How to Handle Copper Toilet Flange Being too low to Tile Under

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Randy200, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Randy200

    Randy200 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hi,

    I am remodeling an old bathroom and have ran into a situation I wanted to bounce off the experts in the forum.

    Please refer to the attached photo... flange_1.jpg

    The build up is taking place on top of a 1.25" wood sub-floor. I have laid down the backer board on top of the wood. Then, put the tile on top of the backer board. As you can readily see, there is a perfect fit! That's exactly the problem, since there is no space for the two layers of needed thinset. Per my calculation I will need 2 layers of 1/8" thinset, for a total of 1/4" space!

    The flange is vintage circa 1960s. It is connected to cast iron piping, with access from below in the basement.

    Is it OK, if I tile flush or slightly below the flange, but not have the flange rest on top of the tile? If I do so, do I need to build up below the flange somehow, so the flange is resting on something?

    By the way, how would you go about cleaning the old wax off the flange?

    Thanks
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,797
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    From here, it looks like it is attached to a copper pipe under the floor. I would use a #10 thick wax ring.
  3. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane Member

    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Ohio
    This is a never ending debate. Flush with finished floor or on top of finished floor. In my opinion both are acceptable as long as flange is secure.

    Just find a way to clean it off.

    Attached Files:

  4. Randy200

    Randy200 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thank you. If I go the latter approach (tile butted next to the flange), How secure do I need to make the flange to the floor? Currently, there is about 1/2" space between the subfloor and the bottom of the flange (taken by the 1/4" durock and 1/4" tile in the picture). Should I

    1. Take the Backer board off and fill the 1/2" void with 1/2" plywood of some sort?

    2. Put thinset under backer board and keep them under the flange? Do I need to worry about the 1/8" void I will have left under the flange, since tile is not in there any more? Would bolting the flange down to the subfloor keep it "secure" enough?

    I suppose it will be OK, if the flange ends up being about 1/8" higher than the tile butted up next to it. It will get covered by the toilet, anyhow. ...
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,891
    Location:
    New York, NY
    You actually want the top of the flange above the finished floor, but if you don't accomplish that, you can use two wax rings or a #10 thick wax ring, as HJ says. Just make sure the flange is well-secured to the subfloor, because you are securing your toilet to the flange.
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