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Thread: Toilet flange too high

  1. #1

    Default Toilet flange too high

    I'm completing a basement bathroom remodel and I miscalculated the height of the floor.

    The drain is set in concrete and the bottom of my toilet flange rests about 1/8" above the finished floor. I have not cemented (pvc) the flange into the drain, so I figure I have 2 options:

    1) Cut a smidge off the bottom of the flange so it fits flush to the floor.
    2) Shim the underside of the flange so it's supported.

    Which option is better?

    Digging up the drain is not really an option at this point...

    Any help appreeciated.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    DId you mean cut a little off of the drain pipe? Did you get that conclusion by dry fitting or measuring? If dry fitting, you should be fine, since it is nearly impossible to get the thing to seat properly without the cement. Measure carefully. A router, dremel, or RotoZip could nip off a little bit of the pipe's height, if need be.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I agree with Jim, cut a tad off of the pipe before cementing the flange to it. I'd measure carefully rather than trying to dry fit because you can't get PVC to fully seat dry. There's plenty of flange for the PVC to fit into even if you cut it a little too much.

  4. #4

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    Thanks, guys. The problem is that - don't scold me here - I'm using an inside mount flange that's sliding into a 90 deg el. The top of the elbow happens to be slightly below the concrete slab. Therefore, I cannot cut the "drain pipe" (which is really the elbow). However, I can shave a little off of the flange bottom (the part that will slide into the elbow). I'm hearing that you guys think it's better for me to make up the difference there, instead of just shimming under the metal ring - above the floor, right?

    My instinct is that if I shim under the ring, then I might need a 1/8" platform for the whole toilet to sit on to avoid having the thing rest on the flange alone, right?
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  5. #5
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure you don't want the toilet weight resting on the PVC flange. I was thinking to trim the pipe, but you are saying you can't do that because it's an elbow.

    What if you split the difference - trim the pipe (elbow) a small amount, and trim the flange a small amount. 1/16" of trimming on both pieces won't hurt either.

  6. #6

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    I'll probably do that. I'll just take my orbital sander to the bottom of the flange until I get a snug fit onto the floor.

    My instinct is that the the glue fit will take me down a little bit more - possibly to flush w/floor. But I'm not prepared to take that gamble. Once the glue's on, there's no going back.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Did you measure the flange to see how far it would actually insert into the pipe? That is likely further than you can dry fit the thing. For an 1/8" or so, I'd take it off of the top of the elbow, unless you are saying that the curve would prevent the flange from going down rather than the length of the fitting. Since this is not a pressurized system, if you use lots of cement, you should get a good seal if you don't set it all of the way - as long as it is most of the way in.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8

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    Thanks all. I'll post a pic of what I have. The top of the elbow is already flush with the slab floor, so I can't cut it off without reaming it from the inside. I think sanding down the 'horn' of the flange will work.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

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