Condo Blues: How to Caulk Around a Toilet

Monday, March 30, 2020

How to Caulk Around a Toilet

After tiling the guest bathroom and replacing the boring builder molding with something a little more interesting, It is time to make this bathroom look and function like a bathroom by installing a working toilet – a luxury we haven’t had in quite a while since the builder toilet went on strike.

I went with a Watersense rated Delta Faucet Company toilet (you can find similar toilets here.)  (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) I had such a good experience installing one in my powder room because every single thing you need to install the toilet comes in the box down to a screwdriver and the Watersense rating means it is water efficient (I think of it as the Energy Star rating for plumbing) without the hit or miss of not quite flushing everything that needs to be flushed like a duel flush toilet. 

the easy way to caulk a toilet and bathtub
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But before I can completely cross Install New Toilet off my punch list, I need to caulk around it (and also along the new tile next to the bathtub. Fortunately, you caulk around a bathtub the same way you caulk a toilet. Let’s do this!

Why Should I Caulk Around the Toilet?

There are several very good reasons why you need to apply silicone caulk around a newly installed toilet:

1. A caulk seal around the toilet will prevent sewer gas from escaping past the wax ring that seals the toilet to the plumbing and smelling up the house. Even a correctly installed toilet and wax ring has the potential for the occasional whiff of sewer gas. That’s why water stays in the bowel after flushing – to prevent sew gas from raising from the pipes and into the house – ew.

2. To keep water spills and accidental overflows from seeping under the toilet. The last thing you want to deal with is potential mold and mildew growing under your toilet – especially when there is such a cheap and way to prevent it.

3. To keep your toilet securely in one place. Based on the flange or plumbing set up you were blessed with in your bathroom, it is possible for a correctly installed toilet to wiggle unless it has a bead of caulk keeping it in place.

4. It just looks nicer. That’s my opinion and and I’m sticking to it.

How to Caulk a Toilet

You will need:

Silicone Caulk – you can go with white or clear silicone caulk like this kind. I used this exact Commercial Delorean Silicone Caulk because it comes in colors that match color of the tile grout – fancy!

Caulk gun – Do yourself a huge favor and buy a caulk gun with a built in cartridge seal pierce like this kind

Painter’s Tape


Step by Step How to Do It Tutorial

1. Outline the area you want to caulk with painter’s tape. Do not skip this step! The painter’s tape will allow you to create a nice crisp edge with your caulk.

how caulk around a toilet
Taping time!

2. Load the tube of caulk into the caulk gun. Cut the tip of the caulk tube off with the scissors. I like to cut mine at an angle. I think it allows for a more controlled and neater application than cutting the tube straight across.

3. Break the seal  inside of the tube of caulk with a long nail or the seal piercer on your caulk gun.

WARNING: Tubes of caulk have a plastic membrane inside the tube you have to puncture with before you use the caulk if you do not the caulk will explode out of the back of the tube. Guess how I know? Twice.

4. Use the caulk gun to run a bead of caulk in between the toilet or bathtub and the painter’s tape. If you step a few small places with caulk, we’ll fix that in Step 5.

5. Use the most expensive DIY tool in the world – your finger – to smooth the bead of caulk and fill any tiny gaps.

This is a photo of the bathtub because I caulked it the same time I was doing the toilet but the technique is the same.
6. Carefully remove the painter’s tape.
7. Use the rag to clean up stray caulk from the toilet (or bathtub) or yourself if needed.

why caulk around a toilet
Signed. Sealed. Delivered. It's Caulk!

8. Wait the appropriate amount of time for the caulk to dry and cure (check the package for this information.) I usually give it a good 24 hours.

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1 comment :

Michelle said...

I came across this post at exactly the right time! We are renovating our bathroom and will be replacing the toilet soon. Saving this post so I can refer back to it when the time comes.

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