any know of a plumbing forum like this??? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-05-2007, 07:32 PM
well, all the tile is in and it was a learning experience to be sure. †hanks to all the helpful advice from everyone here!

Now, I'm getting estimates on installing all the gas appliances, sinks, toilets etc and the prices plumbers charge for "simple" jobs is crazy. $140 to hook up a pedestal sink-- and I"M the one attaching it to the wall?? I don't think so...

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANY GOOD PLUMBING FORUMS SIMILAR TO THIS ONE? I'd like to take a crack at the simpler stuff like installing the pedestal sink and toilet in my half bath and the simple sink drain hook ups...

:bow: :bow:

thanks again!

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03-05-2007, 08:05 PM

Brian in San Diego
03-05-2007, 08:13 PM

You can ask those questions here as well. Many people here have the expertise to help you with those problems. I'm not a plumber by trade, but can do anything a plumber could do in my home...except many roto-router the sewer line...don't have the equipment.


03-05-2007, 09:00 PM
There is also The site forum format isnt as nice as this, but there are some good pro's offering plenty of assistance.

Good luck!

03-05-2007, 09:15 PM
A pedestal sink can be a pain. $140 isn't very much in the scheme of things. ALthough, you can probably do this yourself.

Everything has to be just so for a pedestal sink to look good - the drain has to be just so, and the shutoffs. Anchoring the pedestal to the floor means probaby diamond bits, and containing a mess. So, go it on your own with guidance, or pay someone to do it (hopefully) right in a short time.

03-05-2007, 09:39 PM
What kind of pedestal sink are you installing? I just put in a Kohler, which required me to move my plumbing...all in all it wasnt too bad and this was my first plumbing project and I did it all myself...with the help from the pros at,295217

03-06-2007, 11:26 AM
Terry Love's is prolly the best I've seen, as long as you don't say anything bad about Toto. :x:

(and I don't mean the 4-legged one)

03-06-2007, 12:02 PM
plumbers and electricians are a very protective crowd. Spend 4 years of your life as an indentured servant just to hange out a shingle that says plumber and you get an idea of why that is so. The guys I work with have more education than attornys and are ten times more valuable. DWV is nothing to take lightly sewar gas is more than just smelly. As far as I,m concerned diyselfers can accomplish minor plumber tasks easily. Electricity on the other hand is deadly.
It's one thing to flood your house with water another to burn it to the ground in a matter of minutes due to a loose wire.
post some peramiters of your sink and we can walk you through it.
your plumbers price is a steal, sounds like an independant plumbers pricing.
if its his company and you are a repeat customer it will pay back in spades when you need him for some thing over your head.

03-06-2007, 02:40 PM
Ditto for the two sites mentioned already.

I will also agree that many specialty sites (like plumbing and electrical) have some members that are overly protective of their trade. I've seen many a thread devolve into "it's illegal to do that anywhere" or "you'll flood/burn your house down unless you hire a pro" etc.

Of course for every one of those, there are usually a dozen others that are happy to help.

Which makes this place the ultimate exception. Dozens of people waiting to help with no exceptions!

My DIY rule of thumb is this: if I can get educated to the point I am comfortable, I'll do it. If not, I hire a pro. Small plumbing and electrical: DIY. Medium tile jobs: DIY. Run a new gas line for the dual-fuel stove: hire a pro. New siding/windows/roof: hire a pro.

Everyone's tolerance for risk (and mistakes) is different.

Finally: I agree, that price is really good for installing a pedestal sink.

good luck.

Tool Guy - Kg
03-06-2007, 10:33 PM
Hi Donna,

$140 for the plumbing portion of a pedestal is about right for around these parts. That's for a licensed plumber that's already doing something else in the house. If they came just for the pedestal, add another $60. long as you don't say anything bad about Toto. :x::yeah: That's pretty funny, Art. :nod:

03-07-2007, 10:20 PM
Quote:Originally Posted by sandbagger long as you don't say anything bad about Toto. That's pretty funny, Art. you think I'm kidding? I wish.

About a year ago Terry ran a "poll" on his site asking Toto toilet owners if they would buy another one. Silly me - I thought he actually wanted real answers. When I said "no" someone asked why - so I posted a detailed account of the problems with the toilet and Toto customer service. I came back a few days later to find that I was locked out of the forum. The "poll" was also gone. :wtf:

What was really annoying though was that there had been nothing from the mods, and all attempts to contact them were ignored. Kinda like Toto customer service, now that I think about it. :mad:

Tool Guy - Kg
03-07-2007, 10:22 PM
Humor is in the truth. I didn't think you were kidding. :shake:

Terry Love
03-08-2007, 12:37 PM
You just can't let things go, someone asks about pedestal lavs, and now you're going on and on bout your toilet.

