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Thread: Caulk toilet to floor

  1. #1
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
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    Default Caulk toilet to floor

    I have been told that it is required to caulk the toilet to the floor after setting it in order to prevent sewer gas from getting into the home if the toilet seal fails. Is this true?

    I have also been told to leave a couple inches "uncaulked" at the back so that if the toilet seal starts leaking, it will become evident before the floor rots out? If this is true, doesn't it defeat the purpose of a secondary seal to guard against sewer gas?

    My house was built in 1987 and the plumber did not caulk any of the toilets to the floor - is this something new?

    Thanks in advance for your response!

    Don

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Most plumbers caulk the front of the bowl and leave the back uncaulked.
    The caulking in the front is for water (urine) on the floor that you don't want under the toilet.
    The back is left uncaulked, if the seal leaks, you will want to know.
    Washington State
    Last edited by Terry; 04-18-2011 at 11:22 PM.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
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    Hi Terry,

    Thank you for your response and photo. With three young boys in the house -I understand the urine explanation.

    With young boys in the house, I also understand the need to remove the toilet occasionally to remove toys and entire rolls of toilet paper.

    I guess it is a tradeoff.

    Don

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    DIY Junior Member DaveT's Avatar
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    What caulk is recommended for toilet to floor? Silicone? Polyseamseal Bathroom? Other?

    Thanks.

    Dave T
    Dave T

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default Polyseamseal for caulking toilets

    Polyseam seal works. It's easy to use and removes easily too.

    Silicone is almost impossible to remove from the flooring.
    If you ever change toilets you will be regreting the use of it.

    Last edited by Terry; 04-18-2011 at 11:22 PM.

  6. #6
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
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    I was reluctant to caulk the toilet for that very reason - silicone caulking is very difficult to remove.

    Never heard of Polyseamseal. I am wondering if that is similar to DAP Kwik Seal which is readily available locally? Or is it a siliconized acrylic latex caulk? Can you get it in colors other than just white?

    Don

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    One thing I read on another forum (I don't know if it works) is to use some car wax on the toilet prior to caulking. It still allows a seal, but makes it come off easier. I'm going to try it on my toilet, but hope to not have to remove it for a long time!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member DaveT's Avatar
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    Don Zorn,

    Go to www.polyseamseal.com for info on the product. The Tub & Tile version is available in white, clear and almond.

    My Home Center "expert" says the big advantages are its multi-use (adhesive, caulk, countertops, fixtures, etc) and its easy working; it is easy to make it look good (unlike silicone). I've had limited personal experience, but so far, so good.

    Good luck finding it. There is a store locator on the web site.
    Dave T

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    Engineer jdkimes's Avatar
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    It looks like there are 10 different types of Polyseamseal caulk and some are 100% silicon so I think the key is to just use a caulk that is not silicon if you think you'll ever be in need of removing the toilet. I use the DAP Dynaflex 230 which is non-silicon for most caulking around the house unless its a very wet area like in/around the tub and shower. I use a 100% silicone in those instances, but have also started using a new GE product called XST which is silicone but much, much, easier to use than the typical silicone, and is also paintable but is more expensive.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
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    I can get DAP products up here in Canada - so I will go with the Dynaflex 230. Checked their website and it is available in clear. I don' think Polyseamseal is available locally. Their website locator doesn't allow Canadian postal codes.

    Thank you for your responses. Much appreciated!

    Don

  11. #11
    Plumber Plumber2000's Avatar
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    Caulking of the toilet base is required by code here.
    Plumber for 20+years

  12. #12
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
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    Plumber2000 - Does code in your area require caulking 360 degrees around the toilet? Any idea why it is code - just curious?

    Don

  13. #13
    Plumber Plumber2000's Avatar
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    Don,

    We do not caulk the very back edge of the toilets, reason is if the wax fails later in future, it's best to known well before it's too late and the floor is damaged.

    Code says there must be a smooth transition between any fixture that sits on or near a floor or wall, one reason to caulk toilet at base is when water gets on the floor from say a shower it wont get under the base, caulk should prevent this from occurring.
    Plumber for 20+years

  14. #14
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response!

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    DIY Member kstuart's Avatar
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    Default

    Just to point out some other aspects:

    - I have well water, so the toilet sometimes sweats and that means more water on the floor in the back of the toilet than the front.

    - One of the bathrooms is quite small, and so the toilet is right next to the shower/bath, which has a shower curtain instead of a sliding door. So, when a family member forgets to the get the shower curtain set/sealed right on the side next to the toilet, water can collect at the back of the toilet.

    So, if you have either of these conditions, it might be better to caulk the back edge of the toilet.

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