Ceramic tile under toilet flange

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mbobden

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we are having bathroom floor tiled with 13 x 13 cermaic tiles. the toilet has been removed. the plumber said the tile must be layed UNDER the toilet flange (there is enough "play"). the tile installer says he never does that. instead he cuts a circle in the tile and lays it over the flange, the tile then goes UP TO the flange, not under it. the plumber says don't blame me if the toilet leaks! has anyone had experience with this? thank you.
 

Cass

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The correct way to install the tile is with the flange on top of the tile.
 
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Plumber1

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Are you saying he's laying tile on top of tile. Either way I'd remove the flange and install a new one after the new tile is put down.. Personally I would look for a tile installer that I could work with. The tile guys I worked with would ask the home owner and or the plumber. Some tile guys will even tile around the base of the toilet. Anything to keep the price low....................and not worry about next month or next year.
 

TedL

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Sounds like the tiler may be trying to give the best finished appearance, with no cut lines showing. He may also be looking to avoid being blamed for cracks that could result from a toilet not securely fastened.

If you don't follow the flange removal suggestion, can you get him to place cut pieces under the flange to maintain it at the correct height, but not introduce the problems mentioned above?
 
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Randyj

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Is the Flange PVC or Metal? If it's PVC then it's no big deal to cut off and install another flange. Otherwise, lots of guys use a spacer to get the bottom of the flange even with the top of the tile. Myself, I cut them off then if possible slip another flange on which rests on top of the tile or use a "spin'n seal" that slips down inside the PVC pipe and can be twisted to give it a snug fit... works great for me. Put in too much wax and it will gob up the pipe(s) then ya got a clog problem... and I ain't talking "clogging" as in square dancing.....
 

hj

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flange

IF it's PVC, it can be a "BIG DEAL" to remove it and install a new one. As long as the toilet itself sits on top of the tile, there is no problem with that flange, other than he might have to use a thicker #10 wax ring seal.
 

Racer814

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the flange is meant to sit on top of the finished floor....if the top of the flange is flush with the finished floor it's no big deal, that isn't that great a difference just use a thicker ring
or use a flange extender (which is how I do it)

personally, I don't agree with stacking seals to compensate for a flange that is lower than the floor...they arent designed to seal that large a gap.....I would say that 9 times out of 10 when I pull a leaking toilet I find a flange that is too low and stacked seals....sometimes the excess wax has collapsed into the center and partially closed the drain....customers will say that "it never has worked right"....no wonder...also much more likely for the toilet to become loose as the distance from the bolt head to the nut and washer is further and has a greater chance for lateral movement....I always use spacers under the flange on rough-in to get it to finished height.


Now I know this method has been used forever and I was taught it myself..just giving my opinion
 

hj

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ring

There are overthick wax rings with a funnel, or if you have to use two, the top one should be one with the "funnel" sticking through the standard one on the bottom. In either case the plastic funnel will keep the excess wax from closing the opening.
 

Babsie Wagner

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Actually the best way to tile around the flange is with the new technology the Toilet Flange Tile Guide. It wraps around the flange, forms a mechanical bond to the floor and seals and protects that whole area. No circular cuts are needed any longer. Just straight cuts. There was never any protection before.
 
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A "tile guide" can be a good idea for the novice as it is a tile replacement, but nothing beats well cut tiles made with a diamond head on a rotozip. Even if the tile rounding is a sloppy job, that's fine as long as the toilet covers it asthetically. Correctly installed tiles on good thin-set will be hard enough to resist cracking from even the tightest toilet to flang bolts.

There are reasons you want the flange to be as close as possible to the toilet, less wax is better. I've seen too many DIY'ers have stacked as many as 3 wax rings, and the problem with that isn't the wax, the problem is that we don't have x-ray vision to see how well aligned it is. A single regular height wax ring is more forgiving on toilet alignment errors, mostly because the toilet is right over the flange and gravity does all the work without pressure. Only enough wax is needed as a gasket to protect whatever wood is nearby and prevent sewage gasses from coming out.

Obviously if the flange can be replaced with one of many aftermarket goodies from Oatey, Sioux Chief, Danco, etc., then please do it. Get those new tiles under the flange, and holes only need to be approximate to clamp that flange down to the floor screws. All the stress of the toilet is going to be fastened to the flange, from people sitting on the toilet, leaning on it lopsided, hugging it from a hangover, whatever external brute force applied to the toilet.

On situations where the flange can't be replaced, because it all seems to be part of the concrete, or an old-school cast iron flange (a pipe that's been hammered out to flare), then you'll need more trick items, specialty taller wax rings, or one of the many waxless rings.

But why is the floor height being increased in the first place? Some DIYs will tile over tile, or tile over hardwood floor. Do a better job by cutting out the floor, make a new subfloor with a layer or two of plywood, Schluter Ditra for those that must, and you'll be restoring the floor height as you tile it. I don't like doing stuff twice, I want to know that subfloor will be so solid that I can jump on it afterwards and no tiles nor epoxy grout will crack.
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Babsie Wagner

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I beg to differ - the Toilet Flange Tile Guide is a MUST. You say it's only for the novice, but a tile installer, even a really seasoned one, can never cut the tiles perfectly so there are no gaps between the tile and the flange. That spells disaster for the sub-floor. It's great that someone without the proper tools can use this and not have to spend $80- for a grinder, and can buy the guide for like $8., but the main benefit of the guide is the sub-floor protection. You just won't have that without the guide. I'm telling you, it's a really cool product.
 

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CountryBumkin

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But why is the floor height being increased in the first place? Some DIYs will tile over tile, or tile over hardwood floor. Do a better job by cutting out the floor, make a new subfloor with a layer or two of plywood, Schluter Ditra for those that must, and you'll be restoring the floor height as you tile it. I don't like doing stuff twice, I want to know that subfloor will be so solid that I can jump on it afterwards and no tiles nor epoxy grout will crack.

Most common reason floor height is being increased (that I see), is where HO wants to replace vinyl flooring with tile.
Here in FL, SOG is common so subfloor strength is not an issue and its just a matter of dealing with flange height.
 
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