I've installed a few other brands that gave me grief, but I don't need to tell everyone about it,

Well, maybe I do.
How about the Koher Memoirs toilets that had big pegs on the bottom of the bowl, and you couldn't get it to set flat on the floor. It was like a rocking horse.

Stuff like that doesn't always happen, but stuff does happen.
A defect can be found in any product.

I sell about three thousand toilets a year, all brands, and I also service all brands.
From my viewpoint, I just couldn't get a grip on what you were even talking about.
I will say that from personal experience, that of all the brands I sell and work on, the Toto has been the most trouble free.
But if you got one you're not happy with, well, it could happen.

Most of the time, and remember, I'm in that business, I'm very happy all the time.
Right now, I'm looking at he sun, and lifes pretty darn good.

Now on the pedestal sink install, they take much more time to install, than dropping a replacement lav into a countertop.
I like to figure at least two hours for the job. Some pricing books consider it a three hour job.
You mentioned that the pedestal would be mounted to the wall by you, that doesn't change too much, most of the time, the leg needs to be removed to get to the drain.
Getting the lav top secured to the wall can be done several ways,
Sometimes I use toggle bolts
If there is solid wood behind there, I sometimes use "coach screws", wood screw on one end and threaded bolt on the other.
It is rare that I can use the screws that come with the pedestal lavs.
I like to caul the leg to the floor, and the lav top to the wall when I'm done.
Most pedestals are being installed with the 8" center faucets, and they take more time too.

If the pedestal lav is against tile, then I think clear looks better.

03-08-2007, 01:01 PM
:topicoff: I didn't know you were a member here, Terry. Glad to have your expertise on board.

And, by the way, I love my TOTO! It's a one-piece ADA height model. We've lost our downstairs plunger, and we don't care.

03-08-2007, 03:04 PM
Here's a 4th positive referral for Terry Love. I have JB and TL both bookmarked. I stop into both b4 morning coffee every day (read, I need a life).

As they are here, the pros there are extremely generous and helpful with their knowledge.

Like here, though, yr best off first searching for your question and then searching again bkz chances are someone's asked it before.

Good luck.

03-08-2007, 03:44 PM
I play at several different recreational and professional boards...I aint never seen anything like this one; the traffic is mind blowing.

Terry's board would be my goto plumbing board.

BTW I can't imagine buying anything but a Toto after my experience with them...well except for the compost toilet in my cabin.

$140 for a ped sink install sounds like a deal after some of the installs I've been through. Sounds like Sandbagger might have ponied up that sum to have that durn Toto set up too :smash:

John Bridge
03-08-2007, 04:21 PM
Pedestal sinks are a pain from rough to finish, especially when folks want the angle stops behind the pedestal, which is just about always. :D

I've set a few Totos. I like the seat that goes down slowly when you try to close it. :D

I think they are good toilets, and not just because Terry is a dealer.

The pic was taken in Terry's back yard a couple years ago. :)

03-08-2007, 04:42 PM
Sounds like Sandbagger might have ponied up that sum to have that durn Toto set up too Actually, Paul, the toilet flushes just fine. In fact, it's the best flushing toilet I've ever seen - just like the data on Terry's site said it would be. :tup2:

The issue was/is with the extra-cost Sanagloss finish in the bowl. It either doesn't work or mine is defective - the bowl requires much more frequent cleaning than the 10-yr old cheapo it replaced. :complain:

03-08-2007, 05:56 PM
> I've set a few Totos. I like the seat that goes down slowly when you try to close it.

Love my toto, love the slow seat. Only problem is that now when I'm elsewhere I forget and just flick the seat with my finger and it comes crashing down. These should be required by law!

- DL

03-08-2007, 06:17 PM
That's funny Don. I just did the same thing today. We have a TOTO downstairs, but the main bathroom does not. Slam!

I'm surprised women haven't elected Terry Love for president for promoting a toilet that has trained men to put the seat down. :yeah:

03-08-2007, 10:22 PM
These should be required by law! Whoa now! Don't give the folks who now want to legislate how you cook your food any ideas. :bonk:

btw - Kohler now has their own entry in the "soft-close" seat market. One neat feature of the Kohler seat is a quick-release latch at each bolt so you can slide the whole seat off for cleaning, then right back on without messing with the seat bolts. :tup2:

03-08-2007, 10:26 PM
a toilet that has trained men to put the seat down.

