Caulk toilet to floor

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Don Zorn, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Don Zorn

    Don Zorn New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Alberta
    I have been told that it is required to caulk the toilet to the floor after setting it in order to prevent sewer gas from getting into the home if the toilet seal fails. Is this true?

    I have also been told to leave a couple inches "uncaulked" at the back so that if the toilet seal starts leaking, it will become evident before the floor rots out? If this is true, doesn't it defeat the purpose of a secondary seal to guard against sewer gas?

    My house was built in 1987 and the plumber did not caulk any of the toilets to the floor - is this something new?

    Thanks in advance for your response! :)

    Don
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    Most plumbers caulk the front of the bowl and leave the back uncaulked.
    The caulking in the front is for water (urine) on the floor that you don't want under the toilet.
    The back is left uncaulked, if the seal leaks, you will want to know.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  3. Don Zorn

    Don Zorn New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Alberta
    Hi Terry,

    Thank you for your response and photo. With three young boys in the house -I understand the urine explanation. :)

    With young boys in the house, I also understand the need to remove the toilet occasionally to remove toys and entire rolls of toilet paper.

    I guess it is a tradeoff.

    Don
  4. DaveT

    DaveT New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    What caulk is recommended for toilet to floor? Silicone? Polyseamseal Bathroom? Other?

    Thanks.

    Dave T
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Polyseamseal for caulking toilets

    Polyseam seal works. It's easy to use and removes easily too.

    Silicone is almost impossible to remove from the flooring.
    If you ever change toilets you will be regreting the use of it.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  6. Don Zorn

    Don Zorn New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Alberta
    I was reluctant to caulk the toilet for that very reason - silicone caulking is very difficult to remove.

    Never heard of Polyseamseal. I am wondering if that is similar to DAP Kwik Seal which is readily available locally? Or is it a siliconized acrylic latex caulk? Can you get it in colors other than just white?

    Don
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,006
    Location:
    New England
    One thing I read on another forum (I don't know if it works) is to use some car wax on the toilet prior to caulking. It still allows a seal, but makes it come off easier. I'm going to try it on my toilet, but hope to not have to remove it for a long time!
  8. DaveT

    DaveT New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Don Zorn,

    Go to www.polyseamseal.com for info on the product. The Tub & Tile version is available in white, clear and almond.

    My Home Center "expert" says the big advantages are its multi-use (adhesive, caulk, countertops, fixtures, etc) and its easy working; it is easy to make it look good (unlike silicone). I've had limited personal experience, but so far, so good.

    Good luck finding it. There is a store locator on the web site.
  9. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    It looks like there are 10 different types of Polyseamseal caulk and some are 100% silicon so I think the key is to just use a caulk that is not silicon if you think you'll ever be in need of removing the toilet. I use the DAP Dynaflex 230 which is non-silicon for most caulking around the house unless its a very wet area like in/around the tub and shower. I use a 100% silicone in those instances, but have also started using a new GE product called XST which is silicone but much, much, easier to use than the typical silicone, and is also paintable but is more expensive.
  10. Don Zorn

    Don Zorn New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Alberta
    I can get DAP products up here in Canada - so I will go with the Dynaflex 230. :) Checked their website and it is available in clear. I don' think Polyseamseal is available locally. Their website locator doesn't allow Canadian postal codes. :(

    Thank you for your responses. Much appreciated! :)

    Don
  11. Plumber2000

    Plumber2000 Plumber

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Caulking of the toilet base is required by code here.
  12. Don Zorn

    Don Zorn New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Alberta
    Plumber2000 - Does code in your area require caulking 360 degrees around the toilet? Any idea why it is code - just curious? :)

    Don
  13. Plumber2000

    Plumber2000 Plumber

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Don,

    We do not caulk the very back edge of the toilets, reason is if the wax fails later in future, it's best to known well before it's too late and the floor is damaged.

    Code says there must be a smooth transition between any fixture that sits on or near a floor or wall, one reason to caulk toilet at base is when water gets on the floor from say a shower it wont get under the base, caulk should prevent this from occurring.
  14. Don Zorn

    Don Zorn New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thanks for your response!
  15. kstuart

    kstuart New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Central Coast CA
    Just to point out some other aspects:

    - I have well water, so the toilet sometimes sweats and that means more water on the floor in the back of the toilet than the front.

