A friend asked me for advice but not really having any experience leveling
toilets I thought I'd ask someone here. Seems he has a basement bathroom
with a wobbly toilet. He wondered if he could put shims in place to stop the
movement. It sounded like this could work but I wasn't sure about long term
stability. Any suggestions? Thx.
Yes, it is normal to shim toilets. If it has been rocking, there
is a chance it has affected the wax ring seal. Plumbing supply
houses have some small white plastic shims, just made for the
circumstance. You can grout or caulk the resultant gap. Do not
grout or caulk the back so that if there is a failure, you can see
Keep the whole world singing. . . .
Wobbling and leveling are really two different things. Even if it
were at a slight angle, with the bolts tight, it shouldn't be
wobbling. And if it's been wobbling, then the wax seal should be
replaced. Remove it, make sure the floor surface is sound and level,
if you need to, at that point you can add a shim. Get a new seal and
re-install, tightening the bolts snug, but not too tight or you'll
I've done it before...not ideal, but on some concrete floors
especially, you have no choice.
You can use shims. Make sure you use something waterproof. I used to
use asphalt shingles, when I could. I once used galvanized metal
shims as well. Gotta be a bit careful with those. The can "bleed"
onto Linoleum sometimes. Also, check your Home Depot. They are
making some plastic shims, these days. Just like regular wood shims,
but plastic. At leat they are available in my area. Remember the wax
ring, is what keeps it from leaking. As long as that is in good
contact with both the closet flange (the flange on the floor) and the
stool...you should be good to go. And don't overtighten the closet
bolts (the bolts that bolt the stool, to the flange). You can crack
that stool base in a hurty, by overtightening.
After you shim, you could put a bead of caulk around the toilet, just
for a nice looking job, unless of course, it's carpet. Then you don't
have to worry about it.
I've got a slight toilet wobble; thanks for the tip about using something
impervious as a shim. I had been using a piece of thin wood panelling! Also
For the last 30+ years and with only one toilet in the house I have usually
kept a spare wax ring in the bathroom vanity.
But last couple of times, rebuilding the single bathroom, I've used one of
those spongy rubber rings instead of a wax ring, and so far (about 10
months), and I've had it 'up' once or more during that time to install new
tub, retile the floor etc. It's working fine. I can check for leakage too
because I can see the plumbing through the floor, from below from the
unfinished basement area.
So the rubbery ones also seem to work OK!
PS. We used stainless steel bolts all the way through the floor because the
plastic flange fitting on end of the sewage pipe was in poor condition. We
can do that cos. the basement area below bathroom will 'never' have a
finished ceiling. Yup; don't over tighten!
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