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corman 11-18-2012 02:04 PM

quick question on closet flanges
Hello all. I'll get right to the root of my question (background is included below for those interested!).

How important is it for the closet flange to be level (with respect to the bottom of the toilet)? My inlet is not exactly plumb, so when I went to install a new flange I noticed that it will not be level with respect to the subfloor or finished floor. To simplify my question, let's say that the flange (although not level) is sitting flush on the subfloor so that it is not unsupported anywhere along it's circumference.

It's looking as though the new flange, once installed, will sit about even with the final floor at the front and about 1/4" above the finished floor at the back. I'm assuming that a wax ring should be able to take into account any difference from level around the flange. Is that correct?
If the flange is above the floor in all areas around the flange, would there be any need to use an extended wax ring (or are they only needed if the flange sites below the final floor)? I can measure the distance from the base of the toilet to the underside of the opening on the bottom of the toilet to see what that distance is - I've read that you want the wax ring to be able to compress at least half it's thickness to get a good seal, so a ring with thickness twice that distance (bottom of the toilet edges to underside of opening for flushing) would be needed (taking into account any distance that the flange extends above the floor).


Background to my question, for those interested (and for those that may come across a similar situation).

I noticed that the toilet in my main floor ensuite was leaking around the edge. Taking a look at the underside from the basement, it appeared to have been leaking for a while without any coming out from the base of the toilet, as the underside of the subfloor around the pipe was stained. I pulled the toilet off, and saw a few things that amazed me (I found that buying an older home can be interesting - you never know what is hiding just under the surface).

The closet flange, while in decent shape, was complete unsupported (hanging in mid air). For some reason, a previous owner had removed half the thickness of the subfloor (I'm guessing had leaked before and was wet/rotten). :eek: Also, the wood in the area where the screws where used to 'secure' the flange to what was left of the subfloor had given way over time, so the screws weren't doing anything (expect rusting, as they weren't brass or stainless). :(

Since I can't remove the entire section of subfloor in the area (I'd have to remove the sink cabinet to remove enough of the floor to get to the next floor joist), I'm doing the following:

First I've glued in some dowels into the former screw holes to stabilize those areas. I also glued (with 'no more nails') a new thickness of plywood under the subfloor area from below, to get some additional backing for when I do install a new flange and screws (the good news is that the screw holes in the new flange do not match the old holes, so at least I'll be in somewhat better wood in the existing subfloor). I've used a mini hacksaw to remove the old flange (it was glued to the piping).

For bringing the subfloor back up to it's original thickness, I'm going to try using liquidwood to stabilize the remaining part of the subfloor, and use woodepox to bring the area that was subcut back up to the original thickness. I've read that woodepox and be drilled and screwed. I'm planning on leveling the upper surface of the woodepox to match the 'pitch' of the new flange (caused by the inlet not being perpendicular to the top of the floor tiles), as I want the flange to sit flush and be fully supported. Long story short, the flange, while fully supported, will be a bit uneven with respect to the top of the tile floor at the end of the repair (by about 1/4" I figure). Hence my original question!


corman 11-18-2012 02:09 PM

Sorry for the double post folks. The site kicked me out when I tried to post the first time, so I figured my login had time-out and that the message wasn't posted. I should have checked before re-posting. A moderator can delete one of the threads as needed.


gregzoll 11-18-2012 02:13 PM

We are having typical Sunday problems. Usually starts after midnight, then goes back to normal later in the afternoon. If I had to guess, the hosting runs a backup on the servers that they have on site, which slows down websites.

joecaption 11-18-2012 03:18 PM

Sure sounds like your going to be going back and having to redo this all over again shortly.
Done right there should be no need for all the magic quick fixes.

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