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Thread: Question regarding caulking

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member trouper's Avatar
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    Nov 2010

    Default Question regarding caulking

    Hoping it's ok to ask this in the toilet forum as i'm not sure caulking would require the plumbing forum.

    The pictures for the Drake installation here:


    Notice the caulking stops at the floor bolts. Is this the proper place to stop caulking? I assume it is, but looking around the net (and i know there is a lot of poor advice out there) most show the caulking extending to the back (but not the back end) of the toilet. So which is the proper way?

    I've done the last Drake as per the instructions. But I thought I'd ask before my next Drake comes into the family on Monday. Visually I'm ok with either way.

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  2. #2
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Calking is not necessary for a toilet (other than a Caroma), Its for looks and if a customer wants it I will go further but not all the way around the back as you want to know if there's a leak from the flange.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Near as I can tell, there are two schools of thought on this. Some inspectors want caulking all the way around, some want just the back side left open. The rational seems to be if there is caulking all the way around, no water can get under the toilet for spills on the bathroom floor. The others feel that if there is a leak from the wax seal, it will be discovered if there is a place of the water to escape. Both sides seem to me to have valid reasoning, so I think you might want to find out what your local inspector requires.

  4. #4
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Victoria, BC


    I always caulk my installs all the way around the front and the sides, leaving the back open in case a leak develops, just as Gary says. The caulking actually does have a purpose. The toilet bolts only do a reasonable job of securing the toilet down to the floor, but the toilet can still move around and break the seal, especially if a heavy user sits down. The caulking firmly secures the toilet in place, and it also helps to keep to keep "unwanted liquids" from going under the bowl where a mop can't get at them.

    I assume they stopped the bead right at the toilet bolts to stress the fact that a leak can be caught early, but it just looks silly.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    It depends on the inspector, however all inspectors will require some or all caulking.
    It does stick the bowl better, and it does prevent water from getting under the bowl from the front.

    In Seattle, we have to leave some caulk off at the back.
    I've seen some situations where handymen have caulked a bowl 360 degrees rather then pulling and resetting a bowl when there is a leak.
    The floor can get pretty soft and rotten if a leak goes without a proper repair.

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