A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Toilet Flanges
different types of toilet flanges

A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Toilet Flanges

Toilet flanges are essential for any toilet installation, but not all flanges are equal.

Various types of toilet flanges are available in the market, and choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging.

This article will discuss the different kinds of toilet flanges, their features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Table Of Content
  1. What is a Toilet Flange?
  2. Different Types of Toilet Flanges
  3. PVC or ABS Toilet Flanges
  4. Cast Iron Toilet Flanges
  5. Copper Toilet Flanges Types
  6. Brass Toilet Flanges Types
  7. Plastic (PVC) Toilet Flanges Types
  8. Stainless Steel Toilet Flanges Types
  9. Aluminum Toilet Flanges:
  10. Other Closet Flange Styles & Shapes:
  11. Metal Toilet Flange vs. Plastic
  12. Toilet Flange Sizes & Dimensions
  13. Offset Toilet Flanges and Why They Are Important:
  14. Advantages and Disadvantages of Offset Toilet Flanges
  15. Types of Toilet Flanges Built Specifically for Your Model
  16. Conclusion
  17. FAQs

What is a Toilet Flange?

A toilet flange is a circular fitting that connects the toilet bowl to the sewer pipe.

The flange is attached to the floor and serves as a secure base for the toilet to sit on.

It ensures a tight seal between the toilet and the sewer pipe, preventing leaks and sewer gases from entering your home.

Parts of a Toilet Flange

A standard toilet flange consists of three main parts:

  1. Flange ring: A circular metal or plastic ring attaches to the floor and connects to the sewer pipe.
  2. Sleeve: A plastic or PVC pipe that fits inside the flange ring and extends to the sewer pipe.
  3. Bolts: Two or four bolts secure the toilet to the flange ring.

Different Types of Toilet Flanges

Several types of toilet flanges are available in the market, each with its features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Here are some of the most common types of toilet flanges:

PVC or ABS Toilet Flanges

PVC or ABS toilet flanges are the most popular due to their affordability and ease of installation.

They are made of plastic and come in various sizes, making them suitable for most toilet installations.

Definition and Features:

PVC or ABS toilet flanges are plastic and designed to fit over the sewer pipe.

They are easy to install and can be secured to the floor using screws or bolts.

Advantages and Disadvantages

PVC or ABS toilet flanges are affordable, easy to install, and suitable for most toilet installations.

Yet, they are less durable than metal flanges and may crack or break over time.

Standard Sizes

PVC or ABS toilet flanges come in various sizes, including 3-inch and 4-inch sizes.

Installation Process:

To install a PVC or ABS toilet flange, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the old flange and clean the area around the sewer pipe.
  2. Fit the flange over the sewer pipe and secure it to the floor using screws or bolts.
  3. Install a wax ring on the flange.
  4. Place the toilet bowl over the flange and secure it with bolts.

Cast Iron Toilet Flanges

Cast iron toilet flanges are more durable than plastic flanges and are suitable for heavy-duty applications.

They are made of cast iron and come in various sizes.

Definition and Features:

Cast iron toilet flanges are durable cast iron and are designed to fit over the sewer pipe.

They are suitable for heavy-duty applications and can withstand high pressure.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Cast iron toilet flanges are durable, long-lasting, and suitable for heavy-duty applications.

They are more expensive than plastic flanges and can be challenging to install.

Standard Sizes

Cast iron toilet flanges come in sizes, including 3-inch and 4-inch sizes.

Installation Process:

To install a cast iron toilet flange, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the old flange and clean the area around the sewer pipe.
  2. Fit the flange over the sewer pipe and secure it to the floor using screws or bolts.
  3. Install a wax ring on the flange.
  4. Place the toilet bowl over the flange and secure it with bolts.

Copper Toilet Flanges Types

Copper toilet flanges are made of copper and are known for their durability and strength.

They are often used in harsh water conditions as they resist corrosion and can last long.

Definition and Features:

Copper toilet flanges are made of copper, a highly durable and strong metal that can withstand harsh water conditions.

They are designed to fit over the toilet drain pipe and provide a secure connection between the toilet and the drain pipe.

