If you’ve just purchased a new toilet and you are thinking about how to install it yourself, do not be afraid; it is actually very simple if you use the correct tools.
Aside from the major plumbing tools needed for toilet installation, there is something called a toilet wax ring. Plumbers have used toilet wax rings over the years to form a long-lasting toilet seal between the toilet and pipes under your house.
You may be asking, “Why wax?” well, that’s because it is the ideal material for holding your toilet to the floor. This material will adjust under pressure, but it will not melt. It also lasts for decades without any leaks.
New wax free seals have appeared in recent years. They utilize rubber instead of wax, which they claim lasts longer than wax. I can’t agree with their claims because I have seen toilet wax rings that last between 20 – 30 years.
Although a wax free toilet seal may be suitable for you, based on your requirements or type of toilet.
In this post, I’ll provide some basic information on toilet wax seals, how they seal the toilet, how to find the best toilet seal, things to consider when choosing a seal and why they’re very important when installing a new toilet.
Finally, I’ll recommend some toilet wax seals and address some frequently asked questions concerning toilet wax rings.
Let us start with what a toilet wax seal is!
What Is A Toilet Wax Ring?
Toilet wax seals are just a thick, ring-shaped chunk of wax (some have plastic rings around the inner parts called a sleeve). The wax seal/ring fits between the toilet bowl or toilet base with the drain, forming an airtight seal or a watertight seal to prevent gaps, leakage or smells.
The seals are available at all homeware stores, and they are quite inexpensive and last for a long time…until you’ll eventually need a wax ring replacement. Yes, you would need a wax ring replacement because they are not meant to last forever. They are an essential component of toilet seat installation.
How Do Toilet Wax Seal Leak?
A wax toilet ring provides an attachment between the toilet seat, floor and pipes. The wax toilet ring fits snuggly into the toilet horn and the pipes to seal up any leaking since they are soft. When you want to do a new toilet installation, you have to remove any old wax ring, insert the new one into the hole, and then lower your toilet on the ring.
The weight of your toilet will cause the seal between the toilet pipe to become tighter. A watertight seal and an airtight seal are formed because of the wax’s softness and toilet weight.
Reasons Why A Toilet Would Leak
There are three major reasons why a toilet would leak, and they are;
- Broken Flange
When the flange, which is supposed to lock the toilet to the floor, becomes cracked or damaged, the toilet will become loose and shaky. When this happens, your wax seal becomes ineffective, and gradually it’ll begin to create room for water to seep through the base. In this case, you’ll need to replace the flange and the wax seal.
- Loose Bolts
Another major cause of a leaking toilet is a loose bolt. If the bolt is no longer tightened, the toilet’s base will separate from the flange, and the wax ring will loosen, allowing water to flow out. In this case, you must tighten the bolts and replace the wax since the seal is already broken.
- Worn Wax Ring
Another reason why your toilet may leak is when the wax ring is worn-out. This is usually a result of use for a long time. If the seal is no longer watertight and airtight, it means the wax has flattened or worn out and is no longer performing its function. It is time to get a new wax.
What To Look For In A Toilet Wax Ring
There are several materials to choose from when purchasing a toilet wax ring. There are two major types of wax: traditional wax and wax-free rubber choices. Some individuals prefer wax free sealing because they cause less mess than wax.
Others believe that wax is more dependable and can be easily installed. Always remember that you cannot reuse a wax seal if you raise the toilet after installation, so you must ensure you get it right the first time. If you don’t get it right (e.g., you didn’t put the toilet straight), you must start over with a new seal. Most wax-free seals are more tolerant for a second attempt. Consider the floor type as well.
Examine the flange on the floor (a flange connects the pipe and the floor). Some flanges are flat with the floor, while others are elevated above or recessed below it. Some toilet seals have a specific flange height that is best for them, while others have extenders in case the flange is not long enough.
