Toilet flange dilemma

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Jayw, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ontario
    New to site. Great info.
    I have a high and out of level, unsecured flange over slightly unlevelled finished basement tiled floor. Wow lol

    I would prefer not to raise floor because i dont have tile to replace.
    And flange is glued and embedded in concrete.

    If I cut a piece of 5/8 inch ( plywood in shape of base and cut out hole for flange ( one side would be about level with top of flange and other side would be about 1/8 lower ) and secured to tile via tapcons.

    I know toilet would sit higher and I would have to finish lip some how ( last time I used grout )

    Question is, will the toilet seal ok if the flange and floor height ( the plywood ) are roughly the same height? Thks
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    It's a common DIY misconception that the top of the flange should be level with the finished floor. This is not surprising because some videos clearly show this. The proper method (and what your toilet is designed for) is for the flange to sit on top of the finished floor. That means that the bottom of the flange is on the finished floor and the top of the flange is above the finished floor. You then drop a wax ring on the flange, mount the toilet, and voila.

    So...doesn't sound like your flange is "high", unless the bottom of it is above the finished floor.

    If it's a little unlevel, welcome to the real world. Dry fit the toilet. Shim the toilet so it's level and doesn't rock, pick it up, drop a wax ring on your flange, put the toilet back on the shims, bolt it down and unless I am not visualizing a problem that you mentioned, I think you're done.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    That should work. If you can pick up a scrap of something like Corian, you can work it with woodworking tools, and it would be both waterproof, stable, and you wouldn't have to worry about trying to finish the edges of plywood, which most of the time still looks like plywood when you're done! You'll probably need two wax rings, or one jumbo, or you could use a waxless version since the flange would be low from a design standpoint. IOW, you don't need it to be that thick, since the flange normally does sit on TOP of the finished floor, then you'd only need one wax ring, and your big shim would be less noticeable. You could probably get by with 1/4-3/8" of material.
  4. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    Yes the bottom of it is above finished floor ... About 5/16 on the low side and 5/8 on the high side ... And Iam talking from bottom of flange to finished tile floor.

    So if I put a piece of 5/8 or 1/2 plywood over tile floor ( in shape of bottom of bowl ) and cut out flange circle the top of flange and "my new floor " will be about the same. Will this work?
  5. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    Or the corian or dura rock ?
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    I'm kind of confused -- if the BOTTOM of the flange (read your first 3 words) is 5/8 above the finished floor, and you add 5/8 plywood, I don't see how the TOP of the flange is now level with the plywood.

    I'm also not sure again why you need to do this, but Jim seems to be all over it.
  7. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Ontario
    Sorry wjc, I see what u mean. I rechecked and if I use 1/2 inch plywood or something else 1/2 inch it will come half way up flange on low side and come to bottom of flange on high side.

    Reason i have to do this is because flange is too high from bottom of tiled floor, so my toilet rocks on flange and doesn't sit well.

    So if I have that uneven platform height around flange ( half way up on low side and too the bottom on the high side ) should I use the bigger wax seal to have more to squish or regular one?

    Also, Jim u mentioned the Corian, could I put that under the flange ( cut in half to come in from both sides) to secure flange via tapcons into concrete? Or do u suggest something else?

    Thks for help
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    Yes, you could cut the Corian, or whatever you choose to put under there so it is providing support to the toilet flange, and yes, it would be a good idea! Think of it, especially if the flange is plastic, that is what's holding the toilet in place...it is designed to be anchored solidly to the floor, and yours is hanging up there in space. Odds are, someone falling against the toilet could easily crack the thing (it would be better if it had a metal ring). It's more robust if it is anchored properly. If you woodworking skills are good, you could make a jig and with a router, provide a rabbit joint that would fully support the flange all around in the solid surfacing material you choose. In reality, you could use something like Plexiglass as well. I'd stay away from wood (like plywood), since even if the toilet never leaked, you may get it damp from mopping the floor, or from the kids splashing in the tub, or who knows what. THen, it would be likely to start to swell up and look lousy, if you ever got it to look good in the first place!
  9. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    Ahh plexiglass, good call. Time to go see my buddy's at the hockey rink to get some used plastic boards or glass and my wood working buddy to jig it up and get his bits ready! Lol

