Why You Should Caulk Around Your Toilet
Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by toilethaven
To caulk or not to caulk is the question anyone installing a new toilet will be bound to ask themselves or their plumber. Even the plumbers are divided on whether you should caulk around the base of your toilet or you shouldn’t.
The controversy about caulking or not caulking your toilet to the floor revolves around the likelihood of your toilet leaking from the base. When your toilet leaks from the base, it is easy to notice it without toilet caulk and remedy the situation before it becomes an expensive bathroom remodel.
Is caulking the toilet without benefit, though? And what can you do to ensure that even if the toilet is caulked, you can still notice water on the toilet base if the toilet is leaking?
It would be best to caulk your toilet to the floor to prevent water from seeping under the toilet’s base. However, it would be best to leave a small gap at the back of the toilet so you can see when your toilet is leaking to avoid rotting/damage to the floor and basement ceiling.
Let us now see why you should not caulk the toilet versus caulk the toilet to the floor, as told by different people.
Why You Should Not Caulk the Toilet Around the Floor
The proponents of not caulking around the toilet are to avoid trapping water in the toilet in case the wax ring leaks. A toilet without caulk will easily let the water flow out and collect around the toilet’s base. It would therefore be easy to notice the leak.
Why is it necessary to notice the toilet leak way in advance? If the leak goes unnoticed and your subfloor is wooden, then it will start rotting gradually, which will, in the end, cost you a lot of money to remodel your bathroom.
That sounds good so far. But is it true? The truth is that although you can notice a toilet leaking by seeing water around the toilet base, most toilets leak through the floor around the closet flange and rarely onto the floor.
You could notice a leaking toilet from the basement when the bathroom floor is still dry. This is where the proponents of not caulking around the toilet fail to understand.
Why You Should Caulk Around Your Toilet
1. For Aesthetics
A caulked toilet looks way better than one that is not. There is always a small gap between the toilet base and the bathroom floor, especially when the floor is not even.
When you have a wobbly rocking toilet, one way to stabilize it is by shimming it. A shimmed toilet will always have a gap between it and the floor. Caulking your toilet, in this case, looks like the only reasonable thing to do.
Caulking the around the base of your toilet gives you a way of integrating your floor into the toilet. This gives your bathroom a seamless design that would otherwise look broken if the toilet is not caulked.
2. Plumbing Code Requirements
International building codes require that a fixture be made watertight where it comes in contact with the wall or floor. One way to ensure this code is followed is by caulking around the toilet.
This code is, however, one of those hardly followed in the construction industry.
3. Caulk Secures Toilet to the Floor
Caulking a toilet helps to hold it firmly on the floor—most toilets that start to wobble soon after installation are, in most cases, normally not caulked.
Although the toilet is attached and secured to the floor using 2 bolts hooked on a toilet flange, the caulk provides extra support all around the toilet, and therefore the toilet is firm on the ground.
4. Caulking prevents Foul Odor
A toilet that is not caulked will have a slight gap between its base and the toilet floor. Anytime you are leaning on your floor, dirty water will always find a way of getting underneath the toilet.
It is always known that young boys struggle to aim at the toilet bowl. If your son or nephew, therefore, goes off target, some of the urine will accumulate underneath the toilet, which will, after a while, give a foul odor
5. Ease of cleaning
A caulked toilet base connects seamlessly to the bathroom floor. It is, therefore, easy to mop the bathroom floor without worrying about what is trapped underneath the toilet. With a toilet that is not caulked, you must always take your time to clean the crevice at the bottom of the toilet.
Some people have had bad experiences with toilets that are not caulked. Cockroaches have found the gap between the base of the toilet as a suitable place to call their homes. It is not something you would want to happen, especially when you have guests over.
Should you Then Caulk Your Toilet?
The best way to go about it is to caulk around your toilet base and only leave a small area at the back of the toilet. It is hard enough to caulk there, anyway. This way, you will notice water on the bathroom floor should your toilet leak.
If you would like a suggestion on what caulk to buy for your toilet, this is the best caulk for your toilet. Check out on Amazon using that link.
The debate about caulking around the toilet or not is not ending any time soon. The benefits of caulking the toilet outweigh those of not caulking by far. In my opinion, those who advocate for not caulking around speak from the point of misinformation more than information. Always caulk your toilet.
1. Should I go with white or clear caulk for my toilet?
Most toilets are white, and most bathroom floors are white. Always chose white. White caulk will give your bathroom floor a seamless integration into the toilet, which is what you want for your bathroom. Apart from time, clear caulk tends to turn into a yellow color with time.
2. How do you remove old Caulk from the toilet base?
The first thing you do is apply a caulk remover around the toilet base to soften the caulk. An example of this is the 3M caulk remover. Wait for 2 to 3 hours, then use a putty knife to cut through the caulk. Alternate between scrapping with a putty knife and removing small caulk pieces and needle-nose pliers
3. Why is the caulk around my toilet turning brown
If you notice the caulk around the base of your toilet starts to turn brown, it means your toilet has a wax ring leaking. As a result, human waste, especially urine, decolors the normally white caulk. The solution is to remove the toilet and put in a new wax ring. You could also use a rubber seal instead of a less gross wax ring.