How to Lower a Toilet Flange

You decided you want to remodel your bathroom and want to change your flooring or your fixtures. As you remove the toilet, you see that the closet flange is higher than the floor, even after you install your new tiles. Now this can be a problem, because it can lead to leaks or cause your toilet to be unstable and wobbly. However, the process of lowering your flange requires different techniques (depending on the material and plumbing set up) and the proper tools. So if you aren’t too confident about your skills in fixing this problem, then don’t hesitate to get the help of professionals. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, then it will be helpful to check out some posts and advice of DIY enthusiasts or plumbers who have successfully lowered a toilet flange that is not flush with the floor.

Importance of the Toilet Flange

The toilet flange, or otherwise known as a closet flange, serves the dual purpose of connecting your toilet to the plumbing and attaching it to your bathroom floor. It serves as a support so your toilet is stable and drains properly.

Ideal Height of a Toilet Flange

Experts will tell you that the perfect height for a toilet flange is to be level with the floor. It should also be level and stable. However, poor design or installation results to a flange that is either too low or too high, posing bathroom problems for the house occupants, like foul-smelling leaks that ruin your floor and wobbly toilets.

Depending on the material of your closet flange, here are some tips on how to level it with your bathroom floor.

Ideas on Lowering a Cast Iron Toilet Flange

1. Try to lower the flange by hammering. Use a 2×4 block and hold it against the pipe wall. Lightly but firmly tap the block all around the pipe using a hammer, directing the greatest force on the inside part of the flange next to the pipe wall. Avoid tapping the outside part next to the slots and hammering too hard because cast iron is brittle.
2. Slowly keep on tapping, making your way around the flange until it is down against the floor level.
3. The lead seal will have loosened so you need to recaulk the lead joint using inside and outside caulking irons.
4. This will leave a few inches of exposed cast iron pipe. Try to nibble down the pipe to the joint using a crescent wrench and small bites.
5. If the recaulked lead joint is tight, you can try to take the pipe down piece by piece until the toilet can be reset.
6. If Steps 1-5 don’t work, try to cut off the flange or grind it with an angle grinder.

Ideas on Lowering a PVC Toilet Flange

1. Use a PVC pipe cable saw and cut off the top of the flange.
2. Wedge the pieces out by cutting some segments using a mini hacksaw.
3. Remove the flange rings.
4. Cut down the pipe until it is flush with the floor.
5. Install a new closet flange.

Reminder

The toilet flange is an important part of your bathroom and plumbing system so you want to make sure it is installed properly. If you’re still not too confident with your DIY skills, then leave it to the experts for now.

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