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Plumbing in the Home/Prep for toilet flange and free-standing tub with new tile


Toilet waste pipe
Toilet waste pipe  

Free standing tub plumbing
Free standing tub plum  
Hi Dana,

I just had the tile installed in our master bath and will be reinstalling the existing toilet and new free-standing tub and I have a couple of questions:

Regarding the toilet flange
The first photo shows the PVC waste pipe extending slightly above the tile. This clearly will need to be cut down to install the flange. Previously there was a one step rise to get into the area with the tub an toilet...this was removed in the remodel. My question is around the gap that will be present once the flange is installed due to the square opening. Do I need to have some sort of ring installed that would sit on top of the tile and flush to the bottom of the flange ring and then calk of seal to the floor and bottom of the flange? I am concern that if there ever is a leak the water would be able to drip and soak the first floor ceiling.

Then the free standing tub plumbing
The second photo shows the tub drain and copper lines that will supply the free standing tub. These will all be enclosed within the shell of the tub. My question is whether or not is should quickset cement/grout the opening on the PVC waste pipe and copper line that isn't grouted (copper in the right is grouted). Again, if there is ever a leak the water could go down these holes.

Thanks for your help!

Typical waste and overflow assembly
Typical waste and over  
Hi Michael,
Let's address the toilet issue first; Yes, you will need a toilet flange. The flange holds the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. The flange itself must be anchored to the floor, typically using # 12 brass screws. It is important to use corrosion resistant fasteners.This includes brass closet bolts as well. Closet bolts may be provided made of steel but in time these will rust and possibly snap off. The brass ones will effectively last forever.

It would be best if the top of the closet flange is flush with the tile surface. The gap between the bottom of the toilet and the top of the flange is filled in with a wax ring which acts as a seal.

The tub plumbing:
It is difficult to tell from the picture but it does not appear that it is configured properly. This is not so important for the water lines because you can use flex connectors. Note, you should always have access to this area for any future repairs. Hopefully, there is an access panel in the tub skirt to allow for this. This is something you will probably want to have a local plumber take a look at to determine the best way to proceed. The "waste and overflow" are typically in line on a tub and must be located directly above the drain pipe inlet to the trap which is below the floor. From the picture, I cannot determine if this is the case.
Good luck, Dana

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


Retired, Licensed General Contractor with Plumbing license. Active Home Inspector, Litigation Consultant and Infrared Thermographer, Online Marketing specialist.

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