If you are renovating your basement bathroom or have noticed that some toilets are seated on a small platform above the floor, you might wonder why that’s the case.
Do you need to keep the bathroom on its small platform? Or is it okay to remove the toilet from the platform and place it directly on the ground?
The short answer is that it depends on the reason behind installing the platform. Some toilets need a platform for pipes, balance, or other practical reasons. However, you can remove it if the platform is just for style.
Here is a complete guide to having a toilet on a platform in your bathroom. We will discuss whether you need the platform. We’ll also tell you how to keep the bottom of the toilet flush with the floor without a platform.
Why Are Some Toilets on Platforms?
Seeing a toilet on a platform can be a little disorienting, especially if you’ve never seen it before.
However, raised toilets tend to appear in older apartment buildings. You can also find them in basements of homes.
If you’re wondering why the platforms are necessary, it’s for the reasons below.
The main reason that some toilets are on small platforms is to ensure that they’re sitting on an even surface.
Many home renovators realize that putting the toilet in will cause it to wobble and not have a solid seal.
A toilet must connect entirely to the flange—the small ring that seals the pipes to the toilet.
If there is space between the flange and the toilet or the pipes, it will cause leakage every time you flush the toilet. Even if the toilet and flange are entirely sealed, the space between the floor and bottom can cause the toilet to rock.
Of course, any toilet without a good seal will leak all over the floor. So, ensuring that the toilet is flush with the ground is crucial.
It’s harder to reinstall the bathroom floor or tear up tiles. So, making a small platform for the toilet to sit on is simpler. This way, the toilet is flush with the surface, and the flooring is intact.
Another common reason toilets sit on platforms is that the floor is too thin to stay up to code.
A toilet is heavier than it looks and holds a lot of water. The floor might be too thin to adequately accommodate the slope of the waste line from the toilet to the primary waste receptacle.
Toilet water and waste must be able to flow toward the central waste storage in the building to stay up to code.
If a building was built a long time ago or had low construction standards, a cheap way of fixing a slope issue is to increase the height of the toilet to help the drainage.
The slope is a common reason for toilet platforms in basements of houses.
The foundation of the toilet is already low. So, it may be crucial to add a little bit of height before flushing the toilet. This way, the pipes are less likely to back up and cause plumbing issues later.
However, some toilets are on platforms for stylistic choices instead of practical ones.
An example of this is if you have an older home and the toilet is on a larger raised platform. The platform could be a place to home your pipes or a decorative choice by a former renovator.
Usually, toilet platforms are a few feet wide and long. This would be just enough for a person to sit down and keep their feet on the platform.
These platforms add some dimension to a bathroom. But they can be clunky and annoying if you have a small bathroom or children who trip on the platforms.
How To Tell if Your Toilet Needs a Platform
A toilet on a small platform is generally wobbly because the toilet isn’t sitting directly on the ground. You probably need something if it wobbles or leaks without the platform.
It’s possible to even out the area around your toilet and eliminate the platform.
Of course, some people enjoy having a toilet on a raised platform. It helps with drainage and adds some height to the toilet area. This can change the feel of the space.
But let’s say you don’t want a platform underneath your toilet. You should still make sure your toilet needs this before removing it.
If pipes are underneath, it’s likely necessary to keep the platform in some capacity. Removing it will be more complicated because you’ll have to set up the piping system repeatedly.
How To Uninstall a Toilet Platform
If you renovate your bathroom and don’t like the toilet platform, you can uninstall it. You can even set your toilet directly on the bathroom floor.
As long as there is enough slope for the toilet to reach the primary waste receptacle and the toilet can sit flush with the floor, you don’t necessarily need to keep the platform.
To uninstall the toilet platform, you’ll need to take out the toilet.
First, turn your water off and follow instructions to remove the toilet properly. Once the toilet is out of the way, you can start to take apart the toilet platform.
Depending on the size and material of the platform, you may need to strip the flooring before taking down the structure. You can remove the tiles around the platform if your bathroom is tiled.
However, you might need to strip the entire floor for wood or linoleum flooring. Either way, removing the flooring around the toilet and platform is crucial.
Once the platform is removed, you can move forward with your design updates. Ensure that you can reinstall the toilet by keeping the area around where your toilet will go clean and flat.
However, once you install new flooring, you can put the toilet back in its original spot with no issue.
This is a very simplified way to remove a toilet platform and might not work in all scenarios.
An example of this is if your toilet platform is covering the pipes or is necessary for safety codes. You might need to find a different solution or accept the fact that there is a platform under your toilet.
How To Keep a Toilet Stable Without a Platform
If your toilet is raised to prevent it from wobbling or leaking, you’d need some replacement once you remove the platform.
You might already be removing the flooring and replacing it for renovations. If that’s the case, ensure that your toilet will sit evenly on the ground, and you won’t need a new toilet platform.
However, if you plan on keeping the flooring, you can remove a small amount of it to even out the area around the toilet.
It’s possible to sand down some flooring and make it flush to the toilet. You can add small plastic pieces to the flange to reduce wobbling and potential leakage.
Whether you decide to keep your toilet platform or remove it, it’s crucial to know why it’s there.
Keeping a platform underneath your toilet is your decision as the homeowner.
As long as your bathroom is up to code and you can drain your toilet correctly, you can decide whether or not the toilet on a platform is the design choice you want to make.