People usually do not undertake the project to install a new toilet themselves. The same logic applied to me until I decided to replace my old toilet last month. Toilets are durable pieces of equipment that serve you for around 10 -12 years. Apart from periodic cleaning and general upkeep, they are low maintenance. But over time, cracks might develop on the toilet bowl, or leaks might occur from the bottom. In such cases, replacement is essential.
There are various components you need to be mindful of while buying a new toilet. the first of which is the shape of your toilet bowl –
- Elongated toilet bowls offer more seating space. If you have space to spare in your bathroom, opt for these types of bowls for greater comfort.
- Round toilet bowls, conversely, take up less space and are perfect for small bathrooms.
- Additionally, if your door extends deep into your bathroom, an elongated bowl might obstruct its path. The constant banging of the door against your bowl can lead to cracks and breakage.
The second essential component while choosing to install a new toilet, is the toilet height. Toilets typically have a height between 14 – 15 inches. But if you are taller, 17-inch variants are also available in the market.
Before removing your old toilet, measure the distance between your wall and the closet bolts. The bolts located at the bottom of the toilet bowl, connect your toilet to the floor. When buying a new toilet, ensure that the size of the toilet bowl matches your measurements. Closet bolt opening is manufactured with the toilet bowl and cannot be adjusted.
Typically, waste pipe openings are 12 inches from the wall. In some cases, they can vary between 10 – 14 inches. Many manufacturers create toilet bowls for attachment 10, 12, and 14 inches from your wall. Hence finding a toilet based on your requirements will not be hard.
During this project, wear protective gloves and goggles at all times. You could potentially be exposed to fecal waste, bacteria, and other germs. Additionally, if you do not have a drain opening on your bathroom floor, we advise covering your floor with plastic bags to protect against spillage. Furthermore, place a bucket beneath your toilet tank while removing it to collect excess water from the tank.
Reviewing your work is key to this project. All connections need to the firm and correctly installed to have a properly functioning toilet. If, after re-opening your main water supply, you notice leaks in your toilet tank, it is imperative to rectify it on the spot. Additionally, flush your toilet multiple times to check your flange connections. Ideally, there should be no leakage from the base of your toilet. Even a small leak indicates a fault in your installation.
In such a case, you will have to repeat the process. Which will include installing a new wax rin along with all the toilet connections.
Average Cost To Replace Your Toilet
Depending on the size and manufacturer you opt for, the cost to install your new toilet will vary between $150-$300.
It will take you between 2-3 hours to install a new toilet. If you have never installed a toilet before be patient and follow all the necessary steps to have a proper installation on the first try itself.
Tools & Materials
Removing Your Old Toilet
- Turn off the main water valves and flush your toilet. Let all the water drain from your tank.
- Using a sponge, absorb any excess water left in the tank after flushing. Similarly, you could flush again to drain the excess.
- Typically, the water supply lines connect to the bottom left side of your tank. Unscrew the nut by hand and detach the line from your tank.
- Once the supply lines have been removed, unscrew the water tank to detach it from the bowl. The screws are typically located on the underside of the tank.
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions, use a water solidifier before proceeding to remove your toilet bowl.
IMPORTANT TIP – Even after flushing your bowl and removing the water supply lines, water could still be present in your bowl. To avoid spillage, we recommend using a water solidifier.
- Locate the closet bolts on the bottom of your toilet. These bowls connect the toilet to your floor.
- Using a wrench unscrew the closet bolts completely. If you have an old toilet, it is likely that the bolts would have corroded. In this case use a hacksaw to cut the bolts and remove them.
- After removing the closet bolts, pull your toilet bowl to remove it from the ground.
- With the bowl removed the flange will be exposed to you. Using a putty knife remove the old wax ring attached to the flange. Wax rings can never be re-used, always install a new wax ring when replacing your toilet.
- Similarly, remove your old closet bolts from the flange.
- Inspect the condition of your flange. If you notice corrosion or breakage, a replacement will be necessary.
- Flange replacement kits are readily available in the market. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, replace your flange or its components as needed.
- Block the drain opening using a cloth to safeguard yourself from harmful sewer gases.
Installing A New Toilet Bowl
- Firstly, you’ll need to install new closet bolts into the flange. Locate the slots on the sides of the flange and slide the bolts into place.
- Additionally, attach any washers that came with the bolts. Washers help to create a water-tight seal between the nuts and the toilet bowl and improve durability.
- Placing your new toilet bowl upside-down attach your new wax ring to the toilet outlet.
IMPORTANT TIP – Place the wax rim under warm water prior to installation. The water will soften the ring and make it easier to install. Additionally, as the wax hardens again it will firmly connect to the toilet outlet.
- Remove the cloth from the drain opening and closely inspect your flange and closet nuts before installing your toilet bowl.
- Lower the toilet bowl towards the flange. Your toilet outlet should firmly connect with the flange opening. Additionally, your bowl should also align with the closet bolts.
- Once your bowl is set in place, attach washers or cap bases to your closet bolts as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Avoid over-tightening the nuts as it can lead to crack or breakage of the toilet bowl.
Installing A New Toilet Tank
- Your new toilet tank will have a valve assembly at its center. This assembly will connect to the toilet bowl.
- Placing your tank upside-down install bolts to the valve assembly. Additionally, install a rubber gasket at the base of the assembly.
- Gently lower the tank onto the bowl aligning the valve assembly with the opening in the bowl.
- Once you have properly aligned your tank, use a wrench to tighten the bolts in place. Avoid over-tightening the bolts as it can cause damage or breakage.
- Re-attach your water supply line to the new toilet tank.
Installing A New Toilet Seat
- Place the seat on top of the toilet bowl.
- Using a screwdriver, connect the hinges and screws to the toilet bowl.
Do not overtighten the plastic screws while attaching the seat. They can easily strip or break under pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions: How To Install A New Toilet
Do I need to replace the flange every time I replace my toilet?
After removing your toilet, inspect the condition of your flange. If it is in good condition, remove the old wax ring and clean the flange. The flange can be re-used by attaching a new wax ring
Can I attach my existing toilet tank to a new toilet bowl?
Toilets usually come in a set. It is advisable to use the new tank rather than attaching an old one to your new toilet.