Does the Toilet Flange Go on Top of the Tile?

The most important factor to keep in mind while arranging your bathroom setting is functionality. You should always choose the option with the best functionality regardless of the aesthetic.

While installing tiles, if you wonder whether the toilet flange goes on top of the tile, yes it does. Installing toilet flanges can get tricky sometimes as every option has pros and cons. But the best positioning would be to rest it on top of the finished bathroom floor tiles. Placing the toilet flange underneath the tiles could cause drainage issues or leaks.

In this article, I’m going to discuss everything you need to know about installing toilet flanges in detail. Go through the full article to find the information that you desire.


In my experience, I have found it to be more convenient when the flange is placed on top of the bathroom tiles. But you can only place it once the flooring is done completely. The bottom edge of the flange and the toilet floor needs to be on the same plane.

Then the toilet bowls are placed on top of the toilet flanges with a wax ring. This wax ring connects with the lower-level piping and seals the entire system. This way no risk of leakage occurs.

Some people often decide to set their toilet flanges before the tiling is done which can be a rather risky move. One wrong turn of events and your whole bathroom could be flooded with water, ruining all of your hard work.

Another downside to placing the toilet flange below floor tiles is the lack of stability. The toilet is simply more sturdy and stable when it is placed on top of evenly laid-out tiles.

While setting the toilet flange in place, you should leave a gap of about a quarter of an inch between the flange bottom and the tiles. Then secure it in its place through bolts and make sure to connect it to the underground piping.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Toilet flange
  • Toilet flange screws
  • Speed drilling machine
  • Carbide or diamond drill bits
  • Screwdriver and attachments
  • Rust-proof screws
  • Cooling oil or lubricants
  • Pencil or marker to point

Installing New Toilet Flange on Top of Tile

Installing New Toilet Flange

Installing an entire toilet flange on your own can seem a little overwhelming at first. So, if you don’t have much experience in this area, it would be better to contact a professional mechanic or handyman.

However, if you are confident that you can do it, just follow through with the detailed step-by-step procedure and you will be done in no time.

Step 1: Clean the Place

Clean the surrounding area where the flange will be set. Remove any debris or dirt from the place. Next, clean the toilet flange thoroughly. Wipe it with a rag soaked in a mineral spirit.

Use a vacuum cleaner to make sure the place is squeaky clean. You can even use an acetone-based cleaner if you want. Brush the inside of the pipe and the flange with the cleaner thoroughly.

Be sure to use a mask while doing it and keep the place ventilated.

Read Also: How to Remove Stains from Tiles

Step 2: Use Silicon

This step is a must to seal the toilet with the flange perfectly. There are different types of silicon available. But it would be best to use the mold-free kind for any toilet setting.

You can easily find it in your nearby Home Depot store. It’s important to apply silicon, especially in places that are not sealed by grouting. You can skip the areas that are grouted if you want.

Next, take a scraper and remove any excess silicon. Then you can leave it for a while to dry.

Step 3: Take the Flange

Take the toilet flange and place it over the tile where you want to set it. your toilet flange must match the size of the pipe. Otherwise, it won’t be a perfect fit.

Remember to ensure that the holes on the back of the flange are parallel to the wall. Now that you have put the flange in its place, grab a pencil or a marker and mark the place where you would make the drill holes.

These would come in handy when you are going to make drill holes in the tiles.

Step 4: Use Glue

Next, brush a liberal amount of glue all around the inside of the flange. Brush the inside of the pipe opening too. This will hold the flange in its place and seal the connection.

Step 5: Push Flange Inside Pipe

Now all you have to do is to take the flange and place it over the pipe. Twist and turn it a bit to secure its position.

Firmly press and hold it down for a while to make sure it is placed properly. You can now leave the flange for 30-40 minutes for the glue to dry.

After you have pushed down the flange into the drain opening, place T-bolts in the marked hole places as reference points for positioning.

Step 6: Measure the Area

Use a measuring tape to make sure both bolts are equally distanced from the nearby wall. This will help you to ensure that the toilet tank will be parallel to the wall.

Before the flange is secured in its place permanently, move it around a bit to find the position where it fits the best. There should not be any gaps left between the joining area.

Read Also: Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring in Small Bathroom

How to Drill Hole in Tile?

Now that the flange is in its position and the drill holes have been marked, it’s time to go on with the drilling. Depending on the type of toilet flange, it would take 4-6 evenly spaced holes around it.

