Mastering the Art of Toilet Shimming: A Comprehensive How-To Guide

Welcome to our article on how to properly shim a toilet! Whether you’re a homeowner, a DIY enthusiast, or a professional plumber, understanding the importance of properly installed toilets is essential. A wobbly or unstable toilet not only compromises its functionality but can also lead to costly water damage.

That’s where toilet shims come in. In this article, we’ll explore what toilet shims are, when and why you might need to use them, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to shim a toilet effectively. So, if you’re ready to tackle those toilet stability issues and ensure a secure and functional bathroom fixture, let’s dive in and learn how to shim a toilet!

Summary in three points

  • Toilet shims are important for properly installing toilets.
  • There are different types of toilet shims, including plastic and composite.
  • Signs that indicate you need to shim a toilet include instability and gaps.

how to shim a toilet

1/12 Importance of Properly Installed Toilets

Properly installing a toilet is vital for functionality, efficiency, and cleanliness. It prevents unpleasant odors, leaks, and potential water damage, saving both water and money. Additionally, it promotes comfort and stability, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

In summary, a well-installed toilet is essential for a functional and enjoyable bathroom. So, whether you’re installing a new toilet or replacing an old one, take the necessary time to do it correctly .

Plastic Shims

Plastic shims, the versatile heroes of toilet installation . With a vast array of sizes and thicknesses to choose from, finding the perfect fit for your toilet and floor is a breeze. What sets plastic shims apart is their adaptability.

Need to trim or shape them to fit a specific spot? No problem. These shims can be easily modified to suit your needs, ensuring a snug and sturdy fit that leaves no room for gaps or wobbles.

But it’s not just about looks. Functionality is where plastic shims truly shine. They excel at providing stability, putting an end to toilet rocking once and for all.

Placed strategically, these shims act as a buffer between the toilet and the floor, keeping everything in place. Say goodbye to uncomfortable wobbling and hello to a secure and pleasant experience. When it comes to reliability and affordability, plastic shims take the crown.

Their range of sizes , customizable nature, and ability to deliver stability make them the go-to choice for a properly installed and rock-solid toilet. So, when it’s time to shim that toilet, plastic shims are the undeniable champions.

how to shim a toilet

Composite Shims

When it comes to installing toilets, composite shims are the top choice. With their durability and long-lasting support, they outshine other materials. Say goodbye to rotting or warping, as composite shims are moisture-resistant, making them ideal for bathrooms with frequent water exposure.

But that’s not all! These shims offer more than just moisture resistance. They provide superior stability for your toilet, eliminating any rocking or wobbling.

With composite shims , you can ensure a secure and comfortable experience every time. The reliability and stability of composite shims make them the ultimate option for a properly installed toilet. Their resistance to moisture and ability to provide long-lasting support make them an invaluable tool for achieving a stable and efficient toilet installation.

So, when it’s time to shim your toilet, don’t settle for anything less than composite shims for the best results.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the average person spends about three years of their life sitting on the toilet? That’s a lot of time spent shimmying and making sure it’s properly installed!


My name is Warren and I am a professional plumber licensed and insured in the State of California. I have been in the business for over 10 years and have undertaken small and large projects including bathroom renovation, toilets, garbage disposals, faucets, sinks and kitchen plumbing jobs. This site is based on my experience with toilets. I have installed the best brands and models in all sizes and shapes. I hope this helps you with the unbiased information that you need to make the right decision. …weiterlesen

2/12 Signs Your Toilet Needs Shimming

Imagine a moment of discomfort, when you find yourself perched upon a wobbly or uneven toilet seat. The unsettling sensation sends a shiver down your spine, a sign that something is amiss. In these moments, it becomes clear that your toilet may require a shim.

You see, when your toilet lacks a secure attachment to the floor, it has the audacity to shift and move, creating an unstable and potentially perilous situation. But there are other telltale signs that your toilet is in dire need of a shim. Take for instance, the sight of water seeping from the base.

This unfortunate occurrence is often the result of an improper seal between the toilet and the floor, leaving your bathroom vulnerable to water damage and the insidious growth of mold. Swift action is of the utmost importance, my dear reader, to prevent further harm from befalling your sacred space. And then there is the matter of your toilet’s mischievous behavior when flushed.

If it incessantly moves and shifts with each flush, it is not merely a nuisance, but a stark indication of underlying instability. Fear not, for by shimmying your toilet, you can restore its stability and security, providing a haven of comfort and tranquility for you and your beloved family. Should you encounter any of these signs, my dear reader, I implore you to address them with utmost urgency by employing the age-old technique of shimmying your toilet.

