The debate surrounding caulking your toilet to the flooring has become ubiquitous among plumbers. Caulking is basically a waterproof sealant that helps prevent the leakage of water. It is done around the base of the toilet to stop the water from spilling out onto the floor.
It is recommended by the overwhelming majority of plumbers to do caulking around the base of the toilet. Although, experts tend to advise leaving a bit of gap in the front and back of the toilet to prevent damage to the floor and your basement ceiling.
The advantages to caulking your toilet to the floor are aplenty. It is a rather cost-efficient technique to keep your toilet secure and enhance the overall aesthetics. In this article, I am going to go in-depth explaining why you should do caulking around your toilet.
What Does Caulking Actually Mean?
Caulking generally refers to a special material that can seal joints against leakage. It is widely used in various structures and piping works. Plumbers find caulking to be useful since it can secure the toilet base against water spillage. Besides, caulking plays into the overall aesthetics of the bathroom appearance.
You can find the most usage of caulking in buildings to close up gaps. In addition to this, it is also used in structures that need protection from possible water and dust intrusion. Since bathroom floors are prone to molds and mildew, caulking plays a vital role in keeping the bathroom free of moisture.
Things to Keep In Mind While Caulking Your Toilet
There are some common mistakes that you should be wary of before you start caulking your toilet. People who are not familiar with the concept of caulking tend to fall into some common pitfalls that can prove to be costly. For your convenience, I am going to go through the most common blunders that you should be aware of while caulking your toilet.
Choose the Right Caulk for Your Toilet
When you are out shopping for your caulk in the nearby store, it is important to choose the right product that is specified for bathroom use. The caulks that have “for bathroom usage only” labels are mostly waterproof. It consists of special chemicals that keep your toilet safe from molds and mildew.
In general, caulks that use silicone and latex as ingredients are best for bathroom applications. These materials help create a strong seal against moisture which is ideal for places such as toilets. For this reason, choosing the most compatible caulk is imperative for strong seals and expedient usage.
Make Sure You Are Picking a Quality Caulk Gun
Having a caulk gun that can control the correct flow of the caulk is an extremely important feat in achieving a shining outlook to your bathroom.
A quality caulk gun should always have a plunger with ideal sensitivity that detects the thumb pressure correctly. If you are watchful at your purchase, you should be able to buy a decent caulk gun with a cheap price tag.
Do Not Apply the New Caulk Over the Old
Although it might be enticing to entertain the idea of applying the new caulk over your existing caulk, it is strongly discouraged by the plumbers.
If you apply a new caulk over the existing layer, it will definitely result in leaks and cracks in your caulk layers due to weak adhesion. You must excavate the existing caulk layers with a suitable remover before you proceed to apply the caulk.
Isolate Your Work Area Before Caulking
Using tape is beneficial to marking down the area that you wish to work on before caulking. This technique ensures the protection of the surrounding area and helps you efficiently do the work.
Keep in mind that water works as a deterrent if it happens to get in the way of caulking. Make sure that your marked area is free of water and moist before you apply the caulk.
Give Your Caulking Sufficient Time to Dry Up
For the most part, caulking is normally very quick to dry up. But if your toilet comes into contact with water before the caulking has dried up, it can render the cohesions loose.
For optimum results, it is advisable to allow at least 24 hours for the caulking to harden up before you use your toilet again.
Leave A Little Gap For Drainage
One key thing to be wary of during caulking is to leave out a little gap at the front and the back of the toilet base. This little bit of gap in the caulk allows for a possible overflow of water to escape. This is greatly helpful to check out for probable water leaks in your toilet. Not leaving the gaps can risk your entire flooring of the toilet being susceptible to severe water damage.
Why Should You Always Caulk Around a Toilet?
There are many good reasons as to why you should do caulking around your toilet. Here are a few important ones as to why you should definitely opt for caulking in your bathroom.
Enhances the Appearance
Caulk can significantly iron out the uneven grout lines around the base of your toilet. Since it helps remove the seam at the base, the toilet looks more polished and neat in the eye. Caulking also helps with keeping out the mildews from your toilet. As a result, it is also helpful in keeping your toilet smooth and polished for the long run.
Helps Eradicate Odor
Sometimes the absence of caulk can entrap a stinky mop or tub water around the base of your toilet. Hygiene is something that should never be compromised when it comes to your bathroom. For this reason, caulking is essential to help you keep up the cleanliness of your toilet and eradicate unpleasant smells from it.
Secures the Base of Your Toilet
Caulking helps secure the base of your toilet to the floor. Due to gradual wear and tear, your toilet might be vulnerable to being displaced from the base. Caulking secures your toilet from malfunctioning and reduces the chance of possible injuries.
A Compulsory Requirement for the Many States
There are many states which compulsorily require you to use caulking in your bathroom. For example, Florida State Building Code explicitly mentions keeping the contact areas in the buildings to be watertight. Although the building codes tend to vary by state, most states’ building codes compel the homeowners to use caulks in their building structure.
What is a Feasible Alternative to Caulking?
Many plumbers encourage homeowners to use wax seals in place of caulking as a feasible alternative. Wax seals are normally adept at preventing leakage from the base of your toilet.
However, it has many constraints of its own in terms of its functionality compared to caulking. It might not provide the optimum sealing you might need. So, caulking is always the best option.
If you are someone who puts extra emphasis on the outlook and the appearance of your bathroom, you should definitely consider caulking your toilet. It is an inexpensive and efficient way of making your bathroom appear neat and polished. Besides, caulking works as an effective deterrent against molds and mildew as it helps keep your toilet moist free.
Keeping all the pointers that this article has extensively covered is essential to professionally caulk your toilet. Seeking an expert’s opinion who has years of plumbing experience is always advisable before caulking your bathroom floor and the base of your toilet. I hope you found this article to be an informative and insightful read.