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Toilet Flange Repair…Adding a Toilet Flange Extender

Toilet flange repair is a super important skill to learn.

Let me explain:

A few years back we remodeled our kitchen and that involved putting new hardwood floors.

Back then I wasn’t about to take on this project.

So we hired a hardwood installer. They did an awesome job and the floors still look amazing.

But they also recommended just doubling up the wax ring in the powder room.


After 6 months the toilet bowl developed a leak where it met up with the closet flange.

Today you’ll learn how to prevent this same catastrophe from happening in your home.

I’m going to share how to do a simple toilet flange repair by adding a toilet flange extender ring.

Toilet Flange Repair Supply List

Here’s your supply list

What’s the first step?

How to Remove a Toilet

The only way to know if you need this repair is to remove your toilet.

Fortunately, learning how to remove a toilet is super easy.

The first step is to turn off the water at the shuf-off valve and flush all the water out of the tank.

Then pour Oatey LiquiLock into the bowl.

This turns your toilet water into a gel and prevents the water from spilling on your floor.

I don’t know about you but cleaning up nasty toilet water isn’t on my to-do list.

You’ll have to remove your toilet anyway if you have a water leak under the bowl.

Watch this video to see how we remove a toilet in under 15 minutes

How to Remove a Toilet in a Bathroom without Nasty Spillage

Once the toilet is removed you can inspect the closet flange and do your toilet flange repair.

But what’s the best way to do this?

Toilet Flange Repair…What You Need to Know

If you watched the video above you know about Charlie.

He’s one of my favorite plumbers in Pittsburgh because the guy is always happy.

Charlie taught us how to repair a toilet flange and today we’re passing along those tips to you.

The first tip Charlie taught us is if your closet flange is broken you’ll need to repair it.

Today we’re going to share three options for repairing a toilet flange.

Your first option is to buy a replacement closet flange ring.

This has to be secured to the subfloor with screws.

A second option is to use a closet flange repair kit.

It’s a great option if your existing closet flange is broken or rusted. Due to its construction, you can only use a toilet flange repair ring on PVC or ABS pipes.

Option 3 is the easiest. It’s a Push Tite gasketed closet flange.

Simply push this down into the old closet flange and secure it to the wood subfloor with galvanized or stainless steel screws.

A closet flange should be flush or up to 1/4″ above your finished floor.

The reason why is because wax rings compress over time.

If the closet flange is below the finished floor, a gap will form between the bottom of the toilet bowl and the top of the wax ring.

This gap is where water leaks when you flush your toilet…and we all know what’s in toilet water.


How do you raise the closet flange?

Use a Closet Flange Extender

Closet flange extender rings are man/woman’s best friend when repairing closet flanges.

These come in 1/4″ and 1/2″ increments.

You can find them at the local home store or hardware store.

Also, you’ll need extra long closet flange bolts, e.g. 3 1/2″ bolts.

These bolts will slide into the old flange.

Basically what we’re doing is sandwiching the new closet flange extender ring (or spacer, whichever) onto the old closet flange.

But you need the closet flange bolts to be long enough to fit up through the base of the toilet bowl.

Furthermore, clean off all the old wax from the closet flange using a putty knife before installing the closet flange extender.

I used a 1/2″ closet flange extender in this project because it extends about 1/8″ above the finished tile floor.

Also, I’ll be installing a new American Standard VorMax toilet in this bathroom.

The rough in size for the VorMax is 12 inches, i.e. the distance from the closet flange bolts to the wall is 12 inches.

Know your rough-in before installing the closet flange bolts because the last thing you want is to place your bolts 13 inches from the wall when you need them to be at 12 inches.

Don’t measure from the baseboard to the the closet flange bolts as this will give you the incorrect rough in.

If you do measure from the baseboards to the bolts just deduct the baseboard width from your dimension.

Dry fit the closet flange extender onto the old closet flange and place a torpedo level on it.

If you’re in luck the closet flange extender will be level, but if it’s not…you’ll have to shim your toilet when you install it.

Not a big deal, just a good thing to know.

Apply a generous bead of 100% silicone caulk on top of the old closet flange.

And to the bottom of the new closet flange extender.

Either slide the new closet flange bolts into the old flange before adding the extender or add them after you adhere the extender to the old flange.

Consequently, I chose to add one of the bolts to the old flange first since it was a tight fit.

Add metal washers and nuts to the closet flange bolts.

Finally, tighten the nuts to the bolts with a crescent wrench until the bolts are nice and snug.

Watch my step-by-step video to see all the details up close and personal…good thing these videos aren’t in 4D, just think about that :/

What’s Next

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.



Toilet Flange Extender, Toilet Flange Repair

  1. sidd says:

    thank you for such knowledge based good videos. my floors are not the wood,insted its concrete and have ceramic tile floors, is it the same or a different way to do the procedure of leaking toilet fix???

    1. Thanks for asking Sidd, you could use the same procedure for raising the toilet flange. As long as you can sandwich the closet flange extender to the original closet flange you should be fine. But keep me posted.

