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Thread: Toilet Flange Not Level

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member gnrboyd's Avatar
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    Default Toilet Flange Not Level

    Hello,

    I'm new to the forum and am seeking some assistance with a toilet installation.

    I pulled the toilet from my basement bathroom to replace the vinyl flooring. Upon doing so, I realized that the toilet flange isn't level. The flange is PVC and is mounted with the lip of the flange sitting on top of the concrete floor. I installed the new vinyl around the flange so the flange lip is still higher than the finished floor since the vinyl is very thin.

    The flange is about 3/16" higher on one side. When sitting the toilet in place without the wax ring, the toilet bowl is about 5/16" higher on the one side. (The amount is increased because the span across the bowl is wider than the span across the flange.....obviously.) When the bowl is in place, it doesn't rock. The toilet didn't rock before I pulled it either.

    Since the toilet doesn't rock, is it a problem that the toilet is unlevel by this amount? It never was noticable before and the toilet flushed fine. The concrete floor is not level and since the flange lip is resting on the top of the floor, it doesn't seem like this would cause any problems since the toilet doesn't rock. It seems like using shims would be counter productive in this case since the toilet would go from sitting firm to an unlevel (but flat) floor to just having it rest on a couple of shims on one side. Am I looking at this wrong?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Over a quarter of an inch across the bowl is a bit much, but it should not have any effect on the operation of the toilet.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You could shim the toilet level if you wanted. It might help contain any near misses?! Some filler rod then caulk would probably hide most of it (the filler rod actually gives a better result and limits the amount of caulk required). As long as the toilet sits flat on the floor and doesn't rock on the flange, you're probably okay. Keep in mind, though, that since it appears the flange is not properly anchored to the floor, and the flange is what holds the toilet in place via the toilet bolts, you are at risk of cracking the flange if the toilet is pushed like possibly if someone fell against it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member gnrboyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Keep in mind, though, that since it appears the flange is not properly anchored to the floor, and the flange is what holds the toilet in place via the toilet bolts, you are at risk of cracking the flange if the toilet is pushed like possibly if someone fell against it.
    I assume you are meaning that the flange should be bolted to the concrete.?? The flange is sitting on top of the concrete but it is rock solid. I can't move it. I could drill some holes and bolt it in but I don't think that would really change much. As it is, the pipe and flange can't go anywhere because the basement floor is holding it in place.

    It just seams to me I'd rather have the toilet sitting firmly on the concrete even if it isn't level rather than to have it level and only supported by a couple of shims. The house was built about 15 years ago and I guess the builder at that time didn't feel the need to shim it. (Of course I found some other corners he cut on other things so that statement probably doesn't have much merit.)

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The rim of the flange may be all plastic. It doesn't take all that much to crack it. If the angle doesn't bother you, just mount it flat on the floor, but make sure if it rocks, to shim so it's stable.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member gnrboyd's Avatar
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    Unless anyone else chimes in, I think I will just mount it flat and live with it not being level.

    Thanks for the replys jadnashua and cacher_chic.

  7. #7
    Handy Tom how2do's Avatar
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    Hi gnrboyd,

    I am attaching a picture that I got from a video on YouTube. It shows the relative position of a toilet flange with a cutaway of a toilet base. Since you are just replacing your linoleum/vinyl flooring and your flange is resting on top of the finished floor...you're good. I usually use these clear plastic shims to level up the toilet's base...and it has been so long ago that I bought them (in bulk 1000 pcs) I can't even tell you what there manufacturer's name is...However I have seen some at the local plumbing supply houses I go to...

    Name:  ST-1.jpg
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