Making a platform to raise toilet to ADA height

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zannej

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This ties in to my home reno project of fixing up my bathroom & swapping laundry room & guest bathroom. I've found that the ADA toilet we put in Mom's bathroom is much more comfortable than standard height toilets. We already have two of the standard height toilets (14-5/8"H before seat is put on) & don't plan to buy different ones. I was thinking about how I would like them to be taller when they get installed. I don't like those big booster seat things on top. The pre-made platforms are only about 22" long but the toilets we have are 23-5/8"L at the base. Plus they would be $100+ with tax. I want to build a base for the toilet and I'm thinking it could either be from framing studs with plywood on top or pressure treated landscaping timbers (which would give more room for cutting the shape rounder on a band saw or with a sander).

Diagram of the toilet dimensions:
1637439017179.png

General idea for frame:
1637439067067.png

It would probably be thicker and that front piece might just be solid. I could slice up some landscaping timbers on the tablesaw in to strips for some of the center supports.

If I have boards bracing underneath the toilet flange and add supports under where the screws come up (so they will stay in place) would a frame of landscaping timber (3"x4") work? I could put 2x4s in the middle with plywood on top under the flange if need be. I was thinking of 3x3s until I saw the prices. Lowes has some of the 3x4 landscaping timber (pressure treated) for about $5. I think I have a bandsaw in the workshop somewhere and I have sanders so I can try to get the frame to look rounded in the front. I don't care about it being rounded in the back. I can get some large poster paper or cardboard to set under the toilet to draw around it for a template and mark the holes for the flange.

I want the platform to be about 3" tall (and the pressure treated stuff says its a full 3" tall rather than 2-1/2").

I don't expect it to be pretty, but I want it to function.

Anyone built something like this before?

Any suggestions for making it sturdy and also putting it together, getting the correct angles, etc?
 

Eddie_T

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Actually it could look rather elegant if you just added a simple perimeter molding at the top and the bottom of the 3" height.
 

zannej

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I wonder if the flexible plastic type molding can wrap around it...
The landscaping timbers I was thinking of using would have to be trimmed because they have curves on the sides-- not sure how much that would take off of them though.

Someone was trying to tell me it would be cheaper to get a new toilet-- uh, not at $400 per toilet! LOL. I can probably make two risers for under $50. Or at least one under $50. Depends on what materials I use.
 

bud16415

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I would install regular height or buy the extended height and bite the bullet on the cost. The risers for the top I had for my mother and I also didn’t care for them. We have one tall toilet as our first floor bathroom was handicap accessible when we bought the house and other than removing the toilet handrails we left the rest alone. I did raise the curb on the shower as it was a flush shower floor for a wheelchair.



Not sure what your plan will be to raise the pipe and flange?



If I wanted to make a 3” raiser I would draw around the base and build a form and cast the riser with the flange in place and a PVC extension for the pipe built in. I think I would cast it from a product called cement-all.

Once you get it perfected you can start a cottage industry making and selling these. :coffee:

"One mans poop is another mans bread and butter!"
 

zannej

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Thanks bud. That's the toilet riser I'd been looking at but it's really only 22"L (details say so but package is 23). My toilet is 23-5/8" long so it would hang over more than an inch. There is a Toieltvator Grande but it's 28" (which is the total length of the whole toilet- bowl and all) so it would stick out too far. Plus it's over $150.

One of the toilet flanges has not even been installed yet, so when I rough it in, I can rough it in at a taller height. The other flange I can cut out, put in some pvc pipe to raise it up like when rough-in is being done in new construction, and then put the flange on once the riser is in place. I might want to put a moisture barrier/plastic under the flange to direct water out the back so it will be visible if it leaks. I can caulk around the riser at the bottom and then caulk around 3 sides of the toilet (so if there is a leak it will come out the back). I will water seal & paint the riser.

