Skip to Content

Should Toilet Flange Be Flush with Floor or on Top of Tile?

The toilet flange plays an important part in the overall drainage connections as it directly connects the toilet bowl to the inner pipes under the floor. However, many people confuse the set up of the toilet flange whether it will flush with the floor or on top of the floor. Well, we are here with our article to clear your confusion.

Should the toilet flange be flush with the floor or on top of the tile?

The toilet flange must be installed directly on the top of the tiles. You have to make sure that the bottom of the flange is mounted evenly with the floor. Otherwise, there will be leakage or drainage problems. Therefore, wax rings are used to secure the toilet bowl with the toilet flange tightly.

Installing a toilet flange can be a complicated process if you don’t have any proper idea of how to do that. Because the toilet flange directly connects the toilet bowl directly to the underground piping. 

Therefore, the toilet flange needs to be placed on top of the tile in order to perfectly get secured with the toilet bowl. Therefore, we recommend you follow our article before starting this complicated process as we have tried to explain the process in easier steps.

Can the toilet flange be flush with tile?

No, the toilet flange cannot be flush with tile because there will be a much higher risk of leaking water from the pipes. The last thing you wouldn’t expect is to leak water over your newly renovated bathroom.

If you place the toilet flange flush with the tile then there will be drainage complications. As the toilet bowl is directly connected with the toilet flange and the toilet flange is directly connected with the inner drainage pipes under the tile, therefore, there will be a chance of leakage. 

Also, there will be an air gap in the wax ring which will play an important role in creating leakage.

Oatey 43538 4-inch Black ABS Cast Iron Closet Flange Replacement

Is the toilet flange supposed to be level with the floor?

Yes, the toilet flange has to be mounted keeping level with the floor. Because when the flange is placed a little lower or even with the floor then it will cause leakage. 

In fact, in order to ensure a leakage-free drainage connection then the bottom part of the flange should also be placed on top of the tile. 

Otherwise, the water will leak the wax ring as well as the connecting point between the flange and toilet bowl. That is why the toilet flange needs to be perfectly even with the floor as well as the needs to be perfectly sealed with wax rings.

How far should the toilet flange sit above the floor?

The correct flange height should be measured before installing the commode. If you remove the toilet then you will be able to measure the toilet flange height from the floor. 

However, the average height of the flange is ⅓ or ¼ inches from the finished floor. In this range of height, nearly any style of waxed rings may be utilized as well as it will provide a satisfactory sealing. 

This will allow the water continuously from the bowl to the inner pipes through the flange without any leakage. The wax ring will not have any air gap issues as well as the ring will last long.

What do you do if the toilet flange is above the floor?

Well if your toilet flange is too high from the floor then you only have two options in your hand:

You will need to replace the tiles and make them even with the flange:

Well, for this method you will need to first identify that if your floor is made of vinyl or concrete. You can place a backing board under the tiles around the flange in order to make it even with the floor. 

For small height problems, you can use grout around the toilet to aid in securing it from leaking. But make sure you have supportive materials in order to hold the weight of the toilet because the grout will harden perfectly.

Another option you can go for is to build users by using the flooring materials in order to let the toilet be mounted properly.

Universal Drain 950P Toilet Flange

Or you by cutting the pipe:

The next option you can follow is by cutting the pipe’s top part. But first thing first, you will need to remove the flange, and then you have the pipe. 

Cut it to the point where your pipe is flush to your floor. Then you have to replace the flange and set a new flange on the floor perfectly so that it gets mounted evenly and on top of the tile.

How to install a toilet flange?

Well, if you want to install your toilet flange then you have to follow some steps because it is a bit of a complicated DIY project. However, if you follow our steps then you can complete your installation process without any hassle:

The toilet tank needs to be emptied:

First of all, you have to remove all the water from your toilet tank which basically means emptying your toilet tank.

Wrap the outflow pipe:

You can wrap the outflow pipe with old clothes or a towel in order to obstruct the bad smell coming from the pipe when you are changing the flange.

Remove the old flange:

If your old flange is sealed with wax then you can use a paint scraper to take the old wax off from the flange. However, if it is a plastic wax then you will need to seek a solution from the experts because removing plastic wax is a very hard process. Then you have to remove your old flange after you have removed the old wax.

Secure the new flange:

Now you have to secure the new flange by drilling holes into the tiles. Normally, there are six holes in a flange, therefore; you might need to make six holes too on your tiles. Afterward, you will need to secure the holes with screws and make sure they are tight and sturdy enough.

Apply the wax:

Now you have to apply the wax ring. Also, the size of the wax ring will completely depend on the size of your new flange.

Set up the toilet:

The last step is a bit complicated and most importantly, you will need to handle the toilet with care. You have to slowly put the toilet down and make sure it is placed in the right spot. Then you have to apply pressure and the screw as well as the wax will secure the toilet. You have to align all the bolts and check if there is leakage.

How do you set the correct toilet flange height?

Well, the ideal toilet flange height you can set is ¼ inch from the completed flooring or tiles. However, there remains a factor which is that sometimes many bathroom floors do not have the same height on all the floor sides. 

Therefore, there can be changes in the flange’s height from the floor depending on that particular floor side. 

The toilet flange may be seen and measured well over the floor having the bowl being lifted. Ideally, the flange height should be 1⁄3 or 1/4 inches over the completed surface. It usually enables the usage of practically waxed rings even while ensuring a strong sealing.

Oatey GIDDS-173390 43539 Replacement Flange Forcast Iron, 4-Inch, PVC

Can the toilet flange be lower than the floor?

No, the toilet flange needs to be level or even with the floor, or else there will be drainage problems. It is because the flange connects the toilet bowl with the inner pipe therefore, there will be a chance of leakage. 

The wax ring will also have air gap issues which is also the main reason for leakage. 

What if the toilet flange is not level?

If the toilet flange is not level then it will damage the pipe which can cause drainage problems. Also, the leaked water will come out from the broken pipes which will be all over your bathroom floor.  The wax ring will also leak from the flange-to-toilet-bowl connection point.

How do you cut tile around a toilet flange?

You can use a tile nipper in order to cut the tile surrounding the toilet flange. But you have to measure the tile’s length and width surrounding the toilet flange. Then use a tile nipple to take out the tiny little pieces of tiles around the toilet flange.

Final Thoughts

The toilet flange must be mounted keeping level or even with the tile. Also, make sure that the bottom part of the flange remains even with the bathroom floor. Because when the flange is mounted lower or uneven with the floor then it causes drainage problems which will lead to leakage of water.