Basement toilet flange too high--not sure it CAN be lowered

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by dandradel, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. dandradel

    dandradel New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Looking for advice! Ugh! We are replacing a cracked (not broken, still functioning) toilet in our basement. After removal of the cracked toilet we saw why it cracked and why they filled in the base so much with this very tough caulk-like material--the flange is too high by prob 3/8" so the toilet was resting unevenly on the flange and not the floor (tho it wasn't wobbling).

    Can we lower the flange? The catch is that the sewage pipe is plastic, but 2 1/2" to 3" in diameter at most. There is no vertical length either--the pipe goes right into an elbow as far as we can tell. The sewage flows into a buried pump below grade of the cement floor.

    At the risk of messing with the waste pipe and causing design flaws, we're thinking the least painful thing is to build up under the toilet to raise it up. Is this a viable solution? I've read about it here and there, using cement/wax paper between toilet and cement to prevent them from being "one." Is that the best way to do it? Welcome advice!
  2. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Oct 28, 2007
    S.E. Idaho
    What do you think about tiling the floor? That's about 3/8".

    Other than that, I think that raising the floor is probably your best solution. You could run a coat of concrete floor leveler where the toilet goes and set it on that. It sounds like too large of a gap to shim and caulk.

    if the flange is set directly into an elbow, it would take some major work to change it. One possibility: Sioux Chief makes a flange that fits inside a 3" pipe, and you could cut out the top of the old flange and glue this on in, flush with the concrete. They tend to be a little bit of a loose fit, so if the pipe isn't perfectly vertical, it should still work. Use plenty of glue.
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  4. dandradel

    dandradel New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    The floor is currently tiled--and that is not level around the flange (may be 1" on one side!) I would want to replace the tile one day, but that may be as much work as messing with the pipe. Maybe for now I could do the cement leveler. Is it wise to "dam" the leveler in the footprint of the current toilet? Or is that too cheesy? I may have to live with "cheesy" for a while just to get a functioning toilet down there...
  5. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Dec 30, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Caveat: I'm not a plumber, and I've never used this; but i seem to remember a thread here, where someone mentionned a product for this exact purpose - kind of like one big tile, the size of a toilet base, that'll give you a raised base for just the toilet...

    Found it - post #5:

    also here, post #4:

    FYI, the search engine here is a great tool - I almost never have to post a question here, because I get all my answers from old threads.

    If you can't find that... you can tile over old tile, just get the old tile really really clean, and really realle really well-rinsed (no cleaning product residues) and maybe a little scratched up, if it's shiny (grinder works great for this). Use latex-modified thinset, make sure the instructions include existing tile as an acceptable base.
  6. dandradel

    dandradel New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Thanks. I did search this forum and others but didn't find those. Must have been bad keyword choices on my part! Everything I found said to lower the flange.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    It's often said that anything is possible if your pockets are deep enough. May I suggest you contact a plumber to ascertain just what the best route to follow might be. There may some some alternatives that while out of the realm of DIY, would not be overly costly to have done professionally.
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