Why is My Toilet Wobbling?

Is your toilet wobbling? A wobbly toilet is a common household issue, but there's no need to call a professional. We've got you covered!

If the base is wobbling, you may have an issue with your floor or closet flange. There could also be damage to your wax ring. Fixing this is easy, all you need to do is use shims to make your toilet sit level and replace the wax ring. An easy solution is to use a repositionable wax-free seal, allowing you to make multiple adjustments to your toilet.

If the tank is wobbling, you must determine what the cause is. If you notice the bolts are loose, you can tighten the bolts. Be careful, porcelain can crack easily! If your hardware is good but the tank is still wobbling, your tank-to-bowl gasket is worn and needs to be replaced.

Does this describe your toilet issue?

Causes of a Wobbling Toilet Base

Flange bolts secure the toilet base to the floor. Over time, these bolts can become loose because of regular use, shifting of the toilet, floor damage, or improper installation.

Before tightening the bolts, inspect the floor for damage or defects. If your floor is not level, it can cause the base to wobble. If you over-tighten the bolts while the floor isn't level, it can crack your porcelain.

A broken wax ring, the seal under the toilet, can also make the toilet wobble. Over time, wax seals can become worn out or damaged, leading to an unstable toilet base. This is easy to identify because water typically leaks beneath the toilet base.

When you remove your toilet from the closet flange, you must replace the wax ring. We recommend using a wax-free seal as a replacement. Wax-free seals are cleaners to replace, can be adjusted to different heights, and will not freeze or melt.

How to Fix a Wobbly Toilet Base

To fix a wobbly toilet base, you need a tape measure, putty knife, wrench, and some rubber gloves - no professional plumber is needed! If your closet flange is cracked or damaged, you must get a replacement. We do not recommend using sealants when the flange is cracked.

Start by shutting off the water supply, then flush the toilet and hold the lever down to drain the water from the tank. Remove as much water from the tank and bowl as you can before moving on to prevent spills.

Disconnect the water supply line, then remove all nuts, bolts, and washers from the base with the wrench. Once you remove the base, use the utility knife to remove the old wax ring. Be sure to remove as much residue as possible from the top of the flange.

Once clean, place the toilet on the flange without a wax-free seal to ensure that the toilet will sit flat. If your floor is not level, we recommend using shims to make your toilet sit flat.

Once your toilet is level, remove the toilet from the flange and measure the height of the flange using your tape measure. The height of your flange will determine which foam rings you will use.

If your flange is above the finished floor by 1/2 inch or more, use the thin foam ring. If it is less than 1/2 inch, use the thick foam ring. For a flange even with the floor, use both rings. 

When the flange is 3/8 inch or more below the finished floor, stack two full seals. In this case, you may need longer bolts.

After determining which rings to use, place the foam rings on the red rubber seal, then place them on the flange. Finally, set the toilet bowl on the wax-free seal. If your toilet is unstable, that is perfectly normal, as the wax-free seal compresses slightly once tightened.

Next, assemble the bolts at the base with washers, and tighten the bolts by alternating sides until the toilet becomes stable. If your toilet has bolt caps, you will need to place the base onto the bolt before tightening the nut. We recommend applying downward pressure on the bowl to help compress the seal. Be careful with this step; overt-tightening the bolts can cause the porcelain to crack.

Once completed, reinstall the bolt caps by snapping them into place. If your bolts are too long, you may need a hacksaw to remove the excess. The last step is to turn the water supply back on and enjoy your stable toilet.

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