plaster of paris

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by wallygater, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. wallygater

    wallygater New Member

    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    long island
    Is It a common, and or good practice, to set a toilet with plaster of paris under it? If so, how much do you use?
  2. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I know an old plumber that did this if a toilet rocked or wobbled.

    Code says to caulk around the bowl. I guess this is to stop sewer gasses from getting into the room. I personally think that's a bad idea because it just hides a leaking wax ring until the leak damages the floor. If you don't caulk, you'll see the leak as soon as it starts.

    I've seen toilets set in thinset or tile grout on a tile floor instead of caulk. The toilet is then permanently part of the floor. Removal usually means breaking the toilet.

    But leveling a toilet in plaster of paris has none of these problems. You can just put a dab in the four corners to stop wobble. It sets faster than grout or thinset. It's hard enough to do the job and the toilet isn't permanently stuck to the floor.
  3. gbh

    gbh New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Colorado
    I certainly see the wisdom in this, but I have a big con for not putting in caulk... My son. Dude is 7 and routinely leaks down the side of the toilet. Without caulk, urine will seep under the bowl and ferment. So, with this in mind, what would be recommended? Caulk, or no caulk?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    Caulk. Shims if necessary to keep it from rocking first...
  5. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

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    2,051
    If it's an upstairs toilet, caulking around the base will also help prevent nasty water from pouring onto the ceiling below, in case of an overflow.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    caulk

    The sealing is to prevent water from going under the toilet, not to keep sewer gas or leakage from coming out.
  7. wallygater

    wallygater New Member

    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    long island
    the plumber that set the toilet upstairs actually dumped plaster of Paris on the finished tile floor, then set the toilet on top of the plaster. I still had to caulk around it anyway. He said its the best way to set a toilet, and that's the old fashion way to do it. From the replies on this topic it sounds like no one ever heard of such a thing, and or never does this anymore.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Using grout would be the closest thing to plaster which I have never heard of but doesn't surprise me...One of the things that I do run into from time to time is plumbers putty used in place of a wax ring...not a good thing but from what I can tell was used by a few plumbers years back...
  9. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    You can set the toilet in concrete, and it will be guaranteed not to wobble. But that's not a good plan either. I like to think about the next guy or gal who's gonna have to work on that toilet.
  10. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Unless you're a handyman! :p
  11. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Spock, explain?? :confused:
  12. Craig99

    Craig99 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    When I added a bathroom in Cypress, CA, Inspector would not pass toilet until it was caulked. He said it was to prevent sewer gases. I just installed a Guinevere. The Unifit makes it real simple to make sure you get a nice seal without worrying about the toilet messing it up. Good rim wash and excellent flush so far.
  13. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    I had an inspector that would not issue a CO until the entire base of the commode was caulked ... to prevent water seepage when mopping, etc.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    If you have sewer gasses leaking from a toilet, it is because the wax seal is bad...you could cover it up with caulk around the toilet, but that wouldn't fix it...and, you might find the toilet in the room below after it rotted out the floor.
  15. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Exactly my point. In my opinion, caulking around the toilet base can hide a problem until real damage is done. I still think that the down side of caulking outweights the upside.
  16. Craig99

    Craig99 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    How long are wax gaskets suppose to last? Do you guys replace them every 3,5,or 10 years or just wait till you have sewage smell or see water leaking?
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    On a properly installed toilet, never.
  18. GabeS

    GabeS Remodel Contractor

    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    A lot of people use the plaster of paris. I hear about it all the time but never used it myself. The toilet should not rock. The tile floor should be flat and level and then when you put the toilet it should not rock at all. If it rocks, then that means the floor is not level and flat.

    Good point about the caulking not allowing water or spilled urine under the toilet. If the toilet leaks that caulk will probably bubble up.
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