To Caulk Or Not To Caulk: How should you treat your toilet base?

Blog submitted by MyHoneyDoList in Edmonton

You might not think this is a question you should ask, but actually, you absolutely should! Making the wrong decision on this today could cost $$$ later on. Here’s why: when installing a toilet, it’s fairly easy to mess up the seal created by a standard wax ring. And when that happens, you’ll know fairly quickly that you have a problem – either by seeing leakage at the NOT-CAULKED base or by pesky odours floating around that just won’t go no matter how much you clean. Now you might think, “Who would want that?” but hear me out. As an experienced handyman in Edmonton, I can tell you that the alternative is MUCH worse…

Dangers of caulking your toilet

You see, these leaks and/or odours TELL you that you have a problem, and the fix for it is super easy and cheap: remove the toilet and set it back down with a much better seal like the “Danco Perfect Seal.”

Undetectable leaks

But if your toilet base is caulked all around and looking super pretty, the water that leaks from your seal gets trapped under it. And over the next few years, this will seep into your subfloor and cause serious structural and other problems – like dripping sewer water through the ceiling of the room below… Ugh!

Extensive water damage

So now the cost of fixing this has gone up exponentially! Instead of just replacing the wax seal, you’ll find yourself having to fix the subfloor (maybe from under if the damage isn’t too bad, but you’ll more likely have to redo the finished floor of the entire bathroom if you can’t match the existing floor with identical materials). And then you’ll still have to fix the textured ceiling in the room below the washroom – a very pricey endeavour… So you’ll be looking at a few thousand dollars in damage instead of a few hundred… Is that worth the risk of caulking your toilet base, so it looks pretty?

Drawbacks of not caulking your toilet

Now here’s the thing: NOT caulking also has its drawbacks, especially with males around the household whose aim is at times less than 100% perfect… Because of the round edges at the bottom of all porcelain toilet bases, any mishaps will be drawn under the bowl by surface tension.

There’ll never be enough pooling under there from occasional mishaps to cause the kind of damage that a poor wax seal would do, but that sitting urine pool will definitely leave a bit of a smell. So you could easily fix that bit by regularly spraying the area with a product like “Zero Odour Eliminator.”

The Half-and-Half approach

Or better yet, you could take a Half & Half approach:

If you feel you MUST caulk your toilet base, only do the front and sides (no further back than the holding bolts). By leaving the rest of the base uncaulked, you’ll create a path for gases and water from a breached wax seal that will allow you to discover that problem way earlier than it would have been otherwise had you caulked the whole base. And you’ll still have a pretty caulked line at the front to stop all but the most insane “mishaps” from getting under the base.

If you have questions, connect with your knowledgeable Edmonton handyman service.

Trust MyHoneyDoList – You’ll be glad you did!

So when you see your handyman caulking only half the base of your toilet, don’t think he’s doing only half the job: thank him for demonstrating his expertise by doing a better job than the average Joe. Cheers!!!



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