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One of my bugbears, when I’m working on my house, are products like wax toilet rings that are a one-shot deal. Not being a professional, I usually need multiple runs at a job to get it right. If you have to replace a wax ring or install a new toilet and you don’t get that bowl lined up perfectly the first time, you won’t get the best toilet seal, the wax ring is ruined, and you’ll be scraping up messy, sticky wax all afternoon when you’d rather be watching the game.
So, today I’ve looked into some new products that claim to make getting the best toilet seal a snap. Read on to get the low-down on what to look for in a toilet seal, then check out my waxless toilet seal review.
In A Rush? Take A Quick Look!
Let’s take a quick glance at the products we will talk about here.
How toilet seals work
If you’re unfamiliar with the general working of a toilet, first check out this helpful article from howstuffworks.com. The seal on a toilet prevents wastewater from leaking between the base of the toilet and the waste pipe.
Traditionally, toilet seals have been made of wax in a ring shape. You place the ring under the toilet on top of the flange (the part bolted to the floor) and the idea is that the weight of the toilet will compress the wax into exactly the right shape so that it forms a good seal.
Over time wax rings can start to leak. You can check out this useful guide from wikihow.com to find out whether your ring is leaking.
If you need to replace the ring or you’re installing a new toilet, the problem is that getting a heavy toilet into the right place the first time isn’t easy. You can ruin a few rings before you get it right. Temperature is a factor as well. If the wax is very cold you run the risk of breaking the toilet bowl if you apply too much pressure. Where the wax is too warm it may ooze or buckle under the weight.
A waxless toilet seal aims to do exactly the same job as a wax ring but without the fuss and mess. These products use materials like rubber and foam to either replace or surround the wax. Some products rely on pressure to create the seal. Others use a glue. In most cases, you can reposition the toilet multiple times without a problem.
Things to consider when choosing the best toilet seal
Ease of install
If this is your first time installing a toilet or replacing a wax ring you want a product that makes the process as easy as possible. Kits that include clear, detailed instructions are unfortunately something of a rarity. Even if the instructions are good, I will often check out a video or two as well just because it’s useful to see the process in action. Here’s a helpful video tutorial for switching out a toilet courtesy of This Old House.
Some kits include everything you need in a single package including tools and hardware. These are great for ensuring all the elements will work together and if you don’t own many tools. Thoughtful design features are worth searching out as well. These extra details can make the most difficult parts of seating, sealing, and tightening into place simple. Look for guides that stick up to indicate exactly where you need to place the toilet bowl, designs that hold the bolts upright, and parts that allow you to extend or reduce the fit of the seal according to the placement of the flange.
Ability to reposition
The ability to reposition a toilet during the install is a major benefit and well worth a few extra bucks. It will save you a great deal of stress and irritation. With a repositionable seal you can usually move the toilet at a later date without replacing the seal. So, if, for example, you later decide you want to add tiling underneath your toilet you can move and then reinstall the toilet without too much bother.
No-one wants a leaky toilet. Over time, toilets often move or rock a little, particularly if the floor isn’t completely level. This can cause the seal to start leaking. Some of the better seals will flex with a little movement or you may be able to re-tighten the seal to quickly sort out a leak.
Ensuring that the hardware you’re using is robust will prevent problems down the line plus it’s also a good idea to pay attention to the materials used to manufacture a seal. Rubber-based seals have a reputation for lasting well.
However, foam-based seals may disintegrate under certain conditions. Linked to this, an often overlooked consideration is whether a seal will stand up to the type of cleaning chemicals you’re likely to use. Also check if it is robust enough for regular plunging if the toilet is prone to blockages.
Certain installation conditions may suggest a particular type of seal.
Look at the position and height of the flange, the width of the waste pipe and whether or not the floor is level. The recommended position for a flange is ¼ “ above floor level. However, you might find that your flange is higher or lower than this. Some seal kits include extenders that offer a solution to flanges that are set lower than the floor.
A stack-able seal could be a good option if your flange is set particularly high.
Waste pipes usually come in either a 3” or 4” diameter, seals come in different sizes to match. Finally, if your floor is uneven, a flexible seal will provide more protection from leaks than a more rigid design.
Let’s take a look at three , probably, best toilet seals on the market.
Better Than Wax – Universal Toilet Seal from Fluidmaster
The Better Than Wax seal kit from Fluidmaster includes a stackable rubber seal, a spacer ring, and no-rust brass hardware. The product has a 10-year warranty and claims to fit any toilet and any flange position. This easy to use kit includes just a handful of high-quality parts and clear instructions including a video tutorial.
- No wax, no mess and can be repositioned; No-rust brass bolts & hardware
- Plunging won't cause leaks; 10-year warranty
- Fits any flange, any toilet
- The seal kit has a completely wax-free design which minimizes mess.