Another urban legend......... :rolleyes:


03-09-2007, 09:11 AM
John and Terry,

Many thanks to you both for your great websites and forums. They help many a people get out of (and sometimes into :D ) a lot of trouble!
03-10-2007, 03:47 PM
thanks for all the advice. I'd never heard of toto toilets. are they expensive? my plumber wants to put in Kohler. I don't care as long as they work. Havent had toilets in the house in 15 months so I'll take anything at this point. lol

what are angle stops (for pedestal sinks?) I just bought a cheapo sink and pedestal at the Home depot---which design/looks wise was the nicest one (i like clean and uncomplicated lines) and its held up by the pedestal and 2 bolts into the wall. i made sure to put ample 2x4 support at that spot behind the wall before I closed the walls up. I'm going to hang it on the wall and all the plumber will have to do is the p=-trap and screw in the 2 hoses that I've alreay attached. and still wants to charge 140..... but thats better than the 250 he originally wanted to charge cuz its a pedestal.

ah well. i think i've spent more this month than in the last 5 between the countertops, cultured marble and the plumber. but then I've saved 10's of thousands doing everything else myself. i keep remindng myself of that.

donna in new orleans

03-10-2007, 04:16 PM

TOTO toilets are pricey as toilets go, but I judged it to be worth it.

Angle stops: I think John was referring to shutoff valves that have a 90 degree bend. Texas has different words for things.:D

03-10-2007, 04:36 PM
> ... held up by the pedestal and 2 bolts into the wall.

Pedestal sinks are not supported by the pedestal but by the wall. Normally you leave a gap (up to 1/4") between the pedestal and the sink, then chaulk.

btw, if you're doing the hard part (hanging the sink) surely you can handle screwing on a couple hoses and the drain yourself - this is the easy part.

Toto toilets are no more expensive than Kohler and imo function much better.

- DL

03-11-2007, 11:56 AM
Donna - Toto is a major player in the plumbing business, but you won't find them at a box store like Kohler. In spite of my own issues with the company, I think they basically make a good product. I'll have to disagree with Don on pricing, however - in my experience Toto generally runs noticeably higher than Kohler. Maybe he's just got more competition in the Northwest than I do. :shrug:

But Kohler also makes good products, and they've pretty much closed the flush performance gap with Toto with their new models. And they may be ahead in water conservation options. if your plumber is a "Kohler guy" I'd go with Kohler. He's the guy you're gonna call if there is a problem, and he's much more likely to be able to give you good service and parts on a product he installs on a regular basis. You're not just buying a toilet when you pay a plumber to do the work. It's the same reason you don't ask a Chevy dealer to work on your Ford. :gerg:

We just put in a Kohler Cimarron to go along with our Toto Drake. So far we're pleased, but unfortunately haven't had it long enough to give a fair comparison of the two.

be sure to get Kohler's new soft-close seat! :yeah:

John Bridge
03-11-2007, 12:18 PM
Hi Donna,

Angle stops are indeed the shut-off valves that come out of the wall under a sink of any sort. Pedestal sinks are often roughed in with the stops one above the other so they are concealed behind the pedestal. It's not the easiest arrangement to accomplish and it's difficult when it comes to the final connections . . . but it does look much better than having the stops out to the sides. :)

Oh, and it's not a Texas thing. the term "angle stop" is fairly universal. :)

03-11-2007, 12:22 PM
> have to disagree with Don on pricing


Two piece:
Kohler, $143 to $1373
Toto, $153 to $476

One piece:
Kohler, $272 to $2472
Toto, $311 to $821

Note that Kohler hits a littler further into the "cheap" end but these are ones that have had a particularly bad reputation white Toto's low end still has a pretty good rep.

I put Kohlers into my previous house and was not happy with them - they often required a second flush and occasionally a plunger, and I hold a grudge :) But they weren't as bad as the American Standards in my current home that I just replaced with Toto's.

Who calls a mechanic (plumber) for toilet problems? Worst that happens is every 10 years or so you replace the guts with a kit. Takes all of a monkey wrench and a few minutes. Only downside I can see with Toto is that your local supply house may not have the kit and you have to order it online. If a few days is really that critical (eg only one toilet in house) I'd just order a kit to begin with and keep it on hand.

