When your toilet flange is unlevel or not set to the right height, the toilet may wobble or even leak at the base. To eliminate these issues, it’s important to ensure your flange is set to the right height, and if it’s broke or damaged in any way, you’ll also want to replace it.
If you’re unsure, a toilet flange is what your toilet sits on. This little device connects your toilet to your home’s waste line. This is why it’s so important for the flange to be level. An unlevel flange, as already mentioned, can make your toilet wobble or leak at the base. If you think your flange is not set to the right height, or it needs to be replaced, then you’ll want to do it the right away.
For those that don’t already know, the proper toilet flange height is when it’s flush with the top of the finished floor. The optimum height is about ¼ inch. It’s easier to get your flange flush with the floor if you lay your flooring before you install the flange.
- If you’ve already laid your flooring, and the toilet flange is too high or unlevel, there are a few things you can do. First, you can pack grout into the gap between the floor and the flange. Give the grout 24-hours to dry and sand down the rough edges.
- Second, you can raise your floor by laying down thicker tile. This is quite a job and takes a while.
- Third, you can take off the flange as well as the toilet and trim down the waste pipe that comes up through your bathroom floor. This opening of this pipe should be level and flush with the floor. You’ll need some sort of a saw to do this. Your last option is to simply replace the flange.
Replacing or adjusting the height of your flange
When you install your toilet flange, it should be installed on top of the finished floor, and it should also be installed perfectly level. If your flange sits uneven or below the floor, then it’s wrong. It has to sit evenly on top of the finished floor. This is very important. The reason is because the toilet recesses into the flange when fully installed, but when the flange sits even or below the floor, the toilet can’t properly recess into the flange.
As a result, the toilet may wobble or leak at the base. It’s also important to note that you never want to use a wax ring with a horn. These rings will prevent the toilet from properly recessing into the flange. Instead, use a standard ¾ inch wax ring.
The first thing you’ll want to do when replacing or readjusting the height of your flange is to shut off the water and remove the toilet from the floor. Once removed, examine where your flange is resting. Is it above the finished floor or is it below? You’ll also want to see if it’s broken and needs to be replaced.
Most of homes built today have had their plumbing installed before the flooring was laid down. As a result, the flange is sits below the floor and is screwed into the subfloor. If your bathroom was built like this, then you’ll need the Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extender System or a similar system to properly raise the height of your flange. If your current flange is broken, then you’ll need a new one. You can purchase both of these products at your local home improvement store.
- Remove your broken flange if you’re replacing it and insert the new one into the waste pipe. Your flange should be now positioned a few centimeters below your finished floor. Take the gasket from the flange extender system and position it on top of your flange.
- Next, you’ll want to choose the right spacer from the extender system. In the Set-Rite System, there are four different size choices. Select the one that gets closest to making your flange sit above the finished floor.
- Once you find the right spacer for your needs, pay attention to the layout marks and lay it on top of the gasket. Make sure you read the instructions on the package if you have any questions. After you have your spacer positioned properly, make a mark on the floor with some sort of writing utensil.
- Next, take the extender, push it down through the center of the flange, and make sure it’s lined up properly. With the stainless steel, self-drilling screws, screw the extender into your bathroom floor.
- Finally, insert the wax ring, set your toilet back on the flange, and bolt your toilet to the floor. You are now finished, and your flange should sit evenly on your bathroom floor.
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Wednesday 28th of July 2021
If I am reading correctly, this "how-to" contradicts itself. So which is it, Flush with the finished floor? or on top of the finished floor?
Saturday 27th of August 2022
@Kevin L. Sharp, What about pvc toilet flanges? They are almost 1/2" thick, which would be too high if placed on top of the finished floor. The metal ring flanges are only 1/4" thick which works out great. I hear so many conflicting opinions on toilet flange heights, but most plumbers say to set the toilet flange flush with the finished floor, or up to a 1/4" above it.
Kevin L. Sharp
Thursday 29th of July 2021
Thank you for pointing this out for us. The only proper way is to have it on top of the finished floor.