flange too high, floor not level

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by julia, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. julia

    julia New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I have been trying to fix this toilet since August.

    On one side the flange is 5/8" high and the other side 3/8" high. A plumber said the only solution is to tile the whole floor.

    The last time I tried, I shimmed and grouted the base. The toilet doesn't rock and the bowl is level (although the tank isn't). All seems right, but still it leaks a little.

    Any suggestions? I saw where you all recommended a marble slab but I can't find one. I've seen toilet base plate but don't know if that will help with the leveling problem, maybe I could shim it too? At least it would raise the floor without me having to tile the whole bathroom.
    Julia
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,319
    Location:
    New England
    If you put a level across the flange, is the flange actually level, and the floor is off? Or is the floor level, and the flange is off? What is the subfloor? Concrete slab, wood? What's currently on the floor, vinal, wood, tile?
  3. hammerslammer

    hammerslammer New Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Colorado
    I'm not a plumber but i have some rentals and have run into this problem a few times. Here is what i do.
    1) stuff the pipe with something that won't go down.
    2) mix 4 parts mortar mix, (with sand), 1 part thinset mortar.
    3)Spred the mud in the area where the toilet will sit.
    4)Cover the mud with 1 or 2 mil plastic sheeting.
    5)Set the toilet down in place and push it to level, (might take a few practice trys, just push the mud back in place and do it again).
    6) Lift the plastic around the edge where the floor meets the toilet and cut and clean the mud about half way under the edge.
    7)Lift the toilet straight up and let the mud base set for 12 hrs.
    8)Next day pull the plastic and set the toilet like normal.
    9)There should be enough room to grout and the grout will bond to the mud base. I like the grout because mold won't grow on grout like it will on most caulks but I will use a small amount of quality caulk to seal the grout.<P>

    I've struggled with a number of these over the years and for me this method does the trick but again I'm not a plumber.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    A "Marble" or toilet slab from the Home big box store will take care of the problem. It is made with a hole big enough to go over and around the flange and will lift the toilet enough to take care of the problem. You place it on the floor around the flange and then set the toilet like you normaly would. They cost about $25-30.00. You might have to use 2 wax rings. One with a horn and one without. Place the one with the horn on top of the one without if you do need 2 of them.

    You definately don't need to retile the floor to make the toilet work, even if the problem is the floor. Tell that plumber to go look for his next weeks pay check some where else.
  5. bnbhoha

    bnbhoha New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Illinois
    I installed 5 toto toilets this week in my multiplex. Every unit was "unique" . I did not use a single wax ring on any of them. Home Depot sells the waxless ring. The mouth of it has a sticky goo stuff that looks like heat glue, This goes over the bottom ring part (bowl horn) of the toilet of the toilet. Then the end part is made up of 3-4 inch long pvc which inserts into the flange. As long as the "mouth" part is sealed over the bowl horn, you shouldn't have an leaks. So bascially when you bolt it down to the floor, it should seal even if it's not 100% level. Just a thought and I'm no where close to being a plumber, but it worked great for me on various different situations: I got the idea here. They only cost $4-5.

    I couldn't find the link to HD, but here's one for lowes and it says that it seals on uneven floors. I didn't buy this brand and it may differ but I think it essentially does the same thing.
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=172788-320-7500&lpage=none

    here's a pic: mine had the sticky goo stuff on it, this one looks like just an O-ring:
    http://www.fluidmaster.com/connect_products_7500.html
    instructions:
    http://www.fluidmaster.com/pdf/7500_instructions.pdf
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2005
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Fluidmaster brand has a flat rubber seal which is smaller than the horn of the bowl. When applied, it is sort of "stretched" into place. The Oatey brand has a gooey gasket which actually sticks to the base of the toilet. Arounf here, the depot sells both brands.
  7. bnbhoha

    bnbhoha New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Illinois
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2005
  8. julia

    julia New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thank you so much for your replies.

    I think I do need to raise the floor rather than try a different kind of seal/ring because there's really only 1/8" between the underside of the toilet and the flange since the flange is so high in some places. The flange itself is level but the concrete floor is not; the flange rests on the floor in some places and sits above it in other places.

    I have a question about the slab. I see that the toilet would sit flat on the slab, but wouldn't the slab still rock (like the toilet did before I shimmed and grouted it)? Do I need to shim the slab?

