To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?

 
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:48 PM   #1
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To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


. I had a plumber friend come to reset a toilet in the GF's rental house after a retile. He told me you should always caulk around the base of the toilet to stabilize it.

I always understood that toilet should never be caulked because if the wax ring leeks the caulk will retain the leakage and cause more problems.

He conceded that would be true in a wood floor house but here with concrete slabs it's better to caulk.

Wanted to get second third and more opinions. I asked him to leave a couple gaps in the caulking in the back where they are not visible.
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Caulk it, leave a gap at the back.

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Old 10-25-2015, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


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Originally Posted by maninthesea View Post
He told me you should always caulk around the base of the toilet to stabilize it.
Though we sometimes use it as a makeshift adhesive, caulk is a sealant, not a mechanical stabilizer. The proper way to stabilize a bowl if it wants to rock is with shims.

The IRC requires that a toilet be sealed at two places: the flange, usually with a wax ring, and where the bowl contacts the floor. There is no exception allowing no use of caulk or caulking only partway around.

Some folks insist that no caulk or partial caulk is better, because that lets you know sooner if the wax ring has failed. Others say that caulk is necessary to keep spills, mopwater and urine from getting in there and festering.

The IRC doesn't explain why, it just sets the requirement. And that is to caulk.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:27 PM   #4
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


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Originally Posted by Inner10 View Post
Caulk it, leave a gap at the back.
That was a quick thread...

Side note... Never heard of caulk being able to stabilize a 200lb woman... not what it's used for...
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


An age old debate.....depending who you talk to. I don't always caulk to the floor, but the times I do....yes, leave a gap in the rear.
I'm putting my 2 cents in on this because of the slab floor. I pretty much never find the flange to be stable on slabs, the ring can spin around the pipe because they aren't screwed to the slab like they are on wood floors. That's where I get out the tapcons and secure the flange ring so it doesn't spin.
I find probably 1/3 to 1/2 of existing toilets here to be caulked. But I definitely find pretty much every toilet on a slab here to be caulked, but as I said....the reason pretty much boils down to a flange that would otherwise spin so the caulking really does stabilize the toilet.

Last edited by dsconstructs; 10-25-2015 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


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That was a quick thread...

Side note... Never heard of caulk being able to stabilize a 200lb woman... not what it's used for...
It doesn't, it just stops piss from leaking under the bowl when you're really hammered and can't stay on target.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:49 PM   #7
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


I've come around on this issue and now believe you should always caulk. Piss, vomit, blood, etc all gets under there if it's not caulked. A properly set wax ring is pretty forgiving. And even though it's not meant for it, the caulk really does stabilize the toilet and probably increase the longevity of the ring.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Anybody that has removed more than a few toilets and seen the stuff that gets underneath should know the answer...caulk it. If you want to leave a gap in the back, fine by me.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:08 PM   #9
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


If I caulk it with polyseamseal, trust me, it's stabilizes and glues the the toilet to the floor

Yes, caulk it.
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Old 10-25-2015, 09:16 PM   #10
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


I have seen old timers use Plaster of Paris to take up for an uneven floor instead of shims, and then caulk around it.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


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It doesn't, it just stops piss from leaking under the bowl when you're really hammered and can't stay on target.
Dude, you've been cracking me up for a couple of days now with some of your posts... whatever you're drinking while posting, keep it up...
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:03 AM   #12
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Thanks It was caulked with a small gap on either side in the rear. I think I'll leave them. I apreaciating knowing it's an IRC requirement.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:55 AM   #13
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


I always seal it up- if your wax ring fails, most likely it will just be atrickle, which will flow down the flange anyways, and not out of the side of the toilet. The caulk seal is to then prevent sewer gases from coming out, should the wax ring fail. if its unstable, the plastic shims work pretty good, then caulk it up.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:18 PM   #14
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Fhb or jlc just had a thing on this. Caulk is what he said for the reasons noted. In my house I don't caulk, but after reading it, I decided to go legit and just caulk it.
I flush at least 5 times to test for leaks because I'm paranoid.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:32 AM   #15
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


I just did a ceiling drywall repair in a kitchen, because their teenage son let the shower water splash out, went under toilet, messed up drywall below.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:21 PM   #16
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


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Originally Posted by madmax718 View Post
I always seal it up- if your wax ring fails, most likely it will just be atrickle, which will flow down the flange anyways
If the flange is properly installed this is impossible.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:43 AM   #17
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Could you elaborate? I've seen water trickle down the side on the flange when the pipe was semi clogged, and the wax ring wasnt sealing well anymore.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:58 PM   #18
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax718 View Post
Could you elaborate? I've seen water trickle down the side on the flange when the pipe was semi clogged, and the wax ring wasnt sealing well anymore.
A properly installed closet flange sits about a " above finished floor.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:12 AM   #19
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


agree with you there, but how does that stop the trickle from leaking down the pipe to the floor below, or from sewer gases escaping?
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:10 AM   #20
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Re: To Caulk Or Not To Caulk?


Caulk to prevent sewer gasses?

I've pulled nuts and tried to lift a well sealed w/c and almost gave myself a hernia. Had to get a razor and cut it loose. Also had unsealed that slid side-side when you bump it with your calf. Whatever your reason, code says seal so seal.

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