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Toilet Flange Repair…Adding a Toilet Flange Extender

Leaky Toilets Stink!!!

 

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by Jeff Patterson in Bathrooms
toilet-flange-repair

Toilet flange repair is a super important skill to learn. Let me explain…

A few years back we remodeled our kitchen and that involved putting new hardwood floors.

Back then I wasn’t about to take on this project.

So we hired a hardwood installer. They did an awesome job and the floors still look amazing.

But they also recommended just doubling up the wax ring in the powder room.

BIG MISTAKE!!!

After 6 months the toilet bowl developed a leak where it met up with the closet flange.

Today you’ll learn how to prevent this same catastrophe from happening in your home.

I’m going to share how to do a simple toilet flange repair by adding a toilet flange extender ring. Anyone can do this and I’m passing on tips I got from a plumber friend who taught me how to do this. 

Here’s your supply list

What’s the first step?

 

Remove Your Toilet…But Without Nasty Spillage

The only way to know if you need this repair is to remove your toilet.

After the toilet’s removed, inspect the closet flange.

inspect-toilet-flange

You’ll have to remove your toilet anyway if you have a water leak under the bowl.

Toilet flange repair is one of those things…you don’t know you need it until you see a leak or see the flange when replacing a toilet.

One of my favorite supplies, when removing toilets, is Oatey LiquiLock.

oatey liquilock

This turns your toilet water into a gel and prevents the water from spilling on your floor.

I don’t know about you but cleaning up nasty toilet water isn’t on my to-do list.

Watch this video to see how I remove a toilet in under 15 minutes

How to Remove a Toilet in a Bathroom without Nasty Spillage

Once the toilet is removed you can do your toilet flange repair.

But what’s the best way to do this?

 

Toilet Flange Repair…What You Need to Know

If you watched the video above you know about Charlie.

He’s one of my favorite plumbers in Pittsburgh because the guy is always happy.

Charlie taught me how to repair a toilet flange and today I’m passing along those tips to you.

The first tip Charlie taught me is if your closet flange is broken you’ll need to repair it.

Today I’m going to share three options for repairing a toilet flange.

Your first option is to buy a replacement closet flange ring.

replacement-toilet-flange

This has to be secured to the subfloor with screws.

A second option is to use a closet flange repair kit.

toilet-flange-repair-ring

It’s a great option if your existing closet flange is broken or rusted. Due to it’s construction you can only use a toilet flange repair ring on PVC or ABS pipes.

Option 3 is the easiest. It’s an a Push Tite gasketed closet flange.

push-tite-closet-flange

Simply push this down into the old closet flange and secure it to the wood subfloor with galvanized or stainless steel screws.

Charlie taught me this second tip, a closet flange should be flush or up to 1/4″ above your finished floor.

The reason why is because wax rings compress over time.

If the closet flange is below the finished floor, a gap will form between the bottom of the toilet bowl and top of the wax ring.

This gap is where water leaks when you flush your toilet…and we all know what’s in toilet water.

YUCK!!!

How do you raise the closet flange?

 

Use a Closet Flange Extender

Closet flange extender rings are man/woman’s best friend when repairing closet flanges.

closet-flange-spacer

These come in 1/4″ and 1/2″ increments.

You can find them at the local home store or hardware store.

Also, you’ll need extra long closet flange bolts, e.g. 3 1/2″ bolts.

These bolts will slide into the old flange.

closet-flange-bolts

I tried to explain Charlie’s repair to the guy at my local plumbing supply warehouse and he was totally not following the concept.

So hopefully I do a better job explaining it to you.

Basically what we’re doing is sandwiching the new closet flange extender ring (or spacer, whichever) onto the old closet flange.

But you need the closet flange bolts to be long enough to fit up through the base of the toilet bowl. Furthermore, clean off all the old wax from the closet flange using a putty knife before installing the closet flange extender.

I used a 1/2″ closet flange extender in this project because it extends about 1/8″ above the finished tile floor.

