How To Fix A Wobbly Toilet?


If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details

If you go to sit down on your toilet and notice that it is wobbly, you will want to have it repaired as soon as possible. The rocking may be slight, or it may be severe, either way, figuring out what is causing the wobble and repairing that wobble is imperative.

A wobbly toilet can also cause the toilet to damage the floor. When a leak happens under the toilet, the wood subfloor may be compromised.

If you notice the toilet teeters even slightly from side to side, you will want to determine the cause of the wobbly or rocking toilet and how to fix it. In many cases, you can fix the toilet yourself.

Below we’ll go over a few possible steps to fix these problems. Depending on your DIY and plumbing skills, you may be able to fix it yourself.

For mild leveling issues, adding a few simple shims and caulk is relatively easy and can be done following the steps below.

If that is not enough to level it, replacing a wax ring or broken flange is a slightly more complicated but still doable DIY project – although you will need to be strong enough to lift the toilet off its base and reset it which is much easier to do with two people.

If you feel uncomfortable repairing the toilet, you will want to call a professional plumber out to fix it for you. If any of your subflooring has been damaged by leaks, you will want to have a professional come out and access the damage for you as this would be a much bigger repair.

What Causes A Toilet To Wobble?

There are several reasons why your toilet may start to wobble, and those reasons include:

Flooring damage. If you have damage to the flooring under your toilet, this can cause an issue with your toilet wobbling. Your flooring may be damaged due to water leaks or another problem.

Broken toilet flange. In some cases, a broken toilet flange will cause the problem, and replacing the toilet flange will correct the problem.

Uneven flooring. If you have recently installed a new floor, including a tile floor, there may be an issue with the floor not being even. A toilet must sit down evenly in order to work correctly, so you will want to fix this issue quickly.

Loose toilet bolts. Over time, your toilet bolts can loosen and cause your toilet to rock back and forth. In order to fix this, you will need to tighten the toilet bolts.

Issues with the wax ring. If the wax ring is too high or it has unseated itself, this can cause issues with your toilet wobbling.

How Do You Stabilize A Toilet On An Uneven Floor?

If your toilet wobbling is caused by an uneven floor there are several steps that you can take in order to correct the issue. For slight adjustments you may be able to fix the problem with some simple plastic shims and a new bead of caulk around the base of the toilet. For more severe rocking back and forth, you’ll need to determine if the wax ring has been damaged or deteriorated – in which case you’d need to replace that (either with a replacement wax ring or newer style

Step One

You will want to turn off the water supply to the toilet. Make sure that you turn the water valve clockwise until it is in the off position. You will then want to take the top off of the toilet tank and then flush the toilet, ensuring that all the water is removed from the tank.

Step Two

Look for the nut that holds the water supply in. This will be towards the bottom of the toilet tank. You will want to get out an adjustable wrench and loosen the nut until you can turn it by hand. Make sure that once you have the water supply line unhooked, you have the nut in a secure place for reattachment.

Step Three

Get out a flathead screwdriver and look for the slot that is in between the caps covering the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. You will want to take your screwdriver and remove the cap. Expose the nut on both, placing the caps in a secure location.

Step Four

 

Now want to take an adjustable wrench and get the nuts free from either side. Store these nuts securely as you will need them to reattach the toilet. You will now want to gently rock the toilet back and forth. You should hear the wax ring break away. Once you hear that, you can lift the toilet and put it on its side. You should scrape the flange that is attached to the toilet and floor to remove the old wax ring.

Step Five

Prime Line MP56533 Universal Toilet Wax Ring with Bolts, Includes Black Rubber Funnel, Pack of 1
Universal Toilet Wax Ring with Bolts

You will need to place the new wax ring over the opening on the floor. To add extra height to your toilet to compensate for the uneven floor, you may need to add another wax ring. Another option is to use the newer style of wax-Free toilet bowl gasket that has an adjustable spacer and less mess than a traditional wax ring.

Fluidmaster 7530P8 Universal Better Than Wax Toilet Seal, Wax-Free Toilet Bowl Gasket Fits Any Drain
Fluidmaster Universal Better Than Wax Toilet Seal, Wax-Free Toilet Bowl Gasket

You will now want to align the mounting holes and then set the toilet on both wax rings. From there, you will put your nuts back on and make sure that you are tightened. It is important to note that you should never overtighten these nuts as it will cause the toilet to crack.

Step Six

Plumb Pak PP836-55 Keeney Toilet Leveling Shims, Multi-Purpose Design for Furniture, Cabinets, and Tables, 8-Pack, White, 8 Count
Toilet Leveling Shims (Amazon)

You will now want to push the toilet to see if it wobbles any. If it still rocks back and forth, you will want to use some plastic shims like these (Amazon).

Similar to wood shims for leveling other DIY projects, these will help to secure the toilet above the uneven floor ensuring that it does not move at all and the plastic will not rot or mold like the wood variety.  You may need multiple shims around the toilet to ensure that there is no movement.

Step Seven

Once you have your shims in place, you will want to take a utility knife and score the shims. Now you can snap off the shims at the base so that they are not sticking out.

Step Eight

Now you will want to get out a silicone caul and get your caulking gun. Open the tube, and you will want to squeeze the handle, placing the caulk in between the toilet and the floor. You will want to make sure that you do a thick bead. Once you have this done, you will want to wet your finger and smooth the bead out. Allow the caulk to dry for at least 24 hours before doing anything else with the toilet.

Step Nine

After you have let the caulk dry for at least 24 hours, you can connect the supply line back and make sure that everything is connected correctly. You can then turn the toilet tank back on and use your toilet as usual without having to worry about it wobbling.

How Do I Keep My Toilet From Moving?

To keep your toilet from moving, you will want to find out the cause of its moving. For example, if your toilet is moving because the flooring underneath is bad, that flooring will need to be replaced as soon as possible. If you have a broken toilet flange, you will need to have this fixed quickly.

The toilet flange is the pipe that connects your toilet drain and the drain pipe. If it is damaged, it will cause your toilet to wobble and potentially leak. To ensure your toilet does not wobble, you will also want to ensure that you do not have broken or rusted toilet bolts. If you do, you can easily replace these. Another issue that can cause your toilet to wobble is an uneven floor, and you can often fix this problem with shims and caulk as described above.

Can You Glue A Toilet To The Floor?

One of the best ways to prevent your toilet from moving is to make sure that your toilet is caulked properly to seal the base of the toilet to the floor.

Caulking helps to glue down your toilet to the floor. In addition to helping to keep your toilet secure to the floor, caulk can also help you to keep your bathroom smelling fresh. If you decide to caulk your toilet, make sure that you allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. If you move your toilet before the caulk is dry, it can lead to the toilet not sitting correctly and causing water to be able to escape from the toilet drain.

Taking on your wobbly toilet is a necessity to ensure that it is working properly and that you are not in any danger of a faulty toilet line or falling through your floor. As soon as you see that your toilet wobbles, do an inspection to figure out the cause. If you cannot find the cause, call your local plumber so that they can get your wobbly toilet corrected for you.