Home » How do you Fix a Toilet Flange that is too High?

How do you Fix a Toilet Flange that is too High?

A toilet flange is a pipe fitting that connects the bottom of the toilet to the drainpipe and secures it to the floor. It has a cylindrical shape and a flat surface with holes for inserting bolts that hold the toilet in place. A toilet flange should be level with or slightly lower than the finished floor. If the toilet flange is too high, it can cause the toilet to rock, leak, or wobble, damaging the floor, the wax ring, or the flange itself. To fix a toilet flange that is too high, you have three options:

  • Use a flange repair ring
  • Use a flange extension
  • Replace the flange

Option 1: Use a Flange Repair Ring to Fix a Toilet Flange

A flange repair ring is a metal ring that fits over the existing flange and creates a new, lower surface for the toilet bolts. It is an easy and inexpensive way to fix a toilet flange that is too high.

To use a flange repair ring to fix a toilet flange that is too high, you need to do the following:

Toilet Removal:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to empty the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and place a bucket or towels underneath to catch any drips.
  • Remove the toilet from the floor by unscrewing the nuts from the bolts that hold it to the flange.
  • Lift the toilet carefully and place it on a tarp or towel nearby. You may need a helper to assist you with this step.

Preparing for Installation to fix a toilet flange that is too high

  • Plug the drainpipe with a rag or a T-shirt to prevent sewer gases from escaping and objects from falling into it.
  • Clean the old wax ring from the flange and the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife or a scraper. Discard the wax ring and any debris in a trash bag.
  • Place the flange repair ring over the existing flange and align it with the holes for the bolts. Secure it to the floor with screws or nails that come with the product or wood/cement screws suitable for your floor material.
  • Place a new wax ring on top of the flange repair ring, ensuring it covers the pipe’s opening. The wax ring will create a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange.

Toilet Installation:

  • Lower the toilet carefully over the flange repair ring, aligning it with the bolts.
  • Press firmly on the toilet to compress the wax ring and secure it.
  • Screw nuts onto the bolts and tighten them evenly with an adjustable wrench or pliers. Do not overtighten them; this can crack or warp your toilet base.
  • Reconnect the water supply line to your toilet and turn on your water supply valve.
  • Flush your toilet several times and check for leaks around your toilet base, water supply line, and drain pipe.

Option 2: Use a Flange Extension Fix a Toilet Flange

A flange extension is a plastic ring that fits inside or over the existing flange and extends it down to match the floor level. It is another easy and inexpensive way to fix a toilet flange that is too high.

To use a flange extension to fix a toilet flange that is too high, you need to do the following:

Toilet Removal:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to empty the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and place a bucket or towels underneath to catch any drips.
  • Remove the toilet from the floor by unscrewing the nuts from the bolts that hold it to the flange.
  • Lift the toilet carefully and place it on a tarp or towel nearby. You may need a helper to assist you with this step.

Preparing the Flange to fix a toilet flange that is too high

  • Plug the drainpipe with a rag or a T-shirt to prevent sewer gases from escaping and objects from falling into it.
  • Clean the old wax ring from the flange and the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife or a scraper. Discard the wax ring and any debris in a trash bag.

Flange Extension Installation to fix a toilet flange that is too high

  • Choose a flange extension that matches your drainpipe size and shape. For example, if you have a 4-inch pipe, use a flange extension that fits inside 4 inches or over 3 inches.
  • Attach your flange extension to your existing flange using screws, bolts, glue, gaskets, or soldering, depending on your type of connection. For example, if you have a PVC flange and pipe, you should use PVC cement to glue them together. If you have a metal flange and pipe, you should use screws or bolts to fasten them together.

Toilet Reinstallation:

  • Place a new wax ring on top of the flange extension, ensuring it covers the pipe’s opening. The wax ring will create a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange.
  • Lower the toilet carefully over the flange extension, aligning it with the bolts. Press firmly on the toilet to compress the wax ring and secure it.
  • Screw nuts onto the bolts and tighten them evenly with an adjustable wrench or pliers. Do not overtighten them; this can crack or warp your toilet base.

Final Steps:

  • Reconnect the water supply line to your toilet and turn on your water supply valve.
  • Flush your toilet several times and check for leaks around your toilet base, water supply line, and drain pipe.

Option 3: Replace the Flange

The third option is to replace the flange entirely with a new one that is lower and fits your drainpipe. This option is more complicated and may require cutting or soldering the pipe. It is recommended to hire a plumber for this option.

