Toilets are everyone’s most prized possessions in the bathroom, and making sure they are in good condition is a top priority. If you have heard of caulking, you have most likely heard many alternating opinions surrounding the topic. If you haven’t, caulking a toilet is the sealing of the gap between the base of the toilet and the floor.
You should caulk your toilet because it prevents unpleasant smells, secures your toilet, protects from leaks, makes your bathroom look better, and is recommended by professionals. To do so properly, you will need to use a caulk gun and caulk to seal the gap between the toilet and the floor. This should be done every five years.
In this article, you will learn about all of the benefits of caulking your toilet and why it makes sense to caulk for each of them. After that, we will explain the steps and materials necessary for how you can easily caulk your very own toilet without professional help.
Why Should You Caulk Around a Toilet?
Caulking around your toilet is best for keeping it secure and properly functioning. If you value experts’ opinions and guidelines, you should not hesitate to caulk your toilet to the floor.
If you are still unsure, it is worth noting that it is required to caulk a toilet to the floor by the International Plumbing Code (IPC). There are a variety of benefits to caulking your toilet, which you can read about next.
It Prevents Smells
Simply put, caulking the base of your toilet seals the inside plumbing from the rest of your bathroom. Without this sealant, odors inside the toilet can freely escape into the rest of your bathroom, leaving an unpleasant smell.
Water from your bathroom floor can slip under your toilet if it does not have caulk, and bacteria can then begin to grow. This bacteria can multiply and send troublesome odors back out into the bathroom. Even worse, leaking urine from the outside of your toilet can get under the toilet quickly and sit in the gap, producing even more foul odors.
With this snowball in effect, you will more than likely have smells from the bacteria, urine buildup, and toilet drainage coming from under your toilet if it is not caulked to the floor. If you often notice foul smells in your bathroom and cannot identify the cause, caulking your toilet may be the easy fix you need.
It Secures Your Toilet
Have you ever noticed your toilet wobble slightly or become uneven with the floor? Caulking solves this problem and will secure your toilet in its location, preventing instability while in use.
If your toilet seems uneven on your floor, or it looks like your toilet and floor connection needs additional stability, you should caulk the base to add an extra layer of protection and strength. Using a toilet without a caulked base can end up either damaging your floor or the toilet if it moves around too much. This could result in either floor damage or a leak.
You will probably be able to notice the difference when sitting on a caulked toilet. There is much more stability and security so that you can be more comfortable. A secured toilet is critical for any bathroom, and caulking your toilet base can help.
Caulk Protects Leaks
Although some people avoid caulking their toilets because they think it covers up leaks that need to be fixed, this is merely not accurate. It protects against small leaks that can be caused by toilet movement, which possibly damages the wax seal and other components of the toilet.
Any serious leak that needs professional attention will not leak onto your bathroom floor. Instead, it will funnel down or soak into the basement or floor below where the leaking is occurring. Not caulking can surprisingly cause major leaks by leaving an unstable toilet and damaging the wax seal that secures the sewer pipe.
Any water that is coming from the base of your toilet can be prevented with caulking. These small leaks are annoying and rarely require professional help. It is usually loose water from inside the toilet that leaks onto your bathroom floor, and not a concern for a major malfunction.
It’s Better for Appearance
If a toilet is not caulked, your bathroom will look unfinished and scrappy. Caulking provides an excellent white finish at the base of your toilet to make the bathroom look sleek, streamlined, and finished.
You do not want people going into your bathroom and seeing the eyesore of a gap between your toilet and the floor. Without caulking, they may also notice a lot more embarrassing things than just the gap, like urine and trapped water.
Would you aesthetically want a crack or gap at the base of the walls in your house? If you think about it this way, you will start to notice how bad an uncaulked toilet looks.
You want your bathroom to look professional, welcoming, and most importantly, clean for yourself and your visitors. A caulked toilet aids in meeting all of those expectations.
Many States Require Caulk
As mentioned before, caulking around a toilet is required by the standards of the International Plumbing Code (IPC). Almost all states in the US abide by this code, except for some like Wisconsin.
Experts in plumbing have reviewed both the benefits and negatives of caulking a toilet and have determined that a majority of the negatives proposed are faulty. The positives of caulking, however, make complete sense for toilets around the United States.
If that did not convince you, caulking your toilet is extremely easy and you can do it with little effort this week. Enticing!
How To Caulk Your Toilet?
Caulking your toilet does not require much effort or supplies. Start by obtaining a caulk gun, which is a required tool for this project. You will also need caulk material for the gun, masking tape, and a profiler.
Some paper towels handy can help with the cleanup. You can find all of these supplies at any local hardware store and for reasonable prices.
Step 1: Ensure You’re Using the Proper Caulk
There are numerous different kinds of caulk, but making the choice of caulk for toilets is very simple. 100% silicone caulk is proven to be the best for sealing toilets. This is because silicone caulk resists water more efficiently than any other type of caulk.
Make sure to have 100% silicone caulk before starting the project. Caulk marketed as high quality is a bonus.
Step 2: Caulk Around the Floor
After getting all the right supplies, the first step is to attach your caulk bottle to your caulk gun. Next, use your caulk gun to fill the gap between the toilet and the floor. If your toilet has not been installed yet, you should caulk the perimeter of where the toilet is going to be installed.
If your toilet is already installed, use your profiler to tighten up excess caulk around the edges and validate the appearance of your toilet so that it meets your expectations. You can do as much sculpting as necessary. Congratulations! You have successfully caulked your toilet.
If your toilet is not installed, you should now have an outline of the caulk that fits your toilet at the base of the toilet installation. If you have this, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3: Place the Toilet
If you can do this without a professional’s help, you can go ahead and install the toilet and its pipelines. Line up the toilet base on the caulk you laid down, and secure the toilet in place. Make sure the caulk perfectly lines up with the caulk.
Most people who need to caulk their toilets already have their toilets installed. So, if you were just caulking the gap between your toilet and the floor, you do not need to worry about replacing your toilet on top of the caulk.
How Often To Caulk Your Toilet?
It is advised to caulk your toilet every five years to ensure a clean, stable bathroom. Signs that you need to caulk your toilet again include cracked caulk, peeling, caulk, or five years have passed since your last caulking.
After caulking your toilet, you can expect it to retain quality for five years. It may last longer depending on the bathroom and material conditions. This includes humidity levels, bathroom cleaning practices, and pre-existing mildew.
Even if there are no signs to replace the caulk beneath your toilet, doing it every five years adds an extra preventative step in making no beginning stages of damage occur. After five years, the applied caulk begins to wither and peel away from the base of the toilet, reasoning why replacement is needed.
If you have not decided already, caulking your toilet (and even toilet venting) is highly beneficial for the look, function, and cleanliness of your bathroom. Caulking can provide a transforming upgrade to your bathroom and is easy to do. If you still have doubts, ask a plumber for their opinions. They will say it is the right option for your toilets.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.