There’s been some debate about whether or not you should caulk your toilet. Some say yes. Some say it’s not worth it. So which is it?
You should caulk around the bottom of your toilet. There are two reasons why this is important: it keeps your toilet secure, and it prevents water or other less pleasant liquids from getting underneath the toilet.
Let’s take a closer look at why using caulk on your toilet is important.
Reasons to Caulk Around a Toilet
Secures the Toilet in Place
Using caulk will secure the toilet to the floor. The last thing you want to worry about is a loose toilet when you’re in your bathroom. Not only can it get dangerous, but it could cause more damage to the floor and toilet.
If your toilet is caulked to the floor, it adds a level of security to your toilet. Not to mention, it’s required to have your toilet secured to the floor in order for your home to be up to code.
According to the International Plumbing Code, joints around a fixture that connects with a floor need to be sealed. The Uniform Plumbing Code also stated in 2009 that joints that connect the floor to a fixture need to be water-proofed.
Based on these regulations, it’s highly suggested that you secure your toilet to the floor in some way. However, you may want to check with your location to see what the exact requirements are in order to pass inspection in your area.
Prevents Mold and Odors
Whether it’s water from your mop or fluid from a less pleasant source, liquids that get trapped under the rim of your toilet can be a problem. Once it’s there, it’s just about impossible to get out.
Not only is it difficult to clean up, but it can create mold and foul-smelling odors. Using caulk will seal that gap off and prevent any liquids from getting trapped there.
Some people will keep an inch or so in the back of the toilet uncaulked. This is meant to be an area for water to escape should a leak become present.
Keeps Out the Bugs
Bugs love to find difficult to reach places to make their homes. The gap under your toilet is no different. It’s a perfect hiding place for ants, water bugs (sometimes called cockroaches), and other little critters that you might find in your home.
Using caulk around the base of your toilet will seal it off and prevent them from finding shelter there.
Don’t Caulk to Cure a Leaky Toilet
If your toilet is already leaking, don’t use caulk to “fix” it. Caulk won’t stop the leak and could actually create more problems for you later on. Caulk will trap the water from the leak and potentially damage the floor around the wax seal at the bottom of the toilet.
If this happens, you’ll likely end up needing to do a massive repair on your bathroom, which could involve replacing the toilet itself as well as the floor.
So, if your toilet has a leak, fix it before you caulk the gap on the floor.
Should You Use White or Clear Caulk?
The most important thing to remember when choosing the right caulk for your toilet is that it should be 100% silicone.
Silicone works as a water and moisture repellent, which makes it perfect for a bathroom. It won’t dissolve or disintegrate when it’s hit with water like non-silicone caulks will. This means you won’t have to worry about the water from your mop, ruining the seal around your toilet.
Now, the question many people struggle to find an answer for is whether to use white or clear caulk. The answer is that it’s pretty much up to personal preference. Many say to use a color that is close to the color of your toilet. Others say to match the floor.
However, if you use a clear caulk, it will blend in with the color underneath. Many suggest using the clear for this reason. You also won’t risk the yellowing that can sometimes occur in aging white caulk.
Some Arguments Against Using Caulk
So, if caulking your toilet is the best thing to do, why would people debate it at all? Well, there are a few reasons why some people think using caulk on your toilet is a bad idea, but these are the two biggest issues.
Trouble for Repairs
Many people believe that caulking the base of a toilet will make it difficult to repair it. It creates an additional barrier and can cause some damage to the floor if removed incorrectly.
If the entire base is caulked off, some argue that this will make it harder to find a leak. When there is an issue with the wax seal at the bottom of the toilet, it will leak out of the gap at the base. However, if it’s sealed off, this could potentially hinder any detection.
How to Caulk a Toilet (Step-by-Step)
In order to successfully caulk your toilet, you’ll need a razor blade, masking tape, caulk, and a caulk gun.
Here is a step by step guide on how to caulk the base of your toilet:
- Remove any old caulk – This might not apply if you’re caulking your toilet for the first time, but it’s best to mention that the first step is to check for any existing caulk. The easiest way to remove old caulk is by using a razor blade or a putty knife.
- Clean the area – Once you’ve done that step, clean the area to remove any dirt or debris that could get caught in the caulk.
- Tape the floor and toilet – You’ll want to use masking tape on both the floor and the toilet. Some suggest only taping the floor, and that could be enough. However, taping the toilet as well will ensure the caulk goes exactly where you want to. This will also make clean up a lot easier.
- Use a caulk gun – Make sure that you use a caulking gun and don’t try to squeeze the material out by hand. The gun will make everything go smoother and give you a steady line. When using the gun, keep it angled at 45 degrees and keep the tip pushed against the gap to ensure you don’t miss any spots that could cause bubbles. Go slowly and pull the caulk along the joint, rather than push it.
- Clean off the excess – Use your finger here to smooth the caulk into the gap and give it that nice finish around the entire base of the toilet. This will push the caulk deeper into the gap, giving it that tight seal you want.
- Peel off the tape – When you’re finished cleaning off the excess caulk, peel the tape off slowly. You want to do this before it has time to dry and get stuck on the tape. If you peel it off once it’s stuck, you risk pulling the caulk off the base of the toilet.
- Wait 24 hours – Finally, wait at least 24 hours before you clean around the toilet. Try to avoid getting any water or liquids on the caulk before it’s dry.
Watch the video below:
Now you know that the best option for your bathroom is to use a silicone caulk at the base of your toilet. It will prevent smells and keep your toilet secure. That’s all you need.