Toilet Bolt Washers...Why So Small?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by MG, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. MG

    MG New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    While re-installing the old toilet in the smaller bathroom we have after installing a new floor covering, I noticed that the washers included with toilet bolts are ridiculously small given the opening they have to cover. They end up bending a bit into the hole. Why are they so small? They could easily be a 1/2" diameter larger or more and still have clearance to install...

    At least the new floor looks good and the toilet works fine. I moved it almost 6" to center it on the wall since the bathroom is small (3' x 5').
     
  2. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Occupation:
    plumber
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    You need to install the flat plastic disk that came with the toilet. The disks come in a small bag (clear plastic). In this bag is also the plastic bolt covers. If you don't use the plastic disks yes you will need to use bigger washers.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2020
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  4. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    The more expensive toilet bolts come with elliptical washers that can be turned sideways to prevent bending when tightening.

    I also carry a bag of extra washers and nuts, so I can lock the toilet bolt in place before setting the toilet. The plastic lock washers that come with toilet bolts are useless in my opinion.
     
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    The plastic disks are necessary because they are what hold the decorative nut/bolt acorn covers. You will notice there is a upside and downside to them. Put the plastic disks on first then the metal washers. Snug the nuts down, but don't over tighten them. These bolts are just to keep the toilet down, not to pull the toilet into place. You seat the toilet onto the wax ring with a little rocking and pushing down with your body weight.
     
  6. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Can someone spell out the actual order of things in a toilet bolt install.

    The way I do it is: bolt-flange-washer-nut-(locks bolt in place)-toilet-large oblong metal washer-bolt cover bottom-regular washer-nut-(cut bolt)-bolt cover top.

    I would think that if you put the plastic bolt cover bottom down into the hole, without a metal washer under it, it would deform when tightening the nut.
     
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    Darn! I reversed the metal and plastic. You're correct Eric, metal washer first then the plastic for the reason you gave. Sorry!
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    order

    You're correct Eric, metal washer first then the plastic for the reason you gave. Sorry!

    if you do that the nut is tightening onto the plastic, and that will deform the opening so the nut WILL go through the plastic retainer and damage it. Plastic first then the metal round washer, (the oval ones will not fit inside the plastic cap).
     
  9. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Actually, what I said was to sandwich the plastic bottom of the bolt cover between the large oval washer and a standard round washer. Thus, the plastic is protected from deforming by metal washers on both sides.
     
  10. dz20854

    dz20854 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am trying to remove the old toilet from the floor. The bolt on one side came off fine, but the bolt on the other side is rusted, and just keeps turning together with the washers and the screw underneath-- they all turn together when I turn the wrench.
     
  11. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    That happens sometimes. Cut it off with a hack-saw blade.

    I have a jab saw that will accept any sawzall blade, which comes in handy for jobs like that.
     
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