I want to make sure my toilet jack can fit around the riser as well. It should be able to if I make it close to the same shape/size as the toilet. The jack worked for my ADA height toilet as well as chair height and standard height.

For the guest bathroom I could go with the 3" riser and for my bathroom I could go with 2". Even 3-1/4" or 3-1/2" might work for my brother (guest bathroom) since he's taller.

I know people were saying it would be easier to buy something, but I want an excuse to use my tools! LOL. I think I'm getting a dowel kit for Xmas. Which brings me to figuring out the best way to tie this all together. I want it to be sturdy. I'm thinking nonslip mat secured to the bottom of the wood should help keep it from sliding, but I also want to anchor it somehow. Nothing too permanent in case I need to move it.

I will be using Better Than Wax seals instead of Wax.

The Toiletvator uses a wax seal underneath. I almost wonder how difficult it would be to order one of the flanges for the toiletvator or the other brand (I think it starts with an M and is rectangular instead of curved). The flange extenders stick to a wax ring on top of the old flange.

Thing is, I need to gut most of my DWV anyways because it's done all wrong. Nothing is vented properly, there are sanitary tees on their backs (where there should be wyes) and it's an ugly mess.

So, Bathroom 1 will be brand new with new plumbing, new floor, etc (being converted from a laundry room).
Other bathroom is old and plumbed wrong. They cut an entire section out of a floor joist for the tub's P-trap. My late plumber told me there used to be vents on things but the deadbeat tenants tore them out. So I need to fix it. I *think* there may be a vent in the wall that I can tap in to with the other plumbing, but I need to cut out a section of the wood paneling to look.

I do appreciate all feedback.

Friend is supposed to be helping me fix up some stuff this week on the water supply side.
 

Eddie_T

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With a taller toilet you will need a squatty potty stool.

Screenshot 2021-11-21 7.47.23 PM.png
 

zannej

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Eddie, good call. We already have the Squatty Potty. One of the reasons I wanted to have the platform curve at the front was to be able to fit the Squatty Potty. I forgot to mention that. I will be tracing the inside curve of the squatty potty as well as the outside curve of the toilet bowl base to make sure that the platform fits both. That's why I didn't want one of those Medline or whatever brand rectangular base units. Well, we have one of the squatty potty units. Can always get another. Mom doesn't like it so the one from her bathroom will go to the guest bathroom (since my brother bought it). I can either make my own or buy a pre-made one. The premade ones are nice.
 

Eddie_T

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I was going to make one and experimented with a sturdy cut-off cardboard box. When I got the height right I reinforced the box am still with it after four or more years. Oh well, maybe someday soon · · · haha, that reminded me of the song and I pulled it up on youtube.
 

zannej

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Hey, if it works, then that's good. Now I may try to make one out of cardboard. LOL. The materials are free.

Too bad cardboard won't work for the platform. Also too bad cement board is probably too brittle to stack up underneath a toilet as a platform.

On the plumbing forum they seem to be worried about the flange. But if I'm replacing flanges and running new plumbing for both bathrooms, I can raise the flanges up to the level of the platform. I'm not sure they are understanding that. Unless they are worried that the flange won't be sturdy since it will be in a platform, but I want to make the platform be like a floor in the shape of the toilet base just underneath the toilet.
 

Eddie_T

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Following your thought · · · make your base (glued and doweled) with enough angles to approximate your tracing, sit toilet on base and trace, saw on line with jigsaw or bandsaw. Frame inside to support the flange. If you want plywood on top it could be thinner as the frame would support the toilet.

Another approach if you have enough scrap wood. Cut your pattern from plywood, lay it on the floor or bench and layer up the perimeter by gluing and nailing pieces of scrap. Miters wouldn't have to be exact as long as exposed edges meet or can be filled.
 

zannej

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Thanks, Eddie. I was thinking of doing the landscaping timbers for the taller one-- ripped down so the sides will be flat instead of curved. There should be enough wood still there to trim it to the curve in the front. I plan to leave the front with maybe 1/8" to 1/4" lip to have a little wiggle room for the toilet. I'd rather cut it larger and then sand it down than cut it too small.