  2. Louise ANGEL Brown says:

    I Love your videos! Very informative…and funny. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Louise, it’s hard to make toilet flange funny…strike that, it’s pretty easy, lol. Hope the tips help

  3. waykno says:

    Good videos! I installed one of my toilets a couple or three years ago, so my memory is a bit foggy. Seems like the floor flange was pretty rusted and some just plain eaten away (built around ’76). I used a flange repair ring and got by. Can you guess how the floor flange is attached to the concrete floor–I don’t recall. Also, I’ve heard a foam rubber (polypropylene) type ring is being used instead of wax by some. Thanks again, wk.

    1. I’ve heard of different wax ring alternatives but haven’t tried them. I figure the wax ring concept has worked for hundreds of years, so why change it. The toilet flange on the concrete is probably just sitting on the concrete floor, which is good. I’ve see situations where the metal has been eaten away as well, that’s why I choose all PVC for the closet flange repairs.

  4. Bud Umbaugh says:

    Great Job Jeff. Quick question. Do you still use a wax ring when installing a extender? And if so where does it go? Bud (I’ll try anything)

    1. Good question Bud, you add the wax ring to the top of the spacer. Just like you would for a closet flange. Hope that helps.

  5. Pingback: Home Repair Tutor
  6. mitch says:

    Hi Jeff! You mentioned in the first video that you were going to reuse the toilet at a later date – but you didn’t mention how you cleaned out the gel from the inside of the p-trap. Does it eventually dissolve?

    1. When you reattach the toilet and flush it for the first time with water, the gel will dissolve. It’s pretty awesome and I use it for every toilet installation.

      1. Ray Huertas says:

        I need to raise mine about 3/4 inch but the original toilet flange is PVC embedded on concrete foundation and it is cracked at one of the bolt slots so it cannot hold the bolt. How can I fix it?

  7. Rick Rogoski says:

    The Oatey flange extender comes with two rubber/vinyl gaskets along with a 1/2 inch spacer flange. No installation instructions. What is the purpose of installing a rubber gasket between the original flange and the spacer flange?

  8. WANDA GAYLORD says:

    So I have been trying to rehab a third floor bathroom and watching your videos since you started working on the very old house with different sub flooring materials. I had the concrete slab removed and put down a new sub floor. When I put a twist tite flange in the cast iron pipe, it is higher than the sub floor. Am I suppose to add concrete around the pipe and how do I level it with the floor. I know you are not a plumber, but If you could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Jose Lopez says:

    Love the video! It helped me install my toilet downstairs. Question. Can I use more than one spacer?

    1. Thanks Jose. Yes, you can use two but apply 100% silicone between each spacer.

  10. Tanya Coffelt says:

    What do I do if the flange that the screws sit in is broken and won’t hold them? We tried to replace the top flange and the bottom, but it is rusted and broken. I’m not sure how to replace the bottom. Any help is appreciated.

    1. You could opt for a push-fit flange Tanya and secure it to the subfloor with screws. Would that be an option?

  11. Chuck says:

    I just watched the video you posted on installing a toilet flange extender. Why didn’t you use screws to secure the extender directly to the sub-floor? Don’t the nuts go on the closet bolts AFTER you put the toilet in place?

  12. Jack says:

    I have related question. Since you put the screws on flange extender, would now we need to put another pair of screws once we install the toilet on top of these screws (assuming there are no clearance issue of these flange screws and the bottom of toilet)?

  13. Jeff says:

    Great video. Do you not need to screw the flange extender to the subfloor as well?

  14. Melissa Harrison says:

    Hi Jeff!
    First off, I’m a huge fan of all your videos, they have helped me tremendously with my DIY bathroom remodel. We’re ready to install fixtures soon and I’m a little concerned with mounting the toilet back on. The flange surface itself is only slightly above the finished floor, so I’m not concerned there. However, the neck of the flange before it meets the pipe is deep and much wider than the pipe – it’s shaped like a bowl. I am planning on using the sani seal gasket. Do you think this will work or do you have any advice on getting the toilet to seal properly? It had been working fine before the remodel so they must have gotten it on somehow…

  15. Gary Tedesco says:

    What if my toilet flange is to high? 3/4″ of an inch. When I moved in the toilet had concrete poredunder the bowl to raise the height to meet the flange. We are selling the house I removed the concrete but how do I make the bowl 3/4″ higher to be level with the flange without unsightly concrete? Please help!!

  16. Ray Huertas says:

    I need to raise mine about 3/4 inch but the original toilet flange is PVC embedded on concrete foundation and it is cracked at one of the bolt slots so it cannot hold the bolt. How can I fix it?

  17. Ivan Chambers says:

    My flange which is mounted in concrete is not level. I’ll be adding an extender which means it wouldn’t be level either. Should I be putting shims between the old flange & new spacer to level it out?

  18. Amanda says:

    So your flange looks rusted. At what point do you replace the metal ring. I have one that is starting to rust in some areas & need to extend it above the tile but also not sure if I should replace it. There’s no crack so far, but seems silly not to replace it since I know it’s starting to rust, but then I saw this and wondering if that’s not necessary when putting an extended on. Thanks!

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