Do you have a wobbly toilet?
While watching springs and toys wobble and move about is fun, not so much in the case of toilets. Nobody likes a wobbly toilet. You have a wobbly toilet when it rocks and moves about like a chair. While you are sitting on a toilet, your toilet should not be wobbly like a rocking chair. One must know how to fix a wobbly toilet if ever confronted with this problem.
A wobbly toilet can problematic in so many ways, developing over time, leading to leakages and damage to the flange. A wobbly toilet on the tile could corrode the tiled floor.
What causes a toilet to wobble?
The toilet can be wobbly because of many reasons. They are:
- The flange might not be affixed properly. It may be broken, corroded causing the toilet to rock side to side.
- The bolts which affix it to the floor might be loose or could be of cheap material, etc.
How to Fix a Wobbly Toilet?
Check the flange bolt or closet bolts.
Don’t know what to do? Don’t worry!
The first thing that you should do in case to fix a wobbly toilet is to check the flange bolts or closet bolts, at the base of the toilet which affixes it to the floor. If they are loose, then take a small wrench to tighten them.
Use a lubricant if you face difficulty in turning the nut. If the bolts are not steady and keep on turning when you turn the nut, then use a pair of pliers to hold them still and then go on.
How to fix a loose toilet flange is not very difficult but is certainly tricky since the flange is made of a fragile and brittle material that can break with a little pressure, so be careful when you tighten the bolts.
Gather all the accessories.
Wondering how to secure the toilet to the floor? Well, all you need is shims.
Shims are fillers that are used to bridge gaps and spaces between the two surfaces.
The market offers wooden as well as plastic shims. However, for this project, plastic shims are more suitable and viable as they stay in place.
On the other hand, wooden shims, though used, are not as good given that they can succumb to pressure and are susceptible to moisture.
To sum up, the accessories that you would need are as follows:
- Small, multi purpose plastic shims
- A utility knife
- A tub and tile caulk which goes along with the color scheme of your washroom
- Paper towels or a towel
All of these are easily available in hardware stores, home stores, etc.
Confirm toilet leakage.
The next thing that you need to do in this process of repair is to look to the subfloor to see for any leakage from the toilet.
If there is no water by the base of the toilet, then you can proceed with the repair. However, if the floor around the flange of the toilet is wet and slippery, indicative of leakage.
Then you would have to stall the repair process as you would have to remove the toilet as a whole and then replace the wax ring, the loosening, and compression of which could have likely caused leakage. The wax ring acts as a connector between the toilet horn and toilet flange.
Look for the gaps.
Gaps between the toilet base and the floor can be problematic in so many ways.
Can a loose toilet lead to the rocking of the toilet flange? Can a loose toilet cause leak? These questions might have crossed your mind.
Well, all of them have one commonality and that is gaps between the toilet floor and toilet base which leads to fix a wobbly toilet shifting and other discussed problems. Thus, one must fill up the gaps no matter how small they are.
A shim can act as a filler. What you need to do is to try and slide the shim inside the gap as far as possible.
Level the gaps inserting shims.
Inserting the shim is just the tip of the iceberg. What lies ahead is slightly trickier. The gaps that you identify between the toilet base and floor might be different and so the shim that you use must be a perfect filler to bridge these gaps otherwise the connection would fail, leading to the toilet shifting a lot.
Thus, to prevent further rocking like springs, one needs to try inserting the shims in different ways until one gets a steady and leveled toilet.
To sum up, try a variety of positions. Check to see if the toilet rocks or wobbles on any side by sitting on it every time you insert the shim in a gap. Once inserted properly, you must have a stable toilet.
Cut the shims.
When you insert a shim in a gap that you identified, you may encounter that there is a part of the shim that is left out and needs to be cut.
So, after getting the right inserting position, cut off the excess with the help of a utility knife. Be cautious while trimming as you may damage the flooring or hurt yourself.
Apply caulk around the toilet.
Caulk is a material used to seal the gap bridged by way of a shim. It gives a finished look and prevents water and crud from seeping into the gap.
To secure the shim, apply a thin layer of caulking material to hide the shims and properly seal the gap between the floor and toilet base. You can smooth the layer of caulk by way of your fingers but clean your hands with liquid hand soap, towel or paper rag as it hardens quickly.
Because of the anti-seepage property, it possesses, it does not allow water to escape and one cannot essentially detect a leak if it is sealed completely. So, you can keep the backside of the base caulk free.
Let the Caulk Dry.
Once you have applied the caulking material and smoothened it to your satisfaction, allow it to dry by leaving it alone for some time. And, there you have your wobble-free toilet ready for use.
So, say goodbye to wobbly toilet tanks and bases and say hello to your brand new toilet.
However, if you still have a wobbly toilet, then the problem goes beyond inserting shims and fixing flange bolts. This could be because the rings that affix the flange bolt could be broken or corroded leading to a loose grip or a rocking toilet base.
Further, if because of this the bolts loosen up and would not tighten up, then you will have to repair the flange using a repair kit or replace the toilet altogether to have a steady toilet. If for some reason, the wobbling comes back, then it is best to look for professional help.
In any case, your toilet can become wobbly any time and thus, the most common bathroom storage ideas are to store these utilities at all times.
Here is a video where you can easily follow the guidelines to fix a wobbly toilet.