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Thread: Toilet flange dilemma

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Default Toilet flange dilemma

    New to site. Great info.
    I have a high and out of level, unsecured flange over slightly unlevelled finished basement tiled floor. Wow lol

    I would prefer not to raise floor because i dont have tile to replace.
    And flange is glued and embedded in concrete.

    If I cut a piece of 5/8 inch ( plywood in shape of base and cut out hole for flange ( one side would be about level with top of flange and other side would be about 1/8 lower ) and secured to tile via tapcons.

    I know toilet would sit higher and I would have to finish lip some how ( last time I used grout )

    Question is, will the toilet seal ok if the flange and floor height ( the plywood ) are roughly the same height? Thks

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    It's a common DIY misconception that the top of the flange should be level with the finished floor. This is not surprising because some videos clearly show this. The proper method (and what your toilet is designed for) is for the flange to sit on top of the finished floor. That means that the bottom of the flange is on the finished floor and the top of the flange is above the finished floor. You then drop a wax ring on the flange, mount the toilet, and voila.

    So...doesn't sound like your flange is "high", unless the bottom of it is above the finished floor.

    If it's a little unlevel, welcome to the real world. Dry fit the toilet. Shim the toilet so it's level and doesn't rock, pick it up, drop a wax ring on your flange, put the toilet back on the shims, bolt it down and unless I am not visualizing a problem that you mentioned, I think you're done.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    That should work. If you can pick up a scrap of something like Corian, you can work it with woodworking tools, and it would be both waterproof, stable, and you wouldn't have to worry about trying to finish the edges of plywood, which most of the time still looks like plywood when you're done! You'll probably need two wax rings, or one jumbo, or you could use a waxless version since the flange would be low from a design standpoint. IOW, you don't need it to be that thick, since the flange normally does sit on TOP of the finished floor, then you'd only need one wax ring, and your big shim would be less noticeable. You could probably get by with 1/4-3/8" of material.
    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 Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Yes the bottom of it is above finished floor ... About 5/16 on the low side and 5/8 on the high side ... And Iam talking from bottom of flange to finished tile floor.

    So if I put a piece of 5/8 or 1/2 plywood over tile floor ( in shape of bottom of bowl ) and cut out flange circle the top of flange and "my new floor " will be about the same. Will this work?

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Or the corian or dura rock ?

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    I'm kind of confused -- if the BOTTOM of the flange (read your first 3 words) is 5/8 above the finished floor, and you add 5/8 plywood, I don't see how the TOP of the flange is now level with the plywood.

    I'm also not sure again why you need to do this, but Jim seems to be all over it.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Sorry wjc, I see what u mean. I rechecked and if I use 1/2 inch plywood or something else 1/2 inch it will come half way up flange on low side and come to bottom of flange on high side.

    Reason i have to do this is because flange is too high from bottom of tiled floor, so my toilet rocks on flange and doesn't sit well.

    So if I have that uneven platform height around flange ( half way up on low side and too the bottom on the high side ) should I use the bigger wax seal to have more to squish or regular one?

    Also, Jim u mentioned the Corian, could I put that under the flange ( cut in half to come in from both sides) to secure flange via tapcons into concrete? Or do u suggest something else?

    Thks for help

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Yes, you could cut the Corian, or whatever you choose to put under there so it is providing support to the toilet flange, and yes, it would be a good idea! Think of it, especially if the flange is plastic, that is what's holding the toilet in place...it is designed to be anchored solidly to the floor, and yours is hanging up there in space. Odds are, someone falling against the toilet could easily crack the thing (it would be better if it had a metal ring). It's more robust if it is anchored properly. If you woodworking skills are good, you could make a jig and with a router, provide a rabbit joint that would fully support the flange all around in the solid surfacing material you choose. In reality, you could use something like Plexiglass as well. I'd stay away from wood (like plywood), since even if the toilet never leaked, you may get it damp from mopping the floor, or from the kids splashing in the tub, or who knows what. THen, it would be likely to start to swell up and look lousy, if you ever got it to look good in the first place!
    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 Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Ahh plexiglass, good call. Time to go see my buddy's at the hockey rink to get some used plastic boards or glass and my wood working buddy to jig it up and get his bits ready! Lol

    Man, lot easier to do it right in the first place than going through this monkey business! Oh well, try and make the best of it! Thks

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I would cut the old flange off and glue in an inside pipe closet flange on top of the floor and then rotohammer and secure to the concrete.
    Sioux Chief makes a nice one.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Just a tag to Terry's post. Whenever I have to attach anything to concrete, I use one of two methods. For really big stuff that will need to support a lot of weight, I drill holes and use expansion bolts. For smaller things, like a flange, I drill pilot holes, lead sleeves, and sheet metal screws. #12 SS screws for flanges. The SS is likely overkill, but for a few cents extra, I know they won't corrode.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I would cut the old flange off and glue in an inside pipe closet flange on top of the floor and then rotohammer and secure to the concrete.
    Sioux Chief makes a nice one.
    whats the best method to cut it off? not sure best how to get in there, do i have the room. heres a picName:  photo.jpg
Views: 305
Size:  87.5 KB

    sorry novice here! lol

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Can't tell if that is a 3" or a 4" pipe...if it's 3", an inside fitting flange will make it pretty small. But, should you decide to go that route, for less than $20, you can buy an inside pipe cutter. It's essentially a small circular saw on a long shaft that you use in a drill. You only need to cut off enough so that the new one can sit on the slab.
    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 Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    IF that's 3", does he have enough room to cut it and do an outside-fit? Allegedly, there's a lot of room around the pipe... Isn't there a Sioux Chief that's like 3 OR 4; i.e. the same one goes inside 4 or outside 3?

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member Jayw's Avatar
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    Got it

    3" .... So I would cut the pipe roughly the distance it is high? It's higher on one side so I assume I have to cut at the lowest distance and shim the diff?

    With a smaller opening Iam also assuming I look for a kick ass flush toilet?

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