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Dear Ed: We just moved into a home with a very small powder room for one of the bathrooms. The toilet in this powder room has a short toilet bowl to allow the door to swing open. I would like a longer bowl toilet installed. Is it possible to fit a longer bowl toilet in this tight space?

— Betty, Alabama

Dear Betty: Well, the short answer is yes, there may be a solution. Basically, there’s two types of toilet bowls, and here are the differences. The first is an elongated toilet bowl. Elongated bowls (EB for short) look egg-shaped because they are a little longer. Most people like the longer bowls for the extra comfort.

But for tight spaces, round-front toilet bowls are commonly used because they are a little shorter.

In your case, it appears the longer bowl will not fit because the door may hit the new toilet. So, the solution can be a new third-style option for toilet bowls. It’s called a compact-elongated toilet, and like the name says it’s a longer bowl designed into a shorter footprint that should fit the space of a round-front toilet.

Just note that compact-elongated toilets usually are a higher-end item. So, unlike a compact car, a compact toilet can cost more than the standard models.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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