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Thread: toilet flange too low

  1. #1
    DIY Member backwaterdogs's Avatar
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    Default toilet flange too low

    Looks like I screwed up again.

    I roughed in the toilet flange and then set my tile floor, failing to realize that the flange would be too low. The flange is about 3/8" below the finished tile and when setting the toilet, the wax ring barley makes contact.

    Normally wouldn't mind resetting the flange, but the ceiling is finished below and would hate to rip into that.

    Here's what I'm thinking....use the sioux chief raise a ring.

    Is this appropriate for a 3/8" gap? does it just sit right on top the existing flange? Would doubling wax rings be better?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Double wax works fine.
    Regular wax on the flange, and then stack a wax with horn over that.
    Then drop the bowl down on it.

    If you had used the Sioux Chief stacking ring to begin with, that would have been nice too.

    Our standard install kit


    Install kit for toilets
    Notice that the bag of bolts includes four nuts and four washers.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    You really should be about 3/8" above the finished floor, so you are 3/4" short. Too much IMHO for double wax rings.

    I prefer metal to plastic.

  4. #4
    DIY Member backwaterdogs's Avatar
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    well, heck.

    Here's what I have. I have two standard wax rings, a wax ring with a 3" horn, a sioux chief raise a ring and a tube of silicon.

    From what I can, I'm thinking of this a approach.
    1) bead of silicon between existing flange and the raise a ring. I will put the raise a ring on the the existing flange and screw both to the floor. This will put everything flus, or slightly proud of the finished floor.

    2) the standard wax ring is proud of the bottom of toilet about 1/2". So, wax ring will compress 1/2"+ when setting the toilet.

    How's this sound?

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    I would just follow Terry's suggestion and stack the wax rings. Don't overthink it. You'll be fine. If you're worried, measure everything to convince yourself you will be fine (e.g. 3/8 plus the interior dimension from the floor of the top of the area to be filled with wax in the toilet plus some room for smushing and filling, compared to the height of two wax rings). Leave in the box: silicone and any extenders that would go on top of the flange.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I don't want to start a quarrel, but the previous post stating a flange should be 3/8" above the finished floor is incorrect. Now, it may work with the flange above the floor a tad, and will work with the flange recessed 3/8" below the top of the floor, but it actually is supposed to rest on top of the floor and be screwed through the floor and into the sub floor. This will give maximum support to the flange. The slight variations often occur when new flooring is installed and sometimes just a sloppy installation. That's when thick wax rings or double rings can make up the difference. If the flange is slightly high or low, there is no need to panic and replace the flange, but in a perfect world, the flange should set on top of the floor.

  7. #7
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    ...in a perfect world, the flange should set on top of the floor.
    A flange is around 3/8" thick so if it were set on top of the finished floor, that would make it proud by around 3/8". If it currently is 3/8" below the floor, simple math says 3/8" + 3/8" = 3/4" lower than ideal. That is about the same thickness as a second wax ring. If the pro's say it's OK, then who am I as a DIY'er to argue.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Perhaps we are looking at the same thing but seeing it differently. The rim of a flange is probably about 3/8" thick, so if the flange is resting on to of the floor, the rim will set above the level of the floor by the thickness of the rim. I understood your statement to mean the bottom of the rim should set 3/8" off of the floor. As I said, I don't what to start a feud.

  9. #9
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    I had three different flanges at one time and all varied in thickness. The two Oatey plastic or PVC were 7/16", >3/8" and the Sioux Chief cast iron was around 5/16". This is why I questioned the practice of using an extra nut on the closet bolt as there wasn't hardly any room for it and "might" make contact with the bottom of the toilet bowl at the mounting hole area. I ended up using the one with the thickest flange and no extra nut.
    Bill
    Retired Machine Repairman
    Just a DIY'r

  10. #10
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    This is why I questioned the practice of using an extra nut on the closet bolt
    Yes, that may be true one out of one hundred installs. You're right, there could be an exception.

    99 percent of the time, it's a better install to do it the way the plumbers do.

  11. #11
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Yes, that may be true one out of one hundred installs. You're right, there could be an exception.

    99 percent of the time, it's a better install to do it the way the plumbers do.
    Granted, you guys install many, us DIY'rs do a few. That being said I laid a straight edge across the bottom of the bowl, measured the depth and compared that to the flange and there wasn't enough room for a standard 1/4" nut. If I was hell bent, I could have dug around and found a half-nut that would have worked.
    Bill
    Retired Machine Repairman
    Just a DIY'r

  12. #12
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I often wondered why closet bolts don't come with Tinnerman nuts to help hold them in place.


  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member corney's Avatar
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    I'm completely renovating 2nd floor 85 yr. old bathroom. Installing new enlarged shower, 2 sink vanity & soaker tub.

    a word Re. current system. all waste dumps into a 3" down pipe which runs down through 2 floors into basement then exits through wall to septic tank. At the top of this down pipe where it enters the bathroom between the floor and the below ceiling there are 3 stacked connector hubs, Bottom one receives bath and basin waste, on top of this one is shower drain, next one up is connection to roof vent and dumping into the top of the down pipe is the 1st of 2, 90 degree elbows from the floor flange. Due to the conglomeration of fittings and access to this down pipe being so tight to the wall as to cause really great difficulty should it have to be replaced I'm hoping it can stay where it is.

    To make room for the new enlarged shower the toilet, currently about 8" to the left of the down pipe, had to move to the right about 16". In order to utilize the existing waste system and to keep the 12" rough in requirement the floor flange had to be turned 180 degrees so it is now feeds the down pipe from the right side.

    To accomplish this repositioning without major alterations to the existing system (as explained above) Byuse of my reciprocating saw I was successfully able to cut the old existing flange at the top of the upper elbow hub, I then cut notches into the remaining part of this hub only to the depth of the hub and then by careful hammer & chisel work was able to chip it off and to expose the original down pipe that connected the 2 90 degree L-bows that the floor flange went into. a little work with plumbers sanding tape and a new 90 degree elbow can be connected to the exposed pipe.

    By installing the minimum required 3/4' plywood sub floor, plus layer of thin-set and 1'4" tile the floor flange will be about 2'' short of the required height in order to correctly rest on the new floor.

    Now comes the problem, UNFORTUNATELY, the exposed portion of the down pipe I was able to create does not protrude far enough, or I should say, high enough to allow the floor flange to rest in the correct position on the new floor but a connector and short piece of pipe would result in it being much to high.

    Are the"RINGS" mentioned in some of the replies sufficient to correct a deficit of 2" or more OR, are there other devices that will correct my situation. Many thanks for your kind patience in reading this long missive......Corney
    Last edited by corney; 01-27-2013 at 09:08 AM.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member tomas's Avatar
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    Corney, I have similar issue.
    My flange is going to be even deeper from surface, might be ~3". And, it's in a basement, with concrete floor.
    I decided to installed in floor heating, so I'm putting a layer of insulation, pipes, and then on top a layer of gypsum, then tiles.
    Hence 3" flange bellow the surface. It's still not too late to open concrete, but if decent solution is available, I'd rather not do that (digging, that is).
    So, pros, what would you do in case like this?
    BTW, it's 3" pipe, and I couldn't find any extender for 3" flange, except those rings.
    Not to go on tangent too much but why nobody is gluing extender rings to the flange? Say, put enough rings, but instead of using sealant, glue with ABS glue all those rings together and then to the flange. Wouldn't that guarantee no leaks?

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Get an extra thick #10 wax seal and it will make up for your shortage. As for the Tinnermans, some sets do come with them, but I throw them away and use a nut and washer.
    Last edited by hj; 01-29-2013 at 03:55 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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