How to Deal with a Higher Toilet Flange than Floor: Solutions

If the toilet flange is higher than the floor, it can cause leaks and instability in the toilet. This issue commonly occurs due to older toilets or a flooring installation that failed to plan for the proper height of the flange.

During the installation or renovation of a bathroom, one common challenge that may arise is when the toilet flange sits higher than the floor surface.

The toilet flange, a critical component connecting the toilet bowl to the drainpipe, is typically installed flush with the finished floor level.

However, due to various factors such as floor height changes, new flooring installations, or plumbing modifications, it is possible for the flange to end up higher than the surrounding floor.

This scenario poses several concerns, including the stability, sealing, and proper functioning of the toilet. In this guide, we will explore the implications of a toilet flange that is higher than the floor and discuss the available solutions to rectify the situation.

Whether you are a homeowner facing this issue or a DIY enthusiast seeking guidance, understanding the challenges and remedies associated with a raised toilet flange will help you overcome this hurdle and achieve a successful toilet installation.

What Is A Toilet Flange?

A toilet flange is a ring-shaped component, which is usually made of plastic or metal, that’s placed between the floor and the toilet base. Its purpose is to offer a secure connection between the toilet and the waste pipe. There are a few factors that can lead to an elevated flange, including renovations or an uneven floor.

When the flange sits higher than the floor, it can cause potential leaks and a wobbly toilet. Correcting this issue is important to ensure proper functionality and prevent damage to your bathroom. A professional plumber can help diagnose and fix the problem by either replacing or adjusting the flange as needed.

The Guide: If Toilet Flange Is Higher Than Floor

Encountering a toilet flange that is higher than the floor surface can present challenges during a bathroom installation or renovation project. The toilet flange, responsible for connecting the toilet bowl to the drainpipe, is typically installed flush with the finished floor level.

However, due to factors such as floor height changes, new flooring installations, or plumbing modifications, the flange may end up elevated above the surrounding floor. This situation can lead to stability issues, potential leaks, and improper toilet functioning.

In this informative guide, we will explore the implications of a raised toilet flange and discuss the available solutions to address this problem effectively.

1. Assessing the Situation:

Determine the Extent of Elevation: Measure the height difference between the toilet flange and the finished floor. This will provide a clear understanding of the magnitude of the problem and help identify the appropriate solution.

Identify the Cause: Determine the reasons behind the elevated flange. It could be due to changes in floor height, new flooring installation, or previous plumbing modifications. Understanding the cause will guide you towards the most suitable remedy.

2. Evaluating Solutions:

Flange Extension Rings: Flange extension rings, available in plastic or metal, can be added to the existing flange to raise its height. These rings are designed to fit onto the flange and provide the necessary extension, aligning the flange with the new floor level.

Toilet Flange Spacers: Flange spacers are wedges or shims that can be inserted between the toilet flange and the toilet base. They effectively raise the toilet bowl to compensate for the height difference caused by the raised flange. Flange spacers come in different thicknesses to accommodate various elevation levels.

Flange Lowering Solutions: In some cases, it may be possible to lower the toilet flange to the floor level. This option requires professional plumbing expertise and may involve cutting the flange or modifying the drainpipe. It is recommended to consult a licensed plumber for this approach to ensure proper installation and avoid potential complications.

3. Seeking Professional Assistance:

Complex Situations: If the elevation of the toilet flange is significant or the underlying cause is unclear, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a professional plumber. They can assess the situation, provide accurate solutions tailored to your specific needs, and ensure a proper and reliable installation.

Compliance with Building Codes: Building codes and regulations vary between regions, and modifications to the plumbing system should comply with local codes. Consulting a licensed plumber will help you navigate any code requirements and ensure a compliant installation.

The Issues Arising From A High Toilet Flange

A high toilet flange may seem insignificant, but it can create issues during toilet installation. If not addressed, it can cause leaks, improper alignment, and wobbling.

