When you install ceramic tiles in your bathroom you have to remove the toilet seat and lay the tiles around the toilet flange (closet flange). After laying tiles the old flange might be under the level of the tiles surface. This is problem that you have to solve before repositioning the toilet bowl.


  • One solution is to remove the old flange, extend the drainage pipe and install a new flange on top the tiles. This might be the best solution but sometimes it is not possible without a lot of work and it can prove to be a very expensive solution.
  • The other alternative is to extend the old flange using flange extensions. Flange extenders come in various sizes and thicknesses. Match the size of your flange with the size of the flange extensions. Flange extensions can be stacked to get to the desired thickness but it is better if you find one thick enough to raise the level of the flange to maybe 1/4″ above the tile surface.
  • Toilet Flange Extension with Gasket

Installing toilet flange extensions

  1. Before installing the toilet flange extensions read the instructions. Some flange extensions come with a gasket and they don’t need caulking. Some need it.
  2. Toilet Flange Extension

  3. Clean the surface of the old flange of any wax or caulk residues before installing the extension.
  4. Before screwing the flange extension in place on top of the flange don’t forget to position the flange bolts into the notches in the flange. Align the flange extension with the flange and the bolts and screw it into the floor through he flange. You might want to drill small holes through the old flange to avoid cracking but be careful not to go deep in the subfloor.

Solutions for sealing the toilet bowl with the flange

Now with the flange extension in place you have to position the bowl. To seal the toilet bowl to the flange you need to pick one of the few available solutions.

  • You could use an old fashioned wax ring which is still a very good solution.
  • Toilet Wax Ring

  • Or you can use some wax free solution like a rubber gasket. Read the instructions carefully because some need caulking or come with a special adhesive.
  • Toilet Flange Extension Kit

  • Another solution is a wax free toilet seal like this one.
  • Wax Free Toilet Seal

Seating the toilet bowl on the flange

  1. No matter what solution you pick first clean the bottom of the toilet bowl of any old wax or adhesive residues.
  2. Then place the wax ring or the toilet seal in place and press it firmly.
  3. Now you have to carefully set the toilet bowl on the flange. If you are alone you might find it hard to align the holes int he toilet bowl with the bolts. You can mark the position of the bolts on the floor with some masking tape to make your life easier.
  4. Carefully set the bowl on the flange and push down gently but firmly until it goes down to the floor.
  5. Next step is to carefully lock the toilet seat in its place by tightening the brass nut on top of the washer on the flange bolts. Tighten a little a time on both sides to avoid breaking the flange or the toilet base.
  6. One nice tip is to place some thin rubber shim on the base of the toilet bowl, between the bowl and the ceramic tile. This will help keep the toilet bowl from moving after it is tightened in place.
  7. To make the job look nice cut the bolts and place the plastic cover on top of them.
  8. In the end you might want to apply a bead of silicone caulk around the base of the toilet bowl to hold the toilet in place. Leave a portion at the back without caulk to allow any leaks to become visible before they damage the subfloor.

Water tank installation

  1. Next install the water tank in place using a new gasket to seal the tank to the bowl.
  2. Usually the tank is fastened to the bowl using 2 or 3 screws. Hold each screw on the inside with a flat screwdriver and tighten it from underneath using a socket and ratchet wrench (or any wrench that fits).
  3. To connect the water line you might need to extend or replace it if now the tank is too high because of the ceramic tile.

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