Flange Too Tall
Our second-hand home's builder set the 4 toilet flanges to accommodate a 5/8- inch ceramic/marble tile floors. Evidently the original owners experienced some cost overruns and decided to cut corners by opting for 1/4-inch composite tiles. Therefore the flanges are about 3/8-inches above the floor. Are there any reasonable options to raise the toilets to meet the flanges or will I be stuck with tearing out the floors and having a plumber cut and fit new flanges? I have shimmed the toilets but this is a stop-gap measure at best.
Thanks in advance for your advice and wisdom,
3/8" shouldn't be a issue.
Are you using regular wax rings, or are you trying to stuff the ring with horn in there?
Try setting the bowl down without any wax to see if it drops over the flange. If that works, pull it back up and use a single wax without the plastic funnel.
Depending on the geometry of the specific toilet that goes over the flange, if you do happen to end up with a rocking toilet and if other suggestions don't resolve the problem, you might try this:
1) Procure some sanded grout that matches the grout on your floor.
2) Clean the underside edge of the toilet where it meets the floor.
3) Re-seat the toilet with a new wax ring and with wax paper on the floor under the perimeter of the foot print.
4) Grout the gap between the floor (on top of the wax paper) and the underside edge of the toilet around the perimeter.
5) When the grout starts to set, cut or tear away the wax paper.
Are you saying the bottom of the flange is 3/8 above the finished floor, or that the top is? The flange should go on top of the finished floor, so if the top of the flange is 3/8" above the finished floor, that's practically-ideal. If the bottom of the flange is 3/8" above the finished floor, as Terry points out, when you dry-fit it the toilet, it still shouldn't be resting on the flange. If it is rocking when you dry-fit it, make sure it isn't an issue of the floor not being level; don't assume it's resting on the flange, because it probably is not. Then follow Terry's recommendations above about which wax ring to use.
Depending on the exact geometry, it is often possible to use an internal pipe cutter and remove and then rebuild the flange and riser so it is in the proper place without tearing up the floor or ceiling below (if there is one!). They also make a special drill bit to ream out a socket so you can cement in a new piece of pipe during the rebuild. If your toilets can sit on the floor without rocking on the flange, put some spacers underneath and then screw it down well. Remember, the flange is what holds the toilet in place, and the flange needs to be rock solid.
As a last resort, they make a rectangular plastic "surround" that fits around the high flange and the toilet sits on it To fill the gap between the toilet and the floor. The type of flange and pipe would determine how hard, or easy, it would be to lower the flange.
If you have the tools, you could use a template following router bit and a piece of something like Plexiglass and rout a perfect riser for the toilet. Use the bottom of the toilet as your template.