Wax Ring With Flange or Without: Which is Better?

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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wax ring with flange or without

Wax rings are important to seal your toilet from leaks. You probably see the new wax ring models with flanges on the market today. Should you go with a wax ring with a flange or without?

Units with a flange tend to be more durable than those without. They offer a more watertight seal but can get rocky when installed in a tight place. You can choose a flangeless wax ring if your waste opening is small and don’t mind spending some time setting the toilet evenly.

Continue reading to learn the differences between these two.



Wax rings are an important part of the toilet because they seal the bottom to keep unpleasant odors and sewer water from leaking out. They’re available either with a new plastic flange or without. Let’s discuss each type below. 

1. Toilet wax ring with flange


Most extra-thick or double wax ring models come with flanges to ensure the toilet is easier to install. The purpose of the flange is to ensure the wax ring is directly positioned into the waste line.

Such a design with a funnel is more durable and guarantees a strong watertight seal on your toilet. However, the extra piece might not allow the piece to sit flat due to contact with the waste pipe. What you can do is apply a few plastic shims underneath to make the flange steady. 

2. Toilet wax ring no flange


Sometimes, the flange itself obstructs the waste line, especially if it’s way smaller than your drain pipe. In this case, you can choose the simple wax ring design without the flange.

The tricky part is to set the toilet down properly. Make sure that the toilet is aligned properly to the drain pipe. You should use all your body weight to press the commode down evenly.

Which Type of Wax Ring is Right for Me?


Yes, it’s possible to purchase a wax ring with or without a flange. All you need is to determine whether you’ll need this component or not. Here are some points to consider when choosing a wax ring.

1. Wax ring thickness: Determine how much wax you’ll need to compress. If you want more wax to make up the space from the drain pipe to your toilet, then you’ll need a flange to keep the extra wax from leaking into the drainage path.

Consider getting a flange extender if an extra-thick wax ring isn’t enough to fill the gap.

2. Drain Opening: If you have a small drainage path, then you can use a wax ring without a horn. The installation of a flange will only make the pathway smaller, and maneuvering will be difficult in a tight space.

3. Type Of Toilet: The plastic flange might get in the way when you install it on a wall-hung toilet. In this situation, you may go without it. If you’re mounting the toilet on the floor, you can opt for a wax ring with a flange for extra protection from sewer leaks.

4. Installation: If you want the toilet to properly align to the waste pipe, then a wax ring with a built-in flange is helpful. The installation is also easier, but you can’t reuse or reshape it as you do with a simple wax ring.

5. Floor angle: If the floor of your toilet is uneven, the flange will automatically adjust to form a tight seal. Flangeless wax rings cannot do this, and your toilet may feel wobbly as a result.

6. Cost: Suppose your bathroom can accommodate both setups without trouble. In such a case, opting for flangeless designs is more economical, as they’re about five to ten dollars cheaper than their counterparts.


I hope that you can decide what wax ring to purchase next. You can get a wax ring with a flange or without, depending on your needs. Sometimes, paying an extra fee for a built-in flange might not be worth it.

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