Best way to level a toilet?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by jeffbirt, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. jeffbirt

    jeffbirt New Member

    Louisville KY
    I did a major bathroom update that involved gutting the entire room, moving plumbing and electric, reclaiming the back of a walk-in closet for my shower stall, and having the whole shebang tiled. The one thing that was not relocated was the toilet. A new toilet was placed on the existing flange. After everthing was said and done, it became clear that the floor, particularly the corner where the toilet sits has a slope to it (the carpet (ugh!) that was there before effectively camouflaged this fact).

    The toilet is the only thing in the room that betrays this ugly secret---the floor doesn't feel sloped, the cabinets are leveled, but it is quite noticable that the top of the tank is not level.

    Can a toilet be "shimmed", perhaps using a double wax ring? What would you use for shims? I think the base being out of square with the floor would be less noticable than the tank being out of square with the wall.

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Shims are normally used to keep a toilet from rocking, but I suppose you could use them to try to level it as well. You'd want to use multiple points of contact (multiple shims) to do this so you weren't relying on a single point to prop the toilet to level. Depending on how high one side needs to go, you probably don't need a thicker wax ring, and no, the wax itself won't do anything. Whatever you do, you want to make sure that the toilet does not rock when finished, as that will break the wax seal and cause leaks. They make some composite shims that are easy to trim. the hard plastic ones are a pain, and the slope is kind of high, making it hard to get right and then to cut off. Caulk around the toilet base would hide them if you trim them well. You could probably shim the tank instead, but that might look weird.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    They would need to put a level on the floor, but I believe the first post mentioned that the floor was not level.

    They could easily put a level on the floor, bowl or tank.
    Normally, if the bowl is level enough, I don't worry too much about the tank.
    It's there to hold water until it's flushed.
    The bowl should be on the floor. Any gap there is very noticeable.

    An American Standard Cadet 3 bowl
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  4. Craig99

    Craig99 New Member

    A Toto Toilet with the Unifit adapter would be ideal for this. You can get a good seal with one wax ring because you install the adapter first, then you would be able to level your toilet better with the flex of the rubber ring you drop the toilet into. If the floor is really bad, you could shim the unifit adapter a little first, then level more with the rubber sleeve.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There would have to be a very major structural difficulty for the floor under the toilet to be off level, but not the bathtub or sink cabinet. More likely the tank bolts were not tightened evenly so one side of the tank is lower than the other.
  6. jeffbirt

    jeffbirt New Member

    Louisville KY
    There is no tub. A lilliputian stand-alone shower stall was removed and replaced with a large walk-in shower in a space that was borrowed from the master bedroom's walk-in closet. My tile guy leveled the floor and installed a membrane before tiling. The sink is in a vanity which is bolted, level, to the wall. My neighborhood is extremely hilly and suffers from some poor drainage design (supposedly the road above my house originally drained "the other way", now it drains down the hillside onto which my house is planted). All the houses here have had to install retaining walls to prevent (further) structural damage.

    I can live with the toilet as it is. The problem is that the toilet belies that one corner of the room is higher than the others.

    Terry, I will try to post pictures tonight showing the level at various positions (floor, bowl, tank). Are you suggesting that I just try to level the tank, i.e. different tension on the tank bolts (maybe shimming?)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
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