By Jasmine Harding | Published Feb 27, 2022 7:54 PM
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Whether you’re putting in a new toilet, upgrading your porcelain throne, or fixing a leak, you’ll need the right wax ring to get the job done correctly. The wax ring, also known as a toilet seal, creates a watertight seal between the toilet base and the flange to prevent any leaks, making it an integral part of your toilet installation. The best wax rings for toilets are easy to install and provide a completely leak-free seal. Setting up, replacing, or repairing your toilet is straightforward with the best wax ring for toilet installations.
When shopping for a toilet seal ring, you’ll come across various options. Wax ring types are broken down according to their design and material. The best toilet seal for your home depends on your bathroom design and personal preferences. Choosing the best toilet seal for your bathroom starts with choosing from among the different types of wax rings.
Standard wax rings are a no-frills, budget-friendly option. Made of wax, these rings look like a large doughnut. They don’t have any extra pieces but offer a more universal fit with a hole diameter of 3 to 4 inches. Most standard wax rings have a standard ¾- or 1-inch thickness, which suits most toilets.
Some wax rings include a built-in rubber or plastic horn or funnel. The horn or funnel is on the bottom of the wax ring and extends into the toilet flange to direct waste into the sewage pipe. These wax rings are often made to a standard size and will fit most toilets that can fit a regular wax ring—they just usually cost a couple of dollars more than basic wax sealing rings.
Many wax rings with felt can be used for floor and wall commode installations, but they are most commonly used for wall-mounted toilets like urinals. The felt helps ensure a good seal and can prevent the wax ring from shifting after installation.
Since standard wax rings use a sticky, malleable wax, they can leave a messy residue on the toilet base and flange. Wax also has very little give, which can sometimes result in leaks. While wax is the classic toilet seal material, newer wax-free options are another option. Usually made of rubber, foam, or a combination of materials, they are designed to work just as well as a classic wax ring. They’re a bit more expensive than standard wax rings, but some homeowners prefer the repositionable and mess-free installation process.
Toilet seals and wax sealing rings come in a few shapes, materials, and sizes made to fit different types of toilets and bathroom setups. When choosing the best toilet wax ring for your home, consider the toilet seal material, flange height, sewer drain size, and toilet seal thickness, as well as ease of installation for DIY jobs.
As the name suggests, traditional toilet wax rings are made of wax. When installed, the soft and pliable wax ring forms to the space between the toilet and the flange, filling gaps to create an airtight connection. However, once compressed, wax can’t bounce back to its original shape. This means if the shape is compromised, which can happen due to improper installation, a wobbly toilet, or general wear over time, the seal can be disrupted—and that’s the perfect recipe for a leak.
Traditional wax rings are still an excellent choice for many bathrooms. They’re affordable, and when installed properly, they create an excellent, durable seal that can last for decades.
If traditional wax rings don’t appeal to you, consider a toilet wax ring alternative. Wax ring alternatives are usually made of foam, rubber, or a combination of these materials. Although often referred to as wax-free, some do include wax. They work similarly to traditional wax seals, sitting between the flange and toilet to form a tight seal. Wax-free toilet seals usually have a little more give and can bounce back in shape. They’re usually respositionable and less messy to install. The slight flexibility can help it keep a seal even if the toilet is accidentally rocked, but it also means leaks can happen if they are installed improperly.
The toilet flange helps connect the toilet to the floor and the sewer drain pipe. The toilet is secured snugly to the flange with the help of a wax ring, which creates the necessary airtight seal. While most wax rings are designed to be one-size-fits-all, flange height can affect the fit. Flanges can be recessed or even with the floor, but ideally they will sit about ¼ inch above the finished flooring.
To cater to different flange heights, wax rings also come in different heights—typically regular or extra-thick—to ensure a proper seal. A shorter flange may need a thicker wax ring to create a proper seal. Another option to consider is a flange extender or spacer for short or recessed flanges. These products help extend the flange to a suitable height for most wax rings.
Drain size is another factor to consider when choosing a new wax ring. Most waste lines have a 3- or 4-inch diameter. Many wax rings are compatible for both sizes, but it’s still prudent to double-check the compatible drain size before buying a new product.
To determine the correct wax ring size for your toilet, you’ll need to remove and measure the base. Once you find the diameter of the waste opening (the opening that attaches to the wax ring and the flange), you’ll be able to buy the appropriate-size wax ring. A wax ring that’s the wrong size is more likely to result in a poor fit and leaks.
Standard wax rings are about ¾- or 1-inch thick. This standard size is suitable for flanges which are set slightly above, at the same level as the floor, or slightly below the flooring (up to ¼ inch).
Extra-thick wax rings usually contain about 40 percent more wax than a standard wax ring and measure about an inch thicker than their standard counterparts.
These wax rings can provide a better seal for shorter flanges that are recessed below the floor level, particularly for those recessed more than ¼ inch. The thick wax rings can fill in the extra space, reaching deeper than a standard wax ring to create a proper seal.
Replacing or resetting a toilet is a relatively easy job suitable for most beginners. However, proper installation is crucial for preventing leaks.
Most wax rings are easy to install, but wax-free versions are more beginner-friendly and less messy. Standard wax rings create their seal with a soft, pliable wax. Wax rings are single-use only because once they are deformed, they won’t return to their original shape. If there are any problems with installation, you’ll need to use a new wax ring. Keep in mind if the bathroom is very cold, the wax also might not melt into shape. Lastly, the sticky wax can leave a residue, which can be a hassle to remove.
