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Thread: leveling material for toilet

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    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Default leveling material for toilet

    I have to level some toilets on non-flat surfaces. I know what to do, but I have a materials question.

    I am going to shim it level and fill the voids with either grout or morter; remove the shims, and fill spaces with the same material; caulk.

    Which is stronger - grout or morter? Plaster of paris was also suggested.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Just shim it then caulk. If you do decide to use grout, as long as there's enough depth by the shim, grout over it. Note, depending on the grout you use and the tile, you may never get the toilet up without breaking something...polyseamseal works well, I've read. Instead of buying shim material...coins work well...just don't use a steel penny! None of the current production US coins will rust, and that gives you a variety of thicknesses with no special trip to the store.

    Last edited by Terry; 03-14-2009 at 06:36 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Thank you.

    But which material is strongest?

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    Can someone please answer the question of the relative strength of grout and mortar?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Mortar is more porous than typical grount. It depends on the type you use. A medium bed mortar has more sand in it than a thinset mortar. A modified mortar is more flexible than a dryset mortar.

    An unsanded grout cannot be installed if the gap exceeds 1/8", but a typical sanded grout can be used in quite large gaps. A grout is designed to be a finished surface, mortar is not (at least the type used with tile). A thinset mortar, both modified and unmodified, would be difficult to clean or seal, if you wished to try. I think you're better off with a caulk, but that's your choice. You've got a chance of getting caulk off, you might not with either grout or mortar, making it difficult to impossible to either replace or repair the toilet (or even reset it easily).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member Eudmin's Avatar
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    I leveled the toilet that I installed with some coins and then filled in the gaps along the bottom with some epoxy-based sanded grout. It's a slate tile floor, so it already had a bunch of sanded grout. It was pretty easy to get a nice clean line of grout by washing it with vinegar water. My caulk lines never look as nice as that grout does because caulk is so sticky, but the grout was easy.

    I expect the sanded epoxy grout to be extremely hard and not as crumbly as regular grout, and accept the fact that it might be really hard to properly seat the toilet again if I ever need to replace the gasket. 8)

    Mortar looks crappy. It's not made to be seen, but I guess you won't see either the grout or mortar if you're going to then caulk over it. It seems like if the choice is between grout and mortar you'd want to go with a grout that will get really hard because you're talking about forcing it into a gap between the toilet and the floor, then cleaning off the excess. That has sanded grout written all over it. It's designed to be cleaned off a finished surface after being forced into a crack before it dries completely. Mortar, not so much.

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    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    it was a good question, "which is strongest?" but the answer is that both are good, so no-one answered for a while.

    Any cement product -- cheap, inexpensive -- with sand in it will do the job as long as it is
    (A) mostly sand and
    (B) holds together after the water disappears. Whether or not it cracks a bit is not a problem, but not if it falls apart.

    It is because of the sand. Sand makes it hold the weight. Cement glues sand particles together. You can spend any amount you want. Grout is cheap and available in small boxes. Mix it per directions so you won't have too much water in it. The big risk is too much water. The second risk is not letting it slake (wait, sit) before using it.


    I guess the shims mean the space is big enough to merit sanded material.


    Plaster is made to be soft to the touch and easy to sand down. That is for walls.

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