bathroom where a toilet is on a raised platform

Why is My Toilet on a Raised Platform?

Is there a toilet that sits on a raised platform in your home? Most of these are found in basements and older houses. There are different reasons, including plumbing issues, why one of your toilets is built on a raised area as compared to the rest of the floor. Let’s explore what these reasons are and what the correct fix is! 

Your toilet is built on a raised platform due to the flange being too high. In usual circumstances, the flange is flush with the floor level, so the toilet sits on a level with the floor. When the flange is even an inch higher, a platform has to be built to place the toilet properly to avoid rocking and leaks. 

Toilets on raised platforms are usually found in the basement or older homes. If you encounter one in your home and think about a renovation, you need to fix the plumbing. There are two ways of fixing your plumbing and leveling your toilet with the floor. Let’s explore these in detail but before that, let’s look at the question at hand in more detail:

toilet on a raised platform
Image from Boldt’s Home Improvement

Why is my Toilet on a Raised Platform? 

A toilet flange is a circular component with holes that connect the toilet to the sewage line. Bolts are inserted in the holes to secure it and ensure the toilet doesn’t leak. 

If your plumbing is on the floor level, your flange will have to be installed above it. A too high flange can result in a toilet seat that rocks back and forth and several leakages. 

To avoid this problem, plumbers usually build a raised platform around the pipe and flange to accommodate the height difference and ensure no leaks before installing the toilet. 

How to Fix a Toilet on a Raised Platform

If the raised platform situation bothers you, don’t worry, it’s not impossible to rectify. There are three ways to install a toilet in a bathroom with plumbing at floor level without building a separate platform. 

toilet removed on a raised platform
Image from Fitz Tile and Stone Masonry

Raise the Entire Bathroom Floor

One very obvious way to avoid raising a part of the bathroom for the toilet is to raise the entire floor of the bathroom instead. We will say that this is the most extensive and expensive solution for this problem. It will suit you best if you are already looking to remodel the whole bathroom. 

Here are the steps you need to take: 

  • Remove your toilet 
  • Remove other bathroom fixtures like the sink and bathtub 
  • Measure the flange’s height above the floor 
  • Buy tiles or any other bathroom flooring material that has the same thickness as the height of the flange
  • Remove all the old flooring 
  • Install new flooring 
  • Re-install your toilet and fixtures

Replace Your Flange 

It’s the high flange causing all the problems, yes? Well, why not just replace it? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow: 

toilet flange removed

Step 1 – Remove the outer part of the flange.

The first step here is to remove your toilet. After that, you will need to break the existing flange part. Use a chisel and a hammer to do this. You can achieve this with a speed drill too. 

Step 2 – Remove the inner part of the flange. 

You will now need to place two scoring cuts within an inch of each other on either side of the inner side of the flange inside the pipe. Once the cuts are made, you can pop the fitting out easily. It will probably come out in small pieces. 

Step 3 – Grind down the pipe. 

Once you have the inner fitting and the outer part of the flange removed, you will now need a good PVC saw to grind the pipe below floor level. 

Step 4 – Insert a new flange 

Once you have ground the pipe to be flush with the floor, the next step is to insert the new flange. Use the twist and set kind of flanges as they’re super easy to install and secure nicely by going a few inches deeper in the pipe than normal flanges. 

Step 5 – Fix the toilet

To fix the toilet, drill four pilot holes on the floor and then fit your toilet using screws and caulk. 

man applying caulk in the toilet
Image from Anytime Plumbing Services Inc

Use Grout to Fill Gaps 

The last option is to use grout to fill the gap between the toilet base and the floor. This can be a handy solution if the gap is minimal. Here is how to use grout: 

Step 1 – Mix your grout

You’ll need to mix your grout to begin. You don’t necessarily need to follow the instructions on the packet. Take a small container and use a 6:1 ratio to mix grout with water. This is enough for this kind of project. 

Step 2 – Place toilet 

Now place the toilet on the flange and use rubber shims to keep the toilet from moving while you are applying the grout around the toilet base. 

Step 3 – Pack the grout

Take your grout and pack it in the gap between the floor and the toilet base. Let this dry for 24 hours at least. 

Step 4 – Remove the rubber shims 

Once the grout has dried off, it’s time you remove the shims. After removing the shims, add grout to the gaps left by the shims. Make sure you do this at an inward angle to secure the toilet.

Step 5 – Secure the toilet

The last step is to tighten the nuts and secure your toilet. 

You should keep adding some water to the grout during this process as it gets dry. This will make working with it much easier for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

blue toilet flange it the bathroom

1. What does a toilet flange do? 

A toilet flange is a pipe connecting your toilet to the sewage system. Its main job is to mount the toilet onto the floor securely. If it doesn’t fit correctly with the pipe or the toilet, you can experience leakages. 

      2. Can you use shims with a toilet flange? 

If a toilet is installed above the ground or an uneven surface, the rubber shims can be used to level it. This will prevent the toilet from rocking and wobbling. Remember that this is a temporary solution. You will need to use grout to fill the gaps, replace the flange too high, or re-do your flooring. 

two wax rings installed

       3. Can you install a toilet with two wax rings?

You can install a toilet with two wax rings to prevent leakages. This is especially applicable in the case of bathroom flooring that is thick, for example, tiled flooring. 

Final Thoughts 

Toilets installed on raised platforms are normally found in old houses and basements. They can look very awkward, and, naturally, you want them to be level with the floor. Following the fixes we’ve laid out for you above can help you fix this issue. 

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