Make sure you know the size of the drain beneath your toilet so you can choose a seal that fits properly. The drain diameters are quite normal, ranging from 3 – 4 inches. Some toilet seals have a flange or a sleeve that allows the ring to be used with different drain diameters.
Thickness of Wax
There are many wax thicknesses available, such as “extra thick wax.” For flanges that are set below the floor level, a thicker wax would be needed. Standard thickness may be sufficient for a normal level or high-level flanges.
Ease of Installation
Installing a toilet wax is straightforward; however, certain kinds are more difficult to install than others. Whether you’re taking on the work yourself, be sure you understand exactly what’s necessary, what tools are needed, and if any other accessories like bolts are required.
A good warranty will cover you if the toilet seals cracks or becomes defective. Some brands have warranties of up to ten years. Others oferr a one-year warranty. Make sure there is a warranty before purchasing the seal to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
However, reviews are also useful when choosing a seal. Check online to see the repeated defects or breakages that have occurred. With that, you’ll know the kind of quality you’re expecting.
Types of Wax Ring
There are several alternatives available when searching for a toilet seal. Wax rings are classified based on their design and composition. The perfect seal for your toilet is determined by the architecture of your bathroom and your personal tastes. Choosing the right toilet wax for your bathroom begins with understanding the types of wax available.
Standard Wax Ring
A standard wax is a no-frill, low-cost seal option. These wax seals resemble a huge doughnut. They have no additional components but provide a universal fit for a 3 – 4 inch drain hole diameter. Most common wax rings are about 1-inch thick.
Horn/Funnel Wax Ring
Some wax seals come with an integrated plastic or rubber horn/funnel. The horn/funnel is located at the wax ring’s bottom and extends to the flange to properly channel waste into the sewage pipe. These types of wax rings are constructed to a standard size that fits toilets that can accommodate a normal wax ring.
Felt Wax Ring
Many felt-wrapped wax rings may be used for wall or floor commode installations, although they are mostly utilized for wall-mounted toilets such as urinals. The felt aids in the formation of a good seal and can keep the wax ring from slipping after installation.
Because ordinary wax rings are made of sticky, flexible wax, they can create a mess on any toilet flange and base. While the wax is the traditional toilet seal material, newer wax-free solutions are also available. They are often constructed of foam, rubber, or a mix of materials and are intended to function similarly to the traditional wax ring.
Although they are somewhat more expensive than regular wax rings, several homeowners appreciate the mess-free and repositionable installation method.
Other Things To Look For When Choosing The Best Toilet Wax
Here are some things to think about while looking for a wax.
Ensure you choose a wax ring that can produce a strong and tight seal to keep the toilet from leaking. Water may seep from behind the toilet due to a faulty seal.
A wax seal made of thick wax can reduce unpleasant sewage odors and make your toilet odor-free.
Waste hole size
Most wax rings are designed to fit a three-inch or four-inch waste pipes. If your waste pipe is of a different size, be sure you select a wax seal that can fit it.
Wax rings that are not long-lasting will need to be replaced on a regular basis. A high-quality, long-lasting wax ring will endure longer.
Flange made of polyethylene/polyurethane
The flange is an essential component in the pipe installation. If the wax ring does not have a good flange, the installation process will be difficult and the outcome will be poor.
TOP 10 Best Wax Ring For Toilet
1. LASCO Toilet Bowl Extra Thick Wax Ring
The first seal on our list of best wax ring is the Lasco wax ring. It has a drain opening fit of 3-Inche and 4-Inche. It is a type of wax ring with a flange.
This LASCO toilet wax has extra thick wax and an inner sleeve that helps to produce a tight seal for 3 inches and 4 inches of drain holes. After you’ve completed the toilet installation, you can use the brass bolts to secure the toilet bowl to your toilet floor.
The wax ring is strengthened with a urethane core to retain its form during installation. The thick wax is ideal for floors built with tiles and has the flange below floor level since the extra height bridges that gap and creates an extremely tight seal.
