How to Install a Toilet for a Simple DIY Bathroom Renovation

Replacing the toilet may seem like a daunting DIY task, but all it takes is a few simple steps to set up a new throne in a matter of hours.

Toilets can last for years, but when it comes time to replace them, you just know. A damaged toilet – from water leaks to broken seats – offers a great opportunity for modernization. Believe it or not, the new toilets actually offer a wide range of convenient features such as soft lid closure, lower seat height (versatile design) and less water consumption.

You can buy everything you need to replace your toilet at Home Depot or Lowe’s, including the toilet. American Standard and Kohler offer sub $ 200 toilets that any DIYer can install.

In addition to the toilet, you will need a wax ring (included with some toilets), a wrench to remove the nuts that hold the toilet in place, and some towels. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully as installation details may vary depending on the manufacturer and model.

Step one: remove the old toilet

Find the water shut-off valve that you will find against the wall by the toilet. Turn the knob clockwise to tighten it and turn off the water supply to the toilet.

Then rinse the toilet to drain all the water. Dampen excess water with a towel. Remove the plumbing from the toilet by unscrewing it from the cistern.

Use a head or crescent moon to unscrew the bolts at the base of the toilet. After the bolts have been removed, you can lift the toilet directly off the ground. Be careful when putting it back on as it can easily tip over and break, resulting in huge mess and possible damage to your floor.

Step two: install a new base

Clean the floor around the base of the toilet so that the new toilet is flush on the ground. Place a rag in the hole to keep sewer gases from escaping and to prevent old wax and dirt from getting into the hole.

After you have cleaned the base, insert new bolts into the base as follows:

Attach the wax ring to the hole in the base of the toilet and slowly lower the toilet through the bolts on the base to the floor. Press firmly to make sure you have a