Toilet flange repair is a super important skill to learn. Let me explain...
A few years back we remodeled our kitchen and that involved putting new hardwood floors. Back then I wasn't about to take on this project. So we hired a hardwood installer. They did an awesome job and the floors still look amazing. But they also recommended just doubling up the wax ring in the powder room.
After 6 months the toilet bowl developed a leak where it met up with the closet flange. Today you'll learn how to prevent this same catastrophe from happening in your home.
Here's your supply list
- Oatey Closet Flange Spacer (1/4")
- Replacement Closet Flange (optional)
- Toilet Flange Repair Kit (optional)
- Push Tite Gasketed Closet Flange (optional)
- Rubber Gloves
- Wax Ring
- Extra Long Closet Flange Bolts
- 100% White Silicone for Bathrooms
- Caulking Gun
- Measuring Tape
- Torpedo Level
- Crescent Wrench
- Oscillating Multi Tool (optional)
- Mini Hacksaw (if you don't have a Multi Tool)
- Oatey LiquiLock
- Putty Knife
- Plastic Bag
What's the first step?
Step 1: Remove Your Toilet
The only way to know if you need this repair is to remove your toilet.
After the toilet's removed, inspect the closet flange.
Toilet flange repair is one of those things...you don't know you need it until you see a leak or see the flange when replacing a toilet.
Step 2: Use LiquiLock to Gel Up Toilet Water
One of my favorite supplies, when removing toilets, is Oatey LiquiLock.
This turns your toilet water into a gel and prevents the water from spilling on your floor.
I don't know about you but cleaning up nasty toilet water isn't on my to-do list.
Watch this video to see how I remove a toilet in under 15 minutes
Step 3: Assess Your Toilet Flange Repair Options
Once the toilet is removed you can do your toilet flange repair.
But what's the best way to do this?
If you watched the video above you know about Charlie.
He's one of my favorite plumbers in Pittsburgh because the guy is always happy. Charlie taught me how to repair a toilet flange and today I'm passing along those tips to you. The first tip Charlie taught me is if your closet flange is broken you'll need to repair it.
Today I'm going to share three options for repairing a toilet flange. Your first option is to buy a replacement closet flange ring.
This has to be secured to the subfloor with screws.
A second option is to use a closet flange repair kit.
It's a great option if your existing closet flange is broken or rusted. Due to it's construction you can only use a toilet flange repair ring on PVC or ABS pipes.
Option 3 is the easiest. It's an a Push Tite gasketed closet flange.
Simply push this down into the old closet flange and secure it to the wood subfloor with galvanized or stainless steel screws.
Charlie taught me this second tip, a closet flange should be flush or up to 1/4" above your finished floor. The reason why is because wax rings compress over time. If the closet flange is below the finished floor, a gap will form between the bottom of the toilet bowl and top of the wax ring. This gap is where water leaks when you flush your toilet...and we all know what's in toilet water. YUCK!!! How do you raise the closet flange?
Step 4: Use a Closet Flange Extender
Closet flange extender rings are man/woman's best friend when repairing closet flanges.
These come in 1/4" and 1/2" increments.
You can find them at the local home store or hardware store. Also, you'll need extra long closet flange bolts, e.g. 3 1/2" bolts. These bolts will slide into the old flange.
I tried to explain Charlie's repair to the guy at my local plumbing supply warehouse and he was totally not following the concept.
So hopefully I do a better job explaining it to you. Basically what we're doing is sandwiching the new closet flange extender ring (or spacer, whichever) onto the old closet flange. But you need the closet flange bolts to be long enough to fit up through the base of the toilet bowl. Furthermore, clean off all the old wax from the closet flange using a putty knife before installing the closet flange extender.
I used a 1/2" closet flange extender in this project because it extends about 1/8" above the finished tile floor.
Also, I'll be installing a new American Standard VorMax toilet in this bathroom. The rough in size for the VorMax is 12 inches, i.e. the distance from the closet flange bolts to the wall is 12 inches.
Know your rough in before installing the closet flange bolts because the last thing you want is to place your bolts 13 inches from the wall when you need them to be at 12 inches.
Don't measure from the baseboard to the the closet flange bolts as this will give you the incorrect rough in. If you do measure from the baseboards to the bolts just deduct the baseboard width from your dimension. Dry fit the closet flange extender onto the old closet flange and place a torpedo level on it.
If you're in luck the closet flange extender will be level, but if it's not...you'll have to shim your toilet when you install it.
Not a big deal, just a good thing to know. Apply a generous bead of 100% silicone caulk on top of the old closet flange.
And to the bottom of the new closet flange extender.
Either slide the new closet flange bolts into the old flange before adding the extender or add them after you adhere the extender to the old flange.
Consequently, I chose to add one of the bolts to the old flange first since it was a tight fit.
Add metal washers and nuts to the closet flange bolts. Finally, tighten the nuts to the bolts with a crescent wrench until the bolts are nice and snug.
Step 5: Watch the Step-by-Step Video
Watch my step-by-step video to see all the details up close and personal...good thing these videos aren't in 4D, just think about that :/
Let me know your questions in the comments.
Or add your own tips.
This wasn't meant to be a comprehensive overview of all closet flange repairs, so please keep that in mind.
Have a great day,