Copper flanges are available in different sizes and shapes to fit other toilet models.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

One of the most significant advantages of copper toilet flanges is their durability. They can last for a long time and are resistant to corrosion.

They are also strong and can provide a secure connection between the toilet and the drain pipe.

Copper toilet flanges can be expensive compared to other flanges and may require special tools and expertise to install.

Standard Sizes:

Copper toilet flanges are available in different sizes to fit other toilet models. The most common sizes are 3 inches and 4 inches.

Installation Process:

The installation process of copper toilet flanges is similar to other toilet flanges.

The first step is to remove the old flange and clean the area around the drain pipe.

The new flange is placed over the drain pipe and secured with screws or bolts.

A wax ring is placed on top of the flange, and the toilet is lowered onto the wax ring and secured in place.

To learn more about installing a toilet flange, check out this article: Does the toilet flange go inside or outside the pipe?

Brass Toilet Flanges Types

Brass toilet flanges are made of highly durable brass and corrosion-resistant metal often used in plumbing applications.

They are known for their strength and durability and can provide a secure connection between the toilet and the drain pipe.

Definition and Features:

Brass toilet flanges are made of brass, a highly durable and corrosion-resistant metal that can withstand harsh water conditions.

They are designed to fit over the toilet drain pipe and provide a secure connection between the toilet and the drain pipe.

Brass flanges are available in different sizes and shapes to fit other toilet models.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

One of the most significant advantages of brass toilet flanges is their durability.

They are strong and can provide a secure connection between the toilet and the drain pipe.

They are also resistant to corrosion and can last for a long time.

However, brass toilet flanges can be expensive compared to other flanges and may require special tools and expertise to install.

Standard Sizes:

Brass toilet flanges are available in different sizes to fit other toilet models. The most common sizes are 3 inches and 4 inches.

Installation Process:

The installation process of brass toilet flanges is similar to other toilet flanges.

The first step is to remove the old flange and clean the area around the drain pipe.

The new flange is placed over the drain pipe and secured with screws or bolts.

A wax ring is placed on top of the flange, and the toilet is lowered onto the wax ring and secured in place.

Plastic (PVC) Toilet Flanges Types

Plastic (PVC) toilet flanges are made of PVC, a lightweight and durable plastic material commonly used in plumbing systems.

PVC toilet flanges are becoming increasingly popular because they are easy to install and resistant to corrosion and rust.

Definition and Features:

PVC toilet flanges are designed to fit into the drainpipe of a toilet and secure the toilet to the floor.

They have a circular base with a flange extending vertically, allowing the toilet to be securely bolted.

PVC flanges come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different toilet models and drainpipe configurations.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

One of the main advantages of PVC toilet flanges is their corrosion resistance, making them ideal for use in humid environments such as bathrooms.

They are also lightweight and easy to install, saving time and money during installation.

Nevertheless, PVC flanges may be weaker than metal flanges and unsuitable for heavy-duty applications.

Common Sizes:

PVC toilet flanges are available in standard sizes, 3 and 4 inches.

Some models may also be available in odd sizes to fit specific toilet models or drainpipe configurations.

Installation Process:

Installing a PVC toilet flange is straightforward and can be completed with basic tools:

  1. Remove the old flange and clean the drainpipe thoroughly.
  2. Slide the PVC flange into the drainpipe and secure it using screws or bolts.
  3. Connect the toilet to the flange using wax rings and bolts, and tighten them securely.

If you need more information on how to toilet flange connects to the drain pipe, check out this guide here.

Next, we’ll discuss stainless steel toilet flanges.

Stainless Steel Toilet Flanges Types

Stainless toilet flanges are high-quality stainless steel, offering excellent corrosion, rust, and wear resistance.

This type of toilet flange is commonly used in commercial and industrial settings where durability and longevity are critical.

Definition and Features:

Stainless steel toilet flanges are designed to be sturdy and long-lasting, with a sleek and modern look.

They are resistant to moisture, bacteria, and fungi, making them ideal for wet environments.

Stainless steel flanges are also easy to clean and maintain, which helps prevent odors and clogs.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

One significant advantage of stainless steel toilet flanges is their durability.

They can last for years without showing signs of wear and tear, making them a smart investment.

