How to Install a New Toilet

Installing a new toilet is a project you can easily take on yourself and that will make a big difference in your bathroom. Whether your toilet is broken or is just outdated, you can install a new one in just one afternoon, putting an end to leaks and ridding your bathroom of that unattractively coloured toilet.

Some plumbing procedures and repairs do require you to call a professional plumber. However, if your system is in good condition, and the problem is only with the toilet, you can take this project on yourself.

What You Will Need

To do this project, you will need a few supplies:

•    The New Toilet and Toilet Seat
•    Toilet Supply Tube
•    Wax Seal
•    Drop Cloth
•    Old Towels and Rags
•    Adjustable Wrench
•    Open-Ended Wrench
•    Screwdriver
•    Paint Scraper

In some cases, if parts of the old toilet are rusted or damaged, you may also need needle nose pliers and slip-joint pliers.

Ideally, you should have all of these tools on hand before you start the project. Then, as you need them you can easily find and use them without delaying your project. Even if you don’t think you will need a specific tool, add it to your supplies just in case you do need it.

To browse HSS’s extensive collection of fixing tools, please visit our page:

As with all other home improvement projects, it is important that you wear proper safety gear. You should wear long pants and long sleeves, gloves, closed-toed shoes and while using tools, safety goggles.

Removing the Old Toilet

In some cases, you will need to remove an old toilet before you can install the new one. Before you start this process, shut off the water supply to your home. Cover your bathroom floor with drop cloths to protect your flooring. It’s also a good idea to have some old towels and a mop nearby so you will be ready to clean up any drips or spills.

Drain the Tank and the Bowl

Before you remove the toilet, you will need to drain the tank and the bowl. Remove the lid, flush the toilet and hold the flusher down to let all the water drain from the tank. There will probably be a small amount of water left in the tank, so you use a rag to remove it and dry the tank.

Most of the bowl should also be drained by now, but you can use a plunger to push any remaining water through the drain and out of the toilet.

Unbolt the Toilet and Disconnect the Toilet Stop

The toilet is installed to the floor with bolts, so use a screwdriver and wrench to remove the caps over the bolts and then unscrew the bolts. Once the bolts are out, you can rock the toilet slightly from side to side to make sure it is no longer attached to the floor.

In some cases, the bolts could be rusted and hard to remove. You can use pliers to remove them or break them. If the toilet is attached even after you remove the bolts, use a screwdriver or paint scraper to clear away any rust and keep working at the base until it is loose.

Disconnect the toilet supply tube from the toilet stop. Now, the toilet should be completely uninstalled and unattached.

Disassemble and Remove the Toilet

Now, remove the bolts that attach the tank to the bowl and then lift the tank off the rest of the toilet, to make it lighter and easier to manage. Take the tank out of the bathroom and set it somewhere where it isn’t in the way and won’t cause someone to trip.

Lift the bowl, which should be easily removed from the floor, and set it aside too. Immediately after setting it aside, push a rag into the open end of the drain so that sewer gasses won’t seep into your home.

Now that the toilet is completely removed, use a paint scraper to remove the wax that lines the flange. Look closely at the flange to make sure it doesn’t have any cracks. If it does, replace it before you install the new toilet.

Installing the New Toilet

With your old toilet removed, you can now install the new toilet.

Add Bolts and Wax Seal for the New Toilet

Your new toilet should come with bolts and you can put them in the flange now. Make sure the bolts are facing up, remove the rag from the drain and clear the area, where the toilet will be, of tools and supplies.

Use specialised wax from your hardware store to create a seal around the flange and use a small amount around the bolts so that they will remain pointing upward as you install the toilet.

Put the New Toilet in Place

Now you are ready to install your new toilet. First, put the bowl in the correct place on the floor and wax seal, and push it straight down until it pushes through the wax and touches the floor. Then attach it with the new bolts. Put the tank seal in the correct place and then put the tank on top of the bowl. Push the tank bolts through the holes and tighten them.
The bolts should be tight enough that the bowl and tank don’t move or tip from side to side at all, but do not tighten them too much, as this could lead to cracking the porcelain.

Once the toilet is securely assembled and tightly attached to the floor, connect the toilet supply tube to the back of the tank. Then, use a pitcher to fill the tank with water to the appropriate level and make sure the toilet isn’t leaking anywhere. If it is, tighten the bolts or fix the wax seal so it stops and then flush the toilet to make sure it is working properly.

The last step is to attach the seat to the toilet bowl. Your new toilet should have come with bolts for this step too, so securely attach the seat without over tightening the bolts.

Now that this last step is complete, your new toilet will be safely installed and working properly. All that is left is to lay down the fuzzy bath rug!

Back to articles

About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

Leave a Reply

Please note. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *