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How do you fix a rocking toilet on an uneven floor?

How do you fix a rocking toilet on an uneven floor

Not toilets; shaking is for concerts and seats. This simple solution may be what you require if your toilet is loose or unstable but not leaking. Since they aren’t resting flush against the floor, toilets typically rock. A circular toilet flange is located underneath the toilet base and joins the bowl to the drain pipe. The toilet gets somewhat elevated in the center and can rock toward either side if its flange is a bit higher than the flooring in the area.


You should stick two wood shims atop one another and slide them beneath the base of your toilet’s front. Note that the shims should be piled three inches toward the first pair’s left and to the right three inches. Till the toilet is stable, push the shims toward it. Using your utility knife, adjust the shims close to the toilet’s bottom. Don’t dig into the flooring, please.


This issue may worsen with time, for instance, if the wax seal breaks down or the nearby floor slightly settles. Thankfully, there is a quick cure.


First, inspect the bolts.

You can occasionally tighten two closet bolts or flange bolts at your toilet’s bottom to stop your swaying toilet. It would help if you did this with caution. Too much bolt tightness might break the fragile porcelain of your toilet, which you cannot repair.


Use a small wrench or a pair of pliers to inspect the flange bolt on every side of the toilet. When tightening a bolt, do it gradually until it’s snug. After making sure another bolt is as snug, check whether the toilet is wobbling. Shimming the base should be performed if it’s still rocking.


Close the valve on your toilet.


The 3/8 or 1/2-inch line valve that supplies water to your tank should be turned counterclockwise until it’s snug in the “off” position. Please take off the toilet tank’s top cover and put it aside. Till all the toilet water has been drained from the tank, depress and hold its toilet flushing handle.

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To remove any remaining water in the toilet tank, utilize a sponge. To avoid spills while handling your toilet, check your tank for puddles on the base and wipe them up with the sponge. You should use a turkey baster if there’s still a sizable water volume in the tank.

Additionally, there will likely be some leftover water in your toilet bowl. Wipe it up with a turkey baster or sponge before continuing with the task.


Disconnect the tank’s water supply line.

Disconnect the tank's water supply line.

The water supply system is the tube that joins your toilet with its shut-off valve. Remove the supply route from the tank using a wrench to move your toilet while leveling it. Employ a flexible wrench to counterclockwise spin the nut securing the water system line to the tank’s base till you can twist the nut with your hand. It would help if you manually turned the nut until it releases from the tank.


Suppose you haven’t previously taken off the closet bolt caps on every toilet side. You could unscrew the flange bolts securing the toilet bottom to the floor by lifting the plastic tops off.


And then, insert a flathead screwdriver blade into the space in the top and bottom portions of the covers protecting the bolts linking the toilet to the subfloor. To take off the cap and reveal the nut, crank the screwdriver handle a quarter and rotate in either direction.


Use the same technique to expose the next nut and take off the second cover. With an adjustable wrench, counterclockwise twist each nut till it is free from the toilet attachment stud. Rotate the toilet around till the wax ring separates from it.


Lift the toilet, then flip it over.


Toilets are cumbersome and hefty. Have someone else assist you in lifting the toilet and moving it out of the way while you work if you’re not certain of your strength. Toilets which are lifted off the floor can still leak. Until you’re prepared to reattach it, place it on some news newspaper or towel.


Make the closet flange visible.


The closet flange is a flat, cylinder-shaped tube with a round bottom. To separate the closet flange from the drain, loosen the nuts to hold it in place with a tool. Using a putty knife, scrape the wax off the flange. Then, using a screwdriver, remove the screws anchoring the closet flange toward the floor.


You must take the closet flange out of the drain hole to check it for damage. To prevent chipping or to harm the flange, move slowly. So that you may operate it while having a clear view of it, wash it off using soap or a washcloth in the bathtub or sink.

