Toilets should be caulked to the floor to prevent side-to-side movement that can break the wax seal (and to prevent splashes or overflows from puddling under the toilet and rotting the floor). In most cases, an assistant makes the job easier. I tightened the line. Put the toilet back in place and tighten with the t-bolts. Most likely a wax ring has been leaking and rotted out the floor. Score the floor tiles with a tile cutter or angle grinder to allow the bedding to set on a roughened surface to ensure adequate binding. Then one day the ceiling under the toilet fell in. Toilets are heavy, so use your legs to lift. “The joist was cut to make room for the PVC waste pipe for the toilet. Drive the lower edge of a block upward with the hammer until the upper edge with the adhesive is firmly against the underside of the subfloor. This shutoff … Homeowner story: “I had noticed the toilet rocking slightly for a few years, but I kept putting off the repair. Not only will this help you get a straighter, smoother seal, but it will prevent any caulk from getting on your floors. 8. Use a string to watch the floor come up. Aaron Stickley is a licensed plumber with first-hand knowledge in solving home plumbing problems. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Turn water off to the toilet by closing the valve on the water line behind it. Lower the toilet back in alignment with … Tile installers have a habit of using two wax rings stacked on top of each other to seal the flange to the toilet, and these seals will eventually leak. Level and steady the toilet by inserting shims into any gaps you've identified. A vertical drain line, known as a riser, attaches at the lower end of the flange. The edges with the adhesive are the upper edges that fit against the underside of the subfloor. When new tile is installed, the average height of the flooring can be much higher than the existing flange. The ring can corrode or break, loosening its grip on the bolts. Drive the nails 1 inch from the end of a block, into the inner face of the joist at a 45-degree angle. The solution is to remove the toilet and either replace the old flange or repair it with a flange repair kit. A step by step video of how to repair the floor under your toilet, replace it, put new flooring, trim, set the toilet etc. This is Home Inspector 101 and should have been in the presale report. Straddle the toilet and lift up to remove it. ... Make sure you tighten the bolts as much as you can, as loose or damaged bolts can cause wobbly toilets. For hard or vinyl tiles, tile from … If these bolts are loose, the toilet may rock, breaking the seal formed by the wax ring. Access a crawl space or basement and locate the plumbing drain below the toilet. If a proper ventilation system … Thanks! This will ensure the final subfloor is level as well. Place it under the toilet so it sits on a flat surface, and cut a hole in the center of the plywood for the closet flange. I looked under the house and found a pool of water, the underbelly sagging way down and what felt like a manifold about to poke through that was also corroded. When the flange is above a raised floor, … How to Properly Set a Toilet to Prevent Leaks, 10 Tips for Installing a Kohler Highline Toilet, Common Toilet Problems You Can Fix Yourself, How to Fix a Toilet That Leaks Around the Base, How to Troubleshoot and Fix Ceiling Leaks, How to Repair a Leaking Pressure-Assisted Toilet, How to Fix Mortar Gaps in a Fireplace Firebox. Now is a good time to inspect the soil pipe and toilet flange for damage or wear. In a perfect world, your toilet would never leak. If this is the case, each time the toilet flushes, drain water may seep out around the base of the toilet. To fix the toilet down, squirt a generous amount of the Sikaflex adhesive under the gap. Fix your loose wobbling or rocking toilet in 2 minutes using less than $2 dollars! But before you try that, make sure the bolts at the base of the toilet are snug. As you work, check the toilet for stability by sitting on the seat and rocking in all directions. If the flange is a little higher than the surrounding flooring, the toilet becomes raised slightly in the center, allowing it to rock to either side. In older bathrooms and bathrooms that have endured a leaking toilet, the wood subfloor beneath the fixture can weaken and become spongy. In basements, stand a stepladder at the area below the toilet. You do this from below in a crawl space or a basement. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Tub and tile caulk (color-matched to your toilet and flooring). Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. But if there are signs of leaking around the base, it likely means that the wax ring sealing the toilet horn to the toilet flange has become old and compressed. Loose flooring near the tub or damp floors in adjoining rooms (if the tub is on a concrete slab). Look for Leaks. If the gaps are too small to see, try sliding a shim under the base to see how far it goes in. Start the repair by confirming that your toilet is not leaking. William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. Toilet drains are 3-or 4-inch in diameter and have a P-trap below the toilet. Underneath the toilet base is a round toilet flange that connects the toilet to the drain pipe. For this reason, some plumbers leave the backside of the base—the side you can't see—without caulk so that leaking water will announce itself by running out onto the floor. You then need to replace the wax ring. Check carefully for … The primary cause of water underneath your bathroom tiles is a leak. Cut support lumber, usually 2x6s or 2x8s to fit between the existing floor joists on each side of the hole and install them with long screws, leaving half the width of the support lumber under the existing floor. ! Cut at least a few inches past the rotted wood under the toilet wood floor area with a... Make Your Measurements. If it still rocks, proceed with shimming the base. What’s worse is that one third of toilet catastrophes started with a clogged or overflowing toilet – something that can be easily avoided if proper toilet maintenance is performed. Allow the caulk to cure as directed before using the toilet. Do this carefully! Carefully mark the outline of the area to be covered by the toilet pan. Toilets mount atop a plumbing flange that’s installed between two floor joists. Put masking tape on either side of the joint, one following the toilet’s base and the other along the floor. Diagnosing