Mastering the Art of Shimming a Toilet: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you experiencing a wobbly toilet or an uneven floor ? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will guide you through the process of shimming a toilet , a crucial step in ensuring a stable and properly functioning bathroom fixture.

Shimming a toilet may not be a task that most homeowners think about, but it is essential for preventing leaks, minimizing damage, and maintaining the longevity of your toilet. So, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-time homeowner, understanding how to shim a toilet will prove to be invaluable knowledge. Let’s dive in and discover the ins and outs of shimming a toilet, this important procedure.

At a glance: What’s behind the topic.What you need to know: An overview of the key information

  • Shimming a toilet is important for stability and preventing leaks.
  • The process involves checking for wobbling, measuring the gap, placing shims, securing the toilet, and cutting excess shims.
  • Common mistakes to avoid when shimming a toilet are using the wrong type of shims and not properly securing the toilet.

shimming a toilet

Why Shimming a Toilet is Important

Ensuring the proper installation of a toilet is paramount to its stability and protection against damage. A vital step in this process is shimming, which not only prevents leaks and water damage but also maintains the toilet’s level position, thus preventing the escape of sewer gas into the bathroom. When toilets are incorrectly installed, they can become unstable, leading to leaks and damage to the flooring.

By utilizing shimming, the toilet is stabilized, eliminating any gaps between the toilet and the floor, thus preventing leaks and securing the toilet firmly in place. Additionally, shimming plays a crucial role in maintaining a level position for the toilet. An uneven toilet can create a gap between the toilet and the wax ring, allowing sewer gas to escape.

By employing shimming techniques, the toilet is ensured to be level and properly aligned, thereby avoiding any potential issues with sewer gas. In summary, the importance of shimming a toilet during installation cannot be overstated. It provides the necessary stability, prevents leaks and water damage, and ensures a level toilet that effectively prevents the escape of sewer gas.

Taking the time to properly shim your toilet will not only prevent future problems but also guarantee the longevity of your bathroom fixture.

Tools You Will Need

Embarking on the installation of a toilet demands the possession of essential tools. An adjustable wrench and a screwdriver are indispensable for removing the old toilet and securing the bolts of the new one. Equally crucial is a level, which guarantees proper alignment and balance of the toilet.

Finally, shims come into play, stabilizing the toilet and filling any gaps. Armed with these tools, you are well-equipped for a triumphant toilet installation , safeguarding against leaks and preserving the pristine state of your bathroom.

shimming a toilet

How a Toilet Works

In our everyday lives, there is a humble fixture that silently performs a vital function. It is the unsung hero of our homes, the toilet. Have you ever stopped to ponder the mysteries of its inner workings?

Let me take you on a brief journey into the fascinating world of this essential appliance. At the heart of the toilet lies the bowl, the destination where all our waste finds its final resting place. Behind it, the tank patiently waits, holding a reservoir of water ready for action.

When the time comes, with a simple press of the flush handle , a symphony of mechanisms is set in motion. The flush valve awakens, unleashing a powerful torrent of water from the tank into the bowl. With a forceful surge, waste is whisked away, leaving the bowl clean and refreshed.

It is a choreography of efficiency, a dance of engineering brilliance. We often overlook the sheer brilliance of this everyday item. It is a testament to the ingenuity of mankind and the wonders of plumbing technology.

So, the next time you find yourself in the presence of a toilet, take a moment to marvel at its silent power, its ability to effortlessly carry out its important task. Remember, the installation of a toilet is not to be taken lightly. It is a delicate art that ensures stability and prevents any potential damage.

And while we focus on the technicalities, let us not forget to appreciate the silent symphony that unfolds every time we flush, as this humble fixture continues to serve us faithfully.

Did you know that the average person spends about three years of their life sitting on a toilet?


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

Toilet Bowl

When it comes to selecting a toilet bowl, the options are plentiful. From round to elongated shapes, you can find the perfect fit for your bathroom. Take into account the size and shape of your space, as well as your personal preferences.

Don’t forget to consider the height and comfort level when making your choice. Standard height bowls typically measure 15 inches high, while comfort height bowls are taller, ranging from 17 to 19 inches. The latter is especially beneficial for individuals with mobility issues or those who prefer a higher seat.

To keep your toilet bowl in optimal condition, proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial. Use a gentle cleaning solution and a toilet brush to remove stains and build-up. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners that could damage the bowl’s surface.

Additionally, consider using toilet bowl tablets or cleaners to prevent bacteria and unpleasant odors. By taking into account the various types of toilet bowls, the factors to consider when selecting one, and adopting proper cleaning techniques, you can add a functional and stylish element to your bathroom. Choose a toilet bowl that meets your needs and ensure its cleanliness and upkeep for years to come.