Besides, stainless steel flanges are resistant to rust, corrosion, and bacteria, which can help keep your toilet clean and odor-free.

However, stainless steel flanges can be more expensive than other flanges.

They are also challenging to install, requiring special tools and skills.

Also, they may only be suitable for some types of toilets, so ensuring they are compatible with your toilet before purchasing is essential.

Common Sizes:

Stainless steel toilet flanges are available in various sizes to fit different types of toilets.

The most common sizes are 3 and 4 inches, but others are also available.

Installation Process:

Stainless steel toilet flanges require careful installation to ensure they are secure and properly aligned.

It’s best to hire a professional plumber to install a stainless steel flange to ensure it is installed correctly.

If you plan to install a stainless steel toilet flange, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

You must use special tools and techniques to ensure the flange is correctly secured to the floor and the toilet.

Should the toilet flange be flush with a finished floor? If you want to find out, check out this guide here.

Next, we’ll discuss aluminum toilet flanges.

Aluminum Toilet Flanges:

Aluminum toilet flanges are another metal flange commonly used in toilet installations.

These flanges are made of aluminum, a lightweight and durable material resistant to rust and corrosion.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

One advantage of aluminum flanges is their affordability. They are generally less expensive than stainless steel or brass flanges, making them a popular choice for those on a budget.

They may be weaker than metal flanges and unsuitable for heavier toilets or high-traffic areas.

Common Sizes:

Typical sizes for aluminum toilet flanges include 3-inch and 4-inch flanges.

Installation Processes:

Installation processes for aluminum flanges are similar to other types of flanges, with the exception that aluminum flanges should not be tightened too much, as this can cause them to crack.

Choosing the right size and type of aluminum flange for your toilet and plumbing setup is essential, as with other toilet flanges.

Installing an incorrect flange can result in leaks, damage to the toilet or surrounding flooring, and other problems.

Always consult a professional plumber or knowledgeable hardware store staff if you need help deciding which flange to choose.

If you’re interested in learning more about aluminum toilet flanges or are considering installing one in your home, check out this helpful guide from Aluminum Toilet Flanges: Pros, Cons, and Installation Tips.

Other Closet Flange Styles & Shapes:

Aside from the common types of toilet flanges, other styles and shapes are available in the market that caters to specific installation requirements.

Here are some examples:

Push-Tite Toilet Flange

A push-tite toilet flange is designed to create a tight seal between the toilet and the floor.

It is made of PVC and has a rubber gasket that seals the connection.

The push-tite feature makes installation easy without requiring any tools or glue.

Spigot Flanges

Spigot flanges have a spigot or male end that fits inside a hub or female end of a pipe.

They are commonly used in cast iron or PVC drainage systems.

Slip Flange

A slip flange has a flat surface that slips onto a pipe without requiring any threading or welding.

It is commonly used in PVC drainage systems.

Van Stone Flange

A van stone flange is a two-piece flange that uses a rotating ring to create a seal between the toilet and the floor.

It is commonly used in PVC or CPVC drainage systems.

Threaded Flange

A threaded flange has internal threading that can be screwed onto a pipe. It is commonly used in metal drainage systems.

Blind Flange

A blind flange is used to close the end of a pipe. It has no center hole and is commonly used in industrial applications.

Flange Shapes – Regular & Deep Seal

Toilet flanges come in different shapes to accommodate different types of floors and plumbing systems.

Regular flanges are designed for standard floor heights, while deep seal flanges are designed for thicker floors or when the plumbing is deeper.

Choosing the correct type of toilet flange for your specific installation needs is essential to ensure a secure and leak-free connection.

Now that we’ve covered the different types of toilet flanges, let’s compare metal and plastic toilet flanges.

Metal Toilet Flange vs. Plastic

When choosing between metal and plastic toilet flanges, there are a few factors to consider.

Metal toilet flanges, such as stainless steel and brass, are generally more durable and long-lasting than plastic flanges.

They are also less likely to crack or break under pressure. However, metal flanges can be more challenging to install and may require special tools.

On the other hand, plastic toilet flanges, such as PVC and ABS, are lightweight and easy to install.

