A toilet flange, also called a closet flange, is located under the toilet. It secures the toilet to the floor and connects the drain to the pipe. If there is water on the floor around the toilet, or the toilet can be rocked back and forth, the flange is probably broken. The toilet needs to be removed so that a new flange can be installed. Follow these steps to complete the task properly.
Step 1 - Turn Off Water
It may seem obvious, but a first-time flange installer might forget. Flush the toilet, then turn off the water supply. Loosen the hose that brings water to the toilet.
Step 2 - Know What Parts Are Needed
Make sure to have everything that is needed. Measure the width of the pipe in the floor so that the correct size can be purchased. Pull the toilet to see how it was installed. Older flanges may be cast iron or steel. They used a wax ring to create a waterproof seal. A new wax ring can be purchased, but newer types of plastic flanges use a rubber ring that expands against the sides of the pipe when adjusted with an Allen wrench.
It is also possible to repair an older flange instead of replacing it. To do so, a spanner flange is needed. It spans the break in the flange. Screws are used to tighten it. If a new floor has been installed and is higher than before, extenders are available to raise the flange to the correct height.
Step 3 - Position the Flange Correctly
Don't screw the flange until it is correctly positioned. The bolts slide into the flange and stick up. They have to be in the correct place to fit the toilet. They rise through the holes on each side of the toilet. Once the toilet is in place, tightening the washers will finish the job. Tighten them enough that the toilet doesn't move, but not too tightly. The porcelain might crack if they are too tight.
When prepared with knowledge and the correct components, installing a toilet flange should not be difficult. This job can be done alone, but toilets are heavy. Having someone to help wouldn't hurt. Be ready for surprises; there could be mold under the toilet, and scraping up the old wax ring can be messy.