What Is A Toilet Flange?

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Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by acechapman

A toilet flange connects to your drain pipe and holds the toilet securely to the floor. It is between the floor and the base of the toilet.


A flange is an Old French word that means “to bend”. Flanges are used to connect pipes and fixtures with cylinder-shaped shapes. Flanges are used primarily in plumbing but can also be found on train wheels and in camera lenses. These understated, but extremely useful objects are crucial in attaching an object to another unit.

A toilet flange, also known as a closet flange, is a fitting for pipes that has two functions. It holds your toilet to the floor and connects to the drainpipe which carries the contents to the sewer. Additionally, the flange measures 2 to 3 inches in diameter depending on the size and shape of the pipe. It is bolted onto the floor with a wax ring, a rubber gasket, and a wax seal.

what is a toilet flange

What is the function of a toilet flange?

A closet flange, also known as a toilet flange, is a fitting for pipes that are usually made from PVC, rubber, metal, or both. Flanges can also be made from brass, copper, and stainless steel. These flanges for toilets come in many different materials, styles, and sizes. They typically measure approximately four inches at the top and three at the bottom.

Every toilet flange has several slots around the flat collar. These slots are for bolts that will connect the flange and the floor. They are located just above the drainpipe. A wax ring is also placed on top of the toilet, between the flanges to provide extra protection against leaks, and the toilet bolts are attached to the flange, not the floor.

If the flange has been installed correctly, the waste from the toilet will drain through the sewer drainpipe and not leak. A faulty or outdated toilet flange can be a problem.

Do you need a toilet flange?

Toilets without a flange are a disaster waiting for them. A toilet can’t be properly secured without a flange. Although you can bolt a toilet to the floor theoretically, this could lead to rotting floors or sewer leaks. It is difficult to connect the toilet and drainpipe without the flange. Modern bathrooms require a toilet flange.

Different Types Of Toilet Flanges

Flanges can be made from a variety of different materials. Each material has its own advantages.


There are two types of copper flanges: rigid and soft. It is resistant to corrosion and lasts for a long time. It is also biostatic which means that it is not susceptible to bacteria, fungi, and viruses.


Brass, like copper, is not susceptible to corroding and can host unwanted organic material. It also has the added benefit of being heat resistant. It will oxidize when exposed to oxygen, which is a problem because it is a heavy metal.


PVC is the most popular and cost-effective material for toilet flanges. It is lightweight, strong, as well as long-lasting.


ABS is another option for plastic toilet flanges. It has many of the same benefits as PVC but is more durable for the price.

Stainless steel

Toilet flanges made of stainless steel are strong and corrosion-resistant. The only piece that fits the wax rings is usually made from steel. However, the rest of the fittings are typically made of copper, plastic, or cast iron.

Cast iron

Cast iron pipes are only possible if you have cast iron flanges. This flange is different than flanges made of other materials, as it has a pipe extension that fits deeper into the drain.


Like stainless steel, the ring for the wax is usually the only aluminum part of an aluminum flange. It is lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion.

There are three types of toilet flanges. The standard model is intended to fit into the drain pipe and be placed on top. The pipe is typically 12 inches deep, so the flanges are deeper. Also, an elbow is included in offset flanges that allow the piece to fit and adjust in bathrooms with the pipe close to the wall or other unusual locations.



Toilet flanges are generally 4 x 3 inches in size. The toilet sits on the top of the flange, which has a diameter of 4 inches. The bottom portion that goes into the drainpipe measures 3 inches.


This is a standard toilet flange, meaning the top and bottom are 3 inches. This flange is only compatible with 3-inch pipes.


The toilet flange can be used in a 4-inch or 3-inch drainpipe. If you have a 4-inch pipe, you will insert the flange into the pipe. However, if your 3-inch pipe is used, the pipe will be inserted into the flange.

what is a toilet flange

How can you determine the size of your toilet flange?

The most common flange size for 4×3 inches is 4. You can also check the dimensions of an old flange to find a match and purchase a new one. The dimensions of the flange will be visible – this is where manufacturers add information to describe the product.

Common Problems Of Toilet Flange


Toilet floods can be caused by blocked-up flanges. If you have the correct equipment and can reach the obstruction, it’s easy to repair. In order to remove the blockage, all you need is a wire.

If you are unable to access the blockage and have no idea what to do, you should call a plumber. They know the best.

Cracked wax ring

Another common reason for liquid accumulation in your toilet is weak or cracked wax rings. If the wax ring is not tight enough, it can cause serious problems with your toilet and flange.

It is easy to change the wax ring on a toilet. However, it is important to do it correctly in order to prevent it from happening again. It’s better to keep it sealed.

When to replace a toilet flange?

Toilet flanges are not meant to last forever. Even the best quality toilet flanges can eventually break down. They work hard, often multiple times per day, and you can’t blame their efforts. Water exposure is a constant source of wear and tear.

It takes many years for a toilet flange of quality to wear out. You might see a leak at the bottom of the toilet. The toilet may also become unstable and rock back and forth. Therefore, you should inspect the toilet flange. If you notice any of these signs in your bathroom, it is time to replace your toilet flange.

Wrapping up

Your entire plumbing system is dependent on the toilet flange. Without it, the toilet bowl won’t attach to the floor. There are many types of toilet flanges, but the most common sizes are 4×3 inches and round.

These features are important to consider when replacing an old toilet flange. You can then purchase the exact same part and have it installed instead.

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