Replacing flooring in my bathroom, so eventually I will have to make this
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
Negative is if the toilet leaks under the base, how would you know it?
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.
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.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org (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?
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.
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
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
On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 20:54:02 -0500, Robert Allison
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.
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
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
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
If this concerns you greatly, why not pass the
responsibility of prompt notification onto your tenants in a
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.
* presuming the flange is properly secured and the toilet
properly mounted to it
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
On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 18:08:01 GMT, "William Plummer"
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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