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You may attach the closet flange to the drain in contemporary homes with PVC adhesive. Before screwing the repair flange inside the floor, utilize a level to ensure it’s level. If so, purchase a new flange to overlay the current one.


Check for damaged or rotten flooring.


Look for mildew, mold, or decaying symptoms on the flooring. Unless you have prior experience changing flooring, the subfloor will require an expert to fix it if it’s rotten or significantly damaged. Contact a home repair company to inspect the extent of the harm and whether new flooring is required.


Suppose the floor is irregular but undamaged; you can carve a plywood base bigger than your toilet. Dig a hole at the middle of your plywood for the closet flange and put it underneath the toilet so it rests flat.


The toilet might wobble or display other issues if the closet flange has any cracks or chips. You might be required to repair your toilet flange if you come across any damage. In that case, get a fresh closet flange with the exact size and install it in a location similar to the previous one.


Into the closet flange, insert fresh closet bolts.


Throw away the old closet bolts; they frequently cause swaying. Utilizing new bolts and a wrench, reinstall the closet flange inside the drain hole. Damaged or loose bolts can lead to unsteady toilets; ensure to snug the bolts as tightly as you can.


Place a new wax ring on the closet flange.


To view the drain hole at the toilet bottom, lift it and twist it. Using a putty knife, get rid of the old wax ring by scraping wax off the toilet base and floor drain. Never use the wax from an old wax ring again.


Over the flooring drain hole, place the fresh wax ring. To add more height, place another wax ring on the first. Match the mounting studs in the closet flange with the mounting holes in your toilet bottom. Put the rings on the toilet floor and place the stud caps’ slotted base over every mounting stud. Glue a nut onto each stud. To anchor the toilet, fasten the nuts. The toilet mounting flange will shatter if you overtighten the nuts.

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Reinstall the toilet and secure it on the floor.


Put a level on your toilet’s back. To make the level of your toilet, gently push it towards the side. Sit on your toilet to level it by pressing it gently into the ring. It’s intended to form a tight seal on the toilet’s bottom; however, rocking the toilet will weaken the seal. Try to complete this task in one motion.


Look for gaps.


Look at the toilet’s foundation and note any spaces between the base and the floor. A small area can be the problem’s root. Try slipping a shim below the base to check how deep it slides in if the spaces are too tiny to see. Rocking the toilet back and forth might be beneficial.


Put the Shims in.


You might have to test the toilet in various positions to balance the toilet correctly. You may stabilize and level the toilet by placing shims into the gaps you’ve found. Sit on the toilet seat and rock it back and forth as you work to ensure it’s stable. Keep doing that till the toilet stops to move in any direction.


Seal Off the Base


To fill the space along the floor and conceal the shims, utilize a thin, smooth bead of caulk all round the toilet’s bottom. If necessary, use your fingers to level the caulk, wiping it off often using a paper towel or rag.


Tip: Caulk can conceal leaks by trapping water if you cover the entire base. Caulk is essential for finishing touches and preventing mop water from entering underneath the toilet base. For this purpose, some plumbers don’t caulk the rear of the base-the side that isn’t visible-so that any leaks will be obvious by dripping water on the floor.


Try out your adjustments.


To check the level’s reading, sit on your toilet or utilize a carpenter’s level. The toilet might be level if there’s no swaying and you don’t feel as though you are seated at an angle. Rotate the shutdown valve counterclockwise to reactivate the toilet and reattach the water system line to the toilet tank.


Add washers or shims to the toilet’s base appears more level but is still just a little unsteady. If the toilet is unequal, keep adjusting until you have the desired level.


Take away


The wax ring used to seal your toilet drain to the drain flange affixed to your bathroom floor may eventually deteriorate due to the swaying of the bowl. It will result in wastewater leaks and flooding of the zone around the toilet. While repairing the wobbling will prevent more damage, its aftereffects may cause water leakage.


Therefore, with the guide above, you should fix your rocking toilet as early as possible. If the issue is major, contact an expert.