Toilet louder if not making a good wax seal? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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10-14-2006, 08:53 PM
I put tile in about 3 months ago with a lot of help lurking around this site. I missed a step though. My iron closet flange (52 yr old house) is about 1/2" beneath the new tile floor surface. Plus, the hole I left in the tile is too small to use the spacers, yet too large to use one of those adapters that bring a new flange to the top while creating a gasket seal using the i.d. of the existing plumbing. I used two wax rings and placed the toilet on, alone badly wiggling it around. Of course it leaked whenever I plunged it. I pulled it out today to try again using a wax ring #10. when I placed the toilet down again by myself(I have sorry friends) I didn't get any "squish". I screwed it down anyhow and just stared at it for about 5 minutes wondering how the hell you could ever know if it's on right or not. It's a blind job. I didn't place any silicon around, filled the bowl with water and flushed it. It flushes just fine, but makes a new guzzling sound? Maybe due to no silicon seal between floor and toilet?

I could only guess that its because there are air gaps helping the water exit faster? Is this a good guess? Should I just use the fluidmaster wax-free kit and call it a day? (Guy at Dales said they were crap) Re-try double wax rings? I hate walking in this bathroom now. It's driving me nuts. I now completely understand and respect folks who do this daily, but I'm too broke to pay them. Can anyone help me?
Thanks, Rob.

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10-14-2006, 09:00 PM
Rob - if the hole in the tile is too small for the spacers it's probably too small to get a good wax seal. You might want to consider opening up that hole a bit. It doesn't have to be pretty since it's covered. you can use a grinder or Rotozip with the diamond saw.

10-14-2006, 09:08 PM
If there is any wobble to the toilet once fully seated, the seal will fail. As you've probably read, the proper place for the flange is on top of the finished floor, and anchored to it. Too late for that now without a lot of work. You're not alone in leaving it in place and adding tile. If you can't fit flange extenders, that's unfortunate.

Is the existing flange on the outside of the pipe, or the inside? If on the outside, what is the diameter of the pipe? If it is 4", then you can install a new flange that mounts to the inside of the pipe. Keep in mind that the trapway in a typical toilet is barely a little over 2", so putting the flange on the inside of a 4" pipe is not a big deal.

You'll need two wax rings with what you have. If the toilet is a two piece job and you can't get any help setting it, you can take the tank off to lighten it a bit. Have new washers and bolts to put it back together first, though.

The Fluidmaster and Fernco waxless seals work, and have a decent warranty. I've got several in my place now for several years without problems. Wax is cheaper.

If the toilet rocks once it is set on the floor, the wax seal will fail. The best way to fix this is to set the thing down without a wax seal first, then shim it so it sits perfectly soild without any movement. Either tape the shims in place or mark them well, then pull the toilet, add the wax or waxless seal, and then set the thing back down.

Wax seals aren't particularly resilient, they will not bounce back or stretch to keep the seal if the toilet rocks.

10-14-2006, 09:48 PM
Hi Rob.

The plumbers here will yell at me but here are two ways to handle that 1/2" problem. I'm not guessing here, I know both will work. :)

Oatey makes stackable plastic flange extenders that are easily trimmed. They are 6-3/4" in dia., 1/4" thick and can be trimmed down to 6" dia. which is the spacing you must have anyway for the flange bolts. Checkpoint: Do you have at least 6 inches of clearance around the center of the drain? If so, this method will work. You'll need two of these extenders along with an extra thick wax ring with built-in sleeve.

The other way to go is to buy a combination extra thick reinforced wax ring with build-in extender. Fluidmster and Harvey's make then and are both labeled, Model 35B. The advertising claim is they will handle a flange set up to 3/4" below the flooring surface. But don't believe it. They will handle 1/2" providing you also use a second wax ring (with no sleeve) on top. Set the 35B on top of the drain, the extra wax ring under the toilet, and set in place.

One thing you really should do before hand is temporarily set the toilet in place and mark that position well with tape. These tape markings will be your reference guide such that when the wax rings are in place there will be no need for any adjustment once the toilet hits the floor. Any dinking around with alignment after it's set in place can and usually will break the seal. Then you'll get to do it all over again, with a new set of rings.

If you have a rocking problem, that must be fixed before final setting. There are several ways to do this as well but you really didn't say you have a rocking problem so won't get into any of that.


