maximum gap between toilet flange and floor

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by cjc, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. cjc

    cjc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I am in the process of remodeling two bathrooms. I'm planning to replace the tile flooring with vinyl. For one of the toilets, I can easily replace the flange by cutting the pipe from the floor below. The second toilet is not so easy. I don't have easy access to the waste pipe from underneath because it is directly above a heating duct. It also looks like the flange is connected directly to an elbow. The drain pipe is 3" inside diameter. I understand it is preferred to have the flange resting directly on top of the floor, but it would require either taking a heat duct apart or pulling up the subfloor. So my question is if I tear out the floor and put down new underlayment and vinyl, I'll have a 1/8" gap between the flange and floor. Is this acceptable, or will I need to shim the flange and toilet? And if I shim the flange will the toilet need to be shimmed as well or would it still be possible to push it down tight to the floor?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,253
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    As long as there is a "gap" between the flange and the bottom of the toilet when the toilet is sitting on the floor, the flange does not have to be adjusted.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    A 1/8" gap is not a problem. You might want to use a jumbo wax ring to compensate for that slight difference.
  4. mtcummins

    mtcummins In the Trades

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Why a jumbo if the flange is too high?
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,317
    Location:
    New England
    Put a shim underneath the flange so that it fills that gap, and then rescrew it to the subfloor. You might be able to use a few washers at the screw holes, but a solid ring may be better. Being 1/8" higher than design rarely would make it too high for the toilet to sit properly, but make sure the toilet DOES sit flat over the flange before setting it with the new wax ring. There has to be at least some room for wax between the toilet and the flange for it to seal properly. And, if the toilet rocks, add shims there to prevent it.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Good catch mtcummins. I just reversed the whole thing. Of course you wouldn't need a jumbo seal in this case. That would be needed if the flange was 1/8" too low, not high. My bad.
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