Wax Ring Vs Rubber – Which Toilet Seal Is More Effective?

While both wax rings and rubber seals provide excellent sealing quality and good quality materials, the wax rings usually last longer. The wax rings are also adjustable and reusable when they’re in good condition. However, the installation and removal process of rubber seals is easier and they’re less prone to heat. Yet, rubber seals are more expensive than wax rings.

This information may not be enough to clear your confusion about differentiating between wax rings vs rubber seals. Read the full article to make the best decision!

Key Takeaways

  • Wax rings are reusable, adjustable, stackable, and last longer than rubber seals.
  • Rubber seals are quite easy to install and remove in comparison with wax rings.

Wax Ring Vs Rubber: Brief Comparison

To see all the differences between wax rings and rubber seals at a glance, take a look at the chart below:

FactorsWax RingRubber
Sealing QualityExcellentExcellent
Heat ResistanceLimitedHigh
MaterialBeeswax, Petroleum, etcSoft Foam, Heavy Duty Rubber, PVC, etc
Installation ProcessHardEasy
Removal ProcessHardYes

Wax Ring Vs Rubber: Detailed Discussion

Now you’re ready for the in-depth portion of the article. I’ve elaborated on all the differentiating factors below. Give it a good read to find out your preferred toilet seal.

Sealing Quality:

Both wax rings and rubber seals have excellent sealing qualities when it comes to toilet sealing.

Rubber seals and wax rings work great in sealing your toilet because both of them have sufficient adhesive strength to get the job done.

wax rings and rubber seals
Source: plumbguide

Moreover, these seals prevent any kind of leakage that can get your toilet messy! Setting up your toilet also becomes easy due to the sealing quality.

Heat Resistance:

The rubber seals have a much higher heat resistance when compared to wax rings.

The heat resistance of rubber is generally higher than wax because as we all know, wax melts quite easily. Although wax rings and seals are made to be more durable, they can still melt at a really high temperature.

Many people have radiant heating installed in their bathrooms, which keeps the area warm. These systems can weaken the wax rings over time. Also, if the water in your bathroom is excessively hot, it can melt the wax rings enough that it’ll start leaking. 

On the other hand, rubber seals are used to seal toilets for a long time, and they can tolerate high levels of heat. It’s a good idea to use rubber seals if your bathroom floor is heated.


Wax rings are made from beeswax and petroleum whereas rubber seals are made from soft foam, PVC, heavy-duty rubber, etc.

All the materials used to manufacture the wax rings and rubber seals are of high quality. However, if any chunk of the wax seal goes into your mouth by accident, quickly wash it. 

The material of the wax seals isn’t edible; the situation is not anywhere close to eating cart wax.


In terms of durability, wax rings are more durable than rubber seals and last longer.

Rubber seals can be damaged due to using corrosive cleaners like bleach, which is essential when cleaning the toilet. However, wax rings aren’t vulnerable to these chemicals.

wax rings
Source: homeimprovementandrepairs

As a result, the sealing strength of wax rings decreases very slowly and causes the wax rings to last longer than rubber seals.

Installation and Removal:

The installation and removal process of rubber seals is easier when compared to wax rings.

When installing the wax rings, you might have to adjust the wax rings and attach them accordingly. Also when removing the wax rings, you’ll need to use a putty knife to scrape it off, which can be messy.

On the contrary, rubber seals offer an easier installation. These seals have a ring of adhesive that directly attaches the seal to the toilet bowl. After attaching the seal, lowering the toilet bowl into the flange will create an airtight seal!

If you’ve got some wax on your skin while installing wax rings, don’t stress about it. Whether you’re removing regular wax off your skin or parts of wax seals from your skin, heat is almost always the answer. Use warm water to wash the wax off.


The wax rings are reusable and in good condition, but the rubber seals are not meant to be reused.

When the quality of rubber seals deteriorates, they can cause problems like leaking, misadjustments, etc. So it’s not advised to reuse rubber seals. 

But wax rings are reusable if the wax ring is in satisfactory condition. This is helpful when you’re removing and attaching your toilet, you don’t have to buy new wax rings in these cases.

rubber seals
Source: thepinkplumber


Wax rings are more adjustable than rubber seals because they are meant to self-adjust and self-heal.

Wax rings give to option to stack, which makes for a perfect installation when flanges are too high or too low. 

Sometimes due to the uneven level of the bathroom floors, rubber seals can be hard to adjust. But wax rings can self-heal and stack, which can bring ease to the adjustment. 

Make sure you’re using a caulk gun and silicone to further adjust and seal the toilet in place. It will help get rid of the wobblyness of the toilet. 

Product NameFeatures
Red Devil Caulk GunComfortable grip
Drip-free technology
BioSeal Silicone Sealant100% silicone and waterproof
Water-ready in 30 minutes

Additionally, you can decorate your toilet to increase the sense of freshness. Scented candles like the Yankee and Kringle candles, small plants, and regular cleaning can go a long way. 


Wax rings are far more cheap when compared to the costing of rubber seals.

You can buy wax rings for 3 to 5 dollars from the store. On the other hand, any other alternatives, such as rubber seals can cost around 10 to 16 dollars per seal. If you need to set up

Wax Ring Vs Rubber: What’s the Better Option?

If you want a durable and reusable seal, wax rings are for you. These seals also come at cheaper prices and have high adjustability. However, the installation and removal process of the wax rings can be difficult and the heat resistance of wax rings is low.

On the other hand, if you want to easily install and remove seals and want high heat resistance, choose the rubber seals. But these rings are not reusable, expensive, less adjustable, and last less when compared to wax wings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How Do I Know If My Toilet Seal Is Bad?

Some common indicators of bad toilet seals are bad smell, wobbly toilet, and water leaks. Replace the toilet seal as soon as possible if you see any of these signs.

Is It Better to Put the Wax Ring on the Toilet Or the Flange?

The best option is to install the wax ring on the closet flange and not on the toilet. This will be much better in the long run of the toilet.

Do Toilet Wax Rings Smell?

No, toilet wax rings do not smell. If there’s a smell in your bathroom, there might be a leak in the toilet. You’ll need to install new wax rings in such cases.

Wrapping It up

That’s everything you need to know when differentiating wax rings vs rubber seals. The type of seal you want to use will always be dependent on your preferences, both seals work great. Best of luck.

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