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Can You Put Toilet Flange Over or Under Tile?

A bathroom remodeling project often includes replacing both the flooring and the toilet. When installing a new toilet, there can be confusion about whether or not to put the toilet flange over or under new flooring, such as for tile.

When installing a toilet flange, it should be placed over the tile floor. Secure the flange with screws that will pass through both the tile and subfloor. The flange holds the bolts that anchor the toilet down to the ground. A wax seal is used to fill in the gap between the flange and toilet.

Toilet installation flange

You’ll find quite a sizable debate on the Internet regarding this topic. There are a few that argue that the toilet flange should be flush with the floor, but in general the consensus from professional opinions is that the toilet flange goes on top of any kind of flooring.

If you’re still unsure what position to take, you can refer to toilet bowl manufacturers like Kohler and their product information manuals and you’ll see them say to install over flooring.

The horn of the toilet will project through the wax ring and the flange into your waste pipe.

There are plenty of anecdotal examples on the Web of incidences where water leakage and wood rot come from flanges installed flush or below flooring.

To learn how to install a toilet flange over tile flooring, continue reading.

How to Install a Toilet Flange Over Tile

Plumber installing toilet bowel into tile floor

Installing a toilet flange over tile flooring can be a simple and quick process. However, because of the nature of tile, you will need to be careful when drilling the holes.

To install a toilet flange over a tile floor, place the flange into position, centering it over the waste pipe. Find the holes where the flange screws go and mark them. Then carefully and slowly drill through the holes into the tile and subfloor. Lastly, install the screws.

Before marking the drill holes, position the flange so that the slots for the T-bolts on the flange lie perpendicular to the back wall of where the toilet will be.

Inserting the T-bolts into the slots first can help you visualize the setup and how you’ll place the toilet over the flange later.

When the flange is properly positioned, mark where the drill holes will be. There should be 4 or 6 holes where screws will go to secure the flange.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on March 4, 2022.

Drilling through tile will require a special drill bit. Some people recommend a carbide or diamond drill bit. You can also use a regular masonry drill bit.

The key to the drilling is to do it slowly. There are risks, which include cracking the tile or overheating the drill. Some dip the head of the bit in cooking oil to prevent overheating.

Drill until you go through the tile floor and hit the subfloor or backer board.

After the pilot holes are drilled through, secure the flange with screws and insert the two T-bolts. 

The flange should now be about 1/4” inches up above the finished floor.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on March 4, 2022.

Can You Put a Toilet Flange Under Tile?

Toilet installation tools

There is much discussion about whether or not a toilet flange can be put under tile flooring. Most seem to argue that the flange should always go on top of any finished floors, but there are some that suggest installing a flange under tile is fine. So which process should you follow?

A toilet flange should not be installed under tile floors. If the flange sits under finished floors, there is an increased chance of water leakage and damage. Use a toilet flange extender to raise the flange to 1/4 inch above the floor and to create a watertight seal.

You might find yourself in this situation when remodeling a bathroom in an old house. Sometimes there’s a new floor that has been placed on top of an old floor. In this instance, you essentially have two floor layers, which would obviously cause your toilet flange to fall under the tile.

The solution for those who find themselves in this predicament is to use a toilet flange extender. 

How to Install a Toilet Flange Under Tile

Plumber putting in new toilet

While it is not recommended to install a toilet flange either flush or under tile floors, it is still possible. You would follow the same procedure as installing a toilet flange above tile floors, except you would drill the flange’s screws to the subfloor or backer board.

To install a toilet flange under a tile floor, place the flange into position, centering it over the waste pipe. Find the holes where the flange screws go and mark them. Then drill through the holes into the subfloor. Lastly, install the screws and insert the T-bolts.

There are many methods for installing a toilet flange. One way to install the toilet flange under the tile is first to carve out a ring within it. Then, the ring is placed over the toilet flange, so the tile will actually lead up, not under the flange.

If you use a flange that is made from PVC, you will be able to easily remove it when it’s time to reinstall another one. Make sure the top edge of the tile is aligned with the bottom edge of the flange. In addition, the floor flange in a standard installation lies on the inside of the drain opening. 

There is also a product called a “spin-n-seal” that allows you to slide another flange over the top of the tile. You can do this by sliding it down inside the PVC pipe, and twisting it tightly for a snug fit. Ensure not to put on too much wax as this will create a new problem–clogging. 

Although you can install a toilet flange underneath the bathroom floor tile, the flange is actually supposed to sit on top of it. As long as the flange remains flush with the floor, it will work. If it doesn’t, it isn’t a big deal. Just use a wax ring that is a little thicker to compensate for the difference in thickness. Or, you can also use a flange extender. 

If the flange is not flush with the floor, you can compensate by stacking wax seals. However, these seals are not made to provide a large gap with a tight seal. You can also find a wax ring that is extra thick that comes with a funnel. If, after installing the flange underneath the tile, your toilet sits too low, it can cause it to rock or leak. 

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 4, 2022.

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