When you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, trust your friends and acquaintances to come up with some brilliant suggestions, half of which may not be practical. However, you have to keep weighing the pros and cons of each of these suggestions before taking the final decision. In this post, we will consider if we should tile around or under a toilet.
Should you tile around or under a toilet? You should always remove the toilet and lay the tiles if you have chosen ceramic tiles for your bathroom. On the other hand, if it is the vinyl tiles you preferred, you can opt for tiling around the toilet. If you were wondering why this distinction, the vinyl tiles are much thinner in size, and if you tried to place them below the toilet, they can peel off under the pressure of the weight.
Let us now check out some of the other questions or doubts you may have on this topic.
Does tile go under the toilet flange?
Yes, the toilet flange should be seated over the tile so that it can be secured tightly through the bolts. It is only in very few cases that the flange goes under. This is when the existing arrangement has been that way and you do not want to make any changes to it.
The discussions on the pros and cons of this suggestion reveal that even the toilet flange manufacturers strongly recommend that the flange is positioned on the tile. The usual method followed is to place the flange on the tile and its bottom is touching the tile. You then fix the flange with the screws ensuring they go below the thickness of the tile. This way the flange will be tightly secured with the floor.
In my experience, whether the flange is installed on the tiles or directly to the floor does not really matter, because we can always buy a wax ring that will compensate for the differences in height with its thickness.
Does a toilet sit on top the tile?
Toilet should be always seated on the tiles. This practically means that you first remove the toilet (if it is a case of renovating the existing toilet), or install tiles where the toilet will be installed in the future. You have to seat the toilet flange on to the tiles and if there is no such possibility, because the flange is already installed and you don’t want to uninstall it, install the tiles around it.
The tiles are always placed under the toilet in order to have it easier in the event of repairs when removing it, and also in the case of replacement, so that you do not have problems with the mismatching shape of the toilet bottom.
Should I caulk around the toilet?
To caulk around the toilet is a commonsense approach but to many people, this question may sound unappealing. The main reason here is that there are plumbing standards that stipulate that caulking should be done around the toilet. It is a very simple exercise. You use the caulking gun to apply the compound and then use your fingers to remove the excess caulk. Allow it to dry overnight and you are done. It leaves a neat impression of the installation of the toilet.
Prevention of leakage and odor are two other reasons why you must do caulking around the toilet where it meets the floor.
I wrote an entire article on this topic that you can find here: “Should a Toilet Be Caulked?“
Do I have to remove the toilet to install vinyl tiles?
Removing the toilet, laying the tiles, and refixing the toilet is the universal suggestion. This is applicable whether the tiles are vinyl or ceramic. The entire operation will go pretty smooth that way. There are difficulties associated with trying to clear up the existing tiling around the toilet and to fix the new vinyl tiles. Whether you are trying to do it yourself or engaging a plumber to do it, the toilet must be removed, retiling done and the toilet put back. If you have decided to replace the toilet, then the removal of the old toilet is a must – at least according to the tilers.
In my experience, however, often if the floor is already covered with vinyl tiles, or the floor is “soft” around the toilet, these types of tiles have a tendency to rise up and come off under the pressure of the toilet itself and the person sitting on it. In such a situation, often the best solution is to simply put tiles around the toilet.
Do you have to remove toilet to tile bathroom floor?
Undoubtedly and unambiguously yes. The above question dealt with ceramic tiles but it applies to any kind of flooring you choose for your bathroom. The only ideal way is to remove the toilet. It is again being highlighted that where the toilet is part of a newly constructed home or any other property, this question will be redundant. You will first get the floor tiling completed and then the plumber or tile installer will fix the toilet. If it is a renovation and the existing toilet too goes away, you don’t have to chew your fingernails on this. That leaves the situation where you are just having the tiles in your bathroom replaced. The toilet needs to be removed and reinstalled after the tiling is done.
Is it always recommended to hire a plumber to install a toilet?
It is not that difficult a question to answer. If you have used a professional to lay the tiles in your house, the cost of hiring a plumber to install a toilet must be a fraction of what you might be paying the tiling expert. Often, tile installers know very well how to install a toilet and have no problem doing it as part of their work.
If you are a DIY guy and have experience doing these things around your house in the past, you can make a decision yourself. Depending on how old you are and how strong your body is, factor in the efforts needed to lift the toilet, carry it out and bring back. You should consider hiring a plumber to do the job neatly and correctly.
You can find the entire article on this topic here: “Do You Need a Plumber to Replace a Toilet?“
How secure is the toilet flange (fixed on the tile)?
A good plumber will ensure that the toilet flange is fixed securely. You will notice from the relevant videos that the plumber would use a long screw to fasten the flange to the tile. If you presume the tile thickness to be around three-quarters of an inch, the screws used to fix the toilet flange to the tile are almost twice that size. This makes sure the toilet flange is securely fastened.
Does caulking leave a mark between the toilet base and the floor tile?
If you use the correct caulking material, there will be no trace of the caulking the next morning. It requires that long to cure and become invisible. Plumbers recommend 100% silicone caulk for this application. It does not mix with water or it is water-resistant. Always use a caulking gun to apply the caulk and use your fingers to remove the excess. You must leave it to dry overnight.
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