Should you caulk around toilet and what are the consequences if any if you do choose to apply caulking or silicone around the base of the toilet.
Should you caulk or Silicone around a toilet?
This topic is open for debate, some plumbers say to use caulk around the toilet because it gives the toilet a nice finish to the floor and helps to keep out sewer gases. However most plumbers including myself will tell you that you should not use caulking or silicone around the toilet. For a few different reasons.
Why Shouldn’t I use Caulk around Toilet?
There a couple reasons not to caulk around toilet, the biggest reason not to caulk around a toilet is if your gasket that you used to seal the toilet to the toilet flange looses its seal. If you loose your toilet seal than water will start to come out around the base of the toilet. Water coming around the toilet base is the first sign that your toilet has lost its seal. So the problem lies, that if you silicone around the toilet than the water that is escaping through the broken seal has no where to go and you have no idea that your toilet seal has been compromised until it is to late. By the time you realize that the toilet is leaking, it will have already been leaking for a while, the water from the leaking toilet will be absorbed by the sub floor until the sub floor can not take anymore and is saturated and dripping. Now that your sub floor is saturated the problem lies that the water that was absorbed in it has fecal matter in it. Now you have a large mold situation to take in to account as black mold will start to form in and around your sub floor underneath the toilet from the fecal matter that is in the water.
What Can I do If I want to Caulk or Silicone around the Toilet?
If you really want to put caulking or silicone around the toilet for esthetics than you still can, as discussed above the biggest problem lies that water will become trapped underneath. So what I would recommend doing is leaving a portion of the toilet base silicone free so that if your toilet seal does let go and you do experience a leak, than the water will have somewhere to escape out the base of the toilet and make you aware that in fact your seal on your toilet need to be replaced. See our post on How to install a toilet for more information on how to install and remove a toilet.