Should You Caulk Around Toilet Base?

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Everybody dreams of having their own home someday. That is why when you finally purchase your own home, it is but natural to make sure that every area in your home has the right fixtures and works efficiently.

Aside from your living room, bedroom or kitchen area, your bathroom should be given special attention so that there won’t be any problems in the future. If your toilet is not constructed properly, then you might end up spending a lot of money on repairs.

Most of the common problems that occur in the toilet are a clogged toilet, water leaks from the faucet, leaks from the water tank, and even leaky seals on the toilet.

One of the most common problem-solvers being done in the toilet area is caulking. Caulking around the base of your toilet is done in order to conceal the gap between the toilet floor and the base. This is usually done for aesthetic purposes and also to prevent odors from leaking.

There have been a lot of debates from building inspectors and professional plumbers as to whether this is a reliable method or not.

However, both arguments have a point and should be considered. At the end of the day, the owner of the house or building will have the last say whether or not should you caulk around toilet base.

The Pros

Aesthetic purposes

Of course, making your bathroom look good is one way to see it as an advantage. Many expert builders agree that caulking will make your toilet look attractive, especially those that have colored toilets and toilet floors. The base will look much better if there are no visible cracks or seams, making it look smoother and much more pleasing to the eye.

Caulking prevents bad odor

Bathrooms, especially, the toilet area, can easily trap foul smells. Toilets that are not caulked properly may find their bathroom emitting a bad smell from leftover water that comes from smelly mops, water tubs or even the remnant of people who used the toilet.

Prevention of moisture

Caulking around the base of your toilet will help to keep toilet water from creeping out which emits a lot of moisture, hence making your bathroom smell awful. Moisture build up can also damage the base of the floor, which is why if your toilet is caulked, less damage will occur in case of bathroom flooding or a damaged sink.

Keeps your toilet safe and secure

Professionals believe that caulking helps make your toilet secure, stable and safe, especially if your toilet keeps moving. It lessens the chance of toilet malfunction or injury.

If your toilet is placed on an uneven surface, sealing it properly can be difficult. Your toilet can become loose over time which can result in the wax seal breaking and eventually leaking. Caulking will help fix this problem.

Following the plumbing codes

There are actually required plumbing codes regarding caulking. One is the International Plumbing Code (2012 Edition) and the Uniform Plumbing Code (2009 Edition).

However, these codes are not always followed, but home inspectors will suggest that they are needed for home repairs. These plumbing codes are still the object of debate among professional builders and plumbers, hence there is nothing wrong in checking them out for safety and compliance.

The Cons

Harder to repair toilet leaks

When you caulk the base of your toilet, it means that there is an extra barrier that needs to be broken through just to be able to repair or look into leaks in the toilet.

This will not only take a lot of time but may be expensive as well. If caulking is removed improperly, then more damage may occur such as destroying the toilet floor or even the toilet itself.

Leaks are harder to detect

One of the greatest problems that some professional plumbers point out as to why they disagree with caulking is the detection of water leaks. Since extra barriers are placed on the surface of the toilet, it is harder for owners to notice if there was a leak in the first place.

It may start as a small leak and will become bigger as it comes unnoticed. Once the leak becomes bigger, this is the only time that a leak becomes noticeable. Hence more expense and more work are needed to be done in order to fix the leak.

What is the better route?

When it comes to caulking, there is no right or wrong answer as both pros and cons pose reasonable arguments. While it seems that caulking can be very advantageous for some, it will always depend on whether your house needs it. Not all structures or houses have the same condition so they must be treated differently.

If one toilet finds that caulking has been very effective, it may not be the case for other toilets. Before deciding whether you should caulk around toilet base, here are some considerations that should be asked:

  • Is the bathroom prone to flooding?
  • Are there uneven spaces or surfaces?
  • Do you want your toilet to look good or appealing?
  • If you want the base of your toilet caulked, should a small gap be left out in order to detect leaks immediately

If you decide to do your own toilet caulk then here are some simple and useful tips on how to caulk:

  • Remove and clean any old caulk first and then clean the base of the toilet.
  • Make an outline on the toilet floor using masking tape. Remove the toilet and turn it on its side.
  • Measure the depth of the edge of the bowl where you will glue it.
  • Using your caulking gun, apply caulk directly to the floor as you follow the tape.
  • Place the wax ring then lower the toilet back to its position.
  • Press and compress the wax ring to ensure the caulk is in good contact with the ring.
  • Clean excess caulk that oozes out.

The key to having a good caulk is correctly sealing the floor and toilet to avoid leaks and an unstable toilet.

Read also: How to Unclog Toilets: Quick and Easy Methods?

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