installing a new wax ring over a closet flange to seal up a toilet bowl
Photo: David Carmack
Q: I removed a toilet to install floor tile, but when I tried to put it back I couldn't get it to align properly with the wall. Now what?
Donald Wolf, Sommerfield, Ohio

A: Richard Trethewey replies: If the toilet had been aligned before you removed it, and the flange is screwed to the floor as it should be, you just need to reposition the closet bolts that fit in the flange's slots. Remove the toilet, replace the wax ring with a new one, and see if you can adjust the location of the bolts so that they're parallel to the wall and still in the slots. If they are, when you remount the toilet it should line up with the wall just fine.

But if the flange was installed off-kilter in the first place, you'll need a stainless-steel repair ring. They sell them at home centers and hardware stores for about $5. After the new wax ring is set in place, slip the ring over the existing toilet flange, align the ring's slots parallel to the wall, and screw the ring to the floor. Now all you have to do is put the bolts in the ring slots and mount the toilet on them.
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