In addition to being easy to install, wax-free toilet seals are a mess-free option. They also have more room for error since they won’t become deformed if you make an installation mistake. Since they bounce back, they can be repositioned, unlike standard wax rings.
Ready to update your commode? Make installing, replacing, or repairing your toilet easy with the best toilet seal ring options ahead.
The Everbilt Reinforced Wax Toilet Bowl Gasket takes a classic standard wax ring and elevates the design. To start, this wax ring is reinforced to resist breakage and wear, creating a secure seal for over a decade of leak-free performance. To better funnel waste into the sewage drain, this ring also has a built-in polyethylene funnel.
This wax ring is designed for flanges that sit even with or above the floor, and it will work with 3- or 4-inch sewage drains. Hardware is included for easy installation. The wax ring and hardware come packed in a tray to protect the ring shape during shipping, so it arrives ready to create an airtight seal.
Get the Everbilt Reinforced Wax Toilet Bowl Gasket at The Home Depot.
For many toilets, a no-frills standard toilet wax ring will do the trick. The Everbilt Standard Toilet Wax Ring is about as basic as it gets, and it comes at a very affordable price.
This standard wax ring can be used with most standard toilet settings (where the flange is level with the floor) and will fit both 3- and 4-inch waste lines. It’s made of 100 percent pure, high-grade petroleum wax that won’t harden, dry out, or deteriorate over time. This wax ring is also designed to be odor, gas, acid, and pest resistant. Made to conform to rough and uneven surfaces, this basic pick offers an excellent watertight seal.
Get the Everbilt Standard Toilet Wax Ring at The Home Depot.
For toilets with flanges that sit even with or below the floor, the Fluidmaster Extra Thick Wax Toilet Bowl Gasket is an excellent pick. With 40 percent more wax than standard wax sealing rings, it’s made to conform into these larger spaces and ensure a secure, watertight fit.
Along with the extra-thick wax ring, this toilet seal has a built-in polyethylene funnel, which makes for easier installation and helps to direct waste once it’s installed. Designed to fit both 3- and 4-inch waste lines, this wax ring is an affordable choice for many bathrooms.
Get the Fluidmaster Extra Thick Wax Toilet Bowl Gasket on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Wax-free toilet seals provide a mess-free and flexible installation experience, and the Fluidmaster 7530P8 Better Than Wax Toilet Seal is one of the best wax-free options out there. Using a stackable seal and a slide-on spacer, it’s suitable for both 3- and 4-inch drain lines, and it can also work for uneven floors or tile floors with recessed flanges.
Unlike with traditional wax rings, there is no required minimum temperature for installing this toilet seal. Since it is made of rubber, it can also be repositioned without damaging the seal. Installation is easy with the included no-rust hardware.
Get the Fluidmaster Better Than Wax Toilet Seal on Amazon, at The Home Depot, or at Walmart.
The Sani Seal Toilet Gasket Flexible Waxless Seal is another alternative to messy wax rings. This toilet seal is made of a plastic material with a polymer coating, which creates a flexible ring that molds into a watertight seal once installed. The design is durable, maintains its shape, and flexes slightly with the toilet.
Like other wax-free options, this toilet seal is repositionable. For even simpler installation, this seal has a unique design that holds the gasket in place and positions the bolts upright to make them easier to screw in.
This toilet seal offers a universal fit and will work with all flanges. One seal is needed for flanges ¼ inch above floor level, at floor level, or up to ¼ inch recessed. Multiple seals can be stacked to accommodate deeper flange heights.
Get the Sani Seal Toilet Gasket Flexible Waxless Seal at The Home Depot or Ace Hardware.
For flanges that sit even or above the floor, the Everbilt Reinforced Wax Toilet Bowl Gasket is our best overall pick. It has a classic standard wax ring base and a convenient built-in plastic funnel. Another alternative is the Everbilt Standard Toilet Wax Ring, which comes at an extremely affordable price that reflects its simplicity.
Toilet wax rings are simple items, but a well-designed product will offer excellent performance where it matters, creating a leak-free seal. We considered more than 10 wax sealing rings and wax-free seals to narrow down our top picks.
We rated the best toilet wax ring options according to affordability, reliability, and ease of use. Through extensive product research and reading consumer reviews, we chose our top picks from reputable brands known for making dependable plumbing products.
If you’re shopping for a wax ring instead of hiring a plumber, you’re likely hoping to save some cash. The wax rings on our list are affordable, so you can save money by taking on this DIY project. We also considered ease of use to appeal to consumers: Wax rings with user-friendly designs and included installation hardware earned extra points.
When installing or replacing a toilet, it’s necessary to replace the wax ring as well. Luckily, installing a toilet wax ring is an affordable and easy repair, although completing this task for the first time can feel intimidating. Read on for some frequently asked questions and answers about buying and using toilet wax rings so you can be better prepared for the job.
It depends. Some toilets do include a wax ring for easier installation, but it also doesn’t hurt to have a backup wax ring on hand in case of damage during installation.
No, you should not reuse a standard wax ring. Some wax-free toilet seals can technically be reused, although purchasing a new one is recommended—and more hygienic.
The most troubling and obvious sign is leaking around the base of the toilet; if the wax ring doesn’t provide a complete seal, it is not a good pick for your toilet. Sewage odor is another sign of a bad wax ring since a good wax ring will contain sewage gases.
The toilet wax ring will need to be replaced any time a toilet is installed or reinstalled after repairs.
In most cases, the wax ring should last as long as the toilet, upward of 20 years.
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