Should there be caulk around pedestal sink and toilet?

albryantJune 19, 2012

I'm making a list of final issues I need the contractor to fix before we pay the final labor bill.

We used Laticrete Permacolor grout in Silver Shadow and bought the matching caulk. The plumber caulked the toilet and pedestal sink base and I really think it detracts from the look of the fixtures on the hex tile floor. My DH doesn't really care either way, so I can decide if I want to ask for it to be removed, but I thought I should check with the GW experts before doing so.

We're in TN and I really don't know what the code requirements are here.

What are your opinions/advice? Is there a good reason for the caulk in these places, or would we be fine without it?

Here's a photo from several weeks ago before everything else was finished.

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I don't know about codes, but I prefer to not have them caulked. It anything is leaking under there, I want to see water on the floor as a clue

A friend followed some bad advice and caulked around a toilet to "stop the leak" ... he ended up in his crawl space when the rotting floor collapsed a few months later.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:49PM
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When I installed a new toilet and pedestal sink, the instructions included caulking the sink basin to the pedestal. However, none of the instructions included caulking the pedestal to the floor. Personally, I am on the same side as lazygardens in the caulk vs no caulk debate at the toilet base. I do not caulk the base of toilets. (I have done a few DIY bathroom remodels with a lot of research.) Some people like to caulk the base, but leave a gap at the back of the toilet in case there is a leak. I believe you should always leave some gap in the caulk on a toilet to prevent a hidden leak as lazygardens described. Some people prefer the ease of cleaning with caulk at the base. Personally, I would ask the contractor to show me the code that requires it, and otherwise remove it (myself or ask the contractor to do it).

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Ditto what pricklypearcactus posted. Part of the visual issue with the caulk job appears to be that the caulk is grey (silver shadow) vs. white. White would likely have blended much better with the toilet & sink bases and not have been so noticeable.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Thank you for the opinions. It doesn't appear that there's any reason I should leave it if I *hate* it, so I'm adding to my list of things for him to do :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Well, I would certainly want caulk around my toilet because of *P*. Even if it was just the front as mentioned above. The potential of *P* seeping under the toilet would be my concern. I agree with Mydreamhome that white would have been a better choice. But I will be putting caulk around my toilet when it gets in (unless there is some reason not to). I can hardly wait to get my new toilet in and get it caulked:)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 6:49PM
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*P* ??

Urine CAN be typed onto a message board!

I much prefer no caulk, even with men in the house. Not all have poor aim....

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Yeah, but LuAnn, I only use the word urine at work, otherwise it's plain old *P* on the farm.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I generally like to caulk the toilet with either a clear or matching-tile colour silicone caulk. It adds some stability to the toilet....but ALWAYS leave a 2-3" gap in the rear for reasons already mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Well, I fired the contractor yesterday. We were on week 7 of what was promised to be a 3 week job and the work was sloppy and he was short cutting and still a good way from finishing.

So, as soon as I paid him part of the remaining bill and sent him on his way, I started removing the caulk on the pedestal sink. I forgot to snap a photo but it looks a MILLION times better! I'll probably remove it from the toilet tonight. At least if I change my mind, I can always go back with a clear silicone around the toilet.

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 1:29PM
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don't like what they used! love the toilet w/skirt - which one is it?

i've always thought they should have caulking around them... guess when I reseat mine I'll leave a gap around the back.

tho, one of mine recently developed a leak at the shut off under it in the back... so that would leak then under the toilet!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Desertsteph- the toilet is the American Standard Clean model available at Lowes for around $230 or so. It's a lot less expensive than most other skirted models, and the Cadet flushing system has been great. Not one clog in the year we've had it!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:39PM
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I can't fathom why anyone would want to caulk around any fixture sitting on the floor.

Maybe it's the fact I don't have 3 boys running around peeing on everything in site with poor aim, but if I did, I wouldn't let them use that bathroom ;) I think I'd build them there own in the basement completely lined in stainless steel with a stainless steel toilet and a drain in the middle of the floor for them.

Kidding aside, I'd pull the caulk off the floor on both the sink and toilet.

If the toilet wax ring ever leaks, you want to know about it - you don't want the water sitting, leaking into the floor around the toilet flange, rotting the plywood subfloor and ultimately causing you to rip up your tiled floor to fix.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:28AM
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