Customers have rated this wax seal as a good buy because it performs what it’s meant to. It makes a tight seal and does not permit leaks. It’s also simple to set up.
2. NEXT BY DANCO Wax Ring
The next item on our list of best wax ring is the Danco seal. Even though it is a wax seal, you may not see the wax because the wax is concealed in the rubber design. This helps to prevent the mess that is usually made by open wax seals. One thing I love most about this seal is its versatility and adjustability when placed on different flange heights. It has an extension in case the flange is under the floor.
There are cases where the flange is flat or higher up; in this situation, the extender is sparingly used. The seal is designed in a way that the bolts are stable before the toilet installation, keeping them in position so you won’t need someone else to help you keep the bolts where they should be while you screw them down.
Danco claims that the seal formed is 3 times stronger than a typical wax ring. This is because the gasket pulls the toilet forcefully downward, forcing the wax tightly into the drain pipe.
Thanks to this seal, customers have discovered that they can remove any toilet wobble or unevenness they previously encountered while installing their toilet. The installation is simple, and anybody that is new to the task can do it alone.
3. Fluidmaster Extra Thick Wax Toilet Bowl Gasket
Fluidmaster’s ultra-durable wax toilet seal is our next wax on the list. This surplus wax creates a more secure seal than many others. Although excess wax usually means more clean-up when you want to change the seal, if you do it correctly, you’ll have fewer issues.
The seal is intended for flanges that are above, below or flush with the floor. It is also a good fit for 3-inches and 4-inches drains, which is the standard drain. The connecting flange aids in directing waste and water from the toilet into the pipe without causing any leakages.
Some users have discovered that even if the wax is exceptionally thick, it isn’t completely thick enough for some toilets, especially one that has a flange below the floor level. But if you have a standard flange height, you should be fine.
It’s simple to put together but ensure that you get a perfect fit once and for all. There has been a little controversy over bolts, since some customers expected to get bolts in the package but did not. It appears that the bolts are not supplied and must be purchased separately.
4. Prime Line Toilet Wax Ring
Another wax ring we will review is the Prime Line toilet seal. This toilet seal comprises of black rubber funnel and a big wax seal. This toilet wax ring weighs about eight ounces, so it will fit practically any toilet bowl. It produces a very tight seal and can accommodate uneven grounds. The toilet wax seal is long-lasting, watertight and airtight.
It comes with the needed hardware for simple installation. This seal has a zinc-plated finsh and it comes in a set of five.
The downside of this seal is that it is thinner than some users expected and it may be difficult to open the airtight packing.
5. Hibbent Toilet Wax Ring
Hibbent’s wax ring is another good toilet seal that helps in the prevention of sewage smells and toilet leaking. It creates a watertight barrier and provides an odor-free effect. It comes with a thick wax gasket and polyethylene flange that fits snugly even on an uneven floor. This wax ring works with 3-inches or 4-inches waste pipes and is suitable for a new or an old toilet bowl.
This product is ideal for fresh toilet installation jobs. With this seal, you would not need to replace outdated toilet bowls. It also comes with a packaging that is nonsticky.
On the downside, some toilets may not be able to accommodate a wax seal if the seal is not tall enough.
6. Westbrass Toilet Wax
The Westbrass wax ring is a reliable toilet seal that guarantees your toilet a leak-free, odor-free, and bacteria-free toilet installation. All these features are possible on the seal mainly because of its watertight property. This wax ring construction is designed for 3-inch or 4-inch waste pipes and is straightforward to install. For ease of installation, this urethane wax ring is equipped with a flange and a brass oval head bolts.
Bolts are finished in polished chrome for excellent durability. It is available in bronze and nickel finishes. Although it is a universal seal, but it might not be thick enough for some toilet settings.
