Q: I installed ceramic tile on my bathroom floor, and now the drain fitting for the toilet sits 1/4 inch below the finished floor surface. Do I have to raise the fitting?
—David Gourley, Charlotte, N.C.

A: Richard Trethewey replies: Thank goodness, no. Raising this fitting, known as a closet flange, is more of a job than most people want to tangle with. Fortunately there are two good alternatives. If a flange is more than 1/4 inch below the floor, buy some 1/4 or 1/2—inch thick PVC flange extenders and fit them around the flange to bring it up even with or slightly above the floor level. If it's 1/4 inch or less below the floor, then use an extra-thick, No-Seep No. 10 wax ring. Standard wax rings work for closet flanges that are even with the finished floor or up to 1/2 inch above it.
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