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Proper way to install laminate floor around a toilet

Updated November 21, 2016

It seems like the easiest solution when installing flooring in a bathroom is to go around the toilet, but is not the correct method of installation. Your floor will look professionally installed if you lay your laminate flooring underneath the toilet. It will not add much more time to your labour, and you will be more satisfied with the appearance of your floor.

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Remove the toilet

Turn the water to the toilet off. The shutoff valve is usually located on the wall behind the toilet. Turn the valve clockwise as far as it will go. Flush the toilet to drain the majority of water out of the tank. The remaining water can be drained into a bucket by disconnecting the water line on the tank, or you can use a wet vacuum. You will still have to disconnect the water line either on the shutoff valve or on the tank to remove the toilet. Remove the nuts on the anchor bolts located on the base of the toilet and then lift the toilet straight up. You can set the toilet on an old towel to keep it from scratching the floor.


You will need a jigsaw to cut the laminate flooring to fit around the flange. The flange is a ring that holds the anchor bolts for your toilet and the wax ring. Use a template of each plank to obtain the shape that you need for each edge that will need to be cut to fit around the flange. Templates can be made out of cardboard and easily cut with a utility knife or scissors.

Fitting laminate around the flange

Your templates need to be the exact same size as your planks. Place each template on the appropriate plank and trace the pattern with a pencil. Use your jigsaw to cut the pattern out of the laminate planks. Your planks do not have to fit tightly against the flange. Crooked cuts and any gap around the flange will be hidden by the base of the toilet.


Your laminate flooring will raise your floor by at least 6 mm (1/4 inch). You may need to buy an extender for your flange so that the wax ring will seal the toilet. Using templates will keep you from cutting planks that do not fit.

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About the Author

Based in Oklahoma City, Debbie Tolle has been working in the home-improvement industry since 2001 and writing since 1998. Tolle holds a Master of Science in psychology from Eastern Illinois University and is also a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) and a Microsoft-certified systems engineer (MCSE).

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