I used two wax seals to set my toilet since the flange is 1/4" below the new tile. At first it seemed to be water tight but after a few flushes I noticed water seeping and pulled it out. As can be seen in the photo, the wax ring slid off center. I couldn't use just one ring since it protrudes about 1/4" below the toilet so that would just barely touch the flange. I found the flange extender in another post and will try that. One of these

So to my question. Is this the correct approach? Should the flange be level with the floor prior to installation?

Edit: The correct height of the flange is sitting on top of the finished floor. Of course with a remodel this is almost never going to be the case after tiling. There seem to be various methods to raise the flange. Many say the double wax ring is problematic since it can collapse into the drain over time. This link discusses a number of products to solve the problem. In summary, the set-rite (~18 + shipping) is the most expensive and apparently the only code approved product. The cheapest option is flange extenders ~$3-5. The funny thing is neither the tiler or the plumber that worked on my bathroom mentioned anything about the height problem, which leads me to believe the common solution is the double wax ring.

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9 Answers 9


The flange should sit on top of the finished floor, if it doesn't you'll have to modify the plumbing or find another way to achieve this.

Proper toilet flange

Notice in this image how the toilet waste pipe sits just inside the flange opening, this is the proper way for a toilet to sit on a flange. Even without a wax ring, this union is not likely to leak under normal circumstances (I'm not recommending a wax ring not be used).

Wax as a waste pipe?

Some folks recommend using a thicker wax ring, or even doubling up wax rings. The problem with this, is that you end up with a waste pipe made from wax. Now this might hold up, but more than likely it's eventually going to fail, and leak.

Modify the plumbing

If you have access to the flange from below, you might be able to modify the plumbing to make the flange sit atop the floor. In most cases, however, this is not an option.


There are adapters available, that solve this exact problem. The [Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extender Kit]; described in the answers to this question, Comes with different size spacers, which allows it to compensate for various sized offsets.

Edit: Original link broken, so screencap photo inserted instead: enter image description here

  • Great info. I bought two Oatey flange extenders 1/4" each, to get 1/2". I'll use silicone adhesive to join the two and wax between the extender and current flange. I got stainless steel screws to attach. The set-rite looks nice but it's not stocked anywhere local and I feel that a water/gas tight solution can be achieved with my method for $8 vs spending $25 and waiting a week for delivery.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 15:56
  • Any advice for a closet flange with one side above the floor and another side below it? Will Set-Rite work in that scenario? Please see here: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/153537/…
    – cfx
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 2:24

I was 1/2" below where it should have been so I used two flange extenders to get the flange 1/4" above the finished floor. They are siliconed together and wax is the seal between the original flange and extender. Although many seem to recommend silicone, it would have been too much work to get off all the old wax so I used a few gobs of new wax.

I did the same for another bathroom but only needed one flange extender. That flange was not level so I ended up with nylon washers and copious amounts of silicone to seal and level

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This may be similar to other products mentioned but in case - this brand is easy to find in the US, inexpensive, and worked for me:


wax free toilet seal

You do have to buy the right size to get a good seal with the pipe below. Also, you have to make sure to thoroughly clean the surface where the adhesive attaches to the bottom of the toilet so all the wax residue is gone - I used brake cleaner to make sure, because I didn't really want to do this job once, I definitely didn't want to do it twice.


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I talked to an employee at Lowe's and he recommended Culwell Flange.

  • Welcome to DIY.SE! Can you provide more details about this flange (it's essentially a link only, which are discouraged as links are not permanent), and how it answers the original question? As it is, this sounds more like another question rather than an answer...
    – mmathis
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 20:28
  • If you have a question, please use the Ask Question button.
    – Tester101
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 10:40

+1 for using Ditra under tile. You can use either plastic or the metal ring (I prefer the metal for a bit more holding power with the 'T' bolts).

It doesn't look like the toilet fully seated in the wax. Is the floor flat front to back?

Be sure to PUSH the toilet down, with a slight (very slight) twist.

  • It's essentially flat. perhaps off level by a bit but the wax should accomodate that. I think it slid when placed. It's hard to guide it down perfectly vertical. I'll try a flange extender
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 19:37

If you use two rings it will eventually leak. You need one thick wax ring. This one or Oatey's version can cover a 1/4 inch.

  • I'm using the oately XL ring. The problem is when the ring is placed on the toilet, it only extends 1/4" beyond the base of the toilet. This is the same distance between the floor and flange, so it will never seal properly. It will just touch at best. BTW, this is a kohler cimarron, so not a cheap toilet.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 19:34
  • The one with the flange built in should give you that room. 1/4 inch isn't bad at all I have gone to over 1/2 inch with a ring like this.
    – DMoore
    Commented Jun 8, 2013 at 4:15

I've been using wax for years, but recently very unhappy with the products we buy in wax style rings. By the time you get the wax ring out of the packaging you may as well be the wax ring yourself, your hands pants and body are covered with wax. We've been using a new product called Sani Seal. Really sweet and very reliable. See their web site and videos. Sure each ring is $12, but the toilet seal is worth every penny/dollar.


Check out this product from Korky. I find that it's a lot easier to use than wax. Also it won't absorb the dirty toilet water like the Saniseal will.


Ideally, you want the flange on top of your finished flooring. However, I encountered the same issue last year and was able to solve it without modifying the flooring, after consulting a plumber. As long as the flange is in good condition, a well sculpted layer of hard plumber's putty can be used to fill in the gap between the flange and the finished flooring. A flexible, waxless gasket like a saniseal is best used with this setup instead of the classic wax ring. Working perfectly for me a year on.

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