If you’re wondering about the standard height for a toilet paper holder, check out our article “Standard Height for Toilet Paper Holder” for all the information you need.

shimming a toilet

Toilet Tank

When it comes to selecting the perfect toilet tank, it’s crucial to explore the various options available. From gravity-fed to pressure-assisted and dual-flush, each type offers unique features. Gravity-fed tanks rely on the power of gravity, while pressure-assisted tanks utilize compressed air.

On the other hand, dual-flush tanks provide two flushing options for added convenience. To ensure both water conservation and optimal performance, look for WaterSense certified tanks. Additionally, pay attention to the size and design of the tank to seamlessly complement your bathroom decor.

To guarantee a long-lasting and trouble-free experience, it’s essential to regularly inspect and clean your toilet tank. By doing so, you can prevent leaks and the accumulation of mineral deposits. Familiarize yourself with basic troubleshooting techniques to address common issues such as a running toilet or a weak flush.

By taking these factors into account and maintaining your tank diligently, you can enjoy the reliability and efficiency of your toilet for many years to come.

How to Properly Shim a Toilet for Stability and Leak Prevention

  • Shimming a toilet is important to ensure stability and to prevent leaks. When a toilet is not properly shimmed, it can wobble or rock, which can cause damage to the wax ring seal and result in water leakage.
  • The tools you will need to shim a toilet include shims (plastic or wood), a wrench or pliers, a level, and a measuring tape.
  • Understanding the basics of a toilet installation is crucial before attempting to shim a toilet. This includes knowing how a toilet works and being familiar with its components.
  • A toilet consists of two main parts: the toilet bowl, which is where waste is deposited and flushed, and the toilet tank, which holds water for flushing and refilling the bowl.
  • Before starting the shim process, it is important to check for toilet wobbling. This can be done by sitting on the toilet and gently rocking it from side to side. If it moves, it needs to be shimmed.
  • Measuring the gap between the floor and the bottom of the toilet is essential for determining the number and size of shims needed. This can be done using a measuring tape.
  • The step-by-step guide to shimming a toilet includes removing the toilet, placing the shims in the gap, securing the toilet back in place, and cutting off any excess shim material.

Checking for Toilet Wobbling

A wobbling toilet brings frustration and potential damage if left unattended. Take a moment to inspect the bolts, gently turning them with a screwdriver. Tighten any that are loose and observe if the issue is resolved.

Additionally, uneven flooring may contribute to the wobbling, so keep an eye out for any dips or gaps. Consider repairing the flooring or using shims to create a level surface. It is crucial to address toilet wobbling to prevent leaks and water damage.

Furthermore, a wobbly toilet can damage the wax ring, leading to the release of unpleasant sewer gas. Follow these steps to prevent further harm and future complications.

If you’re dealing with a clogged toilet due to draino, check out our article on “How to Remove Draino from a Toilet” to learn effective methods for unclogging and preventing further damage.

shimming a toilet

Measuring the Gap

In the delicate art of shimming a toilet, precision reigns supreme. The key lies in accurately gauging the gap between the toilet and the floor, as this will determine the necessary size and type of shims. Begin by carefully assessing the toilet’s stability and alignment.

If it wobbles even slightly, thicker shims will provide the steadfastness it craves. With a measuring tape in hand, measure the gap between the base of the toilet and the floor. This crucial step will unveil the exact dimensions required for the shims to fit seamlessly.

Consider the shims that best suit your toilet’s needs. Plastic shims, renowned for their durability and resistance to water damage, are a popular choice. However, if your toilet possesses a weightier disposition or requires additional support, rubber shims may prove more fitting.

Remember, your ultimate objective is to achieve a steadfast and impeccably aligned toilet. By meticulously identifying the precise size and type of shims required, you can bask in the satisfaction of a secure and wobble-free installation. So, measure with care and select the perfect shims for a job executed with finesse.

How to Shim a Wobbly Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Check for toilet wobbling by gently rocking the toilet back and forth.
  2. Measure the gap between the toilet and the floor using a ruler or tape measure.
  3. Remove the toilet by disconnecting the water supply and unscrewing the bolts securing it to the floor.
  4. Place shims under the toilet to fill the gap and provide stability.
  5. Secure the toilet back in place by tightening the bolts and reconnecting the water supply.
  6. Check for any excess shims and use a utility knife to carefully trim them if necessary.
  7. Avoid common mistakes, such as over-tightening the bolts or using incompatible shims.
  8. Maintain your shimmed toilet by regularly checking for any signs of wobbling and addressing them promptly.

Removing the Toilet

Removing a toilet can be a breeze if you follow these simple steps. Begin by shutting off the water supply to prevent any potential leaks. Lift the toilet carefully to protect your flooring .

Look out for any screws or attachments that may be securing the toilet and remove them beforehand. By taking these precautions, you can easily remove your toilet without any trouble. So, be patient and proceed with care to ensure a seamless removal process.

Placing the Shims

Achieving a stable and secure toilet requires careful placement of shims. By positioning the shims near the base, you can prevent any wobbling or potential damage. The number of shims needed will depend on the size of the gap between the toilet and the floor.

