How to Install a Closet Flange

What You'll Need
Closet Flange and Drain
Purple PVC glue
Anchor Screws
Wax Ring
Drill Gun

A closet flange is a particular type of drain flange that enables the drain to be secured to the sub-floor, underneath a toilet. This provides reinforcement and stability to the drain system, avoiding excessive wear and tear on the drain assembly that might otherwise result in cracking, leaks, and damage to the surrounding fittings. The fitting is referred to as a "closet" flange due to the fact that toilet facilities in Europe are referred to as water closets. The flange is a flat, metal ring that fits around the PVC drain. Once the PVC is joined with the existing plumbing, the flange is not able to be removed, as the end of the drain that meets the toilet is slightly flared. Here you will find the information needed to install a closet flange.

Step 1 - Prepare the Area

The flange and drain will need to be installed into the drain pipe in the floor. This requires completely removing the toilet. If you are doing any remodeling of the bathroom, this is the time to do it, particularly when it comes to the floors as the height of the drain will be affected by different flooring. Ultimately the drain and flange assembly should fit flush with the floor for a proper fit.

Step 2 - Install the Flange and Drain

Once you have determined that the flooring is appropriate, fit the PVC drain fitting through the flange. Insert the drain into the drainage pipe to dry fit and double check the fit of all components. Once a good fit is ensured, apply the purple PVC cement around the bottom of the drain, and insert through the flange and into the drain pipe. The flange should fit flush with the floor. Secure the flange to the floor using the appropriate type of screws (tile will need different screws than wood or laminate).

Step 3 - Installing a Flange only

Many times, the flange may be the only item that needs replacing in the assembly. Most are reluctant to tear apart the drain completely just to replace the metal flange, and for good reason. By eliminating a good PVC drain, you are also creating additional, and more intricate, plumbing work for yourself. Because the drain is flared, it is not possible to remove the flange by simply unscrewing it. If this is the case, the solution is to cut away the old flange and replace it with a flange called a clam shell flange. A clam shell flange works on a hinge, so that it can be opened to fit around an existing PVC drain, then closed and secured down to the floor like the old flange.

Step 4 - Reinstall Toilet

Wax rings are not reusable, so you will have to replace the old ring with a new one. Once the new wax ring is in, you can reinstall the toilet.