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Thread: How to Handle Copper Toilet Flange Being too low to Tile Under

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Randy200's Avatar
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    Default How to Handle Copper Toilet Flange Being too low to Tile Under

    Hi,

    I am remodeling an old bathroom and have ran into a situation I wanted to bounce off the experts in the forum.

    Please refer to the attached photo... Name:  flange_1.jpg
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    The build up is taking place on top of a 1.25" wood sub-floor. I have laid down the backer board on top of the wood. Then, put the tile on top of the backer board. As you can readily see, there is a perfect fit! That's exactly the problem, since there is no space for the two layers of needed thinset. Per my calculation I will need 2 layers of 1/8" thinset, for a total of 1/4" space!

    The flange is vintage circa 1960s. It is connected to cast iron piping, with access from below in the basement.

    Is it OK, if I tile flush or slightly below the flange, but not have the flange rest on top of the tile? If I do so, do I need to build up below the flange somehow, so the flange is resting on something?

    By the way, how would you go about cleaning the old wax off the flange?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    From here, it looks like it is attached to a copper pipe under the floor. I would use a #10 thick wax ring.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy200 View Post
    Hi,

    Is it OK, if I tile flush or slightly below the flange, but not have the flange rest on top of the tile? If I do so, do I need to build up below the flange somehow, so the flange is resting on something?
    This is a never ending debate. Flush with finished floor or on top of finished floor. In my opinion both are acceptable as long as flange is secure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy200 View Post
    Hi,
    By the way, how would you go about cleaning the old wax off the flange?
    Just find a way to clean it off.
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  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Randy200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerlane View Post
    This is a never ending debate. Flush with finished floor or on top of finished floor. In my opinion both are acceptable as long as flange is secure.
    Thank you. If I go the latter approach (tile butted next to the flange), How secure do I need to make the flange to the floor? Currently, there is about 1/2" space between the subfloor and the bottom of the flange (taken by the 1/4" durock and 1/4" tile in the picture). Should I

    1. Take the Backer board off and fill the 1/2" void with 1/2" plywood of some sort?

    2. Put thinset under backer board and keep them under the flange? Do I need to worry about the 1/8" void I will have left under the flange, since tile is not in there any more? Would bolting the flange down to the subfloor keep it "secure" enough?

    I suppose it will be OK, if the flange ends up being about 1/8" higher than the tile butted up next to it. It will get covered by the toilet, anyhow. ...

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    You actually want the top of the flange above the finished floor, but if you don't accomplish that, you can use two wax rings or a #10 thick wax ring, as HJ says. Just make sure the flange is well-secured to the subfloor, because you are securing your toilet to the flange.

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