How to Adjust Your Toilet Flange Height: 5 Steps & Tips

How to Adjust Your Toilet Flange Height: 5 Steps & Tips
How to Adjust Your Toilet Flange Height: 5 Steps & Tips

Installing a toilet the correct way can save time, money, and headaches in the long run. This includes proper adjustment of your toilet flange height. If you are looking to adjust the height of your toilet flange, you are in the right place. Follow the process below in our comprehensive outline.

What is a Toilet Flange?

A toilet flange is a ring that sits on the floor underneath your toilet and connects to the drain pipe. This bathroom fixture holds your toilet securely in place to prevent leaks from ruining your bathroom floor.

Toilet flanges are made out of materials like cast iron, brass, and PVC. The materials will vary depending on the age of the house and where the house is located.

A toilet flange has also been known as a closet flange, which comes from the term “water closet.”

What is the Optimal Height for a Toilet Flange?

The optimal height for a toilet flange should be about ¼ inch above the finished bathroom floor. The bathroom floor must be finished before installing the toilet flange—so wait on installing if your floor isn’t finished yet.

The ¼ inch height will work with a majority of wax rings, making for a good seal. The toilet flange should not be flush with the bathroom floor. If it’s flush, it could cause water leak issues in your bathroom.

How to Adjust Your Toilet Flange Height: 5 Steps & Tips

Tools and Materials You Will Need

There are tools and materials needed to adjust the height of your toilet flange. Make sure you have the following:

  • Pliers or an adjustable wrench
  • Utility knife to properly adjust the height of the toilet flange
  • Silicone caulk
  • Plastic toilet shims
  • Toilet wax ring or foam gasket
  • Optional: Flange extender

Process of Setting the Toilet Flange Height

Now that you have gathered the tools and materials necessary, it is time to set the toilet flange height. Following the instructions below will help ensure the flange is not too high or low. The process of setting the toilet flange to its proper height follows:

1. Check the Flange Height

The first step is to confirm the correct flange height when preparing to install the toilet. Measure the height of the flange above the floor. The optimal height of ¼ inch is what to aim for to allow a good seal. A toilet flange extender can be used if needed.

2. Tighten the Closet Bolts

Tighten and secure the two closet bolts that anchor the toilet base to the flange. These are long bolts that stick straight up out of the flange.

A general recommendation would be to use a nut and washer to hold the closet bolts to the flange. This will keep the closet bolts in place while installing the toilet, making it much easier to remove down the line.

3. Install the Wax Ring

Once a wax ring has been chosen for an appropriate size, place the wax ring on the flange, not on the toilet. Next, pick up the toilet and place it evenly over the flange fixture. Make sure the bolts are inserted through the bolt holes in the toilet base.

At this point, you can fine-tune the position of the toilet to where you want. Push the toilet straight down to smash the wax evenly. Push until the toilet rests on the floor.

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4. Leveling

Confirm that the base is stable and level the toilet carefully by rocking it from side to side and back and forth before bolting it down. If it isn’t perfectly flat, the toilet will rock and will likely leak in the future.

If the toilet is rocking, you can slip toilet shims between the base and the floor. Shim the toilet before the toilet is bolted down.

5. Apply Caulking

You can cut off any part of toilet shims that are sticking out using a utility knife. Next, caulk around the base of the toilet with silicone caulk. This adds extra protection against any movement and will even make the base easier to clean.

How to Adjust Your Toilet Flange Height: 5 Steps & Tips

How to Adjust the Height of a Toilet Flange That is Too Low

If the height of your toilet flange is too low, a flange extension kit should resolve the issue. This kit will extend the flange to its proper height. Or, you can carefully stack multiple wax rings to do the same thing. Make sure to set the flange to the lowest ring.

How to Adjust the Height of a Toilet Flange That is Too High

If your toilet flange is too high, you can cut its height down by using a hacksaw. Once it has been cut down to proper height, make sure there is a secure seal between the toilet and the flange.

Steps for Fixing a Misaligned Toilet Flange

If the toilet flange ends up being misaligned, follow these steps:

  1. Take out the old flange: Loosen the bolts that hold the flange in place. Make sure to use protective equipment.
  2. Clean the surrounding area: Remove any old sealant or debris from the surrounding area.
  3. Reinstall the toilet flange: Place the flange on the floor, secure it with bolts, apply sealant around the flange, and then set the toilet in place.
  4. Make adjustments when needed: Depending on how things are turning out, extra wax rings and a flange extension kit may be needed.
  5. Secure the toilet: Place bolts through the toilet and into the flange, then tighten until they are secure.
  6. Check for leaks: Once everything is done, check around the toilet for any leaks around the seal and the toilet is stable.

Professional Bathroom Plumbing Services

When installing or replacing the toilet in your home, making sure the toilet flange is the correct height is a crucial component.

For homeowners in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, the team of licensed plumbers at AccuTemp offer a wide range of bathroom plumbing services ranging from sink and toilet plumbing to bathtub replacement. The technicians at our plumbing company have extensive experience to provide homeowners with reliable services to fit a variety of needs.

Do you notice water around your toilet? Contact our professionals by phone at (225) 238-8495 to receive emergency water leak repair services. We will respond to the issue quickly to help you prevent water damage in your house.

Financing Options Available

At AccuTemp, we understand how important it is for your HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems to function in your home. This is why we offer flexible financing options to help you take care of your new purchase, so you can get back to taking care of what matters most to you.

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Well-maintained HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems can save you from having to invest in costly repairs down the road. Learn more about the Star Service Plan offered by AccuTemp Services.

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