Toilet seals revealed

How to replace a toilet seal: A clear guide for the DIYer

Learn how to replace a toilet seal below. This is an easy job that will beautify and protect your bathroom. Get a clean new look in minutes.

How to replace a toilet seal and why it matters 

The sealant around the base of a toilet serves several important functions. It prevents sewer gas or liquids from possibly leaking out and helps secure the toilet in place. Obviously, if a seal is wearing out or partially missing, you will want to re-seal the toilet to the floor.

Fortunately, this is not a difficult job. We provide step-by-step instructions below, as well as some product suggestions to help you along.

Easy instructions: How to caulk a toilet

  1. Collect necessary tools. You should have a caulking remover tool or putty knife, utility knife, bathroom cleaner, wrench or socket set, painter’s tape, cloth, sealant (and caulking gun if not using a squeeze tube), and any required safety gear the product label suggests.
  2. Begin by removing any old sealant. Use a caulking remover tool or a putty knife to scrape along the base of the toilet. Most of the old silicone should come away easily. Carefully use a razor blade or utility knife for any stubborn areas.
  3. Clean the area to be sealed. Use a bathroom cleaner or soap and water to thoroughly clean the area so that the new sealant adheres properly. Allow it to dry before continuing.
  4. Ensure the toilet is level and tight to the floor. You will find a bolt on either side of the toilet base that attaches it to the floor. Tighten these if necessary to secure or level the toilet (do not overtighten these bolts).
  5. Apply painter’s tape around the base of the toilet and the floor to provide nice straight sealant edges (optional).
  6. Ready the caulking tube. Insert the caulking tube into the caulking gun (if using one) and cut the application tip to the bead size you require.
  7. Apply the sealant. Use a squeezable tube or a caulking gun. Run a continuous bead of caulk around the toilet base.
  8. Smooth out the sealant with a caulking tool, a damp cloth, or a gloved fingertip. Remove excess sealant and overlap lines.
  9. Carefully remove the painter’s tape.
  10. Clean up any drips or excess sealant before it dries with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  11. Allow the sealant to fully dry before normal use.

When sealing a toilet, tight spaces can make it difficult to manoeuvre a caulk gun to reach all the way around a toilet base. Many people find a smaller squeeze tube to be the easier option.

How to caulk around a toilet: Sealant recommendations

If you want to replace a toilet seal, go for a high-quality silicone sealant or a paintable silicone-fortified latex sealant designed for bathroom use. Pure silicone is not paintable.

LePage 2 in 1 Seal & Bond Kitchen and Bath Adhesive will work nicely. This durable, mould-resistant sealant has the bonding properties of an adhesive but remains flexible for a long-lasting seal. It goes on clear but can be painted in as little as 40 minutes for a perfect match.

If you prefer a fast-drying silicone, try LePage 2 in 1 Seal & Bond Kitchen and Bath Express Silicone Sealant. It has the same adhesive qualities as the above product in an extra water-resistant pure silicone. It is fast-drying and can withstand water contact within 2 hours. Available in both white and clear drying options.