How to Fix the Gap Between Toilet and Floor?


Gaps between the toilet and the floor are made when installing a new toilet. To prevent any damage to your floor, it is best to fix the gap. How do you fix the gap between the toilet and the floor?

The easiest way to fix the gap between the toilet and the floor is by sealing it with caulk. Make sure to apply an even amount of caulk to cover the gap and hide any imperfections.

For the best mildew resistance caulk, click here.

Not everyone agrees with this method, as there are some disadvantages as well as advantages to it.

How to fix the gap between the toilet and the floor?

The best way to fix the gap between the toilet and the floor is to caulk it. The reason the gap should be fixed is because of how it looks, but also to prevent any odor leakage. 

Step 1: Start by cleaning the base of your toilet. You want to make it as clean as possible. Make sure to scoop out any debris, paint, or dirt. To clean in and around the joint, use a general-purpose bathroom cleaner and a rag. The cleaner you make the area, the better seal you’ll be able to apply. When you’re done cleaning the area, wipe it with some rubbing alcohol to disinfect it.

Before moving on to step 2, check for any moisture by pressing a tissue around the base of the toilet. In case there is any leakage, remove the toilet and replace the wax ring before continuing. 

Make sure that you dry any liquid that gets in the joint, and if you can’t reach it, let it dry overnight. If you caulk over liquid, it will trap it and cause damage to your flooring. 

The toilet should be even and tight to the floor. 

Step 2: Apply masking tape to the floor, which will help you get a straighter and smoother seal and prevent any caulk from getting on your floors.  Here is a link to the masking tape we use, its cheap and gets the job done right! Make sure you put masking tape on either side of the joint, one following the toilet’s base and the other along the floor. If you are worried about ruining your floor, use a second strip on either side to double the width of masking tape and protect more of your floors. 

You will have to use several strips of tape to follow the curve of your round-based toilet. If you want to save some time, get a masking tape that comes curved and is more flexible than typical tape.

Step 3: Choose the right caulk. Make sure you get a 100% silicone caulk which is best for use on a toilet since it’s more resistant to water than any other type of caulk, such as acrylic. Silicone caulk is generally more expensive than other types of caulk, but it will save you the problems that come with an improper seal, which makes it worth paying a bit more. This link will take you to the caulk we use for these types of projects. It works great and most importantly it is water proof.

Step 4: Insert the caulk tube into a caulk gun. Start by cutting the tip off the caulk tube and puncturing the end with the metal rod attached to the gun. The tube will hold the sealant, and the gun will allow you to deliver it. You’ll find a metal release at the back of the body, shaped like a trigger. Push the release forward and you’ll be able to pull back the plunger. Then, you can insert the caulk tube and push the plunger into the back of the tube. If you need a caulk gun, check this one out! This one we use for every project that needs caulking done!

Step 5: Seal the gap between your toilet and floor. To do this, pull the trigger and keep the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle. Make sure your pressure on the trigger is constant, and keep the movement of the caulk gun slow and smooth to ensure a better seal. 

Use your hand that is not holding the gun to press the tip of the caulk tube against the joint to ensure that the caulk is pushed into the joint. To prevent caulk from making a mess on your floor, keep a piece of cardboard near you to place the caulk gun on if you need a break. If you’re having a hard time getting your caulk gun behind the toilet, try using caulk in a squeeze tube. This should allow you more flexibility.

Step 6: Clean. Run your fingers along the caulk seal to scoop off excess caulk. This will help push caulk deeper into the joint, which will seal it fully. If you’re worried about caulk sticking to your fingers, you can dip them in rubbing alcohol or water or simply wear gloves. 

Step 7: Peel off the masking tape. This step should be pretty easy, just pull the tape at a 45-degree angle away from you. If you have caulk on the tape, be very careful not to spill it. Once you’ve peeled off the masking tape, use a damp rag or a sponge to clean up around the joint. You don’t have to use any cleaning solution. 

