If you have an uneven floor or a highly raised flange, you will most probably end up hearing of toilet shims. These bathroom accessories mainly help in balancing the toilet on floor.
Here is a guide on what toilet shims are, types, their uses, how to install them plus a review of the best rubber and plastic shims in the market
What are Toilet Shims?
A shim is a thin flat wedge-shaped piece of material used to level or fit in-between spaces to prevent wobbling. The piece of material can be plastic, rubber, or wood.
However, for the toilet specifically, plastic and rubber are much preferred, more about why is explained under the comparison section below.
Shims come in different sizes and numbers. You can use as little or as many shims as you see fit. Commercial shims come in packages from four pieces to eight, and even 30.
They are between 7.5 inches to 9 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.
The length of a shim can stretch up to 12 or 16 inches long depending on the type, use, and brand, the same goes for the thickness of the shim.
Installation: How Can You Shim a Toilet?
Shimming the toilet is quite easy. Gather the essentials tools like the shims and a rubber hammer.
- Locate an opening or a gap between the toilet and the floor.
- Take one shim and place it adjacent to the gaping.
- Begin tapping the shim into the opening. Be very careful as they are delicate, especially the plastic types.
- You may use a rubber hammer/ mallet to drive the shim far enough into the gaping until it has leveled the toilet.
- Because it’s rubber or plastic, you can use a multi-tool to cut the excess part away. For plastic precisely, just snap it off.
Uses of Toilet Shims
Plumbing shims as mentioned above are tile setters used to balance out the space between the flooring and the toilet. They are fitted in between the spacing to even out the height and prevent the toilet from rocking back and forth.
Plastic plumbing shims can also be used in several other places in the bathroom. For example;
- Installation of the bathtub – most porcelain bathtubs use shims to facilitate balance and enhance good drainage. For most bathtub installations, rubber shims may be used because of their softness and flexibility.
- Shower enclosures – another great place to use plastic or rubber toilet shims is yet another wet room where they can offer sturdy support without getting damaged over time.
- Level bathroom vanities – if your bathroom vanity is wobbly or dangles up and down, the plastic toilet shims can level it. There are different sizes from big to small gaps to fit all your needs.
- Stabilizing bathroom appliances like the washing machine – because water gets into the washing machine, you can rule out having to use wooden shims as they can easily rot. Use plastic or rubber toilet shims to balance them off the ground easily.
- Stop the rattling of pipes. Again because pipes come into contact with water using toilet shims either soft or hard plastic shims or rubber shims, they can bend around a pipe going through a joist to cushion it, stopping the rattle. They can also cushion pipe hangers and appliance lines to stop them from vibrating.
The best use of the toilet shims is the toilet itself, however, because of the plastic or rubber material, it can be used in any other wet area in the house.
Plastic vs Rubber Toilet
By now, you may have noticed plastic and rubber shims have been used interchangeably all through the article. Well, you can use either material for your toilet shimming.
Both options are great to use in the toilet because unlike wooden shims used around the house, plastic and rubber shims can’t rot, deteriorate, or warp after extended exposure to water.
But what about plastic vs rubber? Well, plastic toilet shims are made of composite blends of post-consumer recycled plastic. They’re certainly more sturdy and stable than rubber shims. Secondly, they come in two varieties, hard and soft plastic. The two kinds are easy to use, it just boils down to the use of the shim.
Unfortunately, plastic shims can’t be stacked together nor can they be glued or adhered to together like rubber. This means that if you don’t find the right height of shims, you’re much better off getting rubber shims that can be stacked together. For friction on the rubber holds them together tightly avoiding slips.
Another disadvantage with plastic shims is that they are overly slippery and therefore not too stable to be relied on. The last con of plastic shims is that they are pre-scored to snap at certain locations unless you use a multi-tool to cut it. The rubber on the other hand is quite easy to cut and hide away.
Rubber shims are very durable, have great adherence to the floor, and it’s not slippery. Rubber shims are also soft on the material so you can’t complain of cracks or scratches on your porcelain. However, lodging them into the gaping can be hard because you really can’t use the mallet to tap them in.
Best Toilet Shims
Multi-Purpose Nylon Plastic Shims
A product by Qualihome, these plastic shims are very versatile. They can be used to stabilize furniture and the toilet as well. They come in an eight pack with a width of one to 1.8 inches and a thickness of two inches.
