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A properly attached flange means the toilet won’t rock back and forth when we sit. It’s also one of the reasons why our bathroom doesn’t smell like sewer gases. So if it’s attached way higher than floor, not only could the toilet wobble and stink, but it could also leak.
To teach you what to do if a toilet flange is too high, you can: fill in the gap with grout, put shims/silicone under the fixture, replace the flange entirely, or raise the bathroom floor.
Are There Any Problems With the Flange Being Too High?
When a flange’s height is too high, sitting on the toilet can feel uncomfortable because it’s lower on one side, making the fixture unstable and wobbly. Not to mention that this can lead to leaks through gaps between the toilet and flange, which can damage the floor and subfloor in the long run.
Another potential problem with a too-high flange is improper waste flow. In the worst-case scenario, waste can accumulate between the toilet and flange, causing stubborn clogs.
Don’t worry; we got you. We will discuss 4 possible solutions for this issue, some of which you can do with help and one that can be done better by professionals.
How Do I Fix a Toilet Flange That Is Too High?
Solution 1: Fill the gap between the toilet and the floor
What to prepare:
Grouting tool (it can be a putty knife, spatula, or something you can level the grout with)
One of the things we can do to cover the large gap between toilet and floor is to fill it using grout. This method is more long-lasting in terms of “filling in,” compared to just stacking up some other material like plywood on the gap.
1. By following the instructions on the pack, create a paste using grout and water.
2. Loosen up the bolts of the toilet so you can level it with the rubber shims.
3. Once you have leveled the toilet, apply the grout on the gaps using a putty knife. Try to push the paste into the joint between the tile and the toilet base.
Remember to avoid the areas with the rubber shims, as we will deal with them later.
4. Scrape off any excess parts and clean the floor.
5. Allow the filler to dry for one day. Once dry, remove the rubber shims from the bottom of the toilet carefully.
6. Apply grout paste on the empty areas where the shims were removed.
7. Let the grout dry for 24 hours, then check if the toilet is level. If necessary, replace the nuts to achieve a tighter finish.
Solution 2: Put shims and silicone under the toilet
What to prepare:
Soft rubber shims
A toilet not even on one side will be wobbly, and the reason is likely a tiny gap due to a too-high flange. For this, shims and silicone will do the trick, helping you level the toilet for high flange.
Slightly loosen up the bolts on two sides of the base so you can insert the rubber shims in place.
Insert the shims as far as you can and draw a line to the excess part that you can’t get under the toilet so we can cut it with the side cutters.
Remove the shims and cut the excess parts, then insert them again.
Once the toilet is level and stable, use 100% silicone to cover the gap. Carefully release a line or bead of silicone into the gap and spread it with a finger.
Do not seal the back of the toilet, just in case it leaks. In this way, the water can go out of the bathroom floor instead of the room below, if any.
Solution 3: Replace the toilet flange
What to prepare:
New toilet flange with the diameter as the old one
Hack saw (preferably a small size)
Toilet paper or towel
Mallet or hammer
If the flange sits too high on concrete floor, the best solution is to get a replacement. However, keep in mind that the new one you will buy should match the material of the waste pipe.
Step 1: Remove the toilet from the floor.
Turn off the shut-off valve then flush the toilet to drain the tank. Afterward, proceed to manually drain any water left in the bowl.
Place a bucket under the water supply hose, then disconnect it from the valve and the toilet tank with channel lock pliers. Put the hose in the same bucket.
If your toilet is two-piece, remove the tank first.
Go to the base of the toilet and remove the caps of the bolts. Next, use a wrench to remove the bolts.
Remove the caulk with a utility knife. Be careful not to scrape the floor or the porcelain.
With help, slowly wiggle the toilet up and place it somewhere safe.
Using a putty knife, remove the wax ring residue on the old flange, if any.
Place a dry towel into the waste pipe to keep sewer gases from escaping and to prevent the flange residue from falling down the drain when we cut through it.
Step 2: Remove the old flange
Remove the bolts keeping the flange in place.
It will be difficult to remove the old flange as a whole without damaging the pipe. So, make multiple cuts through the flange with your hack saw that will divide it into 3 or more parts.
Loosen up a part (that you cut) by gently tapping it with a hammer or mallet.
Take the chisel and put it under the same part that you just tapped, and slowly push upwards. Then, use your fingers to pull out the flange part slowly.
Since there is still a section of the old flange left inside your waste pipe, we also have to slice that away.
Insert the hack saw into the drain and proceed to cut through the flange residue. Be careful not to cut the pipe.
If you have already made cuts, but the flange parts won’t come off, put the tip of the chisel on top and tap the chisel with a hammer.
If the toilet flange is above floor, most likely, the toilet waste pipe is too high as well.
You can cut the excess using the same hacksaw or a Dremel tool with a circular saw.
If you want to level a toilet flange because there is a tiny gap, but you don’t necessarily want a replacement, raising the floor will be a more permanent solution.
This can mean using self-leveling the toilet flange with concrete before installing the tiles, but it will depend on your choice of flooring.
In this method, we highly recommend consulting with floor service professionals or carpenters who have experience in flooring because the process will differ case-by-case. This way, you have more assurance that the job will be done successfully compared with DIY methods.
Raising the bathroom floor to fit the toilet on a high flange will also take days of work and will need more budget than the previous solutions, so this is excellent if you’re undergoing renovation.
How High Should the Toilet Flange Be?
Your toilet flange should be ¼ inches above or flush against the finished floor. By following this guideline, you’ll ensure that your toilet flange is properly installed on the floor instead of the sub-floor, thus providing a tight seal against leaks.
In case your toilet flange is too low, use an extender to increase its height to the recommended level. To be clear, extenders can make the flange rise up to 1/2 to 5/8” above the floor, so make adjustments accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Recommended Toilet Flange Height Above Floor?
The best height allowance for the toilet flange is ¼ inches above the floor, as this will let the wax ring create a tight seal. If it’s 1/2 above floor, it will be too high.
This also answers the question of should toilet flange be flush with floor, which is a no. Because if the flange is too close to the finished floor, it can cause leaks, and it might make inserting the toilet difficult too.
It’s important for the toilet flange to be ¼ inches above the floor if we want the commode to be stable and leak-free. That’s why this article shows you what to do if a toilet flange is too high, so you can fix the problem yourself.
We hope this clears things up for you. Should you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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.
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