    I really appreciate all your responses.
    Julia
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,319
    Location:
    New England
    The fluidmaster (and probably the others mentioned) waxless seal probably would work. But, if you only have 1/8", maybe not. Part of your problem may be that while you try to shim the toilet, the toilet has rocked back and forth a little. The wax, once mushed down, won't spring back. The waxless systems rely on a big soft O-ring to make the seal between the flange and the horn. The top of the horn is attached to the toilet, so any rocking that occurs is not messing with wax, but a resilient rubber compound.

    If you set the toilet down first without a wax ring, shim it so it doesn't rock, pull it back up, put on the wax ring, then set it back down on the shims, you have a good chance of it sealing and stay sealed. Using wax, if it rocks after you get it locked down, you can overcompress the wax on one side, and break the seal.

    If you decide to go with the platform, my guess (I'm not a pro) would be that you might want to set it down in medium set thinset. I suggest medium set (sometimes called granite and marble thinset), because it will handle the heavier piece than normal thinset can, and is designed to be up to (depending on the brand) 1/2" thick. Normal thinset probably doesn't like more than about 1/8" or so in thickness.

    Note, you could also try drawing the outline of the toilet base on the floor, then use the medium set thinset to screed that area flat and level to the base of the flange (i.e., try to let the flange bottom edge be the guide point for the top of the built up area). Let it set overnight, then set the toilet down on top of the now flat surface. If you caulked the edges, it may look decent. If the toilet is white, I suggest getting white thinset. It costs a little more than grey, but is probably worth it (the materials have to be purer to let it be white).

    My unprofessional opinion.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    No the toilet shouldn't rock. The slab is for use on uneven floors to prevent rocking. I have never had a toilet rock where I used one (30 or so). I suppose a severely uneven floor could cause the toilet to still rock.

    Do not use thinset or anything to secure the slab. When you bolt down the toilet that will secure the slab also. You can caulk around the slab if it looks bad but leave the back open/uncaulked.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2005
  11. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    If you are getting this much rocking it sounds like the flange is either not secure or it's broken . Check that first .
  12. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    leak

    By your description of conditions, it seems that you need to re-set it again and do a good grouting job.

    I would shim and then use a cement type grout.

    Just be careful not to break the wax seal trying to get the bowl shimmed.

    May be you should take the tank off first if its too hard to handle.
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Waxless Rings

    While I haven't used any I cant figure how they would stick to the bottom of a toilet that has had a wax ring on it. Even if you clean it well I would think that the wax would be ingrained the surface of the ceramic enough that you couldn't clean it well enough to remove it all and the sticky ring would eventually fail because of that. Look at the photo posted above.
  14. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    flange

    I'm with you Cass.
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,319
    Location:
    New England
    My thought on the thinset was not to actually set the thing down into it like a tile, but to use it as a leveling compound, let it dry, then set it down on top of it. Other compounds might work better but the thinset (mediumset) won't slump and run like some of the others. True, the large plate would help level out some imperfections, but it still could rock if the floor wasn't flat enough, and based on what was said, it wouldn't be level. This bothers some people. I'd personally like it to be level while I'm sitting on it!
  16. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    flange

    I assumed that if it was shimmed, it would be level.

    There may be other conditions that we don't know about.
  17. julia

    julia New Member

    Messages:
    5
    slab question

    Do you know how I can get a slab?
    I can't find one here. I've been to both big box stores and they don't carry them here. They can order one for me if I know a maker. Do you know a brand I can try?

    I did see a "toilet base plate" for sale on the internet. They appear to be plastic and you can stack them if necessary. Would these be as good?

    I may go with the mortar if I can't find the slab, but I feel like I've kind of tried a similar thing with my shim and grout job, which did raise the toilet about 1/4". We lowered the toilet on very gently and straight and now it's totally solid and level, yet still a little leakage coming from under the base.

    Thanks again for all your help.
    Julia
  18. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    not level

    Julia, In your case, I would use cement grout and not the other ready mixed that you buy in a plastic can or caulking.

    Shim it and grout it....
  19. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Look in the yellow pages undr plumbing supply and call around till you find a place that sells them.
  20. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    If the floor is not level(excessively) I shim the toilet then mix some water plug and fill in the space between the toilet and the floor where it is too low. It sets up in about 5 minutes, just wipe off the xtra before it hardens. You can even recess it a little then grout for appearence. this will give the toilet good support.
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