DIY Tips: How to Tighten a Loose Toilet

Sick of feeling like you might fall off the toilet every time you sit down?

There are several connections between the toilet seat, the fixture itself and the floor that are likely to loosen over time, especially with frequent use. Once you identify the connection that needs to be fastened, it is usually a simple matter of tightening a few bolts and replacing broken parts.

It’s recommended that you consult a licensed plumber if you notice a leak, strange sounds or other unusual problems with your toilet. Water damage can be expensive to repair, especially if it is not addressed quickly.

How to Steady a Wobbling Toilet at Home

Step 1: Check the base of your toilet for bolts connecting it to the floor. Many toilets have small domes or coverings that hide the bolts, which need to be removed with a flat instrument. The nut and washer should be visible.

Step 2: Turn the nut clockwise with your hand to make sure it turns easily. Do not try to forcefully twist the nuts, as this could break the bolt or another part of the connection. Continue turning until you feel resistance, and then use a wrench to make a few more rotations to create a sound seal.  Repeat this step for all bolts on either side of the toilet as needed.

Step 3: Rock the toilet to test the results. If it still moves, then you should check around the base of the toilet for signs of damage that could cause the instability.

Fixing a Loose Toilet Seat

Your toilet is likely to see at least several different seats during its lifespan. Seats are connected to the toilet fixture by two or more hinges on the tank-side of the basin, which may be hidden by a removable cover. The first step is to test and tightens the bolts as described above. If the seat itself is broken, it can be removed and replaced by removing the bolts.

What Causes Toilets to Wobble?

Exposure to high levels of moisture in bathrooms with a tub or shower and frequently bearing various weight loads eventually causes parts to give out. In many cases, replacement of the bolts or other components of the toilet floor flange can solve problems caused by “normal wear and tear. “

It is also possible that the toilet was not installed correct initially, causing immediate or hidden issues that destabilize the entire fixture. Talk to a plumber about your options for repairing or replacing the toilet. Re-installation is a common solution to issues stemming from oversights in the initial placement.