Wax rings surely help prevent leaks at the bottom of your toilet. However, which should you choose between extra-thick wax ring vs. regular ones?
Choose a regular or standard wax ring if your toilet flange rests at floor level or no more than ¼ inch beneath it. If your flange is recessed deeper, you’ll need an extra-thick one that is heavier and pricier.
Keep reading to learn when to use these wax rings and their differences.
|Extra-Thick Wax Rings
|Regular Wax Rings
|Flange is at floor level or ¼ inch below.
|Flange is under the floor by more than ¼ inches.
Table of Contents
Comparing Regular vs. Thick Wax Rings
A wax ring is simply a wax donut for the toilet that helps create a seal between your toilet and the waste pipe. It can solve common bathroom problems, like sewage leaks and unpleasant odors.
If you wonder what sets the extra-thick and regular wax rings apart, here’s a detailed comparison.
An extra-thick wax ring is approximately an inch thicker than a regular one. While a standard wax ring can measure about 0.75 to one inch thick, an extra-thick one can reach up to 1.6 inches. This means you can solve a deeply recessed flange with a chunky wax ring rather than putting two regular wax pieces together.
Since an extra-thick ring contains more wax, it weighs more than a regular model. The extra weight doesn’t impact the performance of the unit, though. The secure seal is all that matters.
For example, the extra-thick wax ring from Oatey weighs about 0.44 pounds, while its regular one is only about 0.33 pounds. Both models offer a water-tight seal to their respective applications.
If your flange lies at floor level or slightly under the floor, then a regular wax ring suits your bathroom best.
You’ll need an extra-thick wax ring for the toilet if the flange rests deeper than ¼ inches from the subfloor. Using otherwise might result in excess wax squeezing out of the bottom of the commode.
The installation of a regular wax ring is easier than the extra-thick one because it contains less material to work with.
One of the steps in setting up the wax ring includes using your body weight to compress the wax. When you have a thicker ring, more force is necessary.
Since more material is used in making an extra-thick wax ring, it’s slightly more expensive than the regular version. The price of a regular wax ring may cost $5-13, while the extra-thick ones can cost as much as $20.
Wax rings may come with or without flange. If you have the flange already, get the wax ring and bolts alone. If not, you’ll need to purchase a package with a flange to keep the excess wax from obstructing the drain pipe.
Which Thickness Do I Need?
Fortunately for you, there are only two toilet wax ring sizes to choose from: extra-thick and regular. Here are the factors that you have to consider when selecting the right size.
- Toilet Flange Height
The first thing to consider when determining the right wax ring thickness is the toilet flange height in relation to your bathroom floor.
If the flange is level with or up to ¼ inch under the floor, then a regular wax ring will suffice. You’ll need to switch to an extra-thick one when the flange height is deeper than that.
What happens if your toilet still leaks even when you install a broader wax ring? For this instance, the toilet wax ring is not thick enough to fix the gap between the flange and the floor. The perfect solution is a flange extender, which will elevate the height of your existing flange and reduce the need of piling up a bunch of wax.
- Outside Diameter
Another way to ensure a secure seal between your toilet and the flange is to get the exact diameter or width of the waste opening. You’ll have to flip the toilet over to measure the toilet wax ring.
Generally, the diameter is either 3 or 4 inches, but older drain pipes can be different, so measure well.
The good news is that many wax ring models offer a universal fit. These units can fit on 3 to 4-inch waste lines.
In the extra-thick wax ring vs. regular comparison, your choice depends entirely on your flange distance from the floor. You should get the right size to ensure a secure seal between your drain pipe and the bottom of your toilet. When the commode is fully sealed at the bottom, you can say goodbye to unpleasant odors and sewage leaks.
Let us know what you think about this article in the comment section below. If you find it insightful, please share it with your friends. Also, let’s explore recommended wax ring sizes of different toilet brands, such as Kohler and American Standard toilets.
I’m Paulk Webb, and I work as a writer for Saveourwaterrebates. I’m happy to put in the time and effort to conduct market research to identify the most pressing issues faced by households concerning their plumbing. Feel free to check out our guides to get the most informed recommendations for how to solve your problems.