- Ribbed design – these shims guarantee more stability with its ribbed design used to fit under anything.
- Plastic construction – its clear plastic shims offer sustenance, sturdiness, and longevity.
- Durability thanks to its plastic construction.
- Reliability as it’s very easy to use and install.
- Stackability – with the ribbed design, they can be stacked on each other.
- Multipurpose and versatile in use
- Made of hard plastic to withstand more weight.
- Easy to cut.
- Clear in color hence unnoticeable.
- Very thin hence you will probably need to stack them against each other for a snug fit.
Wobble Wedges Flexible Plastic Shims
Wobble Wedges is a well-renowned brand known to have the best shims for all your home improvement needs. They advertise all kinds of shimming, plus clamping, adjusting, and leveling.
Made in Colorado, the pack features 30 clear, flexible soft rubber shims with interlocking ridges with the size of each wedge roughly 1.92 inches against 1.11 inches against 0.25 inches
- Rubber-like material – the shims can easily absorb vibrations and shakes thanks to its rubber material. What’s more, you’re guaranteed no scratches or damage to your porcelain and other bathroom appliances.
- Patented interlocking technology – this makes the shims to be easily and securely stacked. This also offers customization for all customers to fit their needs.
- Patented Grab-Bar for easy removal.
- A modular system of precision engineered that allows the shims to be manipulated regardless of the size. They can be used independently or stacked together in any combination or orientation to level, tilt, lift, twist, tighten, align, separate, cushion, bend, protect, or silence
- Easy to install
- Many in the pack – 30 of them
- Soft so as not to scratch any surfaces
- Anti-slip and non-marring
- They don’t shrink or swell
- Clear to remain unrecognizable
- Can be easily cut by a pair of scissors or a knife.
- It’s available in three sizes, three colors, and both rigid and flexible plastic
- They may not be best for heavyweights.
Next up is the Wadoy plastic toilet leveling multi-purpose shims with a height of 0.4 inches, length of 1.69 inches, and width of 0.07 inches.
- Ribbed design allows for easy stacking and increases friction therefore eliminating slide.
- Nylon plastic shims that can be used in the toilet as well as any other room in the house.
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and 30-day quality guarantee
- Durable and sturdy
- Very few – eight inside the pack compared to 30 like the former choice.
- Very thin therefore warranties them stacking.
Patelai Plastic Shims
The Patelai brand offers these unique 30 pieces plastic soft furniture leveling shims that come in two sets of 15.
One set is white and plastic while the other is transparent and made from PVC.
They have different sizes where each piece of transparent furniture shim measures approximately 1.85 inches against 1.1 inches against 0.19 inches, and the white plastic furniture shim is about 2 inches against 1.2 inches against 0.24 inches.
- Sturdy and transparent PVC material – these shims can easily bend without breaking.
- White plastic shims used to level up the toilet
- Humanized design – the white plastic shims have concave and convex designs to add more stability.
- Non-slip feature – Multiple plastic shims can be stacked and locked together without slipping.
- Bendable design – these shims exhibit high elasticity and toughness as they can easily be bent without breaking.
- Sturdy thanks to the plastic material.
- Comes in two choices offering variety to customers
- They have a nice compression resistance, therefore, can’t be deformed.
- Non-slip texture
- Multiple shims – 30
- Strong elasticity
- Stackable height
- Concave and convex design points for more stability
- They are very thin.
Yeejoy Rubbery Clear Shims
Last, but not least, the eight-piece rubbery clear table shims by Yeejoy have one of the greatest deals you will ever find.
They measure 1.96 inches in length, 1.2 inches in width, and 0.2 to 0.4 inches in thickness.
- Ribbed design that aids in stability and reliability of the shims
- Eco-friendly rubber that’s impervious to water and insect damage, nor will it cause damage like scratches on your floor.
- Sloping design – this helps to provide an anti-slip base allowing the shims to be stacked against each other.
- Versatile in application
- Easy to use and install
- Clear appearance makes them unnoticeable
- Durable and reliable
- Can support up to 1000 pounds
- Can be used for numerous DIY projects
- Requires stacking due to its thinness