I don't really like to use plywood so much as it is more expensive than regular boards and I have more actual wood than I have plywood. The stacking thing gave me an idea. I can stack some of the boards I have to the height I want (after planing, sanding, etc) and glue & nail them together to make a wood sandwich & then cut them. I can the tablesaw to roughly trim around the general shape and then use the bandsaw for smaller more precise cuts. May even be able to use the jigsaw for some. Plywood can go on top. Although I can see if there are any 10" wide boards down there to cover the whole thing as the widest point of the toilet base is 9-1/4".

Hmm.. I wonder if it would be easier to just take ~10 wide boards and stack them and then cut out the hole in the middle for the flange... (assuming I can find the right boards). Then I can do the cuts in the front. I can do a template and cut & drill separately if the wood is too thick and then stack them together (after a dry fit) and smooth out the edges. I can still use dowels I suppose or I can nail/screw as well as glue them. I wonder how heavy that would be though...

What do you think?
 

Eddie_T

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I got this frame for my wife and got used to it. If I build a wooden stool that pulls out I will just have to allow clearance for the frame front lowers. The reinforced cardboard box is lightweight so I just set it aside.

 
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zannej

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Eddie, I've looked into those but none of them are really wide enough from what I've seen. Plus they would get in the way of the tp holders. I may eventually add a small grab bar in the wall next to mom's toilet though.

I've decided to cut a 2x12 in to 3 sections ~24 long. Two will be stacked on top of one another, glued together, then screwed together from the underside. I will caulk over the screw heads and water seal the bottom board (after everything is cut to size). There will be one 2" platform and another 3" platform. The shorter one will consist of a 2x12 and two 1x6s side by side and glued to the bottom piece with glue and screws. Both will be cut slightly larger than the size of the toilet (so I will cut outside the line on the template). Once they are all cut to size, sanded, etc, I will paint them. They will be drilled to the floor on top of the vinyl sheet and underneath where the toilet will sit. Screws will get caulked over and painted. Hole will be cut for flange (inside of hole will be painted). I'll caulk around the flange so no water can get under it. The reason for 2x12s is to give me a little extra wiggle room before I cut it off. It needs to be narrow enough for the toilet jack to fit around it. I'm debating whether or not to slightly countersink the flange but I don't think they have the right side spade bit for that. So having it sit on top should be fine so long as it doesn't stick up more than 1/8" or so.

Flange will be screwed to the platform (Frodo recommended brass screws) and toilet will be caulked around on 3 sides. Frodo also suggested that the back of the platform should butt up against the wall. I suspect to prevent water from going behind it and pooling. If I get it against the platform at that spot. I will leave the back of the toilet uncaulked so leaks can show.
 

Eddie_T

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The toilet jack is interesting but I can't find a rental in my small town. I think the last time I set a toilet I used several strips of wood as shims and did a gradual letdown. I picked up a Fluidmaster waxless seal which should make it easier.
 

Eddie_T

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BTW I didn't mean to imply that I was recommending the handrail frame. I was just pointing out that my stool design would have to take the bottom rails into account. I am saving a box that I plan to use for a prototype.
 

zannej

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Eddie, Ahh. That makes sense. Those rails look like they would get in the way of a squatty potty design. So the step wouldn't be able to wrap around the front of the toilet but would have to rest against those rails. I'd say a cutout for the rails might let it curve around the toilet, but that might weaken the support at the back of it.

I used plastic shims specifically for toilets last time. Hopefully won't need them if we get things set flush. I need to check my notes on the OD of a 4" pipe so I can make sure to cut a hole big enough for it. I plan to use 4" and reduce to 3" and the 4" will fit around the flange-- I don't want that lip of a 3" inside the flange just below the toilet. It will catch crap.
 

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