They are also resistant to corrosion and rust. Yet, they may not be as durable as metal flanges and can crack or break over time.

Choosing metal and plastic toilet flanges will ultimately depend on your needs and preferences. If you want a long-lasting and durable option, metal flanges may be the way.

If you are more concerned with ease of installation and resistance to corrosion, plastic flanges may be a better choice.

To learn more about toilet flanges, check out our other articles. Here is a helpful link on how to fix toilet flange leaks. And here is a guide on how to remove rusted toilet flange bolts.

Toilet Flange Sizes & Dimensions

Toilet flanges come in various sizes and dimensions to fit different types of toilets and pipes.

The most common toilet flange size is the standard 4×3 flange, which fits most residential toilets.

This size refers to the diameter of the waste pipe and the size of the toilet flange opening, which is 4 inches in diameter on the outside and 3 inches in diameter on the inside.

In addition to the standard 4×3 flange, there are also 3-inch flanges that are designed for smaller pipes.

These flanges have a 3-inch diameter opening on both the inside and outside.

If you have an odd-sized flange or are unsure of the size you need, it is crucial to measure the flange before purchasing a replacement.

To do this, you can use a tape measure to measure the diameter of the flange opening from one side to the other.

It is also important to note that the toilet flange height can vary depending on the type of installation.

For example, if you are installing a tile floor, you may need a deep seal flange to accommodate the added height of the tile.

Conversely, installing a floor covering thinner than the original may require a standard height flange.

Understanding toilet flanges’ different sizes and dimensions are essential to ensure a proper fit during installation.

Make sure to measure your existing flange or consult a professional if you are still determining the size you need.

Offset Toilet Flanges and Why They Are Important:

Sometimes, a standard toilet flange may not correctly fit the toilet or the plumbing system.

This is where offset toilet flanges come in handy.

An offset toilet flange is designed to create a better connection between the toilet and the waste pipe, even if the flange is not in the correct position.

Definition and Features

Offset toilet flanges are available in different styles and sizes. Still, they all serve the same purpose: to provide a better connection between the toilet and the waste pipe.

They are usually made of PVC or ABS plastic but can also be made of cast iron, copper, or stainless steel.

Types of Offset Toilet Flanges

The following are the most common types of offset toilet flanges:

  • Spigot Flanges: These offset flanges have a spigot end that fits into the waste pipe, while the other end fits the toilet.
  • Slip Flange: These flanges have a slip end that slides over the waste pipe and a socket that connects to the toilet.
  • Van Stone Flange: These flanges have a two-piece design, with a PVC or ABS plastic ring that fits around the waste pipe and a separate flange that attaches to the toilet.
  • Threaded Flange: These flanges have a threaded end that screws into the waste pipe and a socket end that fits the toilet.
  • Blind Flange: These flanges are designed to cover an unused waste pipe opening.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Offset Toilet Flanges

Offset toilet flanges have some benefits, but they also have some disadvantages.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using offset toilet flanges:

Advantages

  • They can connect the toilet and the waste pipe better, even if the flange is incorrectly positioned.
  • They can help prevent leaks and sewer gas from escaping your home.

Disadvantages

  • They can be more expensive than regular toilet flanges.
  • They may not fit all toilet models, so checking compatibility before purchasing is essential.

Common Sizes

Offset toilet flanges come in various sizes to fit different toilet models and waste pipe configurations.

The most common sizes are 3 inches and 4 inches.

Installation Process

The installation process for offset toilet flanges is similar to regular toilet flanges.

Yet, ensuring the flange is installed correctly is essential because it is designed to fit a specific position.

  • Remove the old flange and clean the waste pipe to install an offset toilet flange.
  • Attach the new flange to the toilet and align it with the waste pipe.
  • Secure the flange to the floor and connect the toilet to the flange using the appropriate hardware.

To learn more about offset toilet flanges, check out our other articles: Are offset toilet flanges bad? And are offset toilet flanges against code.

Types of Toilet Flanges Built Specifically for Your Model

Some toilet manufacturers create model-specific toilet flanges to ensure a perfect fit for their toilets.

These flanges are designed to match the toilet’s dimensions and shape, making installation more accessible and secure.

