leveling a wobbly toilet...

A seldom used toilet was wobbly when we bought the house 13 years ago. It is now starting to have a bit of bad odor; presumably the wax seal is opening up. So, it is time to do something about it.
It is set on vinyl flooring, and that is on concrete. Would it probably be adequate to cut the vinyl away and set it on the concrete? I know the "fix" is to set it on plaster of paris, but I have no idea how to do that. If someone could either elaborate or refer me to a website that explains it, I would be grateful.
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Toller wrote:

We cut a spacer to match the toilet base. I beleieve there are shims available. This is an often discussed problem. Search NG archive. TB
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I'm not sure I see how cutting the vinyl away would stop the wobble. The toilet might be sitting up on the flange instead of resting on the floor. Removing the vinyl is not going to lower the toilet. On the other hand it might be as simple as loose bolts or an improperly installed wax rim.
Depending on how the flange is attached, it may be possible to lower it and fix the problem permanently. It will all depend on what you find once you pull the toilet.
Google "wobbly toilet" for ideas.
Toller wrote:

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I would pull and reset it with a new wax ring. I would also pick up some of the rubber wedges/shims and secure it so that it did not wobble. Then caulk around the base mostly for appearance. Once the wobble is gone you should have no more problems.
You may have to go to a real plumbing store to find the rubber shims. Not sure I have ever seen them at Slows or Home Cheapo.
Colbyt
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theres a good chance the flange is broken, that has happened here
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Toller,
Replace the wax ring and then use plastic or wood shims to stabilize it. After shimming you can caulk around the base. No need to remove the vinyl or use messy plaster. I fix several of these per year. I fixed two this morning in Sunlakes, AZ.
cm

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wrote:

I've got an easier fix for you.
First, pull the toilet and make sure that the flange is intact. Then turn the stool upside down, and dig out any old plumbers putty that may remain on the bottom. Put in new putty, making sure that it more than fills the putty channel. Reinstall using a new wax ring *and* new bolts. Snug the bolts up thoroughly.
If it still wobbles, reach into your trouser pocket to find shims: dimes, pennies, or, for a really big gap, nickels.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug,
I have been in the home repair business for 18 years and have never seen plumbers putty used on the bottom of a toilet. I wonder if it is a regional thing? I am in Arizona.
cm
wrote:

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wrote:

I've *never* seen plumbers putty beneath a toilet. As to the coins I wonder if they would lead to cracking the bottom of the toilet, being rigid as they are. The ones at the orange store are vinyl *wedges* (trim if needed).
(It now cost two cents to make a penny (cost/material, etc)
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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snipped-for-privacy@home.yes.us says...

If anything, I would expect the vinyl wedges to be more likely to promote cracks, precisely because they're *not* rigid, and would allow more movement than a rigid shim would.
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com says...

so they can't be seen.
--
Keith

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snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net says...

Don't know if that's a regional thing or not, but every toilet I've ever installed had a putty channel on the bottom (I'm talking about the bowl, not the tank), and the installation instructions say to use putty.
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Doug,
Next time I'll read the instructions ;-)
cm
says...

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Doug,
I installed a toilet today and did not see any channel for plumbers putty. Would it be around the perimeter of the bowl base or in the wax ring area. I had already thrown the instructions in the dumpster when I thought to read them. Last job of the day and I just wanted to get home.
Thanks,
cm
says...

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Around the perimeter of the bowl base.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug,
Thanks for the response. There was definitely no channel around the perimeter of the base. I will keep an eye out for this in the future.
cm
wrote:

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I've had just one toilet that was difficult to stop "rocking". One wax ring and shims were not enough. A second wax ring; with the first, plus shims worked. I had checked with a level, no flange damage, etc. (but it worked).
The orange store has vinyl/plastic shims just for the toilet. If you use wood shims, pick the cedar ones.
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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one toilet of mine was rocking on a plastic funnel within a wax ring. the previous plumber had chosen the wrong style of wax seal. i replaced it with a regular wax ring. i was the previous plumber.
Toller wrote:

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