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Thread: Tile floor slopes and toilet rocks on flange

  1. #1

    Default Tile floor slopes and toilet rocks on flange

    We built a bathroom addition on a concrete slab. We also installed a heated floor which entailed fastening heating elements (wire) on the floor and then floating the floor with something (I don't know what was used) to cover the heating elements so that tile could be installed.

    At this point the agent used to float the floor was not fluid enough and it did not level the floor. It slopes downward from the wall. As it is now for the toilet to be properly attached to the flange the front of the toilet has to be shimmed up about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. And, the flange has broken once already and is now broken again allowing the toilet to move.

    I have searched this forum for a similar problem but haven't found the same set of circumstances. I obviously don't want to tear out a tile floor. Can the pvc flange that is glued to the drain be removed and another device reinstalled at an angle that will make it level with the unlevel floor (I hope that makes sense)? This would allow the toilet, although unlevel, to be attached properly to the new replacement flange and sit flush with the floor all the way around which would look a whole lot better as well.

    If the old flange is removed another will not fit into the drain as the old insert will either still be in there or a new one may not extend down far enough to properly attach to the drain. Is a different sort of pvc flange made for this problem? Thank up front for your thoughts and advice.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you need to secure the bolts, something like a repair ring drilled into the concrete should do that.
    You can have the bowl pointing downward, it does mean that more water stays in the bowl before it is flushed out.
    That's better than having the end of the bowl high, and leaving little water in the bowl.
    You do have to get rid of the rocking.
    If you do wind up shimming more in the front, then some people use caulk or grout.
    I wouldn't try to shim it at 1/2" though, that is a lot.
    I would lean it some to reduce the amount of shim.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    1/2" - 3/4"

    Maybe set that puppy in grout!

    Personally I'd fix the floor...
    Last edited by Redwood; 06-21-2008 at 10:15 AM.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Anything less than fixing the floor will be a Handyman's Special. It will never be right and will be prone to problems forever.

  5. #5

    Default I would have to tear out the whole

    tile travertine floor to fix it. Fixing just the floor directly around the toilet would then cause some tiles to be raised above others and that would really look bad, plus at 1/2 inch a toe jamming would be coming. Cabinets and tub are already in as well which would also make this difficult. That seems a little drastic if another, although less than optimum, solution will work.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Why don't you post a picture...
    Toilet mounted...
    &
    Flange with toilet removed...

    We need to see whats wrong.
    As for fixing it... Whatever is needed is better than what you have now!
    This is one of those Shoulda cases.

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Anything less than fixing the floor will be a Handyman's Special. It will never be right and will be prone to problems forever.
    Not necessarily so.

    I recently installed a toilet on a not-perfectly-flat concrete floor in my basement, and the base rocked diagonally just a bit when I first sat it down. To resolve that dilemma, I carefully sat the base in place and marked its footprint on the floor, then sat it aside and cut out a little tile until the base could sit flat on the floor at the time of final installation.

    In your case, I would do about the same by cutting away tile until the back of the base was sitting all the way down on the concrete and the front was sitting on tile, then grout and seal the base in place after replacing the flange. But before you do anything like that, make sure your heating wire was held back completely away from the base of the toilt as it should have been.

    Also, bolts that are not over-tightened do not break flanges.

  8. #8

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    Thanks Lee, you have given me something to chew on. It just might work. Will have to investigate a bit tomorrow. Thank you.

  9. #9
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Also, I just noticed the title of this thread says the toilet is rocking on the flange.

    I have always heard the flange should sit on top of the finished floor, but the installation instructions that came in the box with a new toilet I recently purchased said the flange should be flush with the finished floor. Whichever might be best, there definitely needs to be some wax-ring space between the flange and the bottom of the bowl base, and it sounds like whatever you do will have to include addressing that matter.

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Also, I just noticed the title of this thread says the toilet is rocking on the flange.

