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Should I caulk around my toilet?

Toilet Bowl

You may have actually read at various places that you should caulk all the way around a toilet, but as a home inspector it is easy to see how that piece of advice could be very problematic indeed.

It's actuallly an okay idea to seal the front area of the base of the toilet to prevent water going in at the front, but caulking all the way around prevents you from seeing any leaks that could be occurring underneath the toilet.

Worse, if you have caulking all the way around your toilet you prevent water that is leaking underneath the toilet from escaping which means that your floor will eventually begin to rot and you'll be unaware of this until it's too late. At this point your repair bill could be very expensive.

Never overlook the smallest of water leaks in a bathroom. You should never see any water leaking out around the base. If you do, pay close attention and verify your toilet is indeed leaking.

If you were to disconnect the toilet from the floor and look underneath you would see the toilet flange. Between the toilet and the flange is a wax seal. The wax keeps water from leaking as it passes from the toilet to the drain pipe. It also seals against foul sewer odors. When the wax seal begins to deteriorate over time the toilet begins to leak water under the base.  When this occurs the wax ring has to be replaced.

East Tennessee Quality Home Inspections
Quality Home Inspections serves the East Tennessee area of Roane, Loudon, Knox, Anderson, and Cumberland counties which includes the cities of Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Kingston, Harriman, Rockwood, Oliver Springs, Midtown, Lenoir City, and Crossville, Tennessee. The goal of Quality Home Inspections is to help make the home buying decision a little less complex by providing a professional visual inspection and report of various systems and areas of the home.

If you have questions regarding our home inspection services in Roane County, TN, and surrounding areas, feel free to call me at any time during the day at

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