Floppy toto toilet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Rookhawk, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Rookhawk

    Rookhawk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Illinois
    Just installed a new toto guinivere toilet. The toilet slides around even though I anchored the bolts sufficiently.

    Is the primary means of stabilizing a toilet supposed to be caulking it to the floor? It really slides around right now but I havent caulked. Was concerned I missed a step.
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,894
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The primary means of stabilizing a toilet is properly mounting it (and, if absolutely necessary, shimming it to prevent rocking; you can use special toilet shims or just typical plastic door and window shims available at places like HD or Lowe's; that said, in my single experience, the method by which this particular toilet mounts really seems to reduce the need for shimming). "Sliding around" sounds to me like more than rocking; it sounds like you are saying that it's moving, which it absolutely shouldn't be doing.

    Caulking is a finishing touch that prevents infiltration of bugs and stuff [and floor washwater] to the area under the toilet and around the soil pipe and flange, and prevents sewer gas from exiting around the base, if it should come through a faulty wax seal. It is not a method of securing the toilet to the floor.

    NOW, all this said, you realize that the Guinevere uses a Toto Unifit adapter which is mounted first, and then the toilet is lowered onto the already-installed adapter, right? Indeed, that method of installation should make for a really secure fit, because you mount the adapter to the flange, and drill holes and install screws to firmly connect the adapter to the floor. The toilet then slides down onto the securely-mounted adapter, making a very firm connection. Having just installed a Carlyle II which uses this method, I can't for the life of me figure out how you can end up with a toilet that "slides around", unless that adapter isn't connected to the floor at the places where it needs to be, i.e. at the drilled, anchored holes other than where it is mounted to the flange.

    You can find a pdf of the installation instructions here: http://www.totousa.com/Portals/0/ProductDownloads/0GU003Z, TOILET 1.6 GPF, IM, V.08.pdf I am sure that you read them before, but it seems like maybe you did miss a step? Good luck!!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,125
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    When you have caulked the bowl to the floor it won't move.
    By code, the bowl must be caulked anyway.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    It depends on the surface it is installed on. Porcelain on tile has almost no friction between the toilet and the tile...whereas, it will sort of sink into and almost 'stick' to a vinal floor. Regardless, if it is caulked, it won't move. Now, if you moved it around, you might need to reset with new wax. This is certain if it rocks (then it would need shims, too), but you might be okay if it only rotated. Wax doesn't rebound...once bent or mashed, it stays there.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF the closet's flange was anchored properly it would NOT be able so "slide around". Unless you do anchor it, caulking the toilet to the floor will be the only way to stabilize it.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,894
    Location:
    New York, NY
    This is so interesting, and it shows how little a DIY-er like me knows.

    Everything I have read, including on here, said or implied that one was to get the bowl rock free and firmly in place before caulking; that caulk didn't secure the bowl, and certainly wouldn't for the long haul.

    This seemed to be confirmed by how easily I pulled the old caulked toilets off.

    Also, the poster's toilet goes on a Unifit.

    When we installed the Unifit for our Carlyle II, I got four screws solidly into the floor holding the one end of the Unifit adapter, and the other end securely-attached to the flange. That thing isn't moving a millimeter.

    When we put the toilet on, it was immediately held firmly in place. On a tile floor. Didn't need shims, either (although that's a floor-level issue I imagine).

    So I assumed that if the original poster had firmly-secured the Unifit, the toilet would follow.

    Live and learn.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You know, it's really pretty basic. As HJ pointed out, the flange should be anchored to the floor. The flange is supposed to set firmly on top of the finished floor. You anchor it with at least 4 screws that will penetrate clear though the sub floor. I prefer #12 stainless steel screws. Put the two flange bolt in place, holding them in place and upright with an extra nut. You put the wax ring on the flange and set the toilet on by lowering it straight down over flange bolts and press down with you body weight to squish the horn into the wax. If the floor is level, the toilet skirt will rest on top of the floor all the way around. If there are gaps you need to shim. Put the flange bolt nut and washers on and snug them up. Do not use these nuts and bolts to pull the toilet into the wax, they are just to hold the toilet in position. If you do all of the properly, the toilet will be not move. Now caulk around the toilet. The caulk will help to hold the toilet, but the main function is to prevent water from getting under in case of a spill or bad aim.
  8. mikeplummer

    mikeplummer Plumber

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    interesting...we never caulk around the base of toilets, for one reason, if the toilet seal ever leaks it will show itself by leaking out from under the toilet, instead of into the floor cavity, or ceiling below, which you wouldn't notice before damage would be caused...
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    Does that one use a Unifit adapter? If so, then the seal is probably okay. Since the anchor point is way back on toilets that use the unifit, you have more of a lever to move it. But, it's a three point anchor (two into the back of the unifit adapter and one onto the adapter closer to the front), so that tends to be more stable.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,125
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Here in Washington State, we caulk to prevent urine from getting under the bowl. It also sticks it down pretty good.
    We leave the back open, just in case there is a leaking seal. The preference here is to see the leak sooner then later.
    In Arizona, hj says the do caulk the entire base. So....not every state does it the same.

    If a toilet is installed flat to the floor, and shimmed so that it does not rock, then a person could just leave it. We can move them until they are caulked though. And sometimes we do a little eyeballing before we call it good and move the bowl until it looks right to us. They will move.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    That's why most places require the back to be left open...i.e., uncaulked. There's all sorts of crud that can run down the side of a toilet (little boys, old men, etc.), plus dirty mop water, etc. It really needs to be sealed there since you can't readily clean it.
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The point is, while caulking has its benefits, holding the toilet in place is not really one of them. I caulked all the way around on my upstairs toilet because I'm more worried about water on the floor getting under and then seeping into my finished ceiling below than a leaking seal going undetected.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    [​IMG]
    Our inspectors want the ENTIRE perimeter caulked and will check the back to make sure an opening was NOT left there.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2012
  14. Rookhawk

    Rookhawk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks Terry,

    That was what I thought. The unifit is perfectly secure but the perfectly level toilet is on a very slippery marble floor. The elongated bowl does slide around so I'll try caulking as a means to stop that.
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