7. Eastman Toilet Wax
To eliminate foul odors and the flow of unclean water, the Eastman wax ring can be used to create a tight seal between the toilet bowl and waste line. It easily fits toilet bowls with a waste line hole of 3 or 4 inches. The wax ring has a flange that ensures it is properly set and balanced on the floor.
It eliminates the need to mix two wax rings. The Wax rings are flexible and stretchy, and the wax is simple to install. Long flanges may not fit properly.
8. Norme Toilet Wax
The Norme wax toilet seal creates a watertight barrier, preventing leaks and unwanted odors. The thickness of this wax ring makes it a people’s choice for the installation of new toilet bowls or the replacement of old toilet bowls. The seal is a great fit for toilet bowls that have a waste line hole of 3 or 4 inches. The wax seal comes with other items like bolt caps, nuts and retainer washers.
Installation with this toilet seal is simple and requires no special skills. The wax is long-lasting, and it has a thick flange. Bolts might be a little longer than planned, so you have to cut to fit.
9. iFealClear Toilet Wax Ring
The iFeelClear wax ring prevents leaking wastewater and bad odors from the toilet. The polyethylene flange on this seal fits a 3-inch or 4-inch drain hole and forms a watertight barrier to keep smells out of your toilet. It is constructed of flexible and soft high-grade petroleum wax, making it a perfect alternative for fixing old or leaking toilet bowls. For simple installation, the kit contains a gasket, bolts, and screws.
DIY installation is very possible with this seal. Reduces ground cracks and works well with floor-mounted toilets. It’s possible that it’ll be smaller than you predicted. It is also prone to melting.
10. ProFlo Toilet Wax
The ProFlo wax ring features a thick wax and polyethylene flange to establish a long-lasting and tight seal. It includes a toilet repair kit as well as closet bolts for simple installation. The wax ring prevents odors and waste water leaks in the toilet. It is suitable for both levelled and unlevelled floors, and the wax ring fits nicely into 3 or 4-inch drain holes.
Assembly instructions are included in the pack. The bolts might be a little longer than planned.
Does A Wax Ring Come With The Toilet?
The truth is that some toilets do while others do not; it all depends on the toilet brand. When buying a new toilet, check if it has a toilet wax ring.
Can I Use A Wax Ring Again?
No, you cannot reuse a wax ring; you must replace it with a new one. The wax deteriorates after first use, so leaks can occur. So you’ll need a new wax ring with fresh, thick wax that will stick firmly. Before installing the new one, the old wax should be scraped off and discarded.
How Can You Identify A Bad Wax Ring?
If you perceive a sewer-like odor emanating from your toilet, then there is a leak, and it is likely caused by a faulty which must be changed.
When should I change the wax ring on my toilet?
If you notice leaks or smells, you should replace the wax ring immediately. The wax must be replaced anytime the toilet is reset and removed. Whether you are installing a new toilet, inspecting the drains, or just redoing the floors in your bathroom. In this instance, regardless of how long the former wax has been in place, a new one must be used. This is due to the fact that the previous wax ring will already be damaged.
What is the lifespan of a wax ring?
A strong wax with no flaws or difficulties should endure for a very long period, 20 to 30 years. However, if the flange breaks or the wax ring isn’t very good it may need to be changed sooner.
How can I determine the proper size for my toilet?
Measure the flange’s diameter with a tape measure and the height as well if it is higher than the floor. When purchasing a new wax ring, ensure that the drain diameter fits the specifications given on the ring box and that you verify the flange heights.
I am John Kluge, co-founder of Toilethackers.org. With 10+ years of experience working with toilets, I have garnered a lot of understanding about resolving toilet-related issues. Knowledge is meant to be shared and I am passionate about teaching people the right way to keep toilets clean and also fix toilet-related issues. I co-founded this blog to share my experiences and keep readers updated about toilet-related issues. Knowledge sharing is my forte and I always do so with ease. With exceptional writing and analytic skill, I use my skill to simplify complex terms and ensure readers grasp more understanding about toilet issues.