Hi! I'm totally new to all this so please forgive any ignorace...and my rambling.
Our house was built in '81. Master bath was supposedly torn out down to the studs and remodeled in '95. They took out the ceramic tile floor and installed adhesive vinyl tiles instead. Toilet that was installed was an American Standard but I have no idea which kind.
The iron pipe/flange in that bathroom sticks up taller than the floor...as much as a half inch in the front, 1/4 inch in the back. When we bought the house in '04, it they'd used wood shims in the back to make the toilet sit level then caulked over the whole thing. Worked fine for about a year. Then the wax seal broke. We're on our 3rd seal which is now broken but the toilet is also leaking from the tank and we've decided to replace it.
What do we need to do to get the new toilet to sit level and be stable? The shims aren't working. It seems they allow too much movement which eventually causes the wax seals to break. My husband wants to do this on the cheap and use some sort of solid wood piece for the entire toilet to sit on. I don't really understand his vision...it seems to me that wood is a bad idea. His other suggestion was to grind the iron flange down until it's flush...something else I'm not sure is a good idea.
Being that my husband wants to save money, we're looking at Lowe's or Home Depot. So which toilet should we choose? He''s looking to keep the cost of the toilet at $250 or less.
Someone recommended the Jacuzzi Perfecta but I can't find any reviews on it. After reading reviews here about the Kohler Cimmaron and American Standard Champion, I'm afraid to try either of them...and they were on the short list of ones we thought would be good. Is there anything that these stores offer that would be of decent quality?
Toilet flanges are supposed to set flat on top of the finished floor, be anchored to the sub floor as well as to the drain line. Yours will never be satisfactory. I recommend you have a plumber install an new flange. Big Box stores do not sell a good toilet. The ones you mention are fraught with quality issues, expensive repairs, and often don't work too well. You and your husband should consider you are looking for an appliance that will be expected to last with minimum repairs for many years, and since toilet is an appliance that is used be each member of the family 4 or 5 times a day everyday, doesn't it seem foolish to try to buy a cheap one that has a poor performance record? Go to Terry's Report on the home page and look at the Toto line. There you will find toilets priced from a modest amount to thousands of dollars, but they all have one thing in common. They all work like we want a toilet to work. You might have to look to find Totos in your area, but they are worth a little extra effort.