View Full Version : toilet flange removal

01-08-2013, 01:29 PM

In my master bath remodel, I'm planning on removing the old toilet flange and replacing it with a newer one. The house was built in the early 80s and looks like a metal flange glued to the ABS drain pipe. The flange sits inside the ABS pipe.

What is the best way to remove the old flange? I have access to the ABS drain from inside the floor. Is it easiest to just cut the ABS pipe below where the flange insert ends? Then add a coupling and new ABS pipe to reset the height for the new flange?

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Gary Swart
01-08-2013, 01:58 PM
In my non-professional view, you have the right idea. There are ways to remove a flange with special cutters, but where you have the access, cut and paste is a lot simpler. A few things to remember are if you have a 3" drain, you need a flange that fits on the outside of the pipe, not inside. The problem using an inside fitting flange is that this cuts the inside diameter down considerable and can cause a clogging problem. Just 'cause they make the inside fitting flanges doesn't mean they are OK. If your drain is 4", either inside or outside fits are OK. Flanges should have a metal ring not plastic. Flanges are intended to rest on top of the finished floor and be screwed clear through and into the sub floor. I like to use #12 stainless steel screws, (Yeah, SS is probably overkill, but a few cents at this point is worth it to me) A 12" rough-in measured from the finished wall (not base molding) to the center of the flange ( where the flange bolts are located) is standard in the industry. Toilets for 10" and 14" rough-ins are available in limited selection of style. Note: There is nothing wrong with a 3" sewer drain. This answer may be like telling you how to build a watch when you just asked for the time, but maybe it can save you from some common errors folks make.

01-08-2013, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the information. I haven't measured, but I believe I have a three inch drain. I'll check tonight when I get home. I'm going to have a tiled finish floor and I assumed I secured the flange to the subfloor and then used a flange extension to raise it to the height of the tile.

01-08-2013, 03:26 PM
A properly installed flange is installed on TOP of the FINISHED floor. Now, there are lots of them installed on the subflooring, but that's not how they are designed. Since some tile is very hard to drill without special tools, some find it easier to notch the tile before laying it down so you can then install the screws into the subflooring below. This provides the proper support for the rim of the flange and optimizes the wax seal. Too thick of a wax seal can have a 'blowout' if you get a clog and plunge it aggressively.

01-08-2013, 07:55 PM
Thanks for the feedback

Gary Swart
01-08-2013, 08:11 PM
Please refer to my first answer. I stated the flange should rest on top of the finished floor and then be anchored through the finished floor and into the sub floor. Do it right the first time and you'll save grief later.