What Is an Offset Closet Flange?

Lori Kilchermann

An offset closet flange is used to reposition a toilet away from a wall or away from a floor joist. Occasionally, when installing a toilet, the drain is too close to a wall, floor stud or another object that requires the use of an offset closet flange to move the entire toilet a slight distance away from the object. A closet flange is the flange that connects the toilet to the sewer pipe. The flange also attaches the toilet to the floor. Therefore, an offset closet flange is a flange that is designed with a slight offset in place of the typical straight flange.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

There are many differently sized offset closet flange designs that allow the toilet to be positioned a specific distance from directly over the sewer pipe. After careful measurements have been taken and rechecked, a properly offset flange can be purchased to install the toilet in the desired location. This often requires the reconstruction of the bathroom floor to match the amount of offset in the flange. The job usually is made easier by making cardboard templates of the floor as it is and as it should be. After the template has been created, the floor can be modified to properly fit the new offset closet flange.

It is a wise decision for a person to test fit the flange at every step of the process to make certain that the fit will work before gluing the flange into place in the sewer pipe. When the fit has been verified, the new flange can be glued into position in the sewer pipe. It also is a good idea for one to be certain that the new floor can be installed after the flange has been glued into place. Some installations will require the floor patch panel to be slipped into place before the flange is glued into place. After it has been glued into the sewer pipe, the offset closet flange can be secured to the floor with screws.

Many installations require a bead of caulk or silicone to be run around the flange, the floor patch and the toilet after it is set into place. The caulk is used to make certain that no liquid finds a way out from under the toilet in the event of a wax ring failure. Most applications also require the offset closet flange to be secured to a floor joist to avoid potential movement from future use.

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