Shimming a toilet - best way

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by remodelingit, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. remodelingit

    remodelingit New Member

    Just installed a Toto Ultramax- best toilet ever.

    It rocks a bit since the tile isn't exactly level- probably 1/16" to 1/32" off. What is the best way to shim a toilet to keep it from rocking? What is the best material to do so?


  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    In this area the inspectors require that the toilets be sealed to the floor, so whatever is used caulk, tile grout, etc., fills the void and secures the toilet.
  3. use grout

    its best to shim the toilet into place with something
    that wont rust or corrode over time....they do make shims out of

    I have found toilets where people have used a few pennies as shims and they seem to work pretty well to make the toilet solid to the floor...
    as long as they are not visible...they work great too.

    then they tighetnd down the whole thing and
    used some DAP to put the final seal on the whole thing
    glueing it down to the floor.
  4. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Columbus, OH
    They make soft plastic toilet shims just for this purpose. Get 'em at your favorite big orange or blue box.

  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    I mainly use plastic compostite "door shims".

    Most of the made for plumbing plastic shims are not slim enough and don't cut off.
    If you put the toilet down without wax first, you get a better idea of where the shims will go.
    Some wax has a horn that can prevent the toilet from dropping down.
    Determine whether the problem is with the wax first.
    Our preference is to shim the back whenever possible, pinning the front of the bowl down.
    When shims are placed at the back, there is no reason for them to be getting wet.
    You can tap them in until the movement is gone, tighten down and trim the shim.

    I've tried pulling toilets that were "glued or grouted" up before, It's a horrible job that sometimes involves breaking the toilet to remove it. Nothing like broken shards of porcelain to add the our dangers.
    We use something like polyseamseal for the caulking.
    It seals well, and I can still remove the bowl if needed.


    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  6. plumguy

    plumguy New Member

    I have never broke a toilet removing or installing regardless of the circumstances. Although, code requires sealing the finish product I have never had a problem with installing a water closet properly!! In 20+ years that is a pretty good record in the MA area!! Although were all trained to be salesman to a certain respect the install and replacement are simplified by homeowner friendly specs!!
  7. never tried cedar

    I have never tried cedar wood shims....
    usually if a penny does not work, then a either a nickle
    a dime will do fine,

    but god help you if the tolet is sealed down with sillicone

    it never comes up with out a fight
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2009
  8. TomCat

    TomCat New Member

    Quikcrete Shimming

    My tile floor is uneven so any toilet rocks back and forth. Not expecting to replace the toilet for a long time, I decided to use a tube of QuikCrete. The thinking behind this is that I needed something that would harden and stop any rocking motion once it set up. I had traced the outline of the toilet with a pencil before setting it. I layed a bead of Quikcrete just inside the line before setting the toilet. After it was set and snugged down, I used my finger to smooth the seam and a wet sponge to finish and clean up the edges on the toilet base and floor.
    I don't know how sticky this stuff is or how hard it will be to remove it but it looks pretty good right now. It's grey and matches the grout in the floor.
    Tomorrow I will find out if it is a problem as the toilet I just put in is an American Standard Champion and I've decided based on the horror stories on this website and the lousy cleanup flush it does to remove it and take it back for a refund.
    I'll post the results after I find out.
  9. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Vancouver, BC
    a fight with silicone, mpm? I've never had trouble with that one, just run a blade down the one easy side to get to and rock that side of the toilet off first... ;)
  10. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Northern Virginia
    I'm with Kristi . Silicone has always worked great for me . A good razor knife and out comes the bowl.Also it doesn't "yellow" up as fast as regular chaulk.
    MPM.. try the plastic door shims Terry is talking about,,They do work GREAT !

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2009
  11. steveloren800

    steveloren800 New Member

    Burbank, CA
    Johnny Shim for toilets

    If you want to install a toilet right, look for Johnny Shims. They're made by EZ-Shim. I know they sell them online. They're designed specifically for toilets and pedestal sinks. Don't even bother with those little soft square ones - and I definitely don't recommend using concretes or epoxies to set a toilet.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2011
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    I would certainly never shim the front of a bowl unless there was something dire happening.
    Always shim the back of the bowl.

  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Welcome to my world...

    I assure you there isn't much worse than trying to lift a toilet that has been glued down with Silicone RTV when you are trying to lift a basement toilet for drain cleaning after it has overflowed...

    I know HJ has never seen where a drain cleaning required removing a toilet for access but if he wants to come here for a visit he can do my next one...
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