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Thread: Another toilet flange question

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member greyhound1's Avatar
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    Default Another toilet flange question

    We purchased a Toto Ultramax II toilet for an existing powder room which we are renovating. The installer put 1/2" plywood and 1/2" cement board above the 3/4" planks original sub-floor. Tile is being installed on top of the cement board.

    As a brief history, 1/2" plywood was also laid on the sub-floor planks outside of the the powder room, (and the rest of the first floor) where 3/4" hardwood will be laid. The plywood was laid so that the finished flooring could be laid to run the "long length" of the house. The powder room is on the first floor and there is a basement underneath, so there is access to all piping.

    ANYWAY... the installer affixed the plastic flange to the top of the cement board and has started to tile around the flange. It appears that the top of the flange may be slightly higher or level with the new tile floor. The tile job was temporarily stopped because we were short on tile. Since all of the floor tile has not been set, the grout has not yet been applied.

    I've seen other flange questions in this forum, but my question is: before the powder room floor is finished (it's a small small floor, 4' by 4.5') should I insist that the two tiles presently fitted around the flange be replaced and the flange reset on top of the finished floor?, or should I leave it it as is (i.e., with new plastic flange sitting slightly higher or flush with new tile)?

    Practically speaking..What should I do?

    The installer has informed me that this is the way he always sets toilet flanges, and he does come recommended. But be that as it may, this is my house, and I want to know what you think.

    Terry, if you do not mind, I would welcome your response, as well!

    Lividly,

    Greyhound1

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    HOW did he install the new flange? Was it over an existing one, or to a "raw" pipe sticking out of the floor?
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    While it is true that the flange "ought" to sit on top of the finished floor (the tile in this case), I am sure you will understand why so
    many installers succumb to the convenience of putting it on top of the tile underlayment instead. In my experience, it will make very
    little practical difference. It is not all that difficult to make a "spacer" of an appropriate thickness to slip under the flange, either
    of plywood or cement board, and is vastly preferrable to actual tiles going under the flange. In many cases, such a spacer can be
    retrofitted to an existing flange. If I were in your shoes, I would ask the installer to insert such a spacer, if possible, but I would not
    require that he recut the existing tiles.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member greyhound1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    HOW did he install the new flange? Was it over an existing one, or to a "raw" pipe sticking out of the floor?
    HJ:

    Old ABS pipe and flange were removed, new PVC pipes from flange down through floor, angled to main stack.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    95% of the flanges in the Seattle area in new construction are on the subfloor, and the underlayment is cut around the flange. This makes it a two wax ring installation. It works just fine.
    It's nice if the flange is installed over the finished floor, but I almost never see that. Sioux Chief makes a nice plastic spacer that lifts a flange a bit higher.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member greyhound1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    95% of the flanges in the Seattle area in new construction are on the subfloor, and the underlayment is cut around the flange. This makes it a two wax ring installation. It works just fine.
    It's nice if the flange is installed over the finished floor, but I almost never see that. Sioux Chief makes a nice plastic spacer that lifts a flange a bit higher.
    Thanks for the reply Terry (and to ALL).

    The flange installed is the Sioux Chief TKO (3" I believe), and the top of the flange sits slightly higher than the soon-to-be-finished tile floor.

    Is a 3/4" spacer necessary in this installation? If it is used in this application, the flange will sit 3/4" above the finished floor.

    Also, I spoke with a tech rep from TOTO late yesterday, and I informed him that I purchased the Ultramax II and that the installed Sioux Chief closet flange was slightly higher (1/16") than the finished floor. He informed me that his department advises customers to install closet flanges flush mounted (I am not sure if it was because I informed him that I had an Ultramax II?).

    He also told me to get a one inch wax ring and that this would be sufficient for the Ultramax II in this application.

    Do you recommend in this application (or have you used in other applications) the wax ring with the plastic funnel or bell? This would appear to direct the flow of water down into the pipe better than a plain wax ring. What do you think?

    Finally, since TOTO did not supply the flange/closet bolts to attach the toilet to the flange, do you recommend 1/4" brass or stainless steel bolts?

    Thanks to everyone (in advance) who replies!

    Greyhound1

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If the flange is on the floor; one wax ring
    If the flange is lower, two wax rings.

    The Ultramax II installs like any other toilet.

    I use brass closet bolts. They sometimes need to be cut shorter. I've never used stainless bolts for closet bolts.
    The big box stores sell plated steel. Just one more reason I don't buy supplies there.

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