A minimum of 4 holes is necessary to secure the flange and completely anchor it down to the floor. Now, before you start drilling, you will have to dip it inside the cooling oil. This oil would help to keep down the temperature produced while drilling.

Whenever you see your drill getting too hot or creating smoke, dip it instantly in the cooling oil. Now start drilling the ¼-inch carbide or diamond drill bits at a low speed straight down the tiles.

Use a hammer drill to bore 4-6 equidistant holes. Once you think you have gotten the grip, you can increase the speed a little. But be careful not to use a high speed as it could break the tiles in the process.

When all the holes are made, install the screws in place. These screws will provide stability to the toilet flange. Next, you’ll need to take out the drill bits and place the screwdriver attachments in their place.

Position the screws through the tiles in their place to secure the flange to the bathroom floor. If you have successfully completed all the steps up to this, congratulations! You just installed a toilet flange all on your own.

How to Set the Flange Properly?

Once you have installed your toilet flange, you can go forward and set it in its place. Check the flange height, and tighten the bolts and screws. There should not be too much gap between the flange and the floor.

The adequate amount would be about a gap of ¼ inch. This gap allows you to install any wax ring of your choice. The next thing you’ll need to do is to choose a wax ring of the appropriate size.

Place the wax ring above the flange and not directly above the floor. Then pick up the toilet and place it over the wax ring carefully. Wax rings provide an odor-proof seal.

But don’t be tempted to stack two wax rings together as it will only result in causing leakage. After you are done installing the ring, secure all the bolts and screws and make sure they don’t come out easily.

Now all you have left to do is clean the surrounding area thoroughly and you are done setting your toilet flange.

Do You Buy the Plastic Flanges?

The material of the flange depends on the pipe that your bathroom has. If you have a PVC pipe connection, choose a PVC flange. For a cast iron pipe connection, go with a cast iron flange.

However, you should stop yourself from buying plastic flanges if other options are available. Once plastic flanges are glued to the drainage pipe, it is impossible to change in the future without breaking them apart.

So, you can’t reuse them and have to buy a new one each time you need a repair.

What happens if the toilet flange is lower than the floor?

Toilet flanges that are lower than the bathroom floor create leak paths after a while. You will notice water leaking between the tile and the subfloor. To remedy this, you can install a flange extender.

It will bring the toilet flange to the same level as the bathroom floor and stop the leaking. Just install your toilet flange over the finished bathroom tile to avoid this unwanted situation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is Better Toilet Wax Ring or Rubber?

The choice of going with a wax ring or a wax-free one depends on the user. Some people prefer wax rings as they are pretty durable and economic. But the specially designed rings with rubber gaskets are about 3 times stronger than the normal ones.

These are super easy to install and are less messy. Traditional wax rings are a wonderful option if you’re looking for something to seal the toilet flange. They are pretty cheap and easy to install.

If installed correctly, they can serve you for a long time. So, you can use either of them according to your comfort.

Does the Toilet Flange Go Inside or Outside the Pipe?

The extended part of the flange goes inside the drainage pipe. These two are then joined together by bolts or welding. The main use of the flange is to connect to the pipe system and prevent any sort of leakage.

Flanges are usually threaded or welded. You can even connect two flanges together if you want to. Flanges can be bolted together with a gasket. This will provide a better seal and give easy access to the piping system.

Can Plunging the Toilet Damage the Wax Ring?

Plunging too hard can damage the wax ring permanently. Oftentimes homeowners plunge down the toilet too hard to get rid of clogging.

This hard thrust can directly hit the wax seal between the toilet and the floor and break it. breaking the wax ring will result in leakage in your toilet. Plunging can also harm and crack the flange bolts and the drainage pipe.

How Far from the Wall do You Put a Toilet Flange?

The standard distance between the drywall and the toilet flange should be 12 inches. Plumbers often encourage providing a 15-15.5 inches gap between the wall and the flange.

But a minimum of a 12-inch gap from the wall, vanity, shower, or tub must be maintained to accommodate the toilet flange.

Wrap Up

I hope this article provided you with all the information you were looking for. Don’t forget to be careful while you’re attempting to install a toilet flange. In case you find it too overwhelming, remember that there’s no shame in calling for professional help.

There are mechanics out there who will do your work for you exactly how you want. So, if you find yourself in a tough position, just call for help.

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