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Toilet flange bolts epoxied in place prior to previous tile work

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  • Toilet flange bolts epoxied in place prior to previous tile work

    Pardon my novice attitude, but it is as follows: Anyone who does something during an installation which makes it unreasonably complex to maintain is an idiot.

    My situation is that the toilet tank cracked on one of our toilets. I decided I didn't really like the black toilet in a light beige bathroom in the first place so I bought a new toilet and took out some of my frustrations on the old one once it had been removed.

    Now I have discovered that the bolts which held the old toilet to the floor for 39 years were epoxied into the flange prior to the tile being installed and they are somewhat thinner than when originally installed due to corrosion. The threads on the bolts are intact but the nuts from the new bolt kit I purchased simply slide right over the threads.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to resolve this issue that hopefully does not require removing the tile floor, cutting off and replacing the flange, or anything else a non-plumber might have challenges with due to not having the correct tools at hand?

    Thank you in advance,


  • #2
    Find a nut that fits Snugglekitten, unless the bolts are too corroded you might be able to find somethings that works. The bolts should be bronze so they shouldn't be too bad off.


    • #3
      Well, maybe I'm not completely understanding your situation but based on this statement in your post..."The threads on the bolts are intact but the nuts from the new bolt kit I purchased simply slide right over the threads."....the simplest solution would seem to be to buy some nuts that fit the existing threads.

      There is more than one size of toilet mounting bolt packages. You may just have the wrong size nuts. Get a few brass ones of varying sizes along with washers and your issue may be solved.

      Again, if I'm understanding you correctly.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Well, I had hoped to be able to replace the bolts until I realised the bolts aren't actually there to hold the toilet to the floor. Gravity manages that just fine. They're there to keep the toilet from moving when someone sits on the toilet. They prevent the seal from leaking/being destroyed from horizontal movement or rocking.
        I used a thread gauge and found out the bolts are 1/4"-20/course so I bought some of those in brass and they threaded on perfectly. I rocked the toilet back and forth and used a screwdriver-style nut driver to ensure I didn't over-tighten them. I then moved all my tools away from the toilet, turned the water on (I did successfully replace the turn-a-million-times water valve with a 1/4 turn valve with no leaks! Yeah!) and the toilet filled without leaks. I then flushed it and there were no leaks.
        I also found the studs behind the toilet and mounted some tank supports as there is a 6" gap between the back of the tank and the wall - the old toilet had a HUGE tank - to prevent the tank from snapping off if a large person relaxed against the tank. I don't know how important this was, having never replaced a toilet before.
        How important is it to caulk around the front of the toilet and the floor?


        • #5
          And thank you, by the way, for the timely replies!


          • #6
            Caulking is required now by most codes to my understanding as a benefit to sanitation of that area although there have been thousands, maybe millions, installed without caulk.

            Another benefit is that it definitely helps hold the toilet in place easing stress on bolts.

            I always caulk but typically leave the back curve un-caulked in case a wax seal is compromised there is a chance that water can come out and be noticed before any structural damage can occur.


            • #7
              Out of curiosity, you mentioned that there is 6" gap behind the tank? What is the measurements from the center of the flange to the wall? Normal is 12" yours sounds like it's 17"?

              Yes, caulking is required for sanitary reasons, but it also helps secure the China to the floor and prevent movement and rocking.

              phoebe it is


              • #8
                The last couple of times I've changed out the commode, I've used unsanded grout but like Bobsplumbing said leave a gap in the back.
                But it can be sort of a pain later.