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Old 01-10-2008, 08:48 PM   #1
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Hi everyone,

Just tiled the floor a few days ago and I set the toilet today. The tiles around the toilet are slightly uneven and the toilet rocks just a bit. I'm afraid of cranking too hard on the closet bolts so I'd rather find a way to fill the gap.

I've done some reading online and found several different suggestions anywhere from shimming to caulking to grouting the gaps. The underside of the closet flange sits perfectly even with the top of the floor and it appears that I have a good seal at the flange.

I do not want to caulk all around that toilet base as that would mask any possible leak problems down the road but I'm thinking that a solid bead of caulk along the front and back of the base would stop the rocking and would be the easiest solution.

What do you think?

Also, how tight should the tank be to the toilet? Right now it wiggles when you push and pull on it and it even contacts the wall if you push back on it, but the bolts seem like they're tight enough and I'm afraid of going any tighter.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-10-2008, 09:00 PM   #2
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


HD, Lowes and ACE all sell clear nylon wedges in their toilet parts aisles specifically for eliminating rocking by filling in the gaps. You break off or cut off the portion of the wedge that works best so that it rests just under the toilet edge, allowing you to caulk it in afterwards. They work great, won't rust and won't rot like wooden shims.

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Old 01-11-2008, 02:46 AM   #3
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Replace the wax ring if necessary.
Put a level across the bowl of the toilet, and level it with those beveled plastic shims made for the purpose.
Snug the toilet bolts down enough that the toilet cannot move at all. Any rocking or other movement may break the wax ring seal.
Use tub & tile caulk (with mildew inhibitor) to seal around the front and sides only, leaving the back open for leak detection.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:38 AM   #4
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


I prefer to grout around the toilet base (sanded grout) to match the tile floor. Caulk flexes, and doesn't clean up as well as grout, IMO. Just make sure not to wiggle the toilet for a day after grouting.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


I only caulk after the toilet is bolted down securely and can't move at all. The caulk is for looks only, not for any part of the toilet stability.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Plaster of paris.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Once I saw a cheap trick for situations like yours - use 1 cent coins under your toilet so fix the rocking. They are made of copper and will not rust.

Caulk will not stop the wiggle. Think about the weight of the porcelain, the user and the water combined.

One more thing (maybe stating the obvious). If you even remotely suspect there may be a toilet leak - DON'T CAULK around the toilet. It's like fixing a tooth cavity by plugging in a piece of gum. WON'T WORK!

Remove the toilet (it's really not too complex) and replace the wax ring. Otherwise you'll trap the leaking water (let's call it that, but in reality it is far from being "water") under the toilet and guarantee you all kinds of problems like rot, smell, mold, etc.

Last edited by remi999; 02-28-2008 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:32 PM   #8
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


I ended up loosening the bolts a little and tapping in the little plastic wedges. Once I got it solid I caulked the front and back of the toilet base and everything seems to be fine with it, no rocking, no leaks.

Thanks again for the suggestions.
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


I just pulled a "rocker" that had some cheap wood shims...plan to try the plastics. Thanks Mike S. for the leave the back open to detect any future leaks...will do
pro plumber told me that tile grout is best if you want to really make it solid (only if out a little bit like less than 1/4") the grout suposedly will make for easy removal if needed later.....heard of using thinset and other compounds which does not sound good for break out if needed.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:44 PM   #10
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Richo, you mentioned the tank to bowl had some movement also, if it moves, it will leak. You need to tighten the two tank nuts, very carefully and try to keep them even when doing so. I hate doing it, you get worried that the tank is going to break. You can eyeball the threads or use a tape measure to keep it even when tightening down. Good luck and good job.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:41 PM   #11
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Forgive me for resurrecting an old thread, but my question is pertinent to this. We installed a larger toilet only to discover the larger base rocks front to back (sits back with the weight of the tank, but rocks forward when a user sits only to rock back when the user rises). We detect no leaks and the new wax ring appears to be seated properly. I have a few questions:

1. If I use the nylon shims, would I shim it in the back so it remains forward or shim it on the sides or front so it leans back with the weight of the tank? (When it is rocked back, it leans slightly against the wall.)
2. Is the caulk or grout merely an optional aesthetic or is there some reason why I would need to add one or the other?

Also, the tank seems wiggly. It came with a thick foam gasket. We have installed a toilet successfully before, but this particular model does not seem to want to go together properly. I don't think we can tighten the bolts further. How can we get the tank solid on the base?
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Ideally you want the bowl level. So that would determine where the shims go.
You may be best off if you reset the toilet on a new bowl wax- it has been rocking so the wax seal may have a void at the front or back once it is level.
Try these steps- level toilet with shims first. Now pull the toilet without moving the shims. Prep the toilet for new ring by removing old wax-reinstall toilet with new bowl wax onto the shims. tighten toilet down and check for leaks. Caulk or no caulk- your choice, but I like to caulk with Dap latex bathroom caulk. Don't use tile grout. It will glue the toilet to the floor - major pain to remove in the future.
As for the tank, some come with plastic bumpers that go between the bowl and tank. You may have missed those. Some models don't. To get the gasket to compress I apply some body weight to the tank while alternately tightening the bolts. The tank should just touch the bowl when properly tightened.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:31 PM   #13
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Thank you. Our old toilet had plastic bumpers for the tank, but the new one didn't come with any. When I was in the hardware store for the toilet shims, I saw that they had rubber shims, also. Can we use those as bumpers for the tank?

Also, we have another odd conundrum. The water supply doesn't reach high enough to connect to the newer, larger toilet. You would think we could simply get a longer hose and replace the older one between the nob and the toilet, but it's not that easy. Ours isn't a screw on. Is it possible to just get an extension? I took pictures:

Permanently attached? How do I replace this?


This is as high as it reaches, two or three inches too short:
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:13 PM   #14
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


You'd have to cut the old ring just above the shut-off and replace with a new length of pipe and crimp ring that would be long enough to reach the new toilet.

Having said that there's a potentially bigger problem here. The water line for the toilet is poly b, made by Zurn, and there was a big lawsuit involving this particular product back in the 80's, I think. You'll need to plan on replacing all water lines of this type in your house pronto. That product was/is notorious for failing at any joint over time. It's just a question when it will fail.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #15
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Toilet rocks on tile floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by VIPlumber View Post
You'd have to cut the old ring just above the shut-off and replace with a new length of pipe and crimp ring that would be long enough to reach the new toilet.

Having said that there's a potentially bigger problem here. The water line for the toilet is poly b, made by Zurn, and there was a big lawsuit involving this particular product back in the 80's, I think. You'll need to plan on replacing all water lines of this type in your house pronto. That product was/is notorious for failing at any joint over time. It's just a question when it will fail.
Thank you. Our place was built in the mid-90s, are you sure it's poly b by Zurn?

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