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Thread: plaster of paris

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    DIY Senior Member wallygater's Avatar
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    Default plaster of paris

    Is It a common, and or good practice, to set a toilet with plaster of paris under it? If so, how much do you use?
    wally

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    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    I know an old plumber that did this if a toilet rocked or wobbled.

    Code says to caulk around the bowl. I guess this is to stop sewer gasses from getting into the room. I personally think that's a bad idea because it just hides a leaking wax ring until the leak damages the floor. If you don't caulk, you'll see the leak as soon as it starts.

    I've seen toilets set in thinset or tile grout on a tile floor instead of caulk. The toilet is then permanently part of the floor. Removal usually means breaking the toilet.

    But leveling a toilet in plaster of paris has none of these problems. You can just put a dab in the four corners to stop wobble. It sets faster than grout or thinset. It's hard enough to do the job and the toilet isn't permanently stuck to the floor.

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    DIY Junior Member gbh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maintenanceguy View Post

    Code says to caulk around the bowl. I guess this is to stop sewer gasses from getting into the room. I personally think that's a bad idea because it just hides a leaking wax ring until the leak damages the floor. If you don't caulk, you'll see the leak as soon as it starts.
    I certainly see the wisdom in this, but I have a big con for not putting in caulk... My son. Dude is 7 and routinely leaks down the side of the toilet. Without caulk, urine will seep under the bowl and ferment. So, with this in mind, what would be recommended? Caulk, or no caulk?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Caulk. Shims if necessary to keep it from rocking first...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5

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    If it's an upstairs toilet, caulking around the base will also help prevent nasty water from pouring onto the ceiling below, in case of an overflow.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default caulk

    The sealing is to prevent water from going under the toilet, not to keep sewer gas or leakage from coming out.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member wallygater's Avatar
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    Default plaster of paris

    the plumber that set the toilet upstairs actually dumped plaster of Paris on the finished tile floor, then set the toilet on top of the plaster. I still had to caulk around it anyway. He said its the best way to set a toilet, and that's the old fashion way to do it. From the replies on this topic it sounds like no one ever heard of such a thing, and or never does this anymore.
    wally

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Using grout would be the closest thing to plaster which I have never heard of but doesn't surprise me...One of the things that I do run into from time to time is plumbers putty used in place of a wax ring...not a good thing but from what I can tell was used by a few plumbers years back...

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    You can set the toilet in concrete, and it will be guaranteed not to wobble. But that's not a good plan either. I like to think about the next guy or gal who's gonna have to work on that toilet.

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    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    The sealing is to prevent water from going under the toilet, not to keep sewer gas or leakage from coming out.
    Unless you're a handyman!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsotall View Post
    Unless you're a handyman!
    Spock, explain??

  12. #12

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    When I added a bathroom in Cypress, CA, Inspector would not pass toilet until it was caulked. He said it was to prevent sewer gases. I just installed a Guinevere. The Unifit makes it real simple to make sure you get a nice seal without worrying about the toilet messing it up. Good rim wash and excellent flush so far.

  13. #13
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    I had an inspector that would not issue a CO until the entire base of the commode was caulked ... to prevent water seepage when mopping, etc.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you have sewer gasses leaking from a toilet, it is because the wax seal is bad...you could cover it up with caulk around the toilet, but that wouldn't fix it...and, you might find the toilet in the room below after it rotted out the floor.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15
    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    If you have sewer gasses leaking from a toilet, it is because the wax seal is bad...you could cover it up with caulk around the toilet, but that wouldn't fix it...and, you might find the toilet in the room below after it rotted out the floor.
    Exactly my point. In my opinion, caulking around the toilet base can hide a problem until real damage is done. I still think that the down side of caulking outweights the upside.

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