Also, I’ll be installing a new American Standard VorMax toilet in this bathroom.

The rough in size for the VorMax is 12 inches, i.e. the distance from the closet flange bolts to the wall is 12 inches.

rough-in

Know your rough in before installing the closet flange bolts because the last thing you want is to place your bolts 13 inches from the wall when you need them to be at 12 inches.

Don’t measure from the baseboard to the the closet flange bolts as this will give you the incorrect rough in.

If you do measure from the baseboards to the bolts just deduct the baseboard width from your dimension.

Dry fit the closet flange extender onto the old closet flange and place a torpedo level on it.

level-flange

If you’re in luck the closet flange extender will be level, but if it’s not…you’ll have to shim your toilet when you install it.

Not a big deal, just a good thing to know.

Apply a generous bead of 100% silicone caulk on top of the old closet flange.

caulking-flange

And to the bottom of the new closet flange extender.

extender

Either slide the new closet flange bolts into the old flange before adding the extender or add them after you adhere the extender to the old flange.

Consequently, I chose to add one of the bolts to the old flange first since it was a tight fit.

Add metal washers and nuts to the closet flange bolts.

Finally, tighten the nuts to the bolts with a crescent wrench until the bolts are nice and snug.

tighten-closet-flange-bolts

Watch my step-by-step video to see all the details up close and personal…good thing these videos aren’t in 4D, just think about that :/

Toilet Flange Repair Using a Toilet Flange Extender

 

What’s Next

 

We hope today’s tutorial helps you with your project.

If your’e remodeling a bathroom you might like our free ‘Guide to a Bathroom Makeover in 10-Days’, it has a ton of great tips

Get Our Guide

Thanks as always for reading, watching and being part of our community.

Have a great day and talk to you soon,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you didn’t know, we have online classes for homeowners doing a DIY bathroom remodel.

They’re affordable, step-by-step and awesome for newbies.

Learn More

12 Comments
  1. sidd says:

    thank you for such knowledge based good videos. my floors are not the wood,insted its concrete and have ceramic tile floors, is it the same or a different way to do the procedure of leaking toilet fix???

    1. Thanks for asking Sidd, you could use the same procedure for raising the toilet flange. As long as you can sandwich the closet flange extender to the original closet flange you should be fine. But keep me posted.

  2. Louise ANGEL Brown says:

    I Love your videos! Very informative…and funny. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Louise, it’s hard to make toilet flange funny…strike that, it’s pretty easy, lol. Hope the tips help

  3. waykno says:

    Good videos! I installed one of my toilets a couple or three years ago, so my memory is a bit foggy. Seems like the floor flange was pretty rusted and some just plain eaten away (built around ’76). I used a flange repair ring and got by. Can you guess how the floor flange is attached to the concrete floor–I don’t recall. Also, I’ve heard a foam rubber (polypropylene) type ring is being used instead of wax by some. Thanks again, wk.

    1. I’ve heard of different wax ring alternatives but haven’t tried them. I figure the wax ring concept has worked for hundreds of years, so why change it. The toilet flange on the concrete is probably just sitting on the concrete floor, which is good. I’ve see situations where the metal has been eaten away as well, that’s why I choose all PVC for the closet flange repairs.

  4. Bud Umbaugh says:

    Great Job Jeff. Quick question. Do you still use a wax ring when installing a extender? And if so where does it go? Bud (I’ll try anything)

    1. Good question Bud, you add the wax ring to the top of the spacer. Just like you would for a closet flange. Hope that helps.

  5. Pingback: Home Repair Tutor
  6. mitch says:

    Hi Jeff! You mentioned in the first video that you were going to reuse the toilet at a later date – but you didn’t mention how you cleaned out the gel from the inside of the p-trap. Does it eventually dissolve?

    1. When you reattach the toilet and flush it for the first time with water, the gel will dissolve. It’s pretty awesome and I use it for every toilet installation.

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