- Includes all the components that you need for installation within the standard flange height.
- All of the items seem both robust and durable.
- The instructions are clear and easy to follow and installation is quick and straightforward.
- You can reposition the seal as often as needed.
- Uneven floor surfaces are no problem and the rubber seal will flex in line with toilet movement over time.
- The bolt holes are effective in holding the bolts in an upright position for easy positioning.
- The rubber seat fits snugly and creates a tight seal.
- Plunging is no problem with this product so this could be a good choice if your toilet tends to block.
- The spacer included is separate from the seal itself. Therefore you have a choice whether or not to use it depending upon the location of your flange. This greatly increases the flexibility of the design.
- For flanges that are situated more than a ¼” above or below the floor, you’ll need to buy an extra seal.
- The instructions include details of how to manage larger gaps and trickier installations. However, you may need longer bolts in some scenarios. These are not included and you’ll need to buy them separately.
Sani Seal Toilet Gasket
This product consists of a sealing ring made of a soft plastic foam covered with a flexible polymer coating. It also includes bolts and washers. The Sani Seal toilet gasket kit is designed as a universal fit and is stackable allowing flexibility for different flange heights.
- The Sani Seal is a simple product with just a handful of parts and installation is quick and straightforward.
- It has a soft, flexible construction and, as a result,the product really moulds into the join creating a snug seal.
- You’ll be able to reposition this seal if you wish. As it is easy to use, it could be a good choice if you need to seat and reseat a toilet multiple times. This might be the case if you are renovating a bathroom over time.
- The design is completely wax-free which means any mess is minimal.
- The ring holds the bolts upright to allow for easier positioning.
- A single ring will fit flanges positioned ¼” above and up to ¼” below the floor plus you can stack additional rings for flanges outside of this range.
- All types of flanges will work with this product, including cast iron and offset flanges.
- The seal adjusts to uneven floor surfaces allowing for toilet movement over time.
- The plastic construction means that this product may suffer from deterioration over time.
- Movement or cleaning chemicals could damage the surface of the product. If this happens, the inner foam may become soaked with wastewater and start to leak.
Perfect Seal Toilet Wax Ring by Danco
The Perfect Seal Wax Ring by Danco is a rubber gasket containing encapsulated wax. You’ll also find a height adaptor, and a removable plastic ring in the kit. Mounting bolts are not included and you’ll need to buy these separately. The product is designed to work with all toilet installations and will fit any drain size plus you can fit this product to most flange heights by using the included adapter.
- PERFECT SEAL: Guarantees a perfect seal on the first toilet installation
- NO MESS: Hidden wax ring delivers a no-mess installation with 3x's stronger seal than wax rings. Toilet can be...
- MAINTAINS INTEGRITY: Maintains a tight seal when common toilet and floor movements occur
- This product will work for flange heights from ½” above the floor to 1½” below the floor. The generous below the floor range could make this a good choice for underset flanges.
- The ring stabilizes the toilet bolts in an upright position making installation easier.
- Toilet movement over time is not a problem as the product will flex and adjust.
- There will be less messy than a traditional wax ring as the wax is contained.
- The internal wax ring creates a snug seal around the waste pipe.
- You can remove the hard plastic ring from the rubber gasket. Compressing the gasket will then result in a reduction in its height.
- You won’t need any tools if you also buy the matching adjustable height bolts.
- Although the product is described as repositionable, it does contain wax. When you initially position the toilet you may find that you have an impact upon the shape of this wax.
- The wax in the product will cover the flange. This will potentially create more mess than a fully waxless product.
- Hardware is not included and you’ll need to buy this separately at extra cost.
- As the installation is only hand-tight, you may find that you need to re-tighten regularly. If the threads start to strip, further re-tightening may become impossible.
- The design is unintuitive and the instructions are unclear. In particular, it isn’t clear enough that you can remove the hard plastic ring to adjust the fit.
Verdict: The best toilet seal
For most situations, I prefer the Better Than Wax – Universal Toilet Seal from Fluidmaster.
It’s a truly wax-free product so it has none of the downsides of a traditional wax ring but still provides a snug, reliable seal that is flexible enough to allow for some movement over time without requiring constant re-tightening.
A thoughtful approach to design is evident at every point with this product. The kit includes everything that you need, the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the parts are robust. The decision to include a fully detached spacer ring is a smart one that pays off in terms of greatly increased installation flexibility.
Crucially, the product is quick and easy to install even for novice home-plumbers and can be repositioned as often as you wish. The only real downside to the product is that for more complex installations, or where the positioning of the flange is particularly high or low, you may need to purchase some additional parts.
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Last update on 2021-02-27 at 22:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API