To replace the flange, you need to do the following:

Preparation to fix a toilet flange that is too high

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to empty the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and place a bucket or towels underneath to catch any drips.

Removing the Old Flange to fix a toilet flange that is too high

  • Remove the toilet from the floor by unscrewing the nuts from the bolts that hold it to the flange.
  • Lift the toilet carefully and place it on a tarp or towel nearby.
  • Plug the drainpipe with a rag or a T-shirt to prevent sewer gases from escaping and objects from falling into it.
  • Clean the old wax ring from the flange and the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife or a scraper.
  • Discard the wax ring and any debris in a trash bag.
  • Remove any screws or nails that secure the flange to the floor with a screwdriver or a hammer.
  • Set them aside in case you need to reuse them.
  • Remove bolts or screws that attach the flange to the drainpipe with an adjustable wrench or pliers.
  • Set them aside in case you need to reuse them.
  • Lift or twist the flange out of the drainpipe. If it is glued or soldered to the pipe, you may need to cut it with a hacksaw or call a plumber to do it for you.

Choosing and Installing the New Flange:

  • Choose a new flange that matches your drainpipe material, size, and shape.
  • For example, you should use a PVC flange if you have a PVC pipe. You should use a metal flange if you have a cast iron pipe.
  • Choose a new flange that fits inside or over your drainpipe.
  • For example, if you have a 4-inch pipe, use a flange that fits inside 4 inches or over 3 inches.
  • Choose a new flange with holes for inserting bolts to hold your toilet in place.
  • The bolts should be long enough to reach above your finished floor level.
  • Attach your new flange to your drainpipe using screws, bolts, glue, gaskets, or soldering, depending on your type of connection.
  • For example, if you have a PVC flange and pipe, you should use PVC cement to glue them together. If you have a metal flange and pipe, you should use screws or bolts to fasten them together.
  • Attach your new flange to your floor using screws or nails that come with your product or wood/cement screws suitable for your floor material.
  • The screws or nails should go through the holes on your flange’s flat surface and into your subfloor.

Installing the Toilet:

  • Place a new wax ring on top of the new flange, ensuring it covers the pipe’s opening.
  • The wax ring will create a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange.
  • Lower the toilet carefully over the new flange, aligning it with the bolts.
  • Press firmly on the toilet to compress the wax ring and secure it.
  • Screw nuts onto the bolts and tighten them evenly with an adjustable wrench or pliers.
  • Do not overtighten them, as this can crack or warp your toilet base.

Final Steps:

  • Reconnect the water supply line to your toilet and turn on your water supply valve.
  • Flush your toilet several times and check for leaks around your toilet base, water supply line, and drain pipe.

FAQs:

How high is too high for a toilet flange?

 A toilet flange should be flush with the finished floor. It is too high if it is over 1/2 inch above the floor.

How do I raise the bathroom floor to match the flange height?

You can raise the floor by adding thicker tiles or wooden boards beneath the tiles. Make sure to measure the flange height and buy tiles accordingly.

How do I use grout to fill the gap between the toilet and the flange?

You can use grout to level the toilet base by packing it into the gap around it. Rubber shims hold the toilet in place, and let the grout dry for 24 hours.

How do I replace the flange with a lower one?

You can replace the flange by removing the toilet and cutting off the excess plastic from the flange. Then, use a file to smooth the edges and install a new flange with screws.

What tools do I need to fix a toilet flange that is too high?

You may need a hacksaw, a reciprocating saw, a file, a level, a wrench, a drill, and a PVC pipe cutter bit.

Conclusion

Fixing a toilet flange that is too high is important for preventing leaks, odors, and damage to your floor and subfloor. You have three options for fixing this problem:

  1. Use a flange repair ring that fits over the existing flange and creates a new, lower surface for the toilet bolts. This option is easy and inexpensive but may not look neat or professional.
  2. Use a flange extension that fits inside or over the existing flange and extends it down to match the floor level. This option is easy and inexpensive but may not be compatible with all flanges or pipes.
  3. Replace the flange entirely with a new one that is lower and fits your drainpipe. This option is more complicated and may require cutting or soldering the pipe. It is recommended to hire a plumber for this option. This option is more durable and reliable but may be more costly and time-consuming.

The best option depends on your situation, budget, and preference. You should always consult a plumber before attempting any plumbing repairs or replacements. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with doing it yourself, you can always hire a licensed plumber to do it for you.

Resources:

Bath Arcadia
Bath Arcadia