    - One of the bathrooms is quite small, and so the toilet is right next to the shower/bath, which has a shower curtain instead of a sliding door. So, when a family member forgets to the get the shower curtain set/sealed right on the side next to the toilet, water can collect at the back of the toilet.

    So, if you have either of these conditions, it might be better to caulk the back edge of the toilet.
  16. jch

    jch New Member

    I'm in Canada too.

    I just checked a tube of DAP Dynaflex 230 and, although the label says "cured caulk is mildew resistant", I wonder if it is truly "bathroom grade" so to speak. DAP's website lists it under "window and door" as opposed to "kitchen and bath" :eek:

    From their site, it looks like DAP's equivalent to PolySeamSeal is "DAP Kwik Seal Tub & Tile Adhesive Caulk". I haven't gone looking for it yet...

    Hope this helps,
    .../j
  17. jm10701

    jm10701 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Caulk to keep toilet from moving?

    I'm having to reseat two identical toilets that I'm pretty sure have never been taken up since the house was built in 1952. I bought it five years ago from an old couple who were very easy on it; many things about the house look practically unused even though they're clearly old. I'm doing it because in both cases a very small amount of water started seeping out from under the toilets. One of them—the one I'm doing first—was rocking a little; the other is as solid as a rock but clearly has rotated slightly, evidently enough to break the wax seal.

    I've learned from reading here about shimming to correct the rocking, and caulking to keep water from getting under the toilet. But what I haven't seen mentioned here is caulking to keep the toilet from rotating on the floor. Is that also a legitimate reason for caulking, and is caulking the best way to eliminate that problem?

    I'm a complete novice at this, but I can't think of any other way to do it. (By the way, neither of these had any caulking or grout.) I don't see how just the flange bolts can completely prevent the bowl from rotating.

    These toilets have four mounting holes, but I discovered that the bolts in the front holes are just dummies—they don't go into the floor—and evidently that's not unusual. I assume they would help prevent rotation if they did, but I'm not going to drill through the ceramic tiles just for that. I was amazed at how nearly perfect everything under the toilet looked, better than any pictures of old installations I've ever seen online, and I don't want to risk messing it up.

    One thing I noticed is that the horn and the area around it are glazed, so that wax doesn't stick to it very well. When I lifted it, practically all the wax stayed on the flange, and although the wax was still fairly pliable, the surface of the wax was smooth and glossy and molded in the shape of the bottom of the toilet. I don't know if that's normal or not, but the pictures I've seen online always show a lot of wax stuck on the bottom of the toilet. So if the wax doesn't stick well to the toilet, rotating it just a little bit could break the seal. That's why I'm concerned about it.
  18. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Caulking is not used to prevent the toilet from rotating on the flange. You have pointed out that your ancient toilets have 4 bolt holes. Only 2 bolts are used on flanges now days, one on each side. It is these bolts that prevent the toilet from rotating, and they also hold the toilet down firmly against the flange to prevent rocking. Rocking will break the wax ring seal and cause a leak. Wax rings with plastic horns are no good. I know it would seem logical that they would help align the toilet on the flange, but they actually cause problems quite often. Use just a standard wax ring. Shimming is not necessary if the floor is level and the toilet base is not warped. To check that, clean the old wax off of the toilet horn and the flange. Set the toilet in place without a wax ring. It should set level and be in 100% contact with the floor. In other words, no rocking and no gaps. If that checks out OK, then set the toilet on the wax ring and press down and rock the toilet a bit until the base is in full contact with the floor. (Obviously you should not be able to rock the toilet very much and not at all when it is down) Make sure the toilet is square with the flange bolt and tighten the nuts down. These should not be torqued down like a cylinder head. Firm or snug are the operative words here. If shimming is necessary to level the toilet, this is done before tightening the flange bolts. Trim the shims even with the toilet base. Caulk around the toilet, leaving the back open.
  19. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    What else besides the obvious do you plan on doing on the toilet that would have you concerned that it would rotate¿

    If you are worried that the initial seal wasn't good and smelled sewer gas then either use a fatter wax ring or double-up two normal sized ones.

    The two bolts hold the toilet down, they really do. They really, really do. They do, they do, they do. I swear they do!
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    caulk

    Our inspectors specifically check the back of the toilet to make sure it WAS caulked competely around the whole base.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2008
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