Question re:toilet flange

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by fatdaddy, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I will try to post a photo later but here is my story:
    Last night I removed the floor of my bathroom.Tile over mud with metal lath.
    The closet flange seems to be fixed (soldered) to the lead waste pipe. Both the pipe and flange seem to be in good shape so I would rather not replace with pvc..
    My question is:
    Is this common?. Everything I read refers to the flange as being separate from the pipe.
    One other question:If I tile right up to the underside of the flange how do I then place the bolt (or later replace the bolt if needed) if there is not space between the tile and the flange to accomodate the bolt head?
    Thanks.
    Alan
  2. Garydaplummer

    Garydaplummer Union plumber/pipefitter-self employed

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Tiling question

    Why are you tiling up under the flange? Just tile up to the outside of the flange, you don't need to fill the space under the flange with tile. It will be covered by the toilet. The toilet should sit on the floor around the flange anyway. The flange should not be used as support. This way you'll be able to change the bolts if needed.
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Toilet flanges should be resting on the floor.

    Then the flange should be secured to the floor with some kind of fastening system, normally screws in wood or other types for concrete, so when you install a wax ring and tighten the toilet bolts the flange, connecting pipe, and toilet don't move.

    If you have a lead bend connected to the flange the lead is soft and the pipe may move if the flange is not secured.

    The flange being secured to the floor prevents the toilet from moving because the toilet is secured to it. If the flange can move so can the toilet.

    I do not recommend caulking the toilet to the floor because you will not know if you have a failed wax ring and it can ruin some of the vinyl flooring by seeping through it.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,811
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flange

    The flange MUST be secured to the pipe in any proper installation. The flange is recessed on the bottom so the "T" bolt heads will slip under it once the tile is installed.
  5. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    Some codes require it, Cass is correct about screwing the flange to the floor, it is required here in new work for the flange and fasteners to be rust proof ie stainless.
  6. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Wiped flange?

    I read someplace else that this might be a lead wiped joint where the brass flange is soldered to the lead pipe.
    Again,calling a plumber is currently not an option although I wish it was.I tried to post a photo but can't for some reason but there is not much to look at. The pipe looks good.The flange is in good shape considering the age--definately usable IF I can only figure out how to work around it!!
    It is very odd because the old toilet did not rock and the floor seemed level but now that every thing is up and out it is a different story.

    Worst case: replumb with ABS to cast iron AFTER the floor is in? Is that something I can do or should I start saving now for the plumber?
    Tight space under the house and tight $$ is the challenge now.
  7. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Connecticut
    By the way--the new TOTO Ultramax

    is what crushed the projects budget! Still not here but I look forward to seeing how good it is if I ever get this done.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You will see that you made a great choice there!
  9. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    If the flange is solid and the pipe is solid and clean then there is no reason to replace at this time. There should be screws or holes for screws to hold the flange to the floor. There cannot be a space between the flooring and the flange it must be securely fastened to the flooring and not be way above the finished tile. It can set on the finished tile, but not be shimmed above it or the new toilet will not sit on the floor properly.

    The brass bolts that hold the toilet are in a slot and should be replaceable. They can be stuck in place by crud and wax or rust, but you can carefully work them out of the groove. Go to a home center and get a set of bolts and a new closet, toilet flange, and see how they work. If the guy in the orange or blue jersey is helpful and knows anything they will show you. Then you will understand how it works. Stand around in the home store and read some of their plumbing books, they love that.
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You want 5/16" brass closet bolts not the 1/4" zinc plated steel ones that smockman pushes! You do not want the ones that have a pre cut area to break of the extra... For some reason it always ends up where you want the bolt to tighten and the threads end up stripping. The flange height should be on top of the finished floor.
  11. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thanks very much for the quick responses.

    OK. 5/16 brass bolts.
    How do I screw the flange into the tile? What size screw? I will use stainless unless you tell me otherwise and will drill with an appropriate bit for the tile--looks like 1/18 but the previous toilet was ok and the flange was not screwed down. Because the soldered flange is part of the lead pipe I don't see any benefit but do not want to do anything wrong here.
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would use #12 screws either brass or stainless long enough to completely grip in all the flooring materials for maximum grip. Of course the tile needs to be drilled out large enough for the screw to penetrate without splitting the tile.
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio


    Are you on concrete or wood below the tile?
  14. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I am spinning around in circles bouncing from TileYourWorld

    and here!! Gonna give it a rest BUT,here is what I am looking at:

    I am going to lay 5/8" plywood down on the current subfloor that is plywood and in good shape. Then I am going to lay DITRA down. Then I will tile.
    I am pretty certain that I will then have the floor brought back up 1 1/4" and that will put it right under the flange. I will sink screws back down (there are three holes for screws) with something long enough to hit wood.
    Thanks very much. I am certain that I will be back!
    Alan
  15. George R

    George R New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    Notch the tile

    Alan, don't worry about drilling thru the tile after it is set. Just use your tile saw to notch the tile where the three screws will penetrate, BEFORE laying the tile. It's much easier and you don't risk cracking an already set tile. Some floor tile can be extremely hard to drill.
  16. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Use stainless steel screws long enough to go through the sub floor. As suggested, notch the tile for the screws so you don't have to drill the tile, just pilot holes in the under flooring. I do not caulk my toilets, but I am a DIYer and while I adhere to codes, I don't have my own work inspected. If my master bath toilet develops a leak, I rather find it on the floor than in the ceiling below.
  17. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    Be careful on the side the pipe turns to, sometimes those lead pipes can be tight to the subfloor and you don't want to drive a long screw through it, but do get screws into the bottom layer.
  18. fatdaddy

    fatdaddy New Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Pipe seems to have plenty of room and I thank you

    for the notching advice. I will do it.
    I have two samples of plywood and 1/2" seems to be enough. Added to 1/8" Ditra and my tile I should have a nice tight fit. I got #10 1 1/2" stainless screws and my only slow-down is waiting for delivery.

    One new question: My sink will be open and my old supply/drain is pretty worn. I had to toss the p-trap. When I go to the plumbing store is there a commercial-chrome quality P-trap and stops that will last a long,long time?
    What do I ask for? Online dealers?
    Thanks.
    Alan
  19. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would go with #12 screws.

    For the trap you want 17 gauge.
  20. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Look for what's called a "New York Style" trap, it's made from super-heavy brass (cast, not tubing), lasts forever.

    You can get them chrome-plated, the pic on the right is under my bathroom sink...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
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