To ensure optimal stability, it is crucial to place the shims with utmost care. This will help distribute the weight evenly and minimize any unnecessary movement. By doing so, you can guarantee a toilet that stays firmly in place.

The size and type of shims you choose are also important factors to consider. Shims that are too small won’t provide enough support, while those that are too large can cause the toilet to sit at an awkward angle. Striking the right balance is key to achieving the perfect stability.

By following these guidelines and placing the shims correctly, you can rest assured that your toilet will be securely positioned and ready for use. This proactive approach not only prevents future issues but also gives you the peace of mind of having a toilet that is stable and safe.

shimming a toilet

Comparison of Different Types of Shims – Tabelle

Types of Shims Plastic Shims Rubber Shims Wood Shims Metal Shims
Made of durable plastic material Yes No No No
Ideal for fixing minor gaps and stabilizing the toilet Yes No No No
Resistant to water and corrosion Yes No No Yes
Constructed from flexible rubber material No Yes No No
Provides excellent grip and stability No Yes No No
Helps absorb vibrations and reduce noise No Yes No No
Made from solid wood or composite material No No Yes No
Can be easily trimmed to fit specific gap sizes No No Yes No
Offers stability and support for uneven floors No No Yes No
Manufactured from stainless steel or aluminum No No No Yes
Provides strong support and stability No No No Yes
Resistant to rust and long-lasting No No No Yes

Securing the Toilet

Ensuring the stability and comfort of your toilet is of utmost importance. Begin by selecting sturdy bolts that fit snugly. Tighten them evenly, alternating between each one, to guarantee a secure and steady toilet.

Not only will this prevent any potential damage, but it will also provide a safe and pleasant bathroom experience. Take the necessary steps to properly secure your toilet and savor a worry-free time in the bathroom.

Cutting Excess Shims

To achieve a perfectly balanced and secure toilet, it is imperative to eliminate any superfluous shims . This crucial measure ensures not only a level toilet but also a stable one. Begin by assessing the toilet’s stability, using a level to detect any discrepancies.

If adjustments are required, make them accordingly. Once the toilet is level , carefully remove the excess shims using a saw or utility knife, paying close attention to precision . To avoid any potential harm, it is essential to rid the excess shims of any sharp edges .

Smooth them down with a file or sandpaper until they are completely devoid of any roughness. Taking the time to meticulously trim the excess shims is an investment in the security and safety of your toilet. Do not overlook this vital step in the shimming process.

Your toilet will undoubtedly appreciate the attention to detail.

Are you tired of dealing with a wobbly toilet? In this video, we explore the permanent solution to this common issue – shimming a toilet. Learn how to fix it yourself and enjoy a stable bathroom experience. Watch now!

YouTube video

1/3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Shimming a Toilet

Toilet shimming requires attention to detail to avoid common mistakes. One crucial error is using an insufficient number of shims, leading to an unstable toilet that may wobble and shift uncomfortably when used. Additionally, improper alignment can result in leaks, as the wax ring fails to seal the toilet effectively.

This can cause water damage to the bathroom floor . Lastly, overtightening the bolts can exert excessive pressure , potentially resulting in cracks or damage to the flooring. It is essential to tighten the bolts evenly and securely, being mindful of not causing any harm.

By diligently addressing these potential pitfalls, you can ensure a successful and durable toilet installation, free from future complications and leaks .

If you’re curious about the differences between a bidet and a washlet, check out our article “Bidet vs Washlet” to help you decide which one is right for you.

shimming a toilet

2/3 How To Maintain Your Shimmed Toilet

Ensuring the stability and functionality of your shimmed toilet requires a few essential actions. Regularly inspect and secure the bolts to maintain stability. Keep the toilet area clean to prevent any potential damage.

Promptly address leaks to avoid water damage. Following these maintenance steps guarantees the long-lasting and efficient performance of your shimmed toilet.


In conclusion, understanding the importance of shimming a toilet and how to properly perform the process is crucial for both the functionality and longevity of your toilet. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can ensure that your toilet is stable and secure, eliminating any wobbling or leaking issues. It is essential to regularly maintain your shimmed toilet to prevent any future problems.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful in addressing your concerns about shimming a toilet. For more articles on home maintenance and improvement, we recommend checking out our other helpful guides on plumbing, DIY projects, and household repairs. Happy shimmying!


Why use toilet shims?

Shims are commonly used to stabilize and support objects by filling gaps. They are typically made from plastic, rubber, or wood. When it comes to leveling toilets, it is recommended to use plastic or wood shims due to their resistance to water damage. These materials can withstand prolonged exposure to moisture without deteriorating.

Does a toilet need to be level?

It is important to ensure that the toilet is level and does not wobble on the floor. This is because a compromised seal can occur if the toilet is not properly aligned.

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