Is you toilet wobbly? Kinda personal question, I know, but if your toilet wobbles and is not solid on the ground, it could be that the toilet flange is rotted or broken. fun.
But you can fix this. I did. And if you follow our how-to toilet repair photos here, you’ll be a DIY home repair expert, or at least you’ll be able to fix a wobbly toilet.
First remove the toilet. Turn off the water line, flush the toilet, and remove the water line from the bottom of the toilet tank. Have bucket handy, as water will come out of the tank. Sponge out as much water from the tank and bowl as you can. A handyman trick is to use a wet dry shop vac to suck all the water out of the bowl and tank.
Remove the nuts on each side of the base of the toilet. These nuts-bolts attach the toilet to the flange. You may have to use a saw to cut the nuts off, which is ok, because you are going to put in new toilet bolts and nuts. The flange, when brand new, is attached to the waste pipe. Many times it rusts or snaps off. Tilt the toilet on its side and move out of the way. Have a helper assist you in moving the toilet, they are heavy and bulky.
Use a putty knife to remove the wax ring residue from the exposed flange and inspect the flange and surrounding area. What is key here is if the wood subfloor is rotted. If this is the case, you will have to cut out the surrounding subfloor and replace it with new plywood, then fix the flange.
Thankfully on this home improvement project, the subfloor was fine, just the flange fell apart. Go to your hardware store and buy a Super Ring Replacement Toilet Ring. There are several models by different suppliers, don’t buy the cheapest one, its your toilet, remember…
Also at the hardware store buy new toilet mounting bolts, they usually come in a package with the nuts and washers.
Put the toilet mounting bolts in the flange pointing up, and use some wax from the old wax ring to hold them in place. Place the super ring replacement toilet ring over the waste line, making sure the mounting bolts are in the same place as the original bolts were, one bolt on each side of the flange.
Screw the new flange into the subfloor. You may have to use a hammer drill to drill through existing tile flooring or cement substrate. Set the new toilet wax ring onto the flange on the base of the toilet, and guide the toilet back onto the super ring, making sure the toilet mounting bolts are lined up with the mount holes in the toilet base. The super ring toilet ring allows for you to adjust the location of the bolts.
Press down on the toilet to seat the wax ring, wiggle the toilet back and forth to get it to set down and seal. Cut off the the bolts about 1/2″ above the toilet base. Spin on the mounting bolt nuts, and tighten them, but be careful not to over-tighten, as you will crack the porcelain toilet.
Re-attach the water supply line, turn on the water valve, flush the toilet and check for leaks.
So there you go, not as complicated as you thought. The biggest red flag is if the subfloor is rotted, because then your simple home improvement project has become a much bigger deal.