Building a toilet platform to make toilet ADA height?

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Zanne

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Ever since we replaced one of the toilets in the house with an ADA height one, I've found that I prefer the taller toilets as they are easier to stand up from & my legs aren't getting any younger. My brother is over 6' and has a hard time with lower toilets. We already have two standard height toilets from Toto (around 14-5/8" high or so). Even a couple inches more would help with making the toilets more comfortable. We don't want to get the super thick seats. I've looked at the toilet platforms for sale but they are too small for the base of the Toto Drake. The Drake is just a bit too long in the front so it would hang over. Plus it's about $100+ for the platforms. They are around 23" long but the toilet is 23 5/8".

So, I've been thinking about making my own platform that would be sturdy enough to fit under the toilets. I was thinking floor grade 1/2" or 3/4" plywood (if I can find it) over some sort of frame. Not sure if 2x4s would be too tall or not, but I suppose I could rip things to size. I want the platform to fit to the shape of the toilet (or at least fit behind a Squatty Potty). I would be ok with the platform poking out a bit from under the toilet so long as the squatty potty thing fits around it and it doesn't interfere with water supply lines. The water supply line in my bathroom is far enough away that it shouldn't be an issue & in the other bathroom I will install the toilet supply line where I want.

These are the specs of the toilet size
1637436454338.png

So, from the wall to the front of the toilet bowl it's 28", but the base of the toilet is only 23-5/8" (not sure if the tank sticks out from the back at all or not- but it looks like the base is supposed to start 1-5/8" from the wall). Widest point of the toilet base is 9-1/4" so the platform doesn't have to be 11" wide like some of the pre-made platforms. I might make it 9-1/2"W x 24"L just in case so it has a little lip for easier movement. Hopefully the toilet jack will still be able to slide beside it, but I can measure to make sure.

I'm debating whether or not to use a slimmer sheet of plywood on top of the 1/2" to slightly recess the toilet flange. (I'm thinking pressure treated plywood would be the way to go). I could have reinforcing pieces inside the frame as extra support (so long as it doesn't interfere with the flange/drain).

So, I'm thinking a frame sort of like this:
1637437488083.png
With 2 layers of pressure treated plywood (although I will paint over the platform). I will need to figure out how to get the angles for the front and then find some way to cover over the base to make it look smoother/rounder instead of sharp. I could use a jig saw & sanders I suppose to cut it a bit smoother but might need something thicker than 2x4s for that. Maybe a 4x4 chunk for the front. (I need to see if my band saw still works).

Then I will have to figure out the best way to align everything and get the flange seated.

Editing: 3x3s were too expensive but I found that 3x4 pressure treated landscaping timbers are under $5 at Lowes and they claim to be actual size rather than 1/2" smaller. I'd have to measure them though. So I might not need plywood on top if I use those for the outer part and I can have supports under where the screws go to hold them up. I could use a little plywood and some other lumber scraps for the flange support.

I know this is more construction than plumbing, but has anyone tried making a platform like this?
 
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Twowaxhack

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I had a guy do this with concrete before he tiled his bathroom.

He liked his toilet and wanted to keep it except it wasn’t handicap height. So he raised the area between the vanity tub up 1.5” with concrete.

I raised his flange for him.

His choice snd his money to do all that, I suggested a new toilet.
 

Zanne

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Toilets were $400 each & they are perfectly fine. I wouldn't do concrete. Just thinking a wood frame might work so long as I seal it and secure it properly.

I almost wonder if I can build a rectangular frame out of the 3x4 timbers and then round it off in the front with a band saw and/or saw and sander. I have all sorts of sanders and I believe there is at least one band saw in the workshop.
 

Zanne

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It's not that expensive to build a simple frame and move the flange up. Under $100 with the right materials vs $400 for the new toilet. It would be a waste to get new ones when we have perfectly good ones already.
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Honestly no matter what kind of wood you use, or how skilled a carpenter you may be, it will in all likelihood be viewed as an amateur effort. A concrete version not much better. If it weren’t a discussion topic here, and y’all were called in to a leaky or non functioning toilet on the wood platform, you’d come here and laugh about it!

The toilet elevator or toilevator above is a professional looking and engineered solution, a complete kit. Less than $99 at Amazon. BTW the local big box stores here have a few ADA compliant toilets with 16.5” bowl height for between $160 and $200. Nobody needs a $400 toilet, unless you want one.

Don’t forget grab bars on the wall! 😉
 

Zanne

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Thanks, Mitchell. The $99 one is too small. Only 22" L and my toilet is 23-5/8". There is a Toiletvator Grande that is 28" though but it's not being sold by amazon and the buying options are not great.

To clarify some things. In one of the bathrooms the plumbing has not yet been done. It is a laundry room being converted to a bathroom so I will have to rough in all new plumbing. So I can make the toilet flange higher when roughing it in.

The other bathroom is plumbed badly. The previous owners cut an entire section out of a floor joist for the tub drain, the toilet connects to main sewer line with a horizontal sanitary tee (well, all of the toilets, tubs, sinks, etc do). Needs to have wyes. There are no vents as far as I can tell except for one toilet but it's connected wrong. The sweep is where the sanitary tee should be and vice versa. So, basically I will have to gut this DWV and put in new DWV with vents. So I'm going to have to do a tear-out anyway and might as well make a toilet riser. Even if I have to wrap that sucker in plastic or laminate it somehow. Wood is pressure treated already but I want to seal it, paint it, put a moisture barrier under the flange and set it so that if anything leaks, water will be directed out the back of the riser under the toilet instead of inside the riser. I hope that makes sense. I will be using Better Than Wax seal. I will plasti-dip the entire riser if I need to. I'll put scrap waterproof sheet vinyl over it too. Whatever it takes to seal it like it's a floor.