This elegant and simple solution can avert further damage, fortify your toilet’s stability, and grant you the serenity of knowing that your cherished bathroom fixture is properly installed.

how to shim a toilet

3/12 List of Necessary Tools

In order to achieve a secure and stable installation for your toilet, there are a few essential tools that you will need at your disposal. Let me walk you through them:

1. The humble screwdriver: This trusty tool will come in handy when it’s time to tighten the bolts that hold your toilet in place. By ensuring a tight fit, you can eliminate any wobbling and guarantee stability.

2. The level: A crucial instrument for achieving perfection, the level will be your guide in aligning and ensuring that your toilet is perfectly level with the floor. This not only adds to the aesthetics but also ensures a comfortable experience for users.

3. The rubber mallet: With a gentle tap here and there, the rubber mallet will be your ally in gently adjusting and placing the shims in the right position. Its soft touch prevents any damage while allowing for precise leveling. Armed with these essential tools, you are now equipped to shim your toilet and achieve a stable installation.

Take your time, make the necessary adjustments, and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done. Happy shimming!

If you’re having trouble with your toilet rocking back and forth, check out our article on how to shim a toilet for step-by-step instructions on how to fix it.

how to shim a toilet

The Complete Guide to Shim a Toilet and Ensure Stability and Efficiency

  • Did you know that properly installed toilets are essential for a functional and efficient bathroom? A toilet shim can help ensure that your toilet is stable and level, preventing leaks and other issues.
  • There are different types of toilet shims available, including plastic shims and composite shims. Plastic shims are inexpensive and easy to use, while composite shims are more durable and can be adjusted for a perfect fit.
  • Knowing when to shim a toilet is important. If your toilet wobbles or rocks when you sit on it, it is a clear sign that it needs to be shimmed. Ignoring this issue can lead to more serious problems down the line.
  • When shimming a toilet, you will need a few tools to get the job done. These tools include a wrench, a level, a screwdriver, a utility knife, and of course, the toilet shims themselves.
  • Follow these step-by-step instructions to properly shim a toilet: 1) Prepare by turning off the water supply and removing the toilet tank lid; 2) Check for stability by sitting on the toilet and wiggling it gently; 3) Locate the gap between the toilet base and the floor; 4) Insert the shim into the gap, starting with the thinnest part and gradually adding more shims if needed; 5) Adjust the shim by tapping it lightly with a hammer until the toilet is stable; 6) Secure the toilet by tightening the bolts and replacing the tank lid.
  • If you encounter any issues during the shimming process, don’t panic. If there is too much movement, you may need to add additional shims or adjust their placement. If the shim won’t stay in place, try using a small amount of adhesive to secure it.
  • After shimming your toilet, it’s important to maintain it properly. Regular cleaning and care will help prevent any future issues and keep your toilet in good working condition.

4/12 Step 1: Preparation

In order to achieve a seamless and efficient toilet installation, adequate preparation is key. Assemble the essential tools such as a screwdriver, level, and rubber mallet. Create a clear space around the toilet to facilitate easy access and minimize the risk of unintentional harm.

Remember to shut off the water supply to prevent any potential leaks or water-related mishaps. By following these measures, you will be fully equipped for a sturdy and flawlessly installed toilet.

5/12 Step 2: Checking for Stability

Ensuring Toilet Stability Toilet stability is crucial, and it’s essential to identify potential causes of instability. An uneven toilet base is a common culprit, causing wobbling and discomfort. To determine if the base is level, simply use a level on top of the tank or seat.

If the bubble is centered, your toilet is level; if it’s off-center, the alignment is off. Loose or damaged toilet bolts also contribute to instability. These bolts secure the toilet to the floor, and if they’re not secure, it can lead to wobbling.

Check each bolt carefully and tighten them securely with a screwdriver or wrench as necessary. Taking these steps to address instability, checking the levelness of the base, and ensuring tight toilet bolts will provide a stable and comfortable experience. It also prevents potential issues like leaks or damage to the flooring.

6/12 Step 3: Locating the Gap

The Quest for Stability In the realm of toilet maintenance, one must embark on a grand adventure to uncover the elusive gap that lies betwixt the toilet and the floor. This treacherous gap, if left unattended, can unleash chaos in the form of leaks and instability. Armed with naught but a flashlight, one must embark on a daring inspection of the toilet base and its surroundings.

