Perhaps your bathroom is next in line for a facelift, so you’re removing all the old fixtures from the space. As you remove the old toilet, you notice a caulk seam around the base. So, when you install the new toilet, you begin to wonder whether caulking around the toilet’s base is necessary.
Should you apply a bead of caulk around the toilet, or is it a waste of time?
- Caulking around the toilet is beneficial for leak management, easier cleaning, and provides extra stability.
- Silicone caulk designed for bathroom settings is best for use around toilets.
- Clear or white caulk can be used to blend in with the space, but generally, it is best to stick with just these two colors.
Caulking around the toilet is a good idea, as it offers a range of benefits, such as leak management, easier cleaning, and extra stability. We’re here to explain, so continue reading to learn more!
What Kind Of Caulk Should You Use Around A Toilet?
The best kind of caulk for bathroom applications, specifically around the toilet, is silicone caulk designed for bathroom settings. This caulk is designed to hold up in the moisture of the bathroom and is waterproof to prevent leaks.
Avoid using latex or standard caulk in your bathroom, including around the toilet. These types of caulk aren’t intended for use in wet areas of your home, like your bathroom, so they don’t typically hold up well due to the moisture in your bathroom.
The caulk you should use for your bathroom will be labeled for use in bathroom settings. Sometimes, the caulk will have a label approving it for kitchen and bathroom use. Be sure to select a product with a label verifying it’s approved for use in the bathroom.
Some products will feature labels saying they’re designed specifically for bathroom use, which will also work. Here are a few excellent product options for caulking around your toilet:
- Gorilla Clear 100% Silicone Caulk
- GE Advanced Silicone Caulk For Kitchen And Bath
Avoid skimping on your project, as spending a few extra dollars is best to get a high-quality project.
Should You Use Clear Or White Caulk For The Toilet?
You’ll find dozens of options as you browse for caulk for your toilet. Caulk comes in multiple colors: white, almond, cream, and clear. So, which color should you choose for around your toilet base?
Generally, it’s best to stick with clear or white caulk for the toilet. However, if you have a colored toilet, you might choose to go with a different color caulk so it doesn’t stand out so much. Choose a color that correlates with your bathroom, as this will help the layer of caulk blend in with the space.
For example, if you have white or gray grout between the tiles in your flooring or shower, white is a good choice for caulking around the toilet. Be sure to select the proper type of caulk, especially if you choose a different colored caulk.
Are You Supposed To Caulk Around A Toilet?
Caulking around a toilet is an essential part of installing a new toilet. International Plumbing Code requires you to caulk the toilet to the floor, so while you might be tempted to skip this step, it’s a necessary part of the process.
Not only does it help reduce the risk of a leak, but caulking around the toilet’s base also helps add stability on somewhat uneven floors. Although the bolts securing the toilet’s base to the ground secure it well, uneven floors can make it relatively unstable. Adding a caulk layer makes the toilet more stable and less prone to malfunctions due to movement.
Benefits Of Caulking Around The Toilet
There’s no doubting the benefits of caulking around the base of the toilet. While some plumbers cite issues with removal due to the caulk’s adhesion (when you remove the toilet, the caulk adhered to tile may pull those tiles away from the floor), the benefits outweigh the negatives. A few notable benefits of caulking around the base of the toilet include the following:
- Secures the toilet: Caulking around the toilet adds an extra layer of security and stability to the toilet, especially on uneven floors. Once the caulk dries, it offers a bit of additional protection against movement.
- Creates a seamless appearance: The crack between the toilet and tiles (or other floorings) can be noticeable, especially if the flooring cutout doesn’t precisely match the toilet shape. By adding caulk, you can minimize the looks of the gap between the two, creating a more seamless appearance.
- Prevents foul odors: Foul odors and toilets go hand-in-hand, especially when those odors creep from the outlet drain and exit through the gaps in the toilet. Adding caulk around the base of the toilet helps keep those offensive odors where they belong – in the sewage system.
- Cleaning becomes easier: When there are gaps between your bathroom flooring and the toilet, you need to be careful during cleaning. If you get too much water in the gap and it doesn’t dry quickly enough, it can create a host of problems (water damage, mold, mildew, etc.). A quick caulk application after the toilet installation stops this problem before it can begin.
- Blocks bugs and other pests: All sorts of pests appreciate dark, moist environments, like sink and sewage drains. Caulking around the toilet’s base helps keep those pesky critters out of the space around and beneath your toilet.
5 Tips For Successfully Caulking Around Your Toilet
Once you choose the perfect caulk for your bathroom, it’s time to apply it around the toilet. Here are a few tips to help ensure a successful application:
1. Remove Old Caulk
Although you might be tempted to apply new caulk over the old, cracking caulk, don’t cut corners. Removing all of the old caulk is essential, as applying a new product over it can lead to a weak bond and cracks and leaks in the new caulk. This defeats the purpose of applying new caulk, so be sure to remove the existing caulk.
You can easily do so using a putty knife to scrape the old product away from the toilet. Alternatively, accelerate the process by using a caulk remover, such as Goo Gone Caulk Remover.
2. Use A Good Caulk Gun
Skimping and cutting corners on this project won’t work favorably for you. So, be sure to do everything right, including buying a good-quality caulk gun. A good caulk gun will help you manage the flow of the caulk better, which will help you create a more seamless-looking result.
You don’t have to spend excessive amounts on a good caulking gun – they’re relatively inexpensive!
3. Cut The Caulk Tube At The Right Spot
While cutting the caulk tube might seem like a minor part of the process, it can make a difference in the final product. If you cut the tube too high and create a large hole in the tube, the bead of caulk might be too big, making a mess around the base of your toilet.
If it’s too small, you’ll have a tough time squeezing the caulk out of the tube. So, be sure to cut the tube at the perfect point, so it’s easy to squeeze from the tube but not overly large. Since you can’t reattach pieces of the tube once you remove them, start by cutting small pieces off until you reach the perfect bead size.
4. Clean And Prep The Area First
For best results, you’ll need to prepare the area around your toilet before applying the new caulk. Once you scrape away the old material, clean the area thoroughly with soapy water, removing any gunk from the base of the toilet.
Let the surface dry completely before applying the caulk, as it won’t bond to a damp surface. To ensure a clean-finished result, you can carefully apply painter’s tape around the base of the toilet. This step is optional, but if you’re worried about making a mess.
5. Avoid Using The Toilet Until The Caulk Cures
After you complete your project, you can clean up the area, remove excess caulk, and remove the tape (if you used it). Now, your work is done, and you need to let it cure. Avoid using the toilet until the caulk cures, as using it too soon could manipulate or damage the caulk before it dries.
Most types of caulk take approximately 24 hours to cure fully, but there may be some variation from one product to the next. So, check the label on the caulk tube for specific curing instructions.