caulking around toilet base - yea or ney

Replacing flooring in my bathroom, so eventually I will have to make this choice.
As I see it, the pros to caulking are extra assurance of sealing in sewer gases, and cleanliness around the floor (if junior goes hog wild with the pee pee for instance, it doesn't find a nice hard to reach home under the toilet.) Yuck.
Negative is if the toilet leaks under the base, how would you know it? Yuck.
So could a solution in my case, assuming the floor is level, be to drill a hole in the subfloor somewhere in the area that will be covered by the toilet, so that any leak will be noticed dripping into the brickfloored old cellar? (I could even use a hole with a rubber stopper that I could remember to check periodically?
What do you think?
More toilet and subfloor questions to follow no doubt.
Thanks all.
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I don't think you need a hole in the subfloor--if the toilet leaks you will know it in the basement in short order--there's all kinds of room around the fitting where it goes thru the floor.
Most people caulk, because the toilet rarely sits solidly enough on the floor to make any kind of seal.

old
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dando wrote:

Nay, you never know where the leak is going to be around a wax ring, but you DO want to know that it is leaking IMMEDIATELY! If you caulk around the toilet base, it could be months before you notice it. By then, the damage is done.
--
Robert Allison
Georgetown, TX
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If you drill a hole , hang a bucket for juniors pee in the basement ! and everything else!!!---washing the floor? sick people puking! Dont caulk...
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (mark Ransley) wrote in

The hole would be for if I caulked. So juniors pee wouldn't reach the basement (actually it's a "brickfloored old cellar" of dirt and brick), nor would sick people puking, because the caulk would contain it from heading beneath the base of the toilet. However, if I did *not* caulk, how could you effectively clean up junior's pee and sick people's puke from under the toilet without taking the whole thing up?
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But did you read this part of my post? (below)

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dando wrote:

Yes, I did. I do a lot of insurance related work, from water damage, hail, fires, etc. One of the most common is damage from caulked toilets that have been leaking for long periods of time. Most of these had cracks, holes, seams, etc. that water could leak through and down into areas below. It would seem that liquids would have dripped down and alerted the homeowners to the problem. However, many times the leak is small and soaks the subfloor and surrounding wood, keeping it wet where it can rot away, undetected.
If you wish to try this, go ahead. If you really want to be sure, then install a moisture alarm under the toilet.
As to how to keep it clean, do it the way that millions of people througout the US have done for years, use a brush around the base and some ammonia.
Good luck,
--
Robert Allison
Georgetown, TX
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I just had this lovely experience. Unfortunately it was at dad's house so I don't know if the leak wasn't noticed because it's dark and dreary under the bathroom or because he's older, or ???
But, the underlayment (particle board! who the heck would use particle board in a bath?!?!) was soaked for a good 5' beyond the toilet. The toilet had sunk down into the disintegrating particle board under the toilet. There was a small lake in the basement under this bath (when it was finally noticed). Had to rip out all the underlayment and about 5' of subfloor (where it had gotten soft from the soaked underlayment). No tools since I was just planning on changing out the wax ring. Had to acquire some tools and make do as best I could with "bone knives and stone axes"; got it workable; came back in two weeks to finish the job (needed a week off to destress).
Catch the leak as soon as you can unless you're prepared for a bath remodel.
Renata
On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 20:54:02 -0500, Robert Allison

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (dando) writes:

Every time you mop, dirty water goes under the toilet. Caulk it. Use a silicone caulk that will peel off easily. Another advantage of silicone is that nothing sticks to it, so it is easy to keep clean.
If you install a toilet properly, it will be many years before it leaks, if ever. Usually a toilet leak is caused by differential foundation settling against the old cast iron soil pipe, which didn't even have a flange. Toilet leakage is not a problem with modern plumbing.
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Caulk and leave an inch or two in the back where water can escape. That location should not going to get too much water shoved into it.
TB
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Yes, do what Tom Baker says.

this
sewer
the
the
a
old
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Yeah, that solution had occurred to me as well. Downside is if the toilet ever gets stopped up so that it overflows, that location probably will get some water in it, and then then might get moldy underneath. Still worth considering. Its a rental unit, so odds of things like a toilet getting stopped increase due to idiots that don't care what they attempt to flush down it.
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dando wrote:

Caulk it! The caulk adds structural integrity* to the installation and helps keep the toilet from rocking until the wax seal expires. This is ESPECIALLY true if you will have no idea who will be living there, since the above becomes much more relevant if the occupants weight is well over average.
As to consequences, they are a fact of life - if the seal goes, hopefully the smell, or a lower than normal water level accompanied by periodically refilling water closet will clue someone in. If it didn't, either toilet movement as the floor rots away, or finding your tenant and your toilet on a lower floor would be a sure sign of a problem <s>... .
If this concerns you greatly, why not pass the responsibility of prompt notification onto your tenants in a lease?
As to the inspection hole, do you really think after a few years you will remember to check? Even if you did, there would be other signs of a problem too, rendering that hole simply a (very, very minor) breach of the structural integrity of the toilet mounting. IOW, only do it if it gives you piece of mind.
Best,
Stephen Kurzban
* presuming the flange is properly secured and the toilet properly mounted to it
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this
sewer
the
the
a
old
Thtas the way I did mine. Only because it was too hard to get to the back of it to caulk.
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<< >> So could a solution in my case, assuming the floor is level, be to

____Reply Separator_____ I don't want to be there when you pull the cork!
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NO! Use grout which sets hard. This is what actually supports the toilet. The wax ring is just a simple pliable seal. Caulk is flexible and will not suport the unit.
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The floor is supposed to support the unit. If it ain't sitting on the floor, you more 'n likely got a problem and it will leak sooner rather than later.
Renata
On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 18:08:01 GMT, "William Plummer"

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Good point. I think I will.

To modify my idea of the inspection hole, I could forget the stopper and use the screen cover, but also add some "litmus" paper of some sort over the top of the screen. Then it would make it even easier to check, Just eyeball for a change in the paper. Such inspection holes will eventually become standard across the world for any toilets above a non-living space, and be known as "dando holes", in honor of this post.

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