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Thread: High toilet

  1. #1

    Question High toilet

    I am replacing a 17 year old toilet with a new one. I found that the closet flange sits 3/8" above the floor. When I lower my new toilet onto the flange, there is a 3/8inch gap between the toilet and the floor. This is without the wax ring yet. Can I use shims to to adjust for this difference or is the space so large that I would need to cut and lower the ABS pipe coming up out of the concrete floor and put on a new flange that sits directly onto the floor?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The right way is to lower the flange so it will rest on top of the finished floor. While shims would probably work, it would always look like a handyman special. It will never be easier to fix than right now.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    They do make platforms for this purpose, but the flange was never installed properly, or there was some other finish floor on there and it was replaced with something thinner.

    If you were handy, you could make your own out of a sheet of plexiglass. Buff the edges, or cut it slightly smaller and caulk.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4

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    Is lowering the flange an easy job for an experienced plumber?

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's something they do all of the time. It depends on access how long it takes (a slab would be harder since you may have to crack some concrete around the flange- if a wooden subfloor, is there access underneath - how high is the riser, could it be cut with an internal cutter, then lowered). So, the time to do it is the question, not is it a hard job. A picture might help.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6

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    How does this sound? I found a local plumber who is pretty good but is not available until after the holidays, which is about 30 holiday guests too late. So I think I'll temporarily set the toilet on 3/8" shims, sturdy it down and caulk and have it available for use until the plumber comes to help me permanently mount a new, lower flange. The only problem I see is the extra work involved in doing it twice. Is there any problem to that scenario that I am overlooking?

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Not too much that I can see. you might just use a couple of pieces of 3/8 plywood and not mess with a bunch of shims. You wouldn't even need to caulk.

  8. #8

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    Exactly what I was hoping to hear. I'll go with the 3/8" boards. Thanks for the help.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default flange

    IF the toilet is 3/8" high because it is sitting ON the flange, then you have to shim the toilet at least 5/8" or more so there is some wax between the flange and the bowl.

  10. #10

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    Is it okay to shim a toilet that high (just for a little while).

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The height isn't really a problem as long as: you make your shim wide enough it doesn't fall over (i.e., is is supported well), and you get a good seal to the flange. Most people prefer the height of an ADA toilet, and those are usually around 17" to the toilet rim, so for comfort sake, it's not a problem, either.

    You could just take a piece of plywood, trace around the base of the toilet, cut it, then cut out where the holes need to be for the bolts and the flange (leaving a ring). If you really wanted to spend some time, you could sand it and paint it the color of the toilet and it's possible nobody would notice.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12

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    Thank you. It's done - it doesn't leak and it is rock solid. I just need to work on the look of it to make it more seamless. Thanks for all the help.

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