Tile, Flange, Shims, & Wax Ring

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by BS, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Yesterday one of my toilets (Kohler Wellworth) started leaking under the base only when flushed. I just pulled the toilet and found the wax ring (with horn) pushed down on the leaking (left) side and up on the other. The wax above the plastic horn on the low (left) side was just about gone, exposing the plastic.

    I installed the toilet (new) over three years ago after laying ceramic tile on the concrete floor. The toilet sat a little low on the left side and I shimmed it with rubber strips I had around, but I don't think I did a very good job. The toilet felt solid ever since, but I had noticed the water in the bowl hadn't been level for quite a while.

    Here's the situation: The top of the flange is 1/8 to 1/4" above the finished ceramic tile floor and is actually a little HIGH on the left side. The top edge of the metal drain pipe is about 1-5/8" below the top of the flange. The toilet seems to sit fine, though a little LOW to the left, when I dry-fit it over the flange. Although the finished floor seems fairly flat, I think the cause of the toilet not sitting level is because one tile on the right side is a little bit higher than the others.

    My questions:

    I bought a wax ring with a horn but didn't realize it was "jumbo" until I took it out of the bag this morning. I should be able to use it without problem, correct? I also know some of you prefer wax rings without horns. Would my horned jumbo work in my situation?

    I also bought plastic toilet shims and I now remember why I didn't use them three years ago: I can't figure out how to get them to stay in place on the tile or how to cut the parts that stick out from around the base of the bowl. I just read where some of you use cedar shims (I have some) or grout. If I were to use grout, should I spread it on the tile and then set the toilet on top of it while it's still wet? If so, wouldn't that make it difficult to remove the toilet in the future? Or should I spread the grout to the correct height and wait until it hardens before setting the toilet?

    If anyone is able to respond today I'd be most appreciative as I'm trying to get this done today before my family comes home. Thanks!

    - Bernie
  2. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    I would cut enough of the wax from the jumbo seal and set the toilet with no plastic horn. Draw the bolts down just less than snug and then look to see where you need to shim. Snug the bolts some more, shim the gap and finish tighten the closet bolts. Then I would mix up some Real tile grout, not caulking, and wipe it in with my finger and finish wiping and cleaning with a piece of cotton cloth and or a sponge. That will give the toilet a good firm base and not allow any wobble.

    At this time you can remove the shim and finish with a little more grout.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
  3. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Rock solid

    Thanks, Plumber1. I remembered I had a regular wax ring destined for my main bathroom remodel that I'm in the middle of, so I used it on the leaky toilet instead. I had cedar shims ready to use, but wound up using a couple plastic toilet shims. I scored them repeatedly with a utility knife, then pried up the ends until they snapped clean. I've got some leftover SpectraLock grout in the freezer and if it's still good, I might try putting it under the base.

    The toilet is rock solid and level and we're able to flush with confidence once again.

    - Bernie
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If the grout in the freezer is a premixed throw it away and get new.
  5. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Is there such a thing as premixed SpectraLock epoxy grout?

    The grout in my freezer is from a Lowe's SpectraLock mini-unit I mixed up for my bathroom floor about 6 weeks ago. On a tiling forum I read about freezing SpectraLock to extend its work time and tried it and it worked great. I also read that someone had used SpectraLock a month or so after freezing it and it worked fine. Its freezer life may not be much past that time, so I'll see how mine does.

    - Bernie
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    The chemical reaction of epoxy curing can be slowed in cold, but it does not stop it. My guess is that it probably won't be much good.
  7. CharlieM

    CharlieM New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Iowa
    Freezing spectralock grout can preserve it somewhat for a week - two is stretching it. Months or years - nope.
  8. freeze any epoxy grout

    because it's epoxy. This works for any epoxy grout.

    after you mix it up, you put a big batch in the freezer and leave it there until you finish working with the first batch. This gives you time to do the job in segments. Otherwise, epoxy can harden up suddenly before you have cleaned up.

    david
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    Doesn't matter what kind of epoxy it is, once the accellerator is added, cold will only slow the reaction, not stop it. Eventually, it will harden. I would be very surprised if it lasted a month.
  10. BeauSoleil

    BeauSoleil New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Two Part or Not Two Part

    Am I missing something here? I'm assuming Freezer Man is referring to storing 2 part unmixed epoxy grout in his freezer, not the stuff that's been already mixed!
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,139
    Location:
    New England
    Yes, you are...this is after it is mixed...you can slow it down for awhile, just not (IMHO) a month! Several people at www.johnbridge.com found that this is a way to extend the pot life for some hours - especially important for newbies. You can mix the package up and still get a chance to use it before it cures by putting part of it in the freezer. It is much more reliable to mix the full package, since you don't have to measure carefully, but it can be too much to use until you get the hang of it, which a DIY'er may never really do on a single project.
  12. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Out of the Cold

    Freezerman here. As we all suspected, the grout was no good after being in my freezer exactly 7 weeks. When it thawed, it was somewhat plastic, similar to modeling clay right out of the package.

    - Bernie
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