A flange is a projecting flat rim or collar used as an attachment. So what's a toilet flange? It's basically a metal pipe fitting that's attached to the toilet floor and connects the toilet to the drainpipe in the floor. When installed, the flange is placed on the floor over the hub that's in the drain pipe. The toilet is mounted right on top. A wax ring is used as a sealer between the flange and the bottom of the toilet. The bowl is then bolted onto the flange. If water's leaking from the base of the toilet, the flange needs replacing. Follow the instructions below to learn how to replace the toilet flange.

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and disconnect the water-supply hose (i.e. the hose that supplies water to the toilet).
  • Empty the toilet by flushing it.
  • Loosen the two nuts on either side of the floor of the toilet. You'll need them later to re-attach the toilet.
  • Remove the toilet and put it in a secure place.
  • Clean the wax from the flange seal and remove the screws that attach the flange to the floor.
  • Remove the old flange.
  • Mount the new flange on the floor with new bolts. These bolts will fit into the toilet floor.
  • Attach the new flange securely to the floor with new screws.
  • Push the new wax ring in place on the bottom of the toilet.
  • Put the toilet back in place, lining up the toilet with the flange bolts. Place the toilet gently on the new flange.
  • Press down, making sure the toilet fits firmly.
  • Put the nuts on the bolts and tighten. Don't over-tighten, as it can cause the toilet to crack.
  • Reconnect the water-supply hose and turn the water supply back on.

[sources: Corner Hardware, Fine Homebuilding]