Sealing a toilet bowl with caulk is a great way to quickly improve a toilet. You can do it in minutes, and the job doesn’t require special tools.
However, many homeowners still believe that caulk is bad for their bathroom thrones. So should you caulk around a toilet?
Yes, you should caulk around the toilet. It stabilizes the bowl, makes the toilet look better, and prevents foul odor.
Read this article to learn the benefits of caulk and how to apply it to the toilet base.
6 Reasons to Caulk Around Your Toilet
Caulking the toilet brings you more than one benefit, so you should definitely think about doing it soon. We can show you six reasons to caulk around your toilet.
Caulk Secures the toilet
When your toilet wobbles, you feel uncomfortable. The most important reason to caulk the toilet is to prevent toilet bowl movements.
Caulking the uneven surface around the bowl connects the toilet to the floor, stabilizing it instantly.
It Looks Great
It doesn’t take a detective to realize that caulking around the bowl improves its appearance. Gaps between the floor and the toilet’s base make it look ugly and unfinished, but caulk steps in nicely.
Sealing these areas sticks the toilet to the floor and makes your bathroom more appealing to visitors. At the same time, holes and gaps around the base won’t bother you and your family anymore.
Plumbing Code Requirements
International plumbing codes require sealing the area around the bowl. The codes don’t have the power of the law, so some people still do not follow them.
However, the truth is you respect the rule to make the toilet water-tight.
Caulk Prevents Foul Smells
A foul smell from the outlet drain is a common problem. After all, toilets handle smelly waste, and there’s not much to do about it. Apart from bathroom exhaust fans, the only quick fix is to caulk around the base.
Caulking keeps the gaps around the bowl closed, preventing odors from escaping into your bathroom. It’s a simple and highly efficient solution.
It’s Easier to Clean the Toilet With Caulk
With caulk around the bowl, cleaning the bathroom becomes much easier. It polishes the surface between the bathroom floor and the bowl, making it smoother and easy to wipe.
Caulk also seals the gaps where bacteria can hide and multiply. Instead of cleaning these holes and cracks, you can simply seal them to prevent dirt accumulation.
Caulk Prevents Bugs From Going Into the Bathroom
It’s no secret that roaches and other bugs hide under the bathroom sinks. They prefer dark places with lots of moisture, so they find sewage drains perfectly suitable for their habitat.
But if you caulk the cracks tightly, the bugs will have a hard time entering your bathroom. It’s a quick fix that stops annoying bugs from coming into your home through the sewer.
How to Caulk Around Your Toilet?
You can caulk around the toilet by following our step-by-step procedure. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Clean the Toilet Base to Remove Old Caulk
Start with cleaning the toilet base to remove old caulk. You can use a brush or an ordinary kitchen sponge, but make sure it’s not abrasive. Another way is to use a putty knife because it slides smoothly while removing caulk.
Step 2: Put the Masking Tape Around the Bowl
Use dark masking tape to cover the areas around the bowl, including the back wall. Spread the tape all over as you need to protect the bathroom flooring — don’t leave a single square inch uncovered.
It’s a critical step because the masking tape keeps the bathroom clean and helps you remove excess caulk after finishing your work.
Step 3: Buy 100% Silicone Caulk
Don’t think about anything else but silicone caulk. You need 100% silicone caulk because it’s water-resistant and more durable than other sealing items. Avoid old caulk as it loses adhesiveness and won’t be useful in the long run.
Step 4: Put the Tube in the Caulk Gun
After buying 100% silicone caulk, you must put the tube in a caulking gun. The gun enables you to apply the substance precisely, so you won’t ruin the floor or the bowl’s porcelain surface.
It’s important to cut off only the top of the tube. If you make a bigger cut, there is the risk of using too much silicone and leaving excess caulk on the floor.
Step 5: Pull the Caulk Gun to Fill the Gaps Between the Toilet and the Floor
Start inserting the gun’s nozzle inside the gaps around the bowl. Make sure you angle it correctly for optimal performance — it will glue the toilet to the floor. After applying a thin layer of silicone along the gap, pull back the gun’s lever.