    Man, lot easier to do it right in the first place than going through this monkey business! Oh well, try and make the best of it! Thks
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    I would cut the old flange off and glue in an inside pipe closet flange on top of the floor and then rotohammer and secure to the concrete.
    Sioux Chief makes a nice one.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Just a tag to Terry's post. Whenever I have to attach anything to concrete, I use one of two methods. For really big stuff that will need to support a lot of weight, I drill holes and use expansion bolts. For smaller things, like a flange, I drill pilot holes, lead sleeves, and sheet metal screws. #12 SS screws for flanges. The SS is likely overkill, but for a few cents extra, I know they won't corrode.
  12. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    whats the best method to cut it off? not sure best how to get in there, do i have the room. heres a pic photo.jpg

    sorry novice here! lol
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    Can't tell if that is a 3" or a 4" pipe...if it's 3", an inside fitting flange will make it pretty small. But, should you decide to go that route, for less than $20, you can buy an inside pipe cutter. It's essentially a small circular saw on a long shaft that you use in a drill. You only need to cut off enough so that the new one can sit on the slab.
  14. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    IF that's 3", does he have enough room to cut it and do an outside-fit? Allegedly, there's a lot of room around the pipe... Isn't there a Sioux Chief that's like 3 OR 4; i.e. the same one goes inside 4 or outside 3?
  15. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    Got it

    3" .... So I would cut the pipe roughly the distance it is high? It's higher on one side so I assume I have to cut at the lowest distance and shim the diff?

    With a smaller opening Iam also assuming I look for a kick ass flush toilet?
  16. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    After cutting could I not chisel around pipe to give me clearance for a regular outside fit flange? How much distance or rather depth is needed to seat flange?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  17. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Location:
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    Question: Is there or is there not tile and concrete under the screw holes on the existing flange? It looks like it's mounted on top of the finished floor, like it's supposed to be, but just isn't secured through the finished floor to the subfloor like it's supposed to be. I.e. is there a reason that you can't just just bolt it down through the tile into the concrete?

    Or am I mistaken and the hole around the pipe actually is so wide that it comes outside the screw holes on the flange? If that's the case, then I don't think you'd need to chisel to get an outside-fit on there.

    But, assuming that I am continuing to miss stuff (as I was earlier), the simple answer is, "Yes, if you need more room you can chisel."
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  18. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Ontario
    I took another pic from side view but Iam on i phone and not sure how to upload. But the flange is not on the tile surface nor anchored ( 1/2 inch gap on high side 1/4 inch on low side ) and it seems there is room around pipe ( or at least i can cut a bit of tile once flange lip is gone to access concrete to chisel if necessary ) so if i cut pipe will i not need to chisel a 1/4 wide 1/2 deep moat ( novice plumbing vernacular! ) around pipe to allow room for outside fit ?

    If it wasn't for all the grief my wife was giving me this plumbing stuff is kinda fun.

    Kinda!
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    Yes, you need room around the outside of the PIPE if you use a 'normal' flange that goes over the pipe. But, if what's there now is glued to the outside of the pipe, getting it off can be a real problem. I think that's why Terry suggested using one that fits inside the pipe rather than outside of the pipe. Normally, they only suggest doing that with a 4" pipe, since the result is still bigger than a 3", but putting it into a 3" means the funnel is now about 2.5". Depending on the trap and layout of the toilet, that could be a problem. For example, if you look at the side of some AS toilets (and some others including Kohler's), you'll see that the toilet's outlet does an almost 90-degree turn right at the outlet. On a bigger hole, it has room to turn, block that off with an inside fitting flange on a 3" pipe, and its a point of restriction. On a toilet that turns before the flange interface, it's likely not an issue. So, depends on the toilet you have whether it's a potential problem.
  20. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Ontario
    How deep is the seat of the flange on the pipe? 1/2inch?

    Will the inside cutter go through pipe then flange then bite into concrete a bit to pull glued assemble out??? Never used one... Then chisel moat then Iam back to what I should have been ? And if cutter doesn't work will dremel with appropriate bit?

    Like the idea of lowering pipe to sit flange on tile ( like it should have been in first place ! ) and retaining 3" clearance.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
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