toilet shims

Toilet Shims: How To Use Toilet Shims To Level Your Toilet

There are several different types of toilet shims available. These tools are most often used for people dealing with a wobbly toilet or a rocking toilet.

With some basic DIY installation at the base of the toilet, you can stabilize your entire toilet bowl.

As with any home improvement project, it’s important to know what you’re doing before you get started. You can also call a plumber for help, especially if you’re struggling to install a new toilet.

About Toilet Shims

toilet shims_b

Shims are any wedges that you slide into a space to prevent wobbling. Plastic toilet shims can help increase the durability and lifespan of your toilet.

They’re a much simpler means of toilet repair than replacing your entire toilet flange.

The two most common materials for toilet shims are hard plastic and rubber. There are different sizes available.

Most commercial packages have at least four shims. However, professionals might buy bulk packages that have up to thirty for several toilets.

Shims are typically 1.5 inches and width. They range from 7.5 to 9 inches in length in most cases.

There are some hard plastic shims that are oversized, so they can fit very wobbly toilet seats without an adapter. These can be up to 16 inches in length.

Installing Toilet Shims

installing toilet shims

It’s fairly easy to install the shims, no matter what type you have. You’ll want to make sure that you get all the necessary materials first.

You can use Amazon gift cards to buy most plumbing supplies.

Keep in mind that if you have a leaky gasket with a wax ring, you’ll likely need to replace the ring. It’s a good idea to look for a foam or rubber option with a long warranty, as these can be reused.

With any materials, check the customer reviews prior to buying.

Assuming you don’t need to replace any other leaky parts of the toilet, such as the flange or the washers, you’ll only need the shims and a hammer.

These are the basic steps to shimming your toilet:

  1. Find the gap between the floor and your toilet.
  2. Put the narrowest part of the shim beside the opening.
  3. Use your hammer to tap the shim inside. Take care, since some types of plastics other than PVC can be delicate.
  4. Keep tapping the shim until the toilet is level. When you sit down, it shouldn’t wobble anymore.
  5. Cut or snap the excess part of the shim off. Now your toilet is level, and you don’t even need to use caulk to secure it.

This is truly one of the easiest projects to DIY. Just keep in mind that if you’re dealing with leaks, you might need silicone or a ribbed option to take care of the opening.

Plastic Versus Rubber

plastic vs rubber

Plastic and rubber shims are the most popular options to use for your toilet. They’re also ideal for your bathtub and sink.

Unlike wooden shims, they’re unlikely to rot or break down over time.

Plastic shims are the most commonly used option. They can be made of a variety of different materials, including PVC and ABS plastics.

Because of this, they tend to have more durability and stability than rubber options. You can also choose from soft or hard models.

But plastic shims do have some disadvantages. Rubber options can be stacked on top of each other, so they’re good for very large gaps.

They can also be Superglued together. So if you’re struggling to find a plastic shim that fits your exact height needs, what you might actually need is rubber.

Rubber also has more traction than plastic. You’re less likely to experience slippage.

If you’re worried about getting the sizing wrong, rubber is much more forgiving. And rubber is less likely to scratch your floors or your toilet itself.

Final Thoughts

Toilet shims are one of the simplest and easiest options when you want to fix a wobbly toilet. They help to level the toilet so that it is more stable.

However, if your toilet is also leaking, you might need additional tools.

Plastic and rubber are the most popular choices for shims. Rubber is easier to fit into irregular gaps, especially because multiple shims can be stacked or Superglued together.

Plastic is ideal for people who want the most durable and lightweight seal possible.

Three of the top companies for purchasing toilet shims are Kohler, Fluidmaster, and Danco. All of these have models with good warranties that can level your toilet, bathtub, or sink.

Just make sure to measure the gap and check the customer reviews prior to making a purchase.