    I have always heard the flange should sit on top of the finished floor, but the installation instructions that came in the box with a new toilet I recently purchased said the flange should be flush with the finished floor. Whichever might be best, there definitely needs to be some wax-ring space between the flange and the bottom of the bowl base, and it sounds like whatever you do will have to include addressing that matter.
    So the instruction that you recently saw are in effect saying there is no bearing whether there is linoleum, 1/4" thick tile. 1/2" thick tile, or even a 3/4" hardwood floor applied over this sub-floor and the success of the wax ring to seal.

    Sounds like a set of instructions whose main use should be recycling or, fuel to me!

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member mrjetskey's Avatar
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    After retiling any bathroom I always set the toilet on top of tile,with the tiles cut leaving a 1/2" around the flange,I then seal all the tiles and floor if it is wood with a good layer of silicone,If needed I use an extender ring,But by setting toilet on top of tile you can level it perfect,by sealing floor and tiles under toilet with silicone ,that keeps any leaks from going un-noticed as after you set toilet in place,silicone btm of toilet base to tile all around leaving a 1/2" gap in back,this way if your ring ever starts leaking you can tell as the water will run out the gap behind toilet base you left un siliconed.and no floor or adjacent rooms or ceilings if its upstairs will ever be wet.Thats why you silicone the floor and all tiles around the flange before you set toilet down.I have toilets set over 25yrs with this method ,yet to have one leak without being seen quickly and causing no damage.Of course this is only my un-solicited opinion ,but it does work effectively,and allows toilets to be perfectly level with no rocking motion,just shim toilet with flat stainless shims,I use old boat or jetski engine mounting shims, about 2.5"X1.5" layed flat under low side of toilet.DO not use the toilet bolts to level toilet you will crack toilet or break flanges if you overtighten, If toilet is level there should be no movement when sitting on it ,even before snugging toilet bolts DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN them or you will continue to practice setting toilet over and over !!!>Marvin

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjetskey View Post
    After retiling any bathroom I always set the toilet on top of tile,with the tiles cut leaving a 1/2" around the flange,I then seal all the tiles and floor if it is wood with a good layer of silicone,If needed I use an extender ring,But by setting toilet on top of tile you can level it perfect,by sealing floor and tiles under toilet with silicone ,that keeps any leaks from going un-noticed as after you set toilet in place,silicone btm of toilet base to tile all around leaving a 1/2" gap in back,this way if your ring ever starts leaking you can tell as the water will run out the gap behind toilet base you left un siliconed.and no floor or adjacent rooms or ceilings if its upstairs will ever be wet.Thats why you silicone the floor and all tiles around the flange before you set toilet down.I have toilets set over 25yrs with this method ,yet to have one leak without being seen quickly and causing no damage.Of course this is only my un-solicited opinion ,but it does work effectively,and allows toilets to be perfectly level with no rocking motion,just shim toilet with flat stainless shims,I use old boat or jetski engine mounting shims, about 2.5"X1.5" layed flat under low side of toilet.DO not use the toilet bolts to level toilet you will crack toilet or break flanges if you overtighten, If toilet is level there should be no movement when sitting on it ,even before snugging toilet bolts DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN them or you will continue to practice setting toilet over and over !!!>Marvin
    Is there no end to the people that glue toilets down with Silicone RTV!

  13. #13
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    So the instruction that you recently saw are in effect saying there is no bearing whether there is linoleum, 1/4" thick tile. 1/2" thick tile, or even a 3/4" hardwood floor applied over this sub-floor and the success of the wax ring to seal.
    No, the instructions clearly say flush with the *finished* floor, and a standard wax ring came along in the box.

    However, I already had my flange on *top* of the finished floor, of course, and I got anxious for a moment when I first sat the base in place and it did not go all the way down to the floor ... then I realized it was sitting on the plug I had not yet knocked out of the flange.

    Whew!

  14. #14
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Is there no end to the people that glue toilets down with Silicone RTV!
    I used a cheap painter's caulk so mop water will not seep in under the toilet from the outside.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Yep... Much better than Silicone RTV... Its not fun to remove a toilet that has been glued down with Silicone RTV... Exspecially when there has been a backup

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