Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>Toilet "rocks" and does not stay "square" to back wall
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Toilet "rocks" and does not stay "square" to back wall

I have a PVC drain line for toilet on first floor--seems it was poured concrete--home built in 1930's--problem is -we removed the tile, 12'x 12' when we remodeled approximately 10 years ago--now the toilet seems to "rock" from side to side; also, every couple of days I need to "square " the toilet to the back wall. Question: is the flange bad? I did not notice screws holding the flange in place when I had removed the toilet years ago--but now we have the toilet rocking and not staying in line with the back wall. I am lost as to what to do. Thank you.

A. Spruce
Re: Toilet "rocks" and does not stay "square" to back wall

1 - Are the flange bolts holding the toilet in place tight?
2 - Is the flange flush with the finished floor or higher than the finished floor? If higher, by how much?

Re: Toilet "rocks" and does not stay "square" to back wall

If the terlit is rocking AND you used a typical wax ring, the ring seal is broken and needs to be replaced.

The flange is supposed to set directly over the tile. If the flange is too high, this can cause rocking. Remove the terlit and reset the flange at the proper height. Get the one with the stainless steel ring. If the flange is broken, the same replacement is in order.

Some terlits are molded with less room under neath for the flange. Another option would be to replace the terlit with one with more room on the under side.

Do NOT caulk all the way around the terlit to seal it to the floor. That will stop the rocking, but if there are any leaks you will have no way of knowing until its waaaaaaayyyyyyyy too late. Leave a 2 or 3 inch gap at the rear of the terlit to let any leaking water escape so you can see it.

If the flooring isn't flat enough OR the terlit isn't flat on its bottom, use flat PLASTIC shims to keep it from rocking.

Re: Toilet "rocks" and does not stay "square" to back wall

Do as recommended above and if you are still unable to stop the rocking get a plumber to help you.

Re: Toilet "rocks" and does not stay "square" to back wall

Most likely is that the flange mounting has loosened if it used to be OK after the tile was removed. Oftentimes the screws holding it will rust away or the wood they go into will rot away. Use stainless steel screws here- nothing else. The big box stores will have these. Make sure the mounting is solid; also make sure the wax ring is correct as these come in different heights. If the top of the flange is flush with the floor you may need a taller one or a flange spacer ring which should be siliconed in to the original. If the bottom of the flange sits above the floor you will likely need to cut the pipe back to correct this. Unless they adjusted the height when the tile was removed you may likely find this situation. Plumbing suppliers will have a small saw you chuck in a drill to cut the pipe from the inside if it's plastic- if it's cast iron call a plumber as it will have to be chiseled back which takes skill to avoid breaking out a large chunk, thus greatly increasing the scope and cost of the work- it's a touchy job. Steel repair flanges are available if the flange is at the proper height buy broken- pretty common with plastic flanges.

Never a nice job working with toilets but definitely in the average DIY range most of the time, and you'll save quite a lot here if you can DIY.


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