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slatergrl 02-14-2008 07:04 PM

Toilet Headaches, please help!
I am installing a new tile floor in a friend's bathroom. The existing floor was 5/8"plywood, then 1/2"plywood, then self-adhereing armstrong vinyl tiles(about 1/8" thick). When I went to tear up the vinyl tiles today, I discovered the plywood behind the toilet was all rotted(both layers). So I removed the rot. Before I replace the subfloor and set tile, I want to make sure I set up the flange plumbing correctly, so it sits at the right height and doesn't leak like the last job did. For one, I have heard two different opinions with regard to the flange height. One said have the flange rest on top of the tile surface, the other said make the tile flush with the top of the flange surface??? I'm also trying to troubleshoot why it leaked in the first place. The old floor total depth was 1 1/8"(5/8"ply+1/2"ply+1/8"vinyl), but my measurement from the top of the joist to the bottom of the flange is 1 1/2"(now that the rot is torn out down to joists)?? The wax ring was such a smooshed mess of mold, I would not have been able to tell if the flange was a 1/4" higher than the floor surface(the flange rested on top of the old vinyl tile). If it was, would that have caused the leak? The floor was slightly off level(about 1/4" on two feet) as well. Regardless of what caused the leak, could someone help me out with what I should end up with as an end result with the toilet flange height? on or flush with new tile? My current plan is to cut the current flange off much lower on the pipe & piece in with pipe/couplers to the desired height with a new flange. I just don't want to start cutting into pipe if I don't have to. I know there are flange extenders, but if the current flange is 1/8" higher than my combined target sublfloor(2 plys+hardibacker, is my only option to cut it off & reset the pipe?? Any help anyone could offer would be appreciated. My apologies for the long question

jpplumber 02-15-2008 05:26 AM

You want the bottom of the flange to rest on top of the tile and ideally be fastened with screws to the floor. If you have to cut pipe to get it that way then cut pipe...stay away from extenders. Best to use a flange with the metal ring and regular wax ring with no plastic cone, or at least don't use an all pvc flange (sits higher off the tile) with a plastic coned wax ring...some brands of toilets will not seat properly and you will be scratching your head and trying to shim all away around the toilet to keep it from rocking.

redline 02-15-2008 05:40 AM

What will be the thickness of the new tile?

slatergrl 02-15-2008 06:10 AM

Thank you for clearing that up and the good advice is much appreciated:). The tile is 1/4 inch & I am using 1/4" cement board.

slatergrl 02-16-2008 05:08 PM

So, I have my flange and am almost ready to go. I got the one with the red metal ring. The thickness of the ring on the flange is about the same thickness of my tile 1/4". I used self leveler to level the floor up. I looked at the bottom of my toilet & the groove for the ring looks just deep enough for the wax ring. Does the wax press down alot when you set it? I'm worried about the toilet sitting too high or being wobbly. Also, do I glue the flange on? Someone told me that I shouldn't, but it seems like if I don't it could leak since the pipe goes inside the flange. I just want to make sure I've got it all right before I take my final leap & glue it because I know there is no turning back. Underneath is a finished basement so there would be no easy access to the pipe from any direction without tearing out. Thanks:)

jpplumber 02-16-2008 06:10 PM

Yes, glue the flange to the pipe or it will leak (what enemy told you not to glue it?) and then shoot some screws through the holes into the sub will need to pre-drill the ceramic tile with masonry bits where you want the screws to go through. The wax ring should compress about half the thickness if not a little more....this is what makes the seal. It helps to leave the wax in a warm room so it is somewhat pliable before use.

slatergrl 02-17-2008 05:53 PM

If memory serves, it was a home depot employee that told me not to glue(I don't know why I bother asking sometimes there, although every once in awhile you get somebody really knowledgable). Thanks again for the advice. One last ?, where the pipe enters the flange, it seems like the pipe lip would be a place water would sit, is there anything used to slope this lip so it would shed water(like a caulk or sealant) or is the cement seal enough & it doesn't matter?

jpplumber 02-17-2008 10:09 PM

it will be OK as long as it is glued to the pipe

slatergrl 02-18-2008 06:07 AM

Thanks so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all my questions:)

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