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Richo 01-02-2008 01:15 PM

Closet flange unsupported
Hey guys, this is a great forum, very helpful people!

I'm in the process of a bathroom tile job. I just removed the 5/8" particle board subfloor that was a vinyl flooring substrate. After doing this, there is about a 5/8" space between the closet flange and the floor. There were 2 large screws through the flange and the floor but I currently have removed them to take out the floor, they will be replaced.
My question is, do I need to fill the area between the closet flange and the floor or will the screws keep it sturdy enough going into 1 1/4" of plywood beneath it? I was not planning on sliding the tile backer under the edges of the flange because one full piece of tile backer fills the toilet area perfectly and I was simply planning to cut a hole so it slips right over the flange.

Thanks for your help!

davefoc 01-02-2008 01:28 PM

I'm interested to see what the experts have to say about this.

I've done this several times now and if the 1/4 inch hardiback I use fits I slide it under the flange. I just cut the hardibacker into two pieces and it works fine.

I've wondered if it's overkill but I force thinset around and under the flange so it's supported as well as possible. Of course you need to allow room for the toilet bolts to slip into the flange.

One thing I just realized I have been doing wrong is that the flange is supposed to sit on top of the finished floor. I thought it was supposed to be flush with the finished floor. Despite this mistake I haven't had any problems (that I know of) just using the standard depth wax rings.

I did have problems with a job done by a professional tile guy who just put his floor over the old substrate so that the flange ended up well below the finished floor level. I need to remember to use a thicker wax ring there.

I'm going to look into getting flange extenders to raise the flanges where I made that mistake.

USP45 01-02-2008 02:02 PM

The flange MUST be in contact with the floor, never try to use thinset or concrete or any other filler to do this as it will crumble over time and cause a leak. When you install the cement board locate the flange on the cement board, next make a circle the same size as the pipe (Usually 3-5/8" or 4-5/8" for outside dimentions)
Next cut the cement board straight across the board so it passes through the center of the circle you just made. Now cut out the 2 semi circles. Remove the old screws, insert the cement board sliding it under the flange. Next install the second one the same way. Secure flange with new screws. After fastening the cement board down use tape and mud to seal the cut you made. This taping can also be done by the tile setter. If you do not want to do all that then use 2 plywood semi circles cut from plywood, remove the old screws, install the semi circles under the flange and secure with new screws. As for the above response by Davefoc, if you have a flange that is flush with the subfloor, then has cement board and tile just use a jumbo deep seal and a regular wax ring. 2 tips here. 1 is if you can not secure flange because of any reason using screws, then drill through the floor where the screws were, use long bolts with a pan head on it (A regular screwdriver slot in the top) along with a washer and nut underneath. 2 when setting any toilet set wax rings, next set toilet onto wax rings over bolts. DO NOT PUSH DOWN, rather stop and look to see if the toilet is being held up off the floor. If it is and you must use some force to push it down, then ther is enough wax. If the toilet hits the finished floor without forcing it down, then you need more. Always add a regular ring on top of another as 2 deep seals will not work togethet. 1 deep seal, then 1 or 2 regular rings is ok.

Richo 01-02-2008 02:27 PM

Thanks for your advice. I will make sure the flanged is fully supported. :thumbsup:

USP45 01-02-2008 02:39 PM

A nother tip is NOT to caulk along the bottom of the toilet when you install it. I know, lots of people do, but me, if the seal goes bad I want to see the water come out from under the toilet so I know something is wrong. If you caulk it the water is trapped under the toilet and you would never know there was a leak untill the floor rots out

davefoc 01-02-2008 02:41 PM

deep seal jumbo gasket?

Are you suggesting to use this instead of a closet flange spacer or is this the same thing?

Thanks, Dave

As an aside, I was thinking that the effort I was putting into making the old xh cast iron flanges secure was more than was required. They seemed so strongly in place anyway. But now I realize that I should have been screwing them down. In general just out of dumb luck the flanges have been almost exactly 1/4 inch over the floor so shoving the hardibacker under them has had the effect of making them pretty secure so I suspect I won't have any problems but I will screw them down from now on.

USP45 01-02-2008 02:44 PM

The jumbo deep seal is one I found to be at Home Depot, or Lowes. It is a deep seal wax ring that has an additional wax ring on top of it. makes it a deep seal with 2x the wax. As far as flange extenders as long as they are caulked together and all of them screwed down is ok

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