Do Vinyl Installers Usually Remove the Toilet?

Vinyl flooring installers will usually remove the toilet to allow them to properly place the flooring. Removing the toilet allows flooring installers to check for any problems underneath the toilet. Also, if the flooring is installed around the toilet, problems will arise in the future concerning possible leaks. Following installation of the new vinyl floor, adjustments may be needed with the toilet also.

When to Remove the Toilet

One of the first steps in preparing the floor for vinyl installation is removing the toilet before any other prep work, such as levelling out the floor, is done. This is so that any obstacles to the installation are out of the way. Otherwise, installers would have to take the extra time to measure the base of the toilet and cut the vinyl flooring at the right curve to fit around the toilet base.

Removing the Toilet

The main considerations flooring installers focus on when removing the toilet are making certain that the shutoff valve is completely closed, all the water inside the toilet is removed and the water supply line is disconnected. The shutoff valve is usually located behind the left side of the toilet. Turn it completely to the right to shut off the water supply to the toilet. Flush the toilet, and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the remaining toilet water as well as the bowl water. Disconnect the supply line from the shutoff valve, and disconnect the nuts from the flange bolts that stick up in the toilet base.

Possible Floor Repairs

Once the toilet is removed, installers also examine the floor underneath the toilet around the drain flange. Looking for any incidence of loose tiles or soft flooring in the area surrounding the flange, installers will need to remove and replace rotted flooring and subfloor before installing the new vinyl flooring on top of it. Loose tiles and soft flooring around the flange both indicate water leaks. Left without repair, these leaks will lead to increasingly expensive flooring repairs.

Considerations Following Installation

After the new vinyl flooring is installed, the toilet will sit even higher than before. One thing you may now need is a longer water supply tube to reach from the bottom of the toilet tank to the shutoff valve. Also, longer flange bolts may be needed to adequately fit up through the base of the toilet. Install a new wax ring underneath the toilet between the toilet and the flange.

Danger of Not Removing Toilets

If the toilet is not removed and the new vinyl flooring is placed around the toilet, the flooring will now be higher than the bottom of the toilet, which is dangerous because a toilet can leak from its base if the wax ring underneath it fails. Spotting these leaks alerts homeowners to change the wax ring before extensive water damage is done to the floor. With the new vinyl flooring sitting above the toilet base, the leaking water will not be visible for homeowners to spot.

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About the Author

Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.