Plumbing – Caulk or Grout the base of a toilet


I recently re-tiled my bathroom floor and removed the toilet to do so. I noticed that the builders had used grout around the base of the toilet when I was removing it and demoing the tile. Should I use grout or caulk around the base of the toilet? I've read some things that would suggest caulk is a better option.

The toilet is installed with the appropriate wax ring and is working fine. I do notice the slightest rocking if I push on the toilet. I'm guessing this is due to the floor not being completely level. The flange bolts are as tight as I'm willing to go with them w/o risk of cracking the porcelain.

Will the grout/caulk help to completely stabilize the toilet as well?

Best Answer

Code requires toilets to be caulked at the floor, that, IMO is a mistake. If the toilet does develop a leak, it will be restricted under the toilet and the subfloor, and may leak for a while before it is detected. So much for that.

The toilet can be shimmed to keep it from rocking. Because of the rocking, what is not leaking now eventually will leak. The grout that the other installer used will act as shims to keep it from rocking as well, but back at the "if it leaks" issue. If you feel you need to seal it in some way, do not seal it 100%. Leave an inch or so not sealed at the back where it is not noticeable, that way it will look good and water can get out if need be.