- DL

03-11-2007, 12:43 PM
Here's a picher of the ones I recently used. Brasscraft is made in the USA and Homer carries them. Lowes (at least mine) only has the cheap junk from China. I really like the 1/4-turn models. 2 toilets and a lav sink so far. :yeah:
03-13-2007, 01:47 AM
thanks for the explanation of "angle stops". I had those put in when I had all the galvanized pipes replaced while the walls were still out. Because they changed it all, the pvc drain pipes coming out of the walls are uncut and i don't want to screw em up so that's why i have the plumber doing them. once they're in, when they fail in the future I will change them, but for the first hook up, i'd prefer they were 'done right'.

i don't care if the shut off's show behind the pedestal as long as i have a working sink. I will NEVER take running water for granted again!!!

i've done every thing else in the house---just not the plumbing. I hate it. too much time under nasty sinks and in dark cabinets etc.

i guess i will take my chances on the Kohlers. nothing will live up to my 40 year old Eljers. I should have saved the white one when I demo'd the house. the blue one HAD to go though.

i' m going to look into toto now that i'm thinking about it. do they have a website?


03-13-2007, 02:19 AM
Donna, I'd suggest you check out the following sites: - It can be a bit hard to find stuff on Terry's site - I'd suggest specifically: - and check out the owner comments. - toilet discussion forums (online retailer with good prices and free shipping - hint, shop on the weekend and get additional 10% off)

Whatever you do, stay away from the toilets with a pressure tank. Our neighbor had a Kohler burst while he was away and it leaked 60,000 gallons and caused over $100,000 damage to the house.

- DL

03-13-2007, 03:53 PM

Terry's site has a lot of good info on toilet performance - it's a good resource. In fact, there is a table on Don's second link that lists a number of different toilets and some comparative data. You can see that at 800 grams of flush the Kohler Cimarron rivals the best of Toto. And like Kohler, not all Toto's are created equal. Terry's forums are helpful in many ways, but don't expect to read about bad experiences with Toto. :shake:

Like Don I too was not too impressed with Kohler toilets of just a few years ago - I had one. But I can tell you that my new Kohler Cimarron is a vast improvement. :tup2:

Since you tend to hire out your plumbing, I'd suggest a little homework on Toto. Ask around and see how well the products are supported in your area. Toto does not support all geographic areas equally. The Northwest is obviously well-supported. Southern AZ is not. I can't speak to NO, but I can tell you there are only two retailers in your area.

(Two years ago there were 4 Toto retailers in Tucson, plus a DirectBuy outlet. Today there is ONE retailer, and the local DirectBuy will not accept Toto orders. Primary problem is delivery. Not a very consumer-friendly trend.)

oh, and ask your plumber about installing these ( . Even a Toto can leak. ;)

03-13-2007, 04:53 PM
I doubt TOTO would even apologize for their lack of residential distribution. It's really not their primary focus. And yet, they've managed to become the largest plumbing products manufacturer in the world. Were it not for Terry's site, I would not know about them.

03-13-2007, 06:04 PM
> Were it not for Terry's site, I would not know about them.

Me too. But the local plumbing store nearby carries them as does one big box store (not chain) in Eugene, but they only carry one or two models out of the many available - others are special order. I bought mine from homeclick as it was cheaper and free shipping. Like I said before, I don't see local support as a big issue - I've never had a toilet "break", only start "running", and this gives you time to order an internal kit online.

- DL

03-13-2007, 10:52 PM
I don't see local support as a big issue - because you've never needed to use it. Granted, one doesn't often think about "customer support" when talking toilets, but even Terry acknowledged that "defects happen." Murphy's Law and all that stuff. When you need it it won't be there. I've dealt with both Kohler and Toto in the last year. It could well be different in the Northwest, but in AZ "Residential distribution" isn't the only thing Toto doesn't focus on. :shake:

03-14-2007, 02:26 AM
Well I can understand if you had to order online and got a defective one it'd be a pain but what's the chances of this, although I remember reading one story (in Terry's forum iirc) of someone going thru 3 or 4 Kohlers before getting one that wasn't defective.

But once it's in, if my plumber threw up his hands and said "I can't work on a Toto", I'd fire him or do it myself. Twelve years ago I bought my first Infinity (car) but hesitated because there's only one dealer in Oregon, 3 hours drive away. But guess what, local mechanics have no problems working on it and it only takes 1 day to get parts. So a couple years later I bought a second Infinity with no worry about "local support".