Beware, for hidden obstructions and debris may lurk, causing the gap to manifest. Take heed, for the gap must be evenly distributed around the base, lest the placement of shims be misguided and the toilet’s stability compromised. Only by delving deep into the mysteries of the gap and thoroughly examining the area can one achieve the precise and effective placement of shims.

This crucial step is the key to a toilet that stands strong and resolute. Remember, a properly installed toilet is a bastion of comfort and stability, warding off the perils of leaks and water damage. Do not underestimate the importance of finding the gap and addressing any issues before embarking on the noble act of shimming the toilet.

If you want to learn more about loop vent plumbing and how it can improve your plumbing system, check out our article on loop vent plumbing .

how to shim a toilet

Stability Issues and Recommended Toilet Types – Tabelle

Shim Size (in inches) Corresponding Stability Issues Recommended Toilet Types or Models
1/8 inch Minor wobbling or rocking Most standard toilets, low-profile toilets
1/4 inch Moderate wobbling or rocking Most standard toilets, low-profile toilets
1/2 inch Significant wobbling or rocking Most standard toilets, low-profile toilets, raised toilets
1 inch Severe wobbling or rocking Most standard toilets, low-profile toilets, raised toilets
2 inches Extreme wobbling or rocking Most standard toilets, low-profile toilets, raised toilets

7/12 Step 4: Inserting the Shim

Creating a stable toilet installation is a meticulous task that requires precision. Begin by identifying the area of instability and carefully selecting the ideal spot to insert the shim. Ensure a seamless alignment and a snug fit against the toilet base.

With a rubber mallet in hand, gently tap the shim into its designated place, allowing the force to disperse evenly. Be cautious, as any unnecessary damage must be avoided at all costs. To guarantee a steadfast toilet, test its stability by applying pressure to various areas.

Should any movement or rocking be detected, make minor adjustments to the shim’s positioning. Achieving the perfect balance and stability is the ultimate goal. Finally, secure the toilet by tightly fastening the bolts with a wrench.

This step is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your installation. Once secured, carefully inspect for any leaks or signs of movement. By diligently following these steps and expertly inserting the shim, you will achieve a toilet installation that is not only stable but also secure.

how to shim a toilet

8/12 Step 5: Adjusting the Shim

As you enter the final phase of perfecting your toilet installation, meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Begin by delicately aligning the shim with the toilet base, ensuring a seamless fit . Gently examine the toilet for any signs of rocking or instability .

Should you detect even the slightest movement , a slight readjustment of the shim may be necessary. Now, embark on the quest for absolute equilibrium by employing a level. Place this indispensable tool atop the toilet tank or along the edges of the seat.

As your eyes meet the level’s bubble, rejoice if it resides harmoniously in the center. This signifies that your toilet has achieved a state of exquisite balance. However, should the bubble venture astray from its rightful place, fear not.

A gentle tap upon the shim with a rubber mallet will guide it towards perfection. Patience becomes your ally as you maintain the alignment with the toilet base, ensuring a symphony of stability . Once the shim has found its rightful place and your toilet stands steadfast and level, it is time to secure it firmly.

This pivotal moment , made possible by the meticulous adjustment of the shim, guarantees a future free from movement or disconcerting rocking. Remember, my dear reader, that in this very moment lies the key to a well-installed toilet that will provide unrivaled comfort and stability for all who cross its path.

How to Shim a Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide for Stabilizing Your Bathroom Fixture

  1. Prepare the necessary tools for shimming a toilet.
  2. Check the stability of the toilet to determine if shimming is needed.
  3. Locate the gap between the toilet and the floor.
  4. Insert the chosen type of shim into the gap.
  5. Adjust the shim as needed to ensure proper leveling of the toilet.
  6. Secure the toilet in place by tightening the bolts and nuts.
  7. If there is excessive movement, try adding additional shims or repositioning them.
  8. After shimming, clean and maintain the toilet regularly for optimal performance.

9/12 Step 6: Securing the Toilet

Ensuring a stable and secure toilet installation is of utmost importance. Step 6 focuses on preventing any unwanted movement or instability. Once the toilet is properly shimmed and leveled, it is time to take the necessary steps to secure it.

Using a wrench, firmly tighten the toilet bolts. This will ensure that the toilet remains in place without any shifting or wobbling. Remember to evenly tighten the bolts to maintain stability.

After securely fastening the toilet, it is essential to check for any leaks or movement. Gently shake the toilet to confirm that it is firmly in place. Additionally, inspect the base for any signs of water leakage .

