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Rocking Toilet Repair

How to Repair a Rocking Toilet

By Mark J. Donovan


A rocking toilet can be the source of water leaks and odor problems in your bathroom. A rocking toilet could simply be caused by the toilet mounting bolts not adequately tighten. It could also be due to an uneven bathroom floor underneath the toilet or a damaged toilet flange. No matter what the cause, rocking toilet repair is essential. If left unchecked the toilet bowl could eventually crack, water leaks could occur, and a subtle odor may become persistent.

The simplest and easiest rocking toilet repair that you can attempt is to gently tighten up the toilet mounting bolts.


However, be very careful to not over-tighten them as you could cause the toilet bowl to crack.

If you are convinced the toilet mounting bolts are snug with the toilet bowl surface, try placing small wooden shims underneath the edge of the rocking toilet. Use a utility knife to remove any excess shim material, and use a hammer and common screwdriver to gently tap the shim so that it sits slightly recessed underneath the bottom of the toilet bowl. Then apply a bead of bathroom silicone caulk around the base of the toilet bowl.


If the toilet rocking is significant, e.g. more than 1/8th inch of play, then I would highly suggest removing the toilet and inspecting the area underneath the toilet and around the toilet flange. When removing a toilet, make sure to first turn off water to the toilet and fully drain the toilet tank and bowl. Then remove the toilet mounting bolts, and lift the entire toilet assembly carefully up and out of the way. A second pair of hands can be very useful during this stage. 


Set the toilet aside and inspect the area underneath the toilet area to make sure it is level. Also make sure the toilet flange is not damaged in any way.


Assuming the floor is level and the toilet flange is fine, install a new toilet wax ring to the base of the toilet bowl and re-install the toilet. Make sure when re-installing the toilet that you slightly twist the toilet back and forth onto the toilet flange and press it firmly into place. Then fasten the toilet down with the toilet mounting bolts. If there is still a bit of rocking toilet “syndrome” going on, then use the shim and caulk rocking toilet repair method to resolve the problem.

Rocking Toilet Repair

Photo by Mark Donovan

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