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What Is a Toilet Flange Extender?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A toilet flange extender is a device used to lengthen the drain pipe connection to a toilet. Commonly used when installing a new bathroom floor, a toilet flange extender allows a toilet to be raised while still connecting to the main sewer pipe. The toilet flange extender serves a dual purpose in that it not only provides a connection to the sewer; the flange also provides the connection between the toilet and the floor. This flange houses the two connecting bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. The flange is secured to the floor via screws, which prevent the assembly from moving once in place.

When a bathroom floor is replaced, the replacement flooring is commonly installed over the existing floor. This not only strengthens the new floor, it saves a great deal of time creating new access holes for water and drain lines. The new floor is simply installed by using the existing floor as a template, and placing the needed access holes in the same location as the existing holes. One problem, however, that this does create is a toilet that is the distance of the thickness of the new floor from connecting to the sewer pipe. This can also occur when installing ceramic tile over an existing floor.

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Typically, a toilet flange extender will solve this distance problem. Made of plastic, the toilet flange extender is simply purchased in the desired height and slipped into position in the open sewer pipe. Once in position, the toilet flange extender is secured by driving stainless steel screws around the perimeter of the flange and into the new flooring material. The stainless steel screws are used to prevent the screws from rusting through in the damp environment. Other types of metal screws that may be used include brass or aluminum.

Before placing the toilet into position and securing it to the floor, a wax ring is placed over the top of the flange. The ring of soft wax conforms to the shape of the cast toilet that can differ in shape due to variances in casting techniques. This forms a leak-proof seal between the toilet and the toilet flange extender that is able to endure for several years in a typical installation. The toilet is positioned over two mounting bolts that rise up and out of the flange, and is secured in place through the installation of two brass nuts that are tightened onto these bolts. Some manufacturers recommend re-tightening the toilet mounting bolts after a few uses to compensate for any slight settling of the toilet into the wax due to use.

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