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Thread: Now What? Toilet flange too high

  1. #1
    DIY Member FJK's Avatar
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    Default Now What? Toilet flange too high

    I redid my bathroom floor, putting in new subfloor, backerboard, & finally ceramic title. Since the toilet flange was cracked, I cut it out & mounted a new flange on top of the ceramic tile. This was based upon numerous investigations on a ceramic tile form... mount the flange on top of the final floor. When trying to reinstall the old toliet, Koehler circa 1979, I find the toilet flange is slightly taller than the toilet bottom to underside dimension. As a result, the toilet won't fit flat to the floor. Part of this problem is the irregular underside of the toilet, from its molding process. I am attacking the underside of the toilet with a die grinder & stone wheel, the only thing that will cut the material. The toilet flange I used was the type with an aluminum flange ring and plastic drain connections. For reasons I won't get into, I don't want to cut out the flange because I am out of pipe to couple to, short of breaking into the main house drain. Maybe I'll be sucessfull with my grind job, but my question is: if I buy another toilet, would some brands or styles have more clearance on the underside to accomodate the drain flange being on top of the finished floor.
    Thanks, FJK
    Last edited by FJK; 12-19-2005 at 07:20 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is the flange bottom fully seated on the floor? Any modern toilet should fit with any flange if it is installed tight to the finished floor. The flange you are using can distort some if it isn't seated down far enough or if the drain pipe was too long before attaching the flange. If you don't have the screws in the flange attaching it to the floor, does it raise up? It should sit flat across the flange. Are you trying to use a wax ring with a plastic horn? Did you try it without out one? Will the toilet fit without a wax ring without rocking?

    The more I read here, the more I think Kohler lost everything except their price long ago. None of this probably helped, sorry.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default flange

    I agree it must be the flange.

  4. #4
    DIY Member FJK's Avatar
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    The toilet flange is solid on the floor, screwed down with 4 screws, through the tile, through the backerboard, into the wood sub-floor. Be advised, I did not cut corners or rig anything. Just got done with grinding the underside of the toilet. I had an extra aluminum flange that had borken off the plastic pipe, so I have been using it as gauge to check my grinding. I place the flange on the underside of the toilet & put a straight edge across the base of the toilet perimeter. The flange must be able to slide under the straight edge, or said differently, the flange cannot stand proud of the base. I'm going to have a cup of coffee, & then trial fit the toilet without a wax ring, to verify the toilet will sit flat. But,,,,,, to my original question, should most toilets fit the way I mounted the flange on top of the finished floor, or did I blow it?

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    In my NSHO I would not grind the underside. When you go to bolt it down you may break the toilet due to the change in the stress pattern of the creamic. You are going to have to take off quite a bit in order to make room for the wax to do it's job and if you use a plastic horn type you will have to take even more. You should use a marble slab to raise the toilet up enough for everything to fit. Yes it should fit the way you have it, I have run into this problem also and use the marble slab to correct it.
    Last edited by Cass; 12-20-2005 at 04:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    First, I'm not a pro...I've only installed a few toilets, but all of them have fit fine with the various flanges. I would be surprised if you had problems with a new toilet on a new flange that was installed properly. I've used the flange you mentioned on my last two toilets and the toilets fit with no problems. If the standpipe is anchored well and a little long, you can distort the flange when you screw it down. It must be able to easily be pushed down and sit flat before it is screwed down. If yours does, then the toilet doesn't meet current specs. My unprofessional opinion.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member FJK's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replys. Sounds like I installed the flange properly & the problem is with the toliet. The grind job went well, & the toilet fits fine without a wax ring. With the wax ring, toilet does not rock or wobble, but will it work? I'm waiting untill I can spend time at home to check it with water. I'm planning on just filling the bowl with a pail of water so I know I'm verifying only the drain seal. I had the tank off previously, & also had a tank leak at one of the attaching bolts. Went back throught that with new hardware & cleaning the inside of the tank where the washers seal.

    As a follow-up to one of the responses, I'm curious about using a marble slab to slightly raise the toilet. What do you use, where do you get it, is it something you improvise, or is it something that's actually made for this use?? Any photos? Thanks, FJK

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Rochester, NY, used to (maybe still?) require the toilet to be set on a stone slab that raised it off of the floor about 1" or so. My guess is that it was required to do two things - provide a flat surface for the toilet, and maybe help prevent it from falling through rotten floorboards. My guess is somebody still makes these, or you could get a stone fabricator to do one for you.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    The slabs can be had at the Depot big box. The other big box doesn't sell them. They are made just for that.

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