Why Does My Toilet Wobble?

Your washroom is an essential part of your home and deserves the same attention as the rest of the house. Any issue, be it related to plumbing or design, can cause a major nuisance.

A wobbling toilet is one of the household’s most common issues. But why does my toilet wobble? There could be more than one reason behind it.

Toilet wobbles if it is not securely attached to the floor. This can be due to an uneven floor, loose bolts, worn-out flanges, or a thick wax ring.

The good news is that a wobbly toilet is generally not a big deal, and you can easily fix it at home. However, if you are too naive or the toilet seat is wobbling due to uneven flooring, you may need professional help.

Let’s discuss the reasons and how to fix them in a bit of detail below:

Is It Okay If My Toilet Wobbles?

A wobbling toilet can be a real nuisance. If not fixed in time, a wobbling toilet can cause the wax seal to break. A broken wax seal will result in leakage and a foul-smelling washroom.

Also, if your toilet seat is attached to a wooden floor, the leakage can ruin the floor, leading to a hefty expenditure.

Why Does My Toilet Wobble?

Your toilet seat can wobble due to any of the following reasons:

uneven toilet floor
  1. Uneven Flooring

If the wobbling seat is due to uneven flooring, you need professional help to pave the floor. Check for leakage in the subfloor and get it repaired, to avoid any issues later.

To level up the base, you can insert shims below the seat.

  1. Loose Bolts

There are two bolts on either side of the toilet seat. These bolts are responsible for securely fastening the toilet seat to the floor.

More often, the reason for a wobbling toilet is that the bolts are loose. You can tighten these bolts using a wrench to solve the issue.

Closeup of man's hand scraping cast iron toilet flange with caulked lead joint
  1. Worn out Flange

The flange is a part that connects the toilet seat to the drainage pipe. Flanges in older toilets are made up of cast iron and are prone to rust.

A corroded or broken flange can also cause the toilet seat to wobble. If the issue lies in the flange, you have to replace it.

  1. Heightened Flange

Ideally, a flange should be a quarter-inch above the floor. If your toilet flange is placed too high above the floor, it can also result in a wobbly toilet.

  1. Thick Wax Seal

The wax seal secures the connection of the toilet to the floor, along with preventing leakage and bad smells. If the toilet flange is secured with an unusually thick wax seal, the connection is unstable, causing the toilet seat to wobble.

How can I fix a wobbly toilet?

Except for the flooring issues, none of the above-mentioned reasons needs a professional plumber.

If you are interested in DIYs and want to save a few bucks, you can easily fix a wobbly toilet by yourself. 

1. Fixing Uneven Flooring

To even out the base for your toilet seat, you can insert plastic shims under the toilet. 

You can do so as follows:

  • Unbolt the toilet seat.
  • Insert the plastic shims
  • Trim the extra part of the shim that is extending out.
  • Caulk the toilet seat.
  • Wait for the caulk to dry.
  • Now tighten the bolts again.
tightened toilet bolt and nut

2. Tightening Loose Bolts

You don’t have much to do if you find out that the culprit is loose bolts.

Just take some pliers or wrench and tighten them up. However, ensure not to overdo it, or you can crack the toilet bowl. 

A cracked toilet bowl has to be replaced to avoid leakage.

When tightening the bolts, look out for the washers. Sometimes worn-out washers can also lose the bolts, resulting in a wobbly toilet.

new toilet flange in the bathroom
Image from B+D Plumbing Services, LLC

3. Adjusting the Flanges

If you have to replace the flanges, you will require the following stuff:

  • Flange bolts, nuts, and washers
  • Flange repair kit
  • Wrench
  • Putty Knife
  • Caulk
  • Hacksaw
  • Rag 
  • Sponge 
  • Bucket
  • Newspaper

To replace the broken flange, you will have to remove the toilet. It is safe to remove the tank afterward, but if you have a one-piece toilet (i.e., tank attached to the bowl), you have to do it in one piece. Follow the given steps for a better guide:

  • Turn off the water valve on the wall behind the toilet seat.
  • Flush the water and hold the lever till all the water is drained out.
  • Mop any left-out water using the sponges and disconnect the water supply of the tank.
  • Now unbolt the toilet seat, move it to-and-fro and sideways to break the wax seal.
  • Place the dislodged seat on the newspaper and stuff the rug into the drainpipe.
  • Scrap off the wax from the flange using a putty knife.
  • Unscrew the flange from the floor and replace it with the new flange through nuts, bolts, and washers.
  • Add a new wax seal too. Keep reading to know how to replace the wax ring.
  • Before reinstalling the toilet, check the subfloor. If there is leakage or it’s weak, replace the flooring. Otherwise, the issue will rise again.
close up of new toilet wax ring

4. Replacing the Wax Ring

In order to replace the wax ring, follow the steps given below:

  • First, place the toilet seat above the flange without a wax seal.
  • Tighten the screws and check if the toilet still wobbles or not.
  • If the toilet seat is secure, check for any gaps between the floor and the seat.
  • In case there’s a gap, insert shims and mark the points.
  • Now remove the seat, and place the wax seal on its outlet.
  • Now place the toilet seat on the flanges. Insert the shims on the marked locations and tighten the bolts.
  • Check the seat one last time for any wobbling, and you’re good to go! 


Fixing a wobbly toilet seat is no rocket science; you can easily do it on your own. All you need are the right tools and our guide on how to do so. 

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