One of the main issues is that there is no way and hell I can convince the old lady to buy a new toilet when we have two perfectly good standard height ones. She's more likely to agree to risers being built instead. I mean, worst case I could buy two bases to match the existing tanks, but then I wouldn't know what to do with the old bases. One is stained and the other is pristine & never been used. Not sure if I could sell either of them though. But, I've gotten screamed at for even mentioning it.

Plus, I want an excuse to use my tools in my workshop. I've neglected my workshop for too long. I posted pics on another forum & they said there's a bandsaw in there. I haven't used a bandsaw in so long. I want to use one again. I could practice on scraps.

This project would give me something productive to do & let me customize the risers.

For the guest bathroom, I'm willing to have it be taller since my brother is at least 6'3". I'm 5'5" so the current height of the ADA Toto Drake (about 17-1/4" without a seat). Current toilet is 14-5/8". So, I could go with 2" or 2-1/2" rise for my toilet and 3" or even more for my brother's toilet.

I do appreciate the advice. I may change my mind, but for now I want to pursue this idea and see how feasible it is. I may look at whatever scrap lumber I have & play around with templates/prototypes, etc.
 

SHEPLMBR

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Toto makes a round front ADA toilet.
American standard makes a "compact" that is elongated and fits into the same footprint of a round front.
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Thanks, Mitchell.
One of the main issues is that there is no way and hell I can convince the old lady to buy a new toilet when we have two perfectly good standard height ones. But, I've gotten screamed at for even mentioning it.

Plus, I want an excuse to use my tools in my workshop. I've neglected my workshop for too long. I posted pics on another forum & they said there's a bandsaw in there. I haven't used a bandsaw in so long. I want to use one again. I could practice on scraps.

This project would give me something productive to do & let me customize the risers.

For the guest bathroom, I'm willing to have it be taller since my brother is at least 6'3".
You must have one special woman that doesn't want something new in the home. If this were me, and here, we'd get new toilets, clean the old ones perfectly, and donate them to Habitat for Humanity which has a robust presence here in the Charlotte area. Whether they'd be sold at their ReStore, or used in one of the many projects they have going on, the end result is the same: they'd be put to use, not tossed in a dumpster.

You are one special person willing to build what amounts to a custom toilet for your extra tall brother. It may be the only toilet so constructed with him in mind.

Fire up the bandsaw! ;)
 

havasu

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I am deeply concerned with the platform being a trip hazard. Stepping up or stepping away, there are many hazards in a bathroom which could incapacitate anyone who smacks their head either on the toilet, sink or tub. Hell, even a wall. Do yourself a favor, throw away that Toto, or donate it to Habitat for Humanity, and get yourself a toilet that you want, with the height you desire.
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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I am deeply concerned with the platform being a trip hazard. Stepping up or stepping away, there are many hazards in a bathroom which could incapacitate anyone who smacks their head either on the toilet, sink or tub. Hell, even a wall. Do yourself a favor, throw away that Toto, or donate it to Habitat for Humanity, and get yourself a toilet that you want, with the height you desire.
Right you are. "ADA Compliant" in a bathroom is significantly more than a taller toilet...it's a whole array of things...
 

Zanne

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Well, one of the toilets is brand new in box & never been opened. But we bought it years ago before anyone had mobility issues. We got 2 Toto Drakes. One never got installed because we were working on the floor when my father passed away & I've procrastinated and never gotten it fixed. The other was installed in one bathroom and was used for years but then the old lady started having trouble getting up and didn't want to put in grab bars (yet). I found a sale on an ADA height Drake and we got it. Took out the used Drake and put it in a box, put the new one in & it works fine for her. We plan to re-use her old Drake in the guest bathroom and the un-used one has always been slated for my bathroom. But, I've found that its easier for me to get up from the taller ones. If I can make a platform for under $100 its worth it to me to keep the existing toilets and raise them up a little.

It's not so much about her not wanting new as it is she doesn't want to buy a new toilet when we already have three. She's all, "why buy a new toilet when you can build something to make it taller?" LOL. Of course, she also thought that I could cut up a 10 ton oak branch with a coping saw so she has no concept of actual work. (She gave me this little coping saw and said she got it so I could cut up a branch-- that thing dulled chainsaws & she thought this little coping saw-- that wouldn't cut through a soft wood sapling-- could cut it up). But I want to try to build it at least. Working on plans and such.

Even if I only raise my toilet by 2" I'd be fine. But the other one needs more height I think.

Havasu, the platform is meant to be directly under the toilet and as close in size to the toilet base as possible so it should not be sticking out. I want to be able to fit the Squatty Potty around it. So, it shouldn't stick out more than maybe 1/8" from the toilet base if I get it the way I want it. Does that make sense? I want it to be almost like part of the toilet base or almost like a little trim at the bottom of the toilet that raises just the toilet up.
 

havasu

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You still need to consider extending the flange, then making sure it is secure and not going to leak. Again, get a used toilet, by another Toto, anything, but IMHO, nothing will work as well as just changing toilets.
 

Zanne

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I need to install a brand new flange in the new bathroom and I need to replace the flange in the other bathroom, so I will just rough it in with the flange higher up. Is the concern that the flange won't be stable if it sticks up higher?
 
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