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How to Level a Toilet in 10 Simple Steps

Installing a toilet is often easy to do. It takes just a few hours of work and doesn’t take much of an effort.

But even though it is easier than it seems, sometimes it just doesn’t fit well. This happens when the floor is uneven, or the toilet is not entirely flat on the bottom.

This causes users to feel uncomfortable when using, may also cause the tank to leak, and may even cause accidents in the long term.

So, whenever you experience something like this, it means you’ll have to level the toilet. Otherwise, it will be hard to use the toilet as you usually would.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to level up a toilet in the easiest and most effective way possible. Care to learn? Then read up!

Leveling a Toilet in 10 Steps

Let’s go straight into work by giving you a straightforward guide on how to level the toilet in just 10 easy steps. Here’s how:

Things You Will Need

  • Level
  • Plastic tapered shims
  • Steel washers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Utility knife
  • Silicone caulking

Once you have these tools & materials, then you can start leveling the toilet.

1. Install the Toilet (Optional)

If you haven’t even installed the toilet in your bathroom, then you’ll have to start there.

  • We recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions on how to fix it on a flange. It usually involves adding nuts to the flange and placing the toilet over.
  • Then, screw the last nuts on the base to fix it to the floor. This will keep the toilet attached firmly to prevent any unwanted movement.
  • Once it is installed, then you can rock the toilet base until the wax ring expands and compresses, so it stays fixed.

While most toilets are similar, they may still have a few differences that you’ll need to consider. So follow the toilet’s manual before doing anything else.

2. Sit & Check the Toilet

After you’ve installed the toilet, you can proceed to check whether it is unlevelled. Here’s how:

  • You will have to sit on the toilet and rock back and forth. The focus is to sense any type of shaking or unwanted movement.
  • If the toilet moves even a little, then it means you need to level it. You can try to tighten up the nuts on the base before doing anything else. If tightening the nuts doesn’t fit the leveling issues, then you’ll need to do something else.
  • Look for gaps that tell you where the toilet needs adjustments. Then measure how leveled is the floor. And then measure the toilet itself.

By now, you should know how the toilet and the floor compare, and how you can proceed to level it up.

3. Uninstall the Toilet

To start the leveling, you’ll need to uninstall the toilet first. If you didn’t install it in the first place, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Otherwise, proceed this way:

  • Empty out any water inside the toilet (if it is the first installation, there shouldn’t be any water).
  • Then remove all the bolt caps on the toilet base. There’s usually one or two on each side.
  • With the hex nuts exposed, you can start to unscrew and get them off. Always use the adjustable wrench to do this.

Once here, it means you have the toilet separated from the floor, so it is free to fix.

4. Lift the Toilet up

This is the only way you can add the shims, washers, and/or caulking to the piece to level it up. So make sure to move the toilet away from its place of installation. Here’s how to do so:

  • If the toilet is filled with water before, you may need to place some rags below to prevent any leak or spill.
  • Then grab the toilet bowl and move it away from the flange. Make sure to remove the nuts and bolt caps and put them in a safe place before moving the toilet.
  • You can always use the help of another person to move the toilet – they can be hefty and sturdy. Place it a few feet away from the flange.

Here, you are ready to start leveling the toilet according to your needs.

5. Add the Plastic Shims

The plastic tapered shims will help you make the bolts stand better on the floor. You will have to either add one on the side that needs to get lifted or two if you need to make it taller.

Here’s how:

  • Turn the toilet sideways. You will need to have direct access to the base.
  • Place the hex nut on the base of the toilet. Then add up the plastic washers on the end of the nuts.
  • After you do that, place the toilet back on its place again and check whether it looks stable and level. If it does, then you can let it stay like that and proceed to install it.

If the toilet didn’t sit well on the floor after adding the washers, then you’ll need to install the washers as well.

6. Install the Washers

Following the same process of the installation of the shims, the washers may help to level up the toilet as well. Here’s how to install them:

  • Place the toilet sideways again. Then look for the nuts and loosen them. Remove the plastic shims and place one washer over the nut. Do the same for the nuts or just one according to the leveling needs.
  • Remember to tighten up the nuts once again. They shouldn’t let the plastic shims or the washers move at all.
  • Place the toilet once again. It should be fixed to the floor. Check for any stumbling or stability issue.

This will increase the height of the toilet. If you don’t sense any stability issue here, then you’ve successfully leveled the toilet.

7. Retighten the Nuts

If the shims and/or washers fixed the issue, then you will need to retighten the nuts again. This will set the toilet firmly to the floor.

  • Use the adjustable wrench to adjust the hex nut firmly. Make sure they are tightened and don’t move at all.
  • Finish by placing the bolt caps over to secure them.

This should keep the toilet stable and level. It is almost ready to use.

8. Check the Stability

Make a stability test before assembling the toilet once and for all. Make sure there’s no rocking so you can sit comfortably and without problems every time.

  • Sit and rock back and forth. Make sure the toilet doesn’t move at all. If it does, then you’ll need to repeat step six (6).

If the toilet doesn’t move, then you’re ready to re-install it.

9. Assemble the Toilet

Now, you will need to assemble everything on the toilet. This means adding the water supply line, the tank, and placing everything together.

  • Place the tank on its place. Remember to connect it correctly.
  • Install the supply lines. Let the water fill the tank and then flush.
  • After making sure that it flushes well, you will need to apply the caulking. This will fix the toilet to the floor and prevent any leak (if there’s any).
  • Proceed by spreading the caulk around the base of the toilet and then smoothing it with your finger or scraper. Let the caulk dry for a few hours, and then you’re done.

You are now ready to use your toilet.

10. Make a Final Check to Finish

The whole focus of checking for a final time is making sure that everything is finally right.

  • Here, you will only need to sit on the toilet and check whether it moves to any side.
  • Also, remember to use the level once again to check how the toilet and floor differ. They should vary just a little, but the toilet should feel appropriately adjusted to the floor.

If everything looks and feels right, then you’ve successfully fixed your unleveled toilet.

Level Your Toilet Now!

As you see, this process can take a little more work than expected. But with the right steps, you won’t have any problem.

Follow our advice, and you’ll be able to level a toilet in no time. Leveling your toilet has never been so easy.

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