10-14-2006, 11:04 PM
Thanks sooo much for the replies. My toilet does rock about 1/8 of an inch side to side before bolting it down. I didn't think much of it, figured tightening the bolts down and squeezing silicon around front/sides of the toilet would take care of that. I will shim it this time around. The I.D. is 3" and the flange is mounted outside.

I have a variable speed dremel tool, can I use that instead of a rotozip? Can I just buy a diamond bit for it?

It's funny, cause I never thought about trimming the spacers to fit. This would have probably worked if I would have thought outside the box and not just cursed and chunked them in the trashcan.

I have the fluidmaster wax-free kit here at the house already. So should I use it? Or is it worth it to buy the dremel diamond bit (if this exist) and just open up my tile clearance a bit for the spacers?

If the only route is two wax rings, is it as easy as putting one with flange on the flange and the other on the toilet? I've read that taking the two and forming them into one is better, is this true?

Is the desired order in my case:

1. open hole and use spacers(I'm close just a raggedy tile chipping job)
1b. try trimming spacers to fit
2. open hole and use #10 w/flange plus additinal regular wax ring
3. use fluidmaster no. 32b extenders
4. Use fluidmaster wax free kit.

Thanks so much for the help, I just don't want to see that puddle forming the next time I have to use the plunger. The worse part of this is getting the water out of the bowl and tank before I can remove the toilet(1 pc) again.

10-15-2006, 10:56 AM

If you use a spacer (flange extender) then either the tile or the spacer must be trimmed. Your choice, plastic or tile ;). Then use your #10 with extra wax ring.

If you choose not to use the spacer, then use the #35B plus extra wax ring.

I can't comment on how effective the Rotozip or Dremel tool might be on tile, not having ever tried that but if it's porcelain I doubt either tool will work very good.

Nor can I comment on the wax free kit. Never used one before.


10-15-2006, 12:48 PM
Drycutting porcelain is a very dusty, messy thing. I'd shim the toilet, and use the Fluidmaster, leave the rest alone!

10-15-2006, 02:38 PM
looking at the various suggestions here, I'd prolly put my trimming the tile as a last resort. As Jim points out, it can get pretty dusty.

If you end up doing this, I can only speak to the Rotozip. they have a small 3-1/2" diamond blade that cuts ceramic like butter. it's $20 but you need the right-angle attachment. The challenge with the Rotozip is controlling it, especially in a circular cut. You can deal with the dust by having a helper spray water on the cutting area. Make sure both of you wear safety glasses!


10-15-2006, 11:15 PM
I tried everything today. My first attempt was to use and extender that fits inside the closet flange about 3" or so and has a gasket built in, I slipped a repair flange under this with a large bolt circle to secure to the tile. Luckily before I started drilling the tile with the special bit, I realized the extender wouldn't slide more than an inch into the closet flange. So that was scrapped.

Next I tried the fluidmaster wax free kit, the small o-ring would not conform. I could not get that bad boy to slide in there. Scrapped.

Finally, Traced the Closet Flange spacer out and traced it on center with the Closet flange. Broke out the rotozip tile bit clamped it in my dremel and got busy spraying water here and there. I then, wire brushed the closet flange, cleaned the surface with denatured alcohol and let it dry. Spread Silicon on the existing flange and used 2 of the spacers to get to surface level. I put a number 10 wax ring on there and placed the toilet in place on top of the shims(taped to the floor) within the taped outline for the toilet. Took a seat to settle her in and bolted her down. Polyseal the sides/front and cleaned up my mess. The only bad part is, is that only time will tell if this worked or not. I feel a lot better knowing that there is a round full surface to make the seal as sandbagger suggested. I also feel alot better knowing the pseudo-flange is at the right height now. Thanks so much for all the help.

10-15-2006, 11:49 PM
just curious - does it sound any different?

10-16-2006, 09:07 AM
Yes it sounds much better now. This is an exaggeration but its like the difference between a car with a muffler vs. one without it. The #10 in my second attempt wasn't making a seal at all, it looked brand new when I took the toilet out. Thank you guys so much for all the help and suggestions. You just don't know how good it feels to be able to get good help and suggestions, especially after the guy at the newly built Home Depot looks at you goes, "Now whats a closet flange again?"