These issues can result in damage to the plumbing system and flooring. Ignoring the problem can lead to more extensive repairs and increased costs in the long run.

It’s crucial to check the height of the flange to ensure proper installation and avoid potential problems. If you experience difficulty installing a toilet with a high flange, seek assistance from a professional plumber to avoid risking further damage.

Temporary Solutions To Consider

If you find yourself dealing with a toilet flange that is higher than the floor, there are several temporary solutions to consider. Each has its own limitations, but they can help in the short-term. Wax rings are a popular choice.

These are pliable and can seal gaps between the toilet and flange. Flange extenders are also an option, and they can be stacked for a better fit. However, installing these properly can be tricky. Another option is to use double wax rings, although they may fail over time and cause leaks.

Finally, there’s the option of using a quick set compound, which can fill gaps and level the flange. Keep in mind, each of these options is only a temporary solution, and you’ll need a permanent solution in the future.

Permanent Solutions To Consider

Having a toilet flange that is higher than the floor is not an uncommon issue. Fortunately, there are permanent solutions available. Replacing the flange and addressing the underlying issue can offer numerous benefits. It eliminates the need for temporary solutions that only provide short-term relief.

When replacing the flange, it’s essential to take into account the technical aspects of the job. This includes ensuring a proper fit, alignment, and sealing. Overall, a long-lasting solution offers peace of mind, eliminates the risk of water damage, and improves the functionality of your bathroom.

By addressing the issue head-on and investing in a permanent solution, you can avoid the hassle and expense of constant repairs.

Why Hire A Professional?

Dealing with a high toilet flange can be a frustrating experience, and while many may feel compelled to tackle the issue themselves, it’s worth highlighting the importance of seeking an expert’s advice. Hiring a professional plumber brings many advantages, not least their expertise.

They can offer insight and guidance on how to best handle a high flange, providing valuable tips to prevent further damage or complications. Plus, a professional can quickly assess the problem and suggest the most efficient and cost-effective solution, saving you time and money.

Ultimately, hiring a professional ensures that the job is done right the first time, giving you peace of mind and a functional, long-lasting solution.

How To Select The Right Professional Plumber

Toilet flange being higher than the floor can be a daunting experience, making it crucial to hire reliable professional plumbing services. When picking the right plumber, factors like experience, credentials, and references should be considered. It is essential to ensure that the plumber can handle the situation and has the right skills.

A licensed plumber guarantees quality work and avoids future complications. References from previous satisfied customers indicate the plumber’s reliability and competence. Besides, asking for a written estimate upfront eliminates any confusion on pricing. Therefore, hiring a trustworthy and skilled professional plumber ensures that the work is done correctly, saving you time and money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What If Toilet Flange Is Higher Than Floor?

What Is A Toilet Flange?

A toilet flange is a fitting that connects the toilet to the drainpipe and secures it to the floor.

Why Is My Toilet Flange Higher Than The Floor?

In older homes, it’s common for the toilet flange to be higher than the floor due to subfloor settling.

Is A Higher Toilet Flange A Problem?

Yes, a higher toilet flange can cause leaks and instability with your toilet, leading to potential water damage.

How Do I Fix A Toilet Flange Higher Than The Floor?

You can replace the flange or use a flange extender kit to bring the flange level with the floor.

Can I Fix A Higher Toilet Flange Myself Or Should I Hire A Plumber?

If you have experience with basic plumbing procedures, you could fix it yourself. Otherwise, it’s best to hire a plumber for safety and accuracy.


Dealing with a toilet flange that is higher than the floor can be a tricky situation. It is important to take timely measures to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of your toilet. You can try different methods such as using a thicker wax ring, using a flange extender, or cutting the flange to the correct height.

However, it is recommended that you seek professional help for the best possible solution. Remember that a small problem can quickly turn into a bigger and more costly issue if left unattended.

Taking the necessary precautionary measures can save you from a lot of hassle and money down the line. So, take immediate action to fix the problem and enjoy a well-functioning toilet without any worries.

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