Step 6: Press the Caulk Seal With Your Fingers
The best way to press the caulk seal is with your fingers – the thumb is enough to push the sticky substance and glue it to an uneven surface. When you fill all gaps between the floor and the porcelain, you can stop pressing caulk.
We recommend wearing rubber gloves at all times — they will keep your hands clean, so you won’t need to remove stubborn caulk from your palms after finishing your work.
Step 7: Remove the Masking Tape
Now you can remove the masking tape. It probably won’t leave traces on the floor, but don’t hesitate to use a putty knife (or utility knife) and remove leftover caulk — if you find any.
Step 8: Let Caulk Dry
Finally, leave the silicone caulk dry. Don’t clean the toilet — drying time is necessary before exposing the substance to water and other fluids. Dry caulk can stiffen, gaining enough strength to stop leakages and bad odors.
The new caulk must fit perfectly into every nook and cranny of your bathroom, so leaks won’t have a chance to take place ever again.
Why Do Some People Decide Not to Caulk Around the Toilet?
Caulking the toilet is a simple fix for your bathroom’s leaks, but many people still avoid it. How come?
Caulk hides toilet leaking at the base, so you can’t notice the problem quickly. In this case, leaks may lead to bigger damages and require full bathroom remodeling. But that’s just one side of the coin.
What you may not realize is the toilet often leaks directly into the bowl and toilet flange. Such leaks don’t create puddles on the floor, so you can’t notice them with or without caulk.
However, you will always see leaks and wet walls from the basement. That’s where you want to search while checking for toilet leaks.
PRO TIP: If you are afraid of hiding leakages with caulk, use a simple trick to bypass the obstacle. You can still caulk around the toilet but leave a tiny portion of free room behind the bowl.
That way, water has enough room to exit the toilet’s bottom and reveal leaks. You’ll also make the toilet secure and stable, while its front will look neat and clean.
Should You Use White or Clear Caulk Around Toilet?
Most homeowners choose between white and clear caulk. We have a tip for you — always go for the white caulk.
Don’t forget the primary purpose of caulk when choosing its color. Caulking doesn’t prevent leaks — it only hides dampness, dirt, and liquid under the bowl. Therefore, its primary mission is camouflage.
It means that white caulk perfectly suits your white toilet. Clear caulk seems flawless, but it’s visible as soon as you enter the bathroom. Unlike white caulk, clear substance can’t blend in.
Why Is Caulk Around Toilet Turning Brown?
When caulk becomes brown, it’s a signal that urine leaks through the broken wax ring. Your toilet bowl is losing water, so you’ll have to fix the damaged wax seal.
Until you do that, caulk around the toilet base will have that brownish shade because of urine. You will start noticing that awkward urine smell, so it’s best to roll up your sleeves and replace the wax ring as soon as possible.
Can You Cure a Leaky Toilet With Caulk?
No, you should never cure a leaking toilet with caulk. It’s a common misconception, but you shouldn’t believe it. You can’t fix leaks with caulk because the purpose of this substance is not to repair the damage in your toilet.
Leaks indicate that one of the toilet parts is broken, so covering it with caulk would only cause further damage. Eventually, your toilet will overflow and flood the bathroom floor.
Instead of caulking, you must pinpoint the leak and see what’s causing it — the toilet flange, the wax seal, or something else. That’s the only way to figure out how to prevent future leaks.
The Bottom Line
If you weren’t too sure about caulking the toilet, this article probably helped you figure it out. You should always caulk the toilet because it stabilizes the bowl, prevents bad smells, and makes the bathroom nicer.
What happens if you don’t caulk the toilet?
If you don’t caulk the toilet, you could have a loose toilet bowl very soon. Not caulking will also make the toilet look strange due to the gaps between the bathroom floor and the porcelain.
Sometimes you’ll feel an awful odor coming from the sewer, while cockroaches may also surprise you from time to time.
What is the best caulk to use around the toilet?
The best caulk to use around the toilet is 100% silicone — it is water-resistant and extremely durable. At the same time, silicone has extraordinary adhesive abilities. It also comes in different colors, so you can take a pick (but choose white).
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