Rocking toilets (not a band)

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by alternety, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    I am putting in 5 Totos. The first 2 are in. The two bolts in the back of the adapter are not used because of the danger of hitting radiant tubing. But I don't think that is the cause of the rocking. The floors throughout the house are concrete and are not particularly flat.

    I need to to something to stabalize them. I think cedar wedges are too soft. I could try to get someone to cut wedges from a hardwood. I have seen metal wedges somewhere but I am concerned about point loads with them because they were narrow. I thought of trying to get mortar under the edge of the base and let that harden but I am not sure if that will be strong enough or if it will eventually deteriorate from loads.

    Anyone have any solutions or experience with any the the approaches I have mentioned?
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    I'm pretty sure there are plastic wedges expressly made for shimming toilets. Check with a "real" plumbing supply.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    If you are using an adapter for the Toto, then you will need to screw in the back of it.

    The bolts that hold the toilet are there.

    I always shim the back, pinning the front of the bowl down.
    You may need to loosen the back bolts, slip the shims in, then tighten down again.

    I use door shime, either the composites, or cedar.
    You won't be having water there, and if there is water, you have big problems.

    I don't like the plastic shims they sell for toilets or tile. They are too steep, and too hard to cut.

    When that is done, it's time to caulk around the base.
    We always leave some caulking undone at the back, so we can see if there are any leaks.
    The reason for the caulking, is to prevent water from getting under the bowl.
    Some smells in bathrooms, have been caused by little boys missing, and the urine just stays under the bowl.
    Caulking around the front of the bowl prevents that.
    I've also seen urine between the tank and bowl connection.
    Ever wonder why the bathroom smells?
    Some cities require 360 degree caulking, but in the Seattle area, it's not allowed.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  4. SpeedWrench

    SpeedWrench New Member

    Quick question:
    What is the main reason for caulking around the base of a toilet?

    I just installed a new toilet and shimed it. It is rock solid on the floor.
    I would like to leave it uncaulked to see any future leaks immediately.

    Other then to comply with code requirements or to steady a toilet, is there any definite reason I should caulk the toilet. I looks great without caulk around it now.

  5. rudytheplbr

    rudytheplbr 36 Journeyman Plbr

    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Caulking Toilet

    If I need to caulk a toilet bowl, I would use Plaster of Paris, with a little bit of waterseal to make it water proof.
    However, if you have a nice tight mount to the flange and floor, I wouldn't do anything.


    I hope you read this, because the Plaster of paris described abovem, is what I used for an uneven floor. Set the toilet, tighten the bowl to the flange, fill and check for leaks, then cut off the mounting bolts, set the caps, and fill the gaps, w/ Plaster of Paris.

    Good Luck,
  6. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Terry just gave you a bunch of reasons. The main reason for caulking the base of an upstairs toilet is to help prevent water from leaking down into the room below, in case the toilet overflows or someone forgot to close the shower curtain when taking a shower.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    "prevent water from leaking down into the room below, in case the toilet overflows or someone forgot to close the shower curtain when taking a shower."

    Well of course that was in my head when I was writing it, but then I forgot while I was thinking of the other things.

    I don't see overflows much anymore though, unless I'm testing some crummy toilet that, oh yeah, they can sure overflow all over the floor, gotta pull that sucker out of there and get the good stuff in again.

    Okay, we need a complete list of "all" reasons why.

    My son would add, it makes it quieter too.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    That will be the next generation of toilets.

    Wisper quiet toilets.

    Or time delay toilets so your not there to hear it flush. There are all kinds of things that we could come up with.
  9. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    There are all kind of places where water will go through the floor. Never have seen a water proof floor. If it were up to me I would shim the floor and then grout, not caulk the base of the toilet with tile grout and make permanent solid base. Grout makes a better shim too and looks much nicer, in my opinion any way.
  10. I'm in the habit of shimming and grouting toilets set on bare concrete or tile on concrete.

    Caulk on linoleum, Caulk on tile if the margin is small, larger I grout if it doesn't contrast from tile grout already between tiles.

    I don't do colored grout unless the customer is making up a batch right there for me to use to match what they have.
  11. SpeedWrench

    SpeedWrench New Member

  12. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Thanks for the replies. The approach I favor is shimming and then grouting. That was the one I thought was best before I posted this, but I was not sure that grout was strong enough.

    Another issue is bonding to the concrete. I know the grout will not bond and I suspect the caulk will not either. The floors are treated with sealer.

    Last point - Terry, you said that those two back bolts are necessary. I just don't think I can risk hitting a radiant pipe. I thought about an IR thermometer, but I don't know if the resolution is adequate. I can try to hire someone with an infrared camera. My understanding is that that is quite expensive. I asked our local fire chief, but they don't have one.

    Anyone ever hear of a thermo-responsive thin sheet that could be layed on the floor? Kind of a big flat mood ring.

    Following my own suggestion, I found a thermo-sensitive liquid crystal. I am going to buy a sheet and see what happens. A limiting factor is I have only found materials with about a 10 degree temperature spread.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  13. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Northern Virginia
    I'm with Terry on the plastic shims ,,,,, "too steep And too hard to cut "

    A good wood shim works GREAT ! Also have alwys used clear or white 100% silicone . Really helps to stabilize , Fights mildew and stains . Can be cut if/when toilet needs to come up .
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