QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK January 19 - Time to win STUFF

The wax ring is to seal between the fixture outlet (toilet discharge point) and flange at the floor to prevent leakage. And I will ask the question again since you are avoiding answering it. For the benefit of the members education please provide the standard, industry or otherwise, that states you never seal around the base of a toilet where it contacts the floor.

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Caulk around and leave an inch or so gap at the back, so if there’s a leak with the wax seal, you’ll see signs of it. Sealing around helps keep the dribbles/misses/etc from getting in under the toilet where it can’t be sanitized.

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I thought you just. dropped yours in the water, Junior…that’s what I heard anyway. :rofl:


Well! You know…

No, I do not know! That’s what I HEARD! :crazy_face: :rofl: :flushed:

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Since Roy has chosen not to provide his professional guidance we will address this item for the benefit of the members.

To begin with the choice to follow proper installation requirements of sealing the base of the water closet (toilet from hence forth) to the floor surface has been a contentious issue for many years. Some say do, some say don’t, and some say leave a gap in the rear to allow for detecting a leak if one occurs. Keep in mind that without a doubt (at least in my minds eye) the nastiest, dirtiest, most germ ridden place, and to some degree susceptibility to water penetrations is the bathroom!

The guidance for installations is clear to me that the entire joint of the toilet to the floor below will be sealed. Each Inspector out there will need to make the choice if they will call out a toilet that has not been provided a watertight seal at its base where it contacts the floor. Since we certainly can not typically see if the installer used any other type of sealing method at the base I will always in the interest of sanitation and safety for the structure call it out.

Next it is important to understand that a functioning toilet (and wax ring) that has been properly installed, on a properly constructed surface, that has been properly maintained and not abused is relatively rare to leak. Relative to the huge number of toilets installed and out there that have all been properly installed. Wax ring failures are generally caused by improper placement of the wax ring and/or damage as it is being placed (improper installation) or movement of the toilet (improper installation, improper maintenance when flange bolts loosen, abuse of the toilet, and/or improper surface it is being installed on). A lot of that you can typically see during an inspection. I replaced two toilets recently in my own house that were original 18+ years old. When I pulled them there was no sign of leakage, the wax rings were in such great shape it surprised me.

So what standards do we have that state it must be sealed? First you can look to the toilet manufacturer themselves. For example if you look at the installation requirements for a popular Kohler toilet the very first line is the manufacturer telling you to do it.

Observe all local plumbing and building codes.

Typically if they don’t tell you specifically in their instructions it is on their site of best practices or hidden in the warranty terms.

So what are the codes? Marcel pointed it above in the IRC P2705.1. That requirement has been around since at least the 2000 code cycle. If you look at other standards such as the Uniform Plumbing Code this requirement has been around in the oldest version of the UPC I can find that is 1995, Section 406.8. It has since shifted in the UPC to 408.2 (2000 UPC), then 407.2, and by now most likely another section shift but it all says the same in one version to the next.

407.2 Joints. Where a fixture comes in contact with the wall or floor, the joint between the fixture and the wall or floor shall be made water-tight.

Uh Oh here we go “But we’re not Code Inspectors”! Maybe not but where do you think most if not all of those safety and sanitation calls come from that you use on your inspections? Why the standards and codes of course! BTW the UPC is not only a set of standards but also the certification used by most all plumbing manufacturer’s for their products including toilets. You can read about the UPC and the UPC certification at the IAPMO WEB site. IAPMO sets the standards for these things including installation. Many years ago IAPMO created The UPC Interpretations Manual and a 2000 request for interpretations was provided by them regarding this very situation. This was their response in 2000.

Subject: Fixture Caulking
Section: 408.2
Refer: UPC, 2000 Edition
Last Review: 2000 IAPMO UPC Interpretations Committee


  1. Where a wall-hung lavatory abuts a smooth non-porous wall, does the joint require caulking?

  2. Does a floor-mounted water closet require caulking around the base at the perimeter intersection with the floor?

Answer: The answer to both questions is yes. Section 408.2 refers to those parts of the perimeter of any fixed plumbing fixture which make contact with either a wall or a floor and are normally subject to splash or wetting. This universally applied sanitary concept is also intended to prevent structural damage from water penetration.

As you can see even IAPMO determined that the protection of the structure and proper sanitation required sealing that toilet to the floor. So do you leave the toilet base without sealant to detect a wax ring failure that may never happen (if proper conditions were met)? Or do you seal the base to prevent unsanitary conditions and/or structural damage that will happen if you allow water and debris to enter under the toilet?

Each of us will need to decide how we will approach this during an inspection but I know I’ll write up missing sealant every time I encounter it!

You are a piece of work… Look at how you use WE.
Who do you think you are the inspector GOD?
I’m not going to be prodded by you. You have a self deserving tone to your post.
You appear to have a selfish need to be seen and heard.
You can do what the hell you want. I don’t give a shit!
I will continue to leave an opening at the back of the toilet.
Below is what I posted and you go on a wild tangent…

PS: Maybe we need to talk on the phone to get to know each other better…

Me too! When I replaced my main floor toilet in 2019, I switched to the waxless seal. :slight_smile:

I help my son-in-law repair his toilet and when we cut the seal nasty water came poring out.
I built his home and I sealed all around it. I will never do that again…despite code.
I believe there needs to be a weep .

I agree, I’d rather catch it sooner than later.

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I have already asked and will ask again. For the benefit of the members education please provide the standard, industry or otherwise, that states you never seal around the base of a toilet where it contacts the floor.

Here you are with your shit again. That straw man tacit doesn’t work on me.
I never said anything about code… I said I will have a weep hole somewhere at the toilet base…And I will !
I totally believe it. So! now it is mote with me.

Very well then. You are either unable to or there are none. So we will end it there.

Not there , but here.
Thank you!

Gentlemen, I suggest if you assembled 10 contractors in a room and brought up the proper way to set a water closet You would end up with this very same argument. There is merit to both opinions and as a retired contractor I have to say I personally flip flopped a number of times over the 40 years or so I worked in peoples homes. The home I currently live in is about 18 months old and has no sealant around the toilet bases. I didn’t know this until I just went and looked after reading this thread. The one I will be installing in the basement will be sealed with caulk or grout depending on the type of flooring the Boss picks out. When on an inspection I look to see if a toilet flushes properly,has any indication of leaking or is loose in it’s attachment to the floor. I can’t recall on ever commenting on whether there was caulk at the base. Just one more opinion…


Mine are not caulked either because they are colored fixtures and no way was I going to order special colored caulk and you don’t want to use white, your wife will make you take it out. LOL

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You’ve met the commander ?

My toilets are caulked at front and sides, the rear is not caulked. I used a clear caulk because a white caulk would discolour in time. I don’t see what caulking would do to a pedestal sink as its rear is usually open.


Manny is correct as far as the code goes…
I just choose to do otherwise when caulking the toilet base.

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