hidden leaks can be tricky, but there are tips that can help. Apply masking tape to the floor. Clean the floor area and toilet base so there is no grease to prevent proper adhesion. The toilet has become unstable and now a small crack has appeared in the bathtub. Mold often grows in hidden places. It goes under the flange and transfers the load of the flange and toilet (and you) out onto more solid surrounding wood. If the base of the toilet is not dry, you may have a leak. DIYers often set the toilet and then apply a tiny bead of caulk along the outside edge. Rocking is for concerts and chairs—not toilets. This fixture has been in place since 2010 … The bolts or seals where the toilet tank connects to the base are loose; The toilet’s water supply line is leaking ... Use a scraper to remove the old wax ring from the floor and toilet as well as disinfectant to clean around the area. The best shims for this project are small, plastic shims with ridges that help the shims stay in place. 6. Richard Epstein is a licensed master plumber with over 40 years experience in residential and commercial plumbing. In this case, you must remove the toilet and replace the wax ring. ... so serious. Place the nozzle of the open caulk tube in the crack between the toilet base and the top of the floor. Besides possibly contaminating the floor, the water can soak in and eventually rot the subfloor and the joists. However, you may be able to file a claim under specific circumstances. After the floor and toilet are dry, you can install the new wax ring. “Eleven years later I find the toilet, flooring and subfloor all failing because of the sag in the floor, created by sawing through an I-beam joist that runs the length of the house,” Tackitybits says in a post at Fine Homebuilding’s Breaktime forum. A vertical riser attaches between the p-trap and underside of the toilet flange. Here are 5 signs you may have bathroom water damage: Musty smell – If you have a persistent, musty, damp smell in your bathroom, even after repeated cleanings, you may have mold and mildew in the walls and subfloor. The flange bolts that secure the toilet base are themselves held by a metal or plastic ring at the top of the toilet flange. If your toilet is wobbly or loose but not leaking, this quick fix might be just what you need. Keep an eye on the girder so that it does not get out of position and try to roll. Sometimes a rocking toilet can be fixed by tightening the two bolts at the base of the toilet, called flange bolts or closet bolts. Once it dries fully, your toilet should be as good as new. Be careful not to cut into the flooring. If water is not present, you can proceed with the repair. 2 MIX THE SAND & CEMENT Add one 20kg bag of Sand & Cement to a large bucket and add 3.5 litres of clean water. If tightening the flange bolts or shimming the toilet base doesn't stop your toilet from rocking, there might be more significant problems down below. Apply a generous amount of adhesive on one of the 2-inch-wide edges of each block. If your rocking comes back after a while, or if the bolts loosen up and won't retighten, a damaged flange is likely the cause. And when they do, it ain’t pretty. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. Block under each one until there is just enough room to fit the girder between the jacks and the joists. If the toilet is too … Toilet water damage can cost $5,000 and up (and that’s on top of the deductible). In the worst-case scenario, the damage is so severe that the floor gives way, sending the bath tub, toilet or shower stall crashing down to the floor below. Caulk is important for a finished look and to keep mop water and crud from getting under the toilet base, but if you seal all the way around the base, the caulk can hide a leak by trapping the water. They are commonly sold at home centers, hardware stores, and restaurant supply stores. Sadly, the world is not perfect, and toilets do leak. You can add a dab of caulk below the shims to help them stay in place. Wood shims are not recommended because they can compress over time and are vulnerable to moisture damage. It may help to rock the toilet from side to side. Measure the distance between the floor joists at the area of the riser. At the very least, a clogged main sewer drain pipe may cause wastewater and raw sewage to back up through a floor drain into the … Each block is 3 inches from the corresponding side of the riser. Slowly jack up the floor. The base of a toilet is held to the floor with two tee-bolts threaded up from the mounting ring through holes in the base of the toilet. Turn off the toilet valve and flush the toilet to drain the tank. (I used four pencils under the pan, located at the "four corners" so that it sat level in its final position ). Some bathroom fixtures are plumbed into the main line underneath the floor, so if any of these connections become loose, water can end up collecting beneath your tiled floor. Leaking water causes loose tiles around base of the toilet. Toilets usually rock because they are not resting flush against the floor. Add 1/16 inch to ensure the blocks fit tightly. Any access below the floor? How to Install a Precut Deck Stair Stringer, How to Attach Floor Joists to a Concrete Block House, Fine Homebuilding: How to Install a Toilet. If a bolt is loose, tighten it slowly just until it is snug. Check the flange bolt at each side of the toilet, using a pair of pliers or a small wrench. In any case, you can steady the toilet by shimming under its base. Trim the shims close to the base of the toilet, as needed, using a sharp utility knife. Don’t use the caulk to secure the toilet to the floor if it’s loose or uneven. You must unseat the toilet, scrape off the old wax ring and inspect the floor flange for damage. Check carefully for water around the base of the toilet. Disconnect the flex... Cut Away the Rotten Wood. Start the repair by confirming that your toilet is not leaking. Sponge the water in the bottom of the … Tightening the bolts too much can crack the brittle porcelain of the toilet, for which there is no repair. Check for water around the … Mix well with a trowel or drill and mixing … Let the caulk dry overnight before trimming the shims. Drive the nails through the outer face of a joist and into the corresponding end of a block. Put on safety glasses and work gloves. Inspect the closet flange for damage. The bolts that secure the base of the toilet to the floor might be loose. 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