Informational Guide

Toilet Flange Height

If you are doing work on your bathroom, it is vital that you get the right toilet flange height. Learn how to properly set it here.

by Ian Haynes

If you are doing work on your bathroom, it is vital that you get the right toilet flange. Without a proper toilet flange, you can encounter leaks and other issues that can ruin your bathroom. Today, we will give a quick guide on toilet flanges, how they work, and how to find the best one for your home bathroom.

A toilet flange is an integral part of any toilet or plumbing set up. The toilet flange sits directly below the toilet itself and connects the toilet drain to the main drain line. Toilet flanges are usually made out of PVC, rubber, brass, stainless steel, or some other kind of metal, and they have a rubber gasket or wax seal to seal the bottom of the toilet and the flange.

Toilet flanges are necessary because they keep toilet water from leaking out. Without a proper flange, water will leak out and rot your floorboards. This can incur several thousands of dollars in damage.

toilet flange

image source: wikipedia.org


Different Types of Toilet Flange Explained

There are several types of toilet flanges. Here are some of the most popular ones.

  • Stainless Steel
    Stainless steel is probably the toughest type of toilet flange and is the most resistant to corrosion and rust. However, steel toilet flanges also tend to be the most expensive and are the most difficult to install properly and securely.
  • Aluminum
    Aluminum is a popular material for toilet flanges that is lightweight and resistant to corrosion. Aluminum flanges are also resistant to erosion but can warp under pressure and change shape if not installed correctly. Aluminum flanges are also fairly inexpensive.
  • Copper
    Copper is another popular material for toilet flanges. Copper is highly resistant, durable, and does not corrode or rust as easily as steel or aluminum. Copper is slightly malleable, though, and copper flanges can warp if installed improperly with pressure on them.
  • Brass
    Brass is a durable alternative for toilet flanges. It is sturdy, corrosions-resistant, and relatively inexpensive. Brass flanges typically come in 3 types: deep seal, offset, and regular flanges. There are also newer wax-free brass flanges for modern toilets.
  • Cast Iron
    Cast iron flanges are extraordinarily durable and typically used in conjunction with cast iron pipes. Cast iron is very strong but is becoming less common because it is at risk of corrosion. Many new homes forego cast iron for another more inert material like steel or copper.
  • Plastic
    PVC plastic is probably the most common type of plastic flange and is very cheap. However, plastic is not as durable as metal, and typically, people forgo plastic flanges and opt for metal ones. Plastic is, however, extremely resistant to corrosion and damage from chemicals.

Understanding Proper Toilet Flange Height

Generally, the ideal height for a toilet flange is about ¼” above the floor. The extra quarter-inch of height is necessary to give space for the wax or rubber ring that seals the pipe. If the flange is set too high, then it can cause leaks because the seal will not connect entirely. If it is set too low, then that can cause stress in the pipes, which can cause cracks and breaks. So it is imperative that you set your toilet flange at the proper height, or else you can cause a lot of damages that could take thousands of dollars to fix.


Installing or Replacing Your Toilet Flange: Plumber’s Tips

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to install or replace your current toilet flanges.

1. Remove the toilet

The first thing you need to do is remove the toilet from the flange and pipe. Ensure that you turn the shutoff valve and empty water from the bowl before you remove the toilet, or else you will get water everywhere. The toilet is usually bolted to the floor, so you will have to remove those as well.

2. Clean and inspect the flange

Next, remove the wax ring on the flange with a scraper or knife. The wax is very sticky, so you will need to keep some rags on hand. Next, remove the bolts on the flange and remove them from the pipe. Inspect the flange to make sure there are no cracks or chips.

flange cleaning

image source: homedepot.com

3. Get a replacement flange

Next, measure the opening to make sure that you get the right flange size. Most of the time, the flange will measure around 10cm across (4 inches). You can also take the flange to a hardware store to compare sizes.

4. Install the new flange

Then, make sure that you place a rubber or wax seal on the flange and that it is sealed. Then place the new flange into the pipe, so the lip of the flange lies about ¼" above the tiles on the floor.

5. Secure the toilet

Now that the flange is installed, place a wax ring on the bottom of the toilet and slowly place it onto the flange. Then, re-bolt the toilet into the floor and make sure that it is secure.


Common Problems with Toilet Flanges

Flange isn’t flush with the flooring

Your flange should be about ¼” above the ground. If it’s too low or right, then it can cause pipe problems and leakage. You may have to reposition the toilet if the flange is not right.

Blocked or clogged flanges

Sometimes, the flange can get blocked or clogged. In these cases, you need to remove the toilet, remove the flange, and clear the blockage yourself. You can then put the flange back in if it is not damaged or chipped.

Loose or broken wax ring

If the wax or rubber ring is loose or broken, then that can cause leaking. If your flange is leaking, then it might be necessary to remove the toilet and inspect the seal ring to see if it is misaligned or broken. A broken seal ring needs to be replaced.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Should a toilet flange sit on top of the tile?

No, it should sit about ¼” over the top of the floor.

How do you adjust a toilet flange if the flooring has already been laid?

You can remove a toilet flange and reposition it to sync up with the height of the floor.

Is a toilet flange glued to a pipe?

Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is not. PVC flags are often glued where metal ones are usually secured using bolts.

What is the maximum height of the toilet flange over the floor?

A toilet flange should never be more than ¼” above the floor tiling.

What do you do if the toilet flange is too low?

If your toilet flange is too low, then you need to remove the toilet and reposition it. If the pipe is the problem, then you might have to contact a professional plumber to replace the underlying drain pipe.


Conclusion

The toilet flange is one of the most important parts of your bathroom setup and needs to be maintained and replaced periodically. With this guide, you can get started on finding and replacing your broken toilet flanges.

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

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