Tile in Bathroom leaking from Underneath!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by newatthis168, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. newatthis168

    newatthis168 New Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    :confused:I am currently updating my entire bathroom, and I just installed a new toliet. I purchased the All-in-One option, and it came with a wax ring. I didnt replace the existing flange, and all seemed to be working very well for a few weeks. I now recently noticed, that I have a leak from underneath my tiles, not at the base of the toliet. Have you ever encountered this before? Could it be the old Flange? I do not see any water when I flush however, it is just all from under the tiles, and seaping up through the grout on the floor. Any suggestions are helpful. Thank you!
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Aug 9, 2009
    It could be the wax ring. The water is getting between the tile and the sub floor. I'd pull the toilet and check the wax ring before it causes water damage to the sub flooring.

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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I am assuming you are talking some kind of vinyl tiles ( not ceramic). What you describe is quite common. Water from a leaking wax rings gets under the tiles and "travels". You will need to take up the entire floor in all probability..

    Unless you can idendify some other source of the water...excessive bath water, excessive floor mop water,,,,we will have to suspect the wax ring as the leaker. But in any event, the tile has to come up.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Pull the toilet, check the flange for cracks or splits. If it is not sitting on top of the finished floor, consider replacing it or adding a flange extension ring. Then, reset the toilet. Do not use a wax ring with a funnel. WHen you set the toilet down, two things must occur: it must squish the wax to make a seal, if it is too low, you need a jumbo wax ring or redo the flange, and, it can't wobble. If it wobbles/rocks/moves then since the wax doesn't rebound, you squish it thin, then it rocks back and leaves a gap. You must have the toilet rock steady once it is seated...Since it has not been going on for very long, the tile should be okay (sounds like you mentioned grout, so I'm assuming ceramic). You may want to run a fan and maybe a dehumidifer in the room for a few days to help dry things out.
  6. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    May 11, 2006
    In the good ol' UPC
    Some toilets have a shorter horn on them, which is the ceramic ring on the bottom of the toilet that initially contacts the wax ring forming the seal. Some toilets have longer ones and some have shorter ones. Combine a short horn with a standard wax ring and a toilet flange that is slightly below finish floor, then you have a potential leak. One piece toilets are heavy so it was quite possible that you didn't even feel the horn contact the wax ring and give that "squish" that you should feel as the toilet is being set. Or, that heavy toilet has a longer horn and you squished all of the wax out. Or you may have just missed a complete contact with the ring when you set it. Pull the toilet and look at the ring, if you made complete and full contact, then the ring should be evenly squished with an indentation of the toilet horn. If not then you may need a thick ring or double up on the standard rings. I've never had an issue with wax rings that have horns in them. When I need to make up a big gap I'll pancake a horned ring on top of a standard ring. Unless your flange is sitting very low, I wouldn't mess with it. Flanges, ideally should be set flush if not ever so slightly above finished floor but it is better to have a flange a bit on the low side then a flange that is set too high. For a DIY guy, changing the height of the flange should be the last option, unless it's visibly damaged or your flange is set too high, in which case that heavy toilet is squishing out all of the wax. So, basically, the flange is too low or too high, cracked or you missed full contact with the ring.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
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