Step 8: Let it cure. The curing time depends on which caulk you chose, so make sure you read the instructions carefully. In general, caulk usually takes 24 hours to cure. 

Should you seal around the base of a toilet?

Not everyone agrees with sealing the base of a toilet. There are some advantages and disadvantages to it.

Disadvantages

Caulking around the base of a toilet will give you an extra barrier to break through on top of the bolts and wax seal. Caulk can also leave smear marks if applied improperly, which is often difficult to remove without damaging the floor’s surface.

The biggest argument against caulking is the fact that you will less likely notice the leaks. If you caulk the base of your toilet, it means that water will be trapped inside and cause additional damage before the issue is discovered. 

Advantages

It is a well-known fact that toilets look better if there’s no visible seam at the base. 

If you caulk around the base, water from outside the toilet cannot sneak under the toilet. This means that it is less likely the floor beneath your toilet will become damaged if there is an overflowing sink or other cause of bathroom flooding.

In case that you have an uneven floor, caulking the base of a toilet will improve stability and considerably reduce the risk of a leak forming. 

How do you fix the floor of a toilet?

Unfortunately, it is a fact that your toilet will leak sooner or later. There could be many reasons for it, and hopefully, you will notice before the water does any damage to the wood subfloor underneath. If you don’t notice on time, you will have to replace your subfloor. 

To fix your toilet subfloor, you will first have to remove the toilet.

Start by turning off the water by closing the valve on the water line behind it and disconnecting the flex water line to the toilet at the valve. Then, flush and plunge the water out of the toilet. Use pliers or a wrench to unscrew nuts from the bolts at the bottom of the toilet. Then, lift the toilet off the remaining bolts and place it on a tarp, upside down.

Next, cut at least a few inches beyond the rotted wood under the toilet floor area with a reciprocating saw, up to the closest joists. Make sure you clean the drain well.

Then, measure the open area and cut a new piece of plywood to fit, using the same size of plywood as your current subfloor. Use a hole saw to cut the appropriate size hole in the plywood to fit around the drain.

You will then nail the plywood to the floor joists, keeping in mind that you should make your nails flush with the wood. Get a new flange and install it over the drain and new wood. 

Lastly, clean the bottom of the toilet by removing the old wax ring and all debris. Put in a new wax ring and make sure to push down so it doesn’t fall off when you turn the toilet over. You will set new bolts in the flange and apply the holders and place the toilet down over the new bolts and right onto the flange. Put the nuts on the bolts and tighten. Then, cut the bolts to 1/2 inch over the nut and install the covers that hide them. Twist the flex water line back onto the waterline and turn on the valve. The bolts may need to be tightened again after the weight is applied to the toilet a few times.

How long does a toilet wax ring last?

The wax ring is used to keep water from leaking as it passes from the toilet to the drain pipe and it protects from any odors. It usually lasts as long as the toilet, for about 20 to 30 years, but if you notice that the water is leaking under the base of your toilet when you flush, or you reinstall your toilet, you will have to replace the ring.

How tight should the toilet be to the floor?

The toilet bolts should be tight, but not overtightened. If you hear the sound of metal on porcelain when tightening, stop tightening it. But, if you still feel that the toilet bolts are tightening around against the wax ring, keep going.

Final Thoughts

So now we know how to fix that pesky gap between the tile and the toilet! Use the steps above and your new toilet will look great and keep leaks from damaging anything.

Related Questions

Should you caulk your toilet to the floor? Caulk helps keep the toilet secured to the floor. It is recommended to use caulk to help the bolts secure the toilet to the floor. The caulk also helps reduce leaks.

Is the toilet tank supposed to wobble? If the toilet tank is wobbling then this means there is a loose blot in the tank. In this occurrence you need to retighten the bolts.

Can you glue a toilet to the floor? Do not glue the toilet to the floor. Use caulk instead, caulk will prevent wobbling that could break the seal.

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