an impact, with concrete requiring more work to remove to get to the plumbing. Plus, after moving the toilet, your bathroom will likely need construction work to replace the floors and/or walls. Cost of materials, such as the pipes or getting a new toilet, will also increase the price. The many factors required can quickly increase the cost for what may seem like a simple job. So, while it's not an impossible renovation project, homeowners should be prepared for the associated costs.

How much does moving a toilet cost?

Bathrooms are notoriously expensive to renovate because of the plumbing involved. What seems like a simple project of moving a toilet can be unexpectedly expensive. On average, the total cost can range from $2,500 to $3,500. However, there are many factors that can raise or lower the price. Much of it comes down to the cost of materials and labor. Adding new drain lines can cost, on average, $0.75 to $30 per linear foot. Labor can cost between $45 and $150 per hour, depending on the job and the experience level; but if you want to know exact rates, ask before hiring a plumber

The further the relocation, the more materials and labor will be required. Relocating it a few feet over will be much less expensive than moving the toilet across the room. Bathroom location is also a factor. As stated, ground floor toilets won't require as many plumbing materials as second or third floor bathrooms, so the lower toilets will be less expensive.

The current state of your plumbing can also be a factor in the cost. If your plumbing is already updated and easily accessible, there will be less construction required. Older or more inaccessible pipes will increase the price as they may require more materials. And if the work is extensive enough, you may need to acquire a building permit to do plumbing work, which can cost $50 to $500, depending on the project's scope.

When is moving a toilet worth it?

Relocating a toilet can be expensive, so it's often not a project homeowners want to undertake without the final result being worth the money. Most would consider this project because of an inefficient bathroom layout or toilet placement. If the current location of a toilet hinders the use of a bathroom, such as your ability to close the door or access other fixtures, moving the toilet can be a worthwhile investment.

It's best to have a minimum of 21 inches in front of the toilet and a minimum 15 inches from the center of the fixture to a vanity, shower, or wall. This is a good rule to follow when designing your bathroom to provide enough clearance from doors, and other fixtures as well as leave a walking path. Moving a toilet to a new location can create a bathroom that's more accessible and easier to work in. You can also consider moving a toilet to increase privacy, whether that's moving it away from the door, on the other side of a vanity, or into its own water closet. 

If you're planning a larger bathroom remodel, it's best to move a toilet during that. You'll likely be removing floors and walls for other fixtures, or even moving the shower or vanity, which could require their own plumbing work and can save you from future construction. Relocating a toilet is possible, but homeowners should be prepared for the high cost associated with it.