Benefits of Using Model-specific Toilet Flanges:

A model-specific toilet flange has several advantages.

  1. Easy installation: Since model-specific toilet flanges are designed to match the toilet’s dimensions, installation is much more straightforward.
  2. Better alignment: A model-specific toilet flange ensures the toilet aligns perfectly with the flange and the drainpipe, reducing the risk of leaks and other problems.
  3. More excellent stability: A model-specific toilet flange provides a stable and secure base for the toilet, reducing the risk of wobbling or shifting over time.

Types of Model-specific Toilet Flanges:

Several toilet flanges, including

  1. Toto Unifit Toilet Flange: This toilet flange is designed for use with Toto toilets and provides a secure and stable base for the toilet.
  2. Kohler San Souci Toilet Flange: This toilet flange is designed for use with Kohler San Souci toilets and ensures a perfect fit for the toilet.
  3. American Standard Cadet 3 Toilet Flange: This toilet flange is designed for use with American Standard Cadet 3 toilets and provides a stable and secure base for the toilet.

Common Problems with Toilet Flanges

Toilet flanges are an essential component of a toilet’s plumbing system, and problems with the flange can cause significant issues.

Here are some of the most common problems with toilet flanges:

Symptoms of a Faulty Toilet Flange

  1. Leaks: If the toilet flange is damaged or not correctly installed, it can cause leaks around the toilet base.
  2. Wobbling or shifting: A loose or damaged toilet flange can cause the toilet to wobble or move, which can be dangerous and cause water damage.
  3. Foul odors: If the toilet flange is not sealed correctly or is damaged, it can allow sewer gases to escape, causing foul odors.

Causes of Toilet Flange Problems

  1. Wear and tear: Over time, toilet flanges can become worn or damaged due to constant use and exposure to water and other materials.
  2. Improper installation: If the toilet flange is not installed correctly, it can cause leaks, wobbling, or other issues.
  3. Corrosion: Corrosion can cause metal toilet flanges to deteriorate over time, leading to leaks and other problems.

Solutions to Common Problems

  1. Repair or replace the toilet flange: If it is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced to prevent leaks and other issues.
  2. Use a wax ring or other sealant: A wax ring or other sealant can seal the toilet flange and prevent leaks.
  3. Tighten loose bolts: If the toilet flange bolts are loose, they should be tightened to prevent the toilet from wobbling or shifting.
  4. Clean or replace the toilet flange: If it is corroded, it may need to be cleaned or replaced to prevent leaks and other issues.

If you’re experiencing issues with your toilet flange, it’s best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

To learn more about offset toilet flanges, check out this article: are offset toilet flanges bad?

Conclusion

Various types of toilet flanges are available in the market, including metal, plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, and model-specific flanges.

Each type has advantages and disadvantages; the choice depends on budget, personal preference, and toilet model.

Choosing the right toilet flange is crucial for a stable and efficient toilet system.

By considering the factors discussed and seeking professional advice, homeowners can ensure a long-lasting and reliable toilet flange for their bathroom.

FAQs

Q. Where Can You Buy Toilet Flanges?

A. Toilet flanges can be purchased at any hardware or home improvement store and online retailer.

Q. What Kind of Wax Ring Should Be Used When Installing a Toilet Flange?

A. It is recommended to use a wax ring that is specifically designed for use with a toilet flange. These can be found at hardware stores and home improvement stores.

Q. How Can You Tell a Toilet Flange Needs To be Replaced ASAP?

A. Some signs that a toilet flange needs to be replaced include a wobbly or loose toilet, water leaking from the base of the toilet, and a foul smell coming from the toilet.

Q. How to Remove a Toilet Flange?

First, remove a toilet flange, turn off the water supply to the toilet, and disconnect the water line. Then, remove the toilet and use a putty knife to scrape away any old wax from the flange. Finally, use a wrench or pliers to remove the bolts securing the flange to the floor.

Q. How to Install a New Toilet Flange?

A. To install a new toilet flange, first clean the area around the flange and apply the plumber’s putty or silicone caulk to the bottom of the flange. Then, position the flange over the drain pipe and secure it to the floor with screws. Finally, install a new wax ring and place the toilet over the flange, securing it with bolts.