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Wobbly Toilet & Water Damage. HELP!!!!!

Paul S.

Full Member
I used my son's bathroom and noticed that the toilet is wobbly! I went downstairs to the laundry room and noticed a brownish spot. When I touch it, the ceiling drywall is very soft in that spot.

I don't know what to do. I figure it is the seal on the toilet and that I need to call a plumber to fix that. I have turned off the water to the toilet in the meantime.

But do I need to rip up the tile and replace the floor? What about the ceiling in the downstairs laundry room? How much would any of this cost (in S. California)?

Any help you can give me would be great!


Junior Member
Which is wobbly?,

the tank or the bowl?

Is the floor around the toilet wet? Perhaps you could determine if the wetness came from the tank or the bowl. (Perhaps one has a hairline crack?)

I'd make sure the bolts are tight. (2 bolts on each part... under the tank and each side next to the bowl on the floor.)

If they are tight, then my next guess would be the wax seal also. You could do this yourself if household repairs are your "thing" but you may need someone to help with the lifting... those things are heavy!

I'd be more worried about the ceiling downstairs than the bathroom floor. I'd be afraid of falling though... but I'm paranoid that way. :eek:

I've no idea what your costs may be, but I'd get more than one estimate... make sure you get a Certificate of Insurance from whatever repairperson you choose. At least it's not the only bath, so it's not an emergency that has to be fixed immediately.

It's possible you caught the problem before you have to replace the ceiling. (That's also why I'd get more than one estimate, to get an idea/opinion from different people about how much damage there actually is.)

Unless there is extensive damage, I don't think you would need to rip up the bathroom floor. Depending on it's design/tile, you may get away with just lifting the toilet up, or next worse case, just taking out a few inches of tile around it.

Best of luck... those things drive me nuts to have to call someone in! *going to tighten my bolts now*

Paul S.

Full Member
Certificate of Insurance?

What is a certificate of insurance?

I don't know it is leaky around the bowl yet. I have to get someone to come out to see what happens when I lift up the toilet. I just don't know if I will see the rotting of the floor unless I pull up the tile.

I am worried about falling through as well. I just don't know how to replace the tile or the ceiling below. I am at the mercy of the plumber and contractor.


Senior Member
OMG - that sounds like $$$

Not to get you upset right before the holidays or anything, Paul, but when my bathroom floor started to feel oddly soft around the toilet, it turned out that the seal had been broken for quite some time and the floor was destroyed. My plumber spent many a happy day working in there, ripping out the entire floor, replacing wood under the house, re building a subfloor, replacing linoleum, replacing the toilet, reinforcing beams, you name it. He ended up charging me about seven grand! Like I said, he was a very happy camper. And this is also in So Cal. Good luck. If you can do it yourself, you will save lots of money!


Junior Member
Are you at my house?

Just this morning, I went downstairs to prepare me and my husband some coffee and I hear water dripping. I looked up and BAM...water was coming from the ceiling. I start calling for my husband. He discovered it was coming from our toilet and turned the water off. The dripping stopped and we were wondering the same exact thing about floor and ceiling damage. WOW! Sometimes, it does feel like a small world. Let me know if you find out anything since we are going through the same type of ordeal. Good Luck! BTW, I have my parents coming to visit on Friday, so we need to fix our problem ASAP:eek:


Junior Member
I don’t know the consumer laws in Ca., but you should be sure anyone you hire has insurance. Worker’s Comp. in case they or their employees are injured and Liability in case they damage your property.

Just asking if they are covered isn’t good enough as many will lie right to your face. Ask them for a Certificate of Insurance. They get this from their insurance company and give you this piece of paper (before the job starts). Then you should call and verify the information, as many let their coverage lapse. Feel free to call that insurance company more than once if there is any time between the first call and the start of the job.

Worker’s Comp.- If they are not covered and someone is injured, they could sue you. Even if you are lucky enough to not lose everything, the time (years) and money spent defending yourself is life-changing.

Liability- Ever hear the one about the plumber that wasn’t paying attention while soldering that little copper pipe? The whole house burned down. Just an example; plenty of contractors have caused more damage than they fixed.

Any legitimate contractor will be happy to provide a Certificate of Insurance.

Paul S.

Full Member

Well, I contacted the builder Beazer Homes. I was expecting them to stand behind the house and fix the problem, like they have for other issues we've had. Unfortunately, they are saying that the toilet should have been tightened over the years and that that caused the problem. As a result, they don't plan on reparing anything. They are getting a second opinion from a plumber.

My point is that the toilet is only now wobbly but that the water damage on the first floor could only be the result of a problem that has been going on; therefore, the wobbly toilet the leak and not the cause of it. Tightening is not the problem but rather a deeper problem. I hope that I am wrong but OTHER PEOPLE IN OUR COMPLEX HAVE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM!!!

I will let you know if Beazer steps up to the plate. I always said that I would buy another Beazer. Now, I am not sure.

Paul Saaty

Paul S.

Full Member

For anyone who is interested, here is an update. Beazer came out and finally decided to take care of things. They hired a mold company to remove the mold by removing drywall, some tiles, etc. We are real happy about that. I still feel a bit uncomfortable so I have been looking over everyone's shoulders and demanding. In the end, I hope the reason why the leak started will be fixed but the only thing we can guess is that the wax ring failed.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's help with this. I will probably write back when it is all done in a week.