Do You Need To Caulk Around Toilets? [Why & How]

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Caulk is a stretchable compound used to seal air leaks in joints, gaps, and cracks. This ensures the structure’s stability and quality. It is the most commonly used and chosen material for bridging gaps between two structures.

But recently there’s been an argument on whether or not to use caulk around the toilet. And both DIY enthusiasts and home renovators have given distinct explanations for their opposing viewpoints. That makes us curious as well-

Should you caulk around toilets?

You should definitely caulk around your toilet. Caulking prevents water or any other bathroom liquid from getting under your toilet. If water starts to settle under your toilet, it will harm the construction. Moreover, chances are that mold will grow there. Caulking around the toilet is even mandated in some areas. 

Enough with small talk. Why don’t we look more closely at the issue and come up with a long-term solution? 

The Myth About Not Caulking Around The Toilet

People commonly believe that caulk around the toilet will not allow the detection of leaks. This is because it’s thought that the leaked water gets trapped under the caulk, damaging the structure. And the absence of caulk lets the water flow, so leaks can be identified.

This may appear to be a very reasonable explanation. However, the rationale is weak and incorrect. If there is a leak, the water will actually flow down into the basement. It’s quite unusual to see a toilet leak onto the floor.

And it won’t be as simple as wiping the water away to fix the leak. When it comes to repairing a leaky toilet, a lot more work is required.

Why Do You Need to Caulk?

There are several major reasons why caulking around the toilet is necessary. We’ve addressed some of them here.

If there’s no caulk surrounding the toilet, it’s quite easy for water to get under the toilet. There is no method to clear the water, so it sits there for as long as it’s not fixed. Just like water sitting in a shower tray this also increases the chances of mold growing on the floor.

Although bolts are designed to keep the toilet secure, caulking ensures that there’s no malfunctioning or injury. If the bolts become loose, it will help to keep the toilet in place.

It’s actually a plumbing code requirement. Under section 402.2, the Minnesota State Plumbing code has mentioned caulking around the toilet. 

Now you know why it’s so important to caulk. Let’s have a look at how you can caulk around the base of the toilet.

How to Caulk Around Toilets? 3 Simple Steps

Caulking around the toilet is a very basic home repair job.  But not knowing the details can complicate things. We have curated a 3 step guide so you can do it hassle-free.

Tools Required

Before you begin, make sure to collect all the materials required. Here’s what you need-

  • Utility Knife
  • Chemical Remover
  • A rag/ cloth
  • A caulk tube 
  • A caulk gun
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Water

Now, let’s have a look at how you can caulk around the toilet in 3 easy steps-

Step 1: Prep The Surface

If there’s already caulk around the toilet, you need to remove them before reapplying a new layer. Use a utility knife to remove the caulk.

Try pulling it up in one strip after losing caulk at one side. If it’s not coming off easily, use chemical removers. Here are some of our top picked chemical removers in case you need one-

Product 1
Product 2

After removing the old caulk, use a rag to wipe any water or liquid in the joint. Make sure the gap between the toilet and floor is completely dry, otherwise it’ll damage the floor. 

Also, check if the toilet is tightly bolted on the floor or not. Don’t put caulk on an uneven or loose toilet. 

Step 2: Apply The Caulk

After cleaning around the base, you’re ready to apply the caulk. There are various types and colors of caulk. Choose a silicone caulk with a color that matches your bathroom. Silicone caulk is best as they are more water-resistant.

Load the caulk gun with a caulk tube and push the trigger to caulk around the ground. Try to keep a consistent pressure and the gun at 45 degrees. This will allow a smooth seal around the toilet.

Step 3: Clean The Excess Caulk

You can scoop up the extra caulk with your finger. But remember to dip your finger in rubbing alcohol or water before scooping it. This will help to press the caulk further into the joint. If there’s any caulk on the toilet, use a  wet cloth to wipe it off.

Caulk normally takes 24 hours to dry completely. If you’re in a rush, buy a fast-curing caulk, which takes 30-40 minutes to dry. You can also use a fan or a hairdryer to dry the caulk. But don’t use the hairdryer on high heat.

And that’s how you can easily put caulk around the toilet. Remember not to use grout instead of caulk. While it is better to use grout between baseboard and tile, caulk is the best choice in this case. As caulk is water repellent, it will last longer than grout.

FAQs

Question: What kind of caulk should you put around a toilet?

Answer: Silicone or latex-based caulk is ideal for usage in the bathroom. Silicone compositions such as GE Advanced Silicone caulk, give a better seal against moisture. But the latex-based caulk is easier to work. 

Question: How can I get a straight line around the toilet while caulking?

Answer: Tape a piece of masking tape on the floor around the toilet. This will help you get a better line and avoid putting caulk on your floors. 

Question: Which toilet ring is better: wax or waxless?

Answer: Wax-free seals are easier to install and clean. It can be used as long as it’s in decent condition. But while using a wax ring, if you ever need to remove the base you would need to buy a new wax ring as well.

EndNote

It is quite essential to caulk around toilets to prevent pests or water from getting under it. 

We hope our guideline was easy to follow. We tried to make this as simple and straightforward as we can. Follow our guidelines steps by step and you are sure to get the best results.

Until next time, take care!

Scott Kelly