How to Fix a Toilet That Rocks? Find Out 4 Easy Steps!

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to fix a toilet that rocks

While sitting on it, a rocking toilet surely isn’t comfortable. It poses several hazards that may damage your bathroom.

There are many causes for a toilet’s wobbling: it may be due to loose bolts and nuts, uneven flooring, raised flange, or a faulty wax seal.

Fortunately, learning how to fix a toilet that rocks is a breeze. The tools and materials needed are accessible, and you will be ready to fix and stop a toilet from rocking again.

Read on to know the detailed guide.

Steps to Fix a Toilet That Rocks

As mentioned, there are many reasons your toilet rocks back and forth. It will be much more complicated if your toilet is leaking around the base, meaning the issue is more severe than expected.

First, read the below guide to fix a toilet that rocks yet not leaks.

What to prepare

  • Pliers or wrench
  • Leveler
  • Plastic shims
  • Knife
  • Caulk (silicone or latex)
  • Foam gasket (if toilet is leaking)
  • Sponge (if toilet is leaking)
  • Pail (if toilet is leaking)

Step 1: Check for loose bolts and nuts

This is usually the first thing that comes to mind when something is wobbling – even with toilets. Check for unsecured bolts at the base of the toilet.

You’ll want to carefully tighten them – using pliers or a wrench – as the toilet is very fragile. Equally, tighten both sides until they are snug.

You can sit on the toilet after tightening all the bolts and nuts. If the toilet is stable, then you’re done already.

Otherwise, move to step 2 to balance your toilet.

Step 2: Check if your toilet base has leaks


If your bathroom seat still rocks after tightening, it is crucial to check if it might leak. Proceed to step 3 if water is not present around your toilet seat.

However, a different method would be discussed if your loose toilet cause a leak. This will be discussed in the guide below.

Step 3: Insert plastic shims in the gaps

If there are no leaks underneath the toilet, or probably the toilet rocks front to back, the wobbling may be caused by your floor being uneven.

Use a leveler to confirm this and identify which side has the gaps.

Fix toilet wobble by leveling it and inserting plastic shims between the gaps. Line the shims to ensure they align with the toilet base and hold up well.

Step 4: Trim excess shims and apply caulk


You may now trim the excess shims using a knife. Cut as close to the toilet as possible but avoid incurring damage on ceramic tiles or any flooring.

Proceed to apply caulk around the toilet’s base to hide the shims and the remaining small gaps. Caulking is like fixing toilet to floor without screws.

Check the instructions for how long the caulk will dry before using the toilet again. Typically, you need to wait for a day or two. And, since your toilet is not leaking, you are already done here.

Fix a Wobbly Toilet That is Also Leaking


1. Pull out toilet and remove wax seal


Cut off the toilet’s water connection and bring down the amount carried by the toilet. Do this by flushing to reduce the water held by the tank and draining water from the bowl using a sponge or several pieces of cloth.

Pulling out of the toilet will now be easier. Unscrew the nuts at the toilet base and remove the toilet from its original place. Scrape off the wax seal right after.

2. Reseal with foam gasket

Now that the wax seal is gone, replace it with a foam gasket. Start by inserting two flange bolts in a keyway on both sides of the toilet flange.

Once the bolts are in place, you can install the foam gasket. Guide the holes of the gasket to the bolts to make sure that they are properly placed.

After unfolding the gasket’s horn, you may now return the toilet to its place. Make sure that the new bolts will be inserted properly into the toilet base.

Once the toilet is placed back, and the bolts are tightened, go back to step 3 onwards and use plastic shims and caulk to secure toilet to floor.

You’ve successfully fixed your leaking and rocking toilet without professional help.


What causes a toilet to start rocking?

A toilet loose from the floor may be due to unsecured bolts and nuts, uneven flooring, or worn-out flange and wax seal.

We’ve discussed ways to fix these causes and keep toilet from rocking again.

How much does it cost to fix a rocking toilet?

If you hire a plumber for fixing a rocking toilet on tile, including leaking and rocking, it can cost you over $100. However, if you do it yourself, the cost can be cut down in half, including materials such as trims and caulk.


It feels frustrating when you are supposed to relax but your toilet seat wobbles – especially when it’s a brand new toilet rocking back and forth already.

It could be the installer’s fault, or your flooring is just uneven to begin with. There are many causes for a rocking toilet; we’ve also discussed many ways to fix it.

You can now be safe and at ease during your bathroom schedule since you already know how to fix a toilet that rocks.

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