I have a typical, classical (but modern-made) Western porcelain toilet.

Just a couple of years ago, they redid the entire bathroom (unasked for, forced "upgraded"). I've noticed many times when I'm about to get up from the toilet that it "wobbles", as if it's not "sealed" to the floor. In fact, it clearly isn't. It seems like I could just lift it straight up. It's not "fixated" to the bathroom floor, but merely standing there.

Is this a mistake? Lazy and incompetent workers? Or is it on purpose? Is this the "new thing" that they do for some reason?

I should clarify that nothing visually indicates that it's "broken" when you look at it, but when you sit on it, it's possible (and often happens by accident) that it "leans" a bit to the side if you aren't careful.

I truly cannot tell if this is intentional or a mistake, and what the purpose would be for not "sealing" it properly to the floor.

I should further clarify that it doesn't "rattle around" just like that. You need to "lean" with your body to one side for it to leave the floor on the other side. I haven't dared to make any further "experiments" since I'm scared that I'll break it.

  • $\begingroup$ This may be better suited to the home improvement Stack Exchange. For what it's worth, in my limited not-a-plumber experience with US toilets, some wobble-inducing culprits can be a broken wax ring or flange. YouTube instructional videos abound. $\endgroup$
    – CableStay
    Jul 26 '20 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ My experience is they should be secured to the floor & immobile. With wooden floors this usually means using screws & with concrete floors via bolts. Other methods of securing may also exist. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Jul 26 '20 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ Is your toilet back outlet or a standard / siphon toilet? $\endgroup$ Jul 27 '20 at 12:39

It isn't "sealed" to the floor because there is nothing that could leak there, unless the entire toilet was cracked.

There should be some sealant applied around the edge of the base, but that is to stop any "spills" in the room from getting under the toilet where they are impossible to clean, not to seal anything coming in the other direction. The sealant doesn't have any mechanical strength to hold the toilet in position.

The joint between the toilet and the waste pipe is above the level of the water in the U-bend gas trap, and is never permanently "under water" so that is not going to leak either. It is nominally a sealed joint, but the seal is flexible to allow for positioning the toilet on the floor when it was installed.

The toilet should be fixed to the floor by four screws around the edge of the base, probably with the screw heads covered by decorative caps. These sometimes work loose, which results in the toilet "wobbling" if you put all your weight on one side.

Just get the screws tightened, or replaced if they are broken or missing. They are a bit fiddly to fit correctly, and a "lazy" plumber may have only installed two or three, not all four.


This an instruction video that is typical for all floor-mounted toilet sewer connections.

The toilet is secured to the slots in the sewer flange with two bolts.

These bolts are usually capped with a decorative cover on the sides of the base of the toilet. they are very easy to remove and retighten the screws and put them back on.

Toilet installation video

  • $\begingroup$ The details of the standard fittings are different in different parts of the world (e.g. the UK and the USA) but the video shows the general idea. For example in the UK, mine is fastened directly to the wood floor with large wood screws, not using an base plate and bolts as in the video. $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Jul 26 '20 at 11:38

In the USA their are two type of toilets. Back outlet and Siphonic. The installation methods slightly differ.

For a back outlet toilet the waste pipes are in the wall. Below are high level installation instructions.

Back Outlet Installation

In short there are two bolts mounting the to wall and two mounting on the floor. Here the installation instruction for Floor Mount Back Outlet toilet

For most Siphonic designs the waste pipe is on floor. Therefore there is only two bolts mounted on to the floor. Here is the high level installation instructions.

Siphonic - Install - 1

Siphonic - Install - 2

Here the installation instruction for Champion PRO 2-piece Toilet

Hopefully this is sufficient information find the root cause of the problem.


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