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How to Fix a Toilet Flange

If your toilet wobbles, has a leak, or if you smell sewer gas in your bathroom, you may have a broken flange.


  • Step 1: Remove old flange Remove the old flange by breaking it away from the drainpipe, or closet bend, with a small sledgehammer and a cold chisel. The flange is made of cast iron, so it will break away fairly easily. Once it's broken, pry it up and out with a pry bar.
  • TIP: Be careful not to damage the closet bend when you're removing the flange.
  • Step 2: Fit new flange over closet bend Set the new flange over the closet bend and mark any spots on the floor where it doesn't lay flush. Remove the new flange and use the hammer and chisel again to break away the parts of the floor you marked. If the flange doesn't sit flush with the floor, the toilet will wobble.
  • Step 3: Install rubber gasket and brass ring Fit the rubber gasket between the inside of the flange and the closet bend, tapered edge down. Then fit the brass ring over the rubber gasket, tapping it into place with the hammer.
  • Step 4: Tighten the flange Use the socket wrench to tighten the bolts connecting the brass ring to the flange and securing it to the floor.
  • TIP: Tighten the bolts a little bit at a time to evenly force the rubber gasket downward.
  • Step 5: Insert closet bolts and wax ring Insert closet bolts into the slots on either side of the flange. Then press a new wax ring over the flange to prevent water and sewer gas from leaking out.
  • Step 6: Replace the toilet Set the toilet on top of the flange, making sure the closet bolts line up with and come through the holes in the base of the toilet. Put a white plastic base, a brass washer, and a hex nut onto each bolt, tightening the nuts with your socket wrench.
  • Step 7: Attach plastic bolt covers Snap the plastic covers over the exposed closet bolts, reconnect the water supply, and flush the toilet to inspect it for leaks. Try to wiggle the toilet. If it wobbles, carefully tighten the closet bolts a little more. After making sure the toilet is sturdy, you'll be able to sit securely without worrying about leaks or sewer gas.
  • FACT: Toilet paper on a roll wasn't introduced until 1880.

You Will Need

  • Small sledgehammer
  • Closet chisel
  • Pry bar
  • New flange
  • Socket wrench
  • Closet bolts
  • Wax ring
  • White plastic bases
  • Brass washers
  • Hex nuts
  • Plastic bolt covers

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