When a toilet is replaced or reset after repairs, a few things need to be checked to make sure the seal is good and there are no leaks in the future.
You should ensure that the toilet sits properly and not rocking on the ground to eventually damage the seal.
A wax ring is used to seal toilets on the floor flange, but the flange height and its bolt tightness to the toilet can significantly affect the watertight ability of the seal.
Toilet Install Tips: Toilet Flange
Toilet flange is also called a closet flange, derived from the term “water closet,” and is the ring that sits beneath the toilet on the floor and extends to the drain pipe.
It typically consists of PVC material, but it can also be rubber or metal.
Check the Height of the Flange
The right flange height must be confirmed first before preparing your toilet installation.
When the toilet is removed, the toilet flange can be seen and measured from the floor.
Flange height from the floor is optimally 1/4 inch, to allow any kind of wax ring used to provide a proper seal.
If the bathroom flooring was changed or tiled recently, the flange height will also be affected.
To correct this, an extender can quickly and easily be added to the toilet flange.
Flange extenders are usually available in sizes of 1/2-inch and1/4-inch to increase the existing flange height accordingly.
Long bolts are also available with most flange extenders for use where the flange is below the level of the floor.
Toilet Install Tips: Secure the Toilet Bolts
The base of the toilet should be anchored firmly to the flange by two toilet bolts. These bolts stick right upward from the flange.
It is advisable to secure the closet bolts to the flange with a washer and nut from the top.
With this, the bolts will not be knocked over during the toilet installation as well as making it easier to take out the bolts when needed.
When buying a toilet or changing the wax ring, ensure it comes with spare washers and nuts, or even purchase an additional pack while at the store (they are quite cheap).
Toilet Install Tips: A flange extender must be securely bolted to the existing flange.
Position the Wax Ring and Toilet
Select the right size of wax ring. The one having a polyethylene plastic sleeve is great and suitable for most standard drains.
If the height of the floor flange is a little below 1/4 inch above the floor, a wax ring with extra thickness can be used.
Ensure not to join two wax rings to avoid leaks. It is much better to use an extra-thick wax ring or a flange extender.
- Position the wax ring on the flange, not the toilet
- Place the toilet properly with the bolts passing through the bolt holes
- Adjust the position of the toilet as required and push it down firmly
- Put the toilet down until its base rests evenly on the floor.
Toilet Install Tips: Sani Seal and other “waxless” toilet rings are only foam gaskets meant to replace traditional wax rings.
These good options can easily be reused if the toilet needs to be replaced or repositioned.
Wax rings, on the other hand, cannot be reused when compressed by the toilet.
Adjust the Toilet Level
Before bolting down the toilet, carefully rock it from front to back and side to side to confirm that the toilet base is steady.
It will rock if the base does not sit flat properly, and likely leak as time goes by.
If it rocks, you can solve this by placing shims between the floor and toilet base before bolting.
The position and quantity of toilet shims you’ll need will differ, depending on the floor and toilet.
Shimming the toilet before it is bolted will help secure it over time.
Confirm that the toilet isn’t rocking and bolt it firmly with a washer and nut on each bolt.
WARNING: Ensure not to over-tighten the nuts and washers on the base of the toilet so as to avoid cracks on the toilet.
Caulk the Toilet Base
Use a utility knife to remove any part of the shims sticking out, and apply silicone caulk around the toilet base.
This will provide added protection against rocking over time and make the toilet base easier to clean since detritus and dust will not settle underneath the toilet.
You can also leave the area behind the base with no caulk so that you can detect any leaks at the floor from the toilet.