Just noticed that Bill Gates has a Toto - what better recommendation could you want - richest man in the world :devil: chose Toto. BTW I'm aware of your issue with Sanagloss - I chose to not pay the extra as I considered it a marketing gimmick. Who gives a rat's ass if nanotechnology lets less bacteria grow - unlike Borat I don't drink out of the toilet anyway (only my cats) and I lived 7 years with an outhouse with no probs. Maybe you just need to eat less PB :shrug:

- DL

03-14-2007, 05:07 AM
Bill Gates used to drive a Ford Taurus too. I guess he could afford to stockpile extra transmissions. :lol2:

I don't ever expect to need them, but my local plumbing supply store is run by a very reputable family that I've known for years, back in my NW Indiana days. They sell TOTOs, but they don't stock any locally.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with the old Eljer high water volume model I removed. Anyone who wants it can come and get it.

03-14-2007, 09:58 AM
Just noticed that Bill Gates has a Toto - what better recommendation could you want you're asking a Mac user? (a switcher at that) :D

glad to see you got wise to the Sanagloss thing early.

Dan - the sole remaining Toto supplier in Tucson is also a family business. It's a good place to do do business, and they told me flat out last year they wouldn't sell any Toto that wasn't a regular stock item - no special orders. They even started calling certain colors "East Coast" because delivery was taking months, if they got it at all, so they used that naming scheme to deflect interest.

I remembered something else last night I didn't care for on my Toto. The base is VERY long, and mine is hard against the base of the wall behind it. I even had to trim the molding a little. So the back of the base is not caulked and any leak is going to go straight to the drywall. :mad:

I wish I could give a performance comparison of the Kohler and Toto, but the Kohler is too new. Ask me again in 6 months.

03-14-2007, 10:29 AM
Sandbagger, I bought a Toto Drake ADA and an American Standard Cadet 3 because I heard rave reviews about the latter so I will be able to come back and give my feedback on both. I did read about your experience with interest though, thanks :tup1:

03-14-2007, 11:00 AM
> nothing wrong with the old Eljer high water volume model

Dan - I've got Briggs 3.6 gallon models in my office building and they work fine too, but the AS's and Kohler's that worked awful were also 3.6 gallon models.

> you're asking a Mac user?

Art, haven't switched yet but I did stick a :devil: by him.

- DL

Rob Z
03-14-2007, 06:31 PM
We have installed many dozens of the Kohler Cimarrons since the model debuted several years ago (I don't recall exactly when). We haven't had a single problem and my customers all seem to like them.

I can't say the same about other Kohler products. :( :mad:

03-14-2007, 06:51 PM
From what Eddie tells me, you oughta know, spend half the day on one. :D

Terry Love
03-14-2007, 07:23 PM
I've used both the Cimarron and the Drake, and the Ultramax, and the Ultimate, Soiree, Dalton, Aquia, Briggs Vaucuity, Cadet pressure assist, Gerber Ultraflush, Eljer Aqua Saver with PF/2 pressure assist, Eljer Titan, Mansfield Alto, Vortens pressure assist 1.0 GPF, Cadet 1.6, Western Pottery, Kohler Wellworth 3.5, Crane, Caroma, just to name a few.

I gather comments from people all day long, from all over.
Here is a poll I did on the Sanagloss, which I find to work well.
I'm installing another Toto Ultramax with Sanagloss tomorrow for a customer in Issaquah with bad water that already has two that I had installed last month.

Sanagloss Poll (

What I noticed about the Cimarron, was no bowl wash at the back of the bowl, and that it would plug for some people.
My younger brother was laughing at me one day saying

"Hey, that Toto plugs on me, Ha!"

I laughed too, and said,

"You didn't really look I guess, we installed a Kohler Cimarron for testing in that bathroom."

Seems my son and younger brother had problems with the Cimarron.
If you notice that trapway, it goes flat at the base, and then has to make a sharp 90 bend before it leaves.
Same type of trapway bend on the Santa Rosa that I replaced for a customer in Kirkland. She wound up with Ultramax toilets with Sanagloss.
It's too bad the Drake ADA doesn't come in Sanagloss yet, they only have that in the standard height elongated.

Funny thing is, I only sold seven Kohlers last year, but had more than my share of problems with them. Way too many to want to push them.
I sold about 3,000 of the Toto with very little effort.

Toto factories have been running three shifts from what I hear, and expanding production even beyond that.
Which reminds me, I'm looking for local to the Seattle area tile contractors that I can refer out. If you are in the Seattle area, give me a call and I can get you on my list.
Terry 206-949-5683

03-15-2007, 11:17 AM
First one comes to mind is right in Seattle, Jerry.

And Shaughnn, I don't think he has a website yet.