This thorough examination will help identify any potential issues. By diligently securing the toilet, you can avoid future problems and enjoy a reliable fixture. Gather your wrench, tighten those bolts, and carefully inspect for any movement or leaks.

With a securely fastened toilet, you can rest assured knowing it will remain steadfast for years to come.

how to shim a toilet

10/12 Problem: Too Much Movement

Experiencing excessive movement in a toilet can be quite frustrating. However, there are a few common causes and solutions to tackle this issue. One possible culprit is incorrect shim placement.

It is crucial to ensure that the shim is centered and leveled with the toilet base in order to prevent any movement. Uneven floor surfaces can also contribute to toilet instability. If the floor is not level, additional shimming may be required to compensate for the unevenness.

Another factor to consider is improper bolt tightening . To secure the toilet in place and prevent movement, it is important to use a wrench to evenly and firmly tighten the bolts. By addressing these causes, you can guarantee a stable and secure toilet installation.

Don’t forget to properly place the shim, address any uneven floors, and tighten the bolts for a satisfactory resolution.

how to shim a toilet

If you’re tired of dealing with a wobbly toilet, look no further. In this video, you’ll learn how to shim a toilet properly for a permanent solution. Say goodbye to annoying wiggles and hello to a stable bathroom fixture. Let’s dive in!

YouTube video

11/12 Problem: Shim Won’t Stay in Place

When it comes to shimming a toilet, one common issue that can arise is the shims not staying in place. It can be quite frustrating to install them only to have them shift later on. The reasons for this can vary, but there are a few key factors to consider.

One possibility is that the floor surface is uneven. If the floor is not level, it can create instability and cause the shims to move. In order to address this, it is important to focus on the floor before attempting to shim the toilet.

Taking the time to level the floor or using a self-leveling compound can provide a stable foundation for the toilet. Another factor to consider is the placement of the shims themselves. It is crucial to ensure that the shims are correctly and securely positioned under the toilet base.

Properly centering the shim and aligning it with the toilet base are essential steps. If the shim is not positioned correctly, it can easily shift during use. To effectively secure the shims, there are techniques that can be employed.

One option is to use construction adhesive to bond the shim to the floor. This adds stability and prevents movement. Additionally, using a rubber mallet to firmly tap the shims into place can help secure them.

Ultimately , proper shim placement is crucial for a stable toilet installation . By taking the time to ensure that the shims are correctly positioned and securely in place, you can prevent future movement or instability. This extra effort will result in a sturdy and reliable toilet installation that will stand the test of time.

12/12 Cleaning and Care Tips

Maintaining a clean and fresh-smelling toilet is crucial in preventing unpleasant odors and unsightly stains. Opt for a disinfectant cleaner to regularly clean both the bowl and seat, ensuring a hygienic environment. It’s essential to be cautious and avoid using harsh chemicals that could potentially harm the surface.

Instead, opt for mild and non-abrasive cleaners specifically designed for toilet use. In addition to regular cleaning, don’t forget to replace any worn-out or faulty parts. Components like flappers and fill valves play a vital role in the toilet’s performance.

A malfunctioning flapper can lead to leaks or inconsistent flushing, while a worn-out fill valve may result in slow tank refilling or persistent running water. By adhering to these straightforward cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure your toilet remains in excellent condition, providing a clean and comfortable bathroom experience.

If you’re curious about the minimum depth of a sewer line, check out our article “What is the Minimum Depth of a Sewer Line” to learn all the important details and guidelines.

how to shim a toilet


In conclusion, understanding the importance of properly installed toilets and knowing how to shim a toilet can save you from potential issues down the line. By using the right type of shim and following the step-by-step guide, you can ensure stability and prevent any movement or leaking. It’s crucial to regularly check for signs that your toilet needs shimming, such as rocking or unevenness.

By addressing these issues promptly, you can avoid further damage and costly repairs. Additionally, maintaining your toilet post-shimming through regular cleaning and care will prolong its lifespan. We hope this article has provided you with valuable information and guidance.

For more helpful articles on plumbing and home improvement topics, we recommend exploring our other resources. Happy shimming!


Are rubber toilet shims better than plastic?

Rubber shims offer superior strength and grip compared to plastic shims, ensuring a secure hold without the risk of slipping. Additionally, their soft material provides the added benefit of protecting floors from scratches. It is worth noting that due to their softness, rubber shims may pose a slight challenge when it comes to fitting them into place.

Does a toilet need to be level?

To ensure a proper seal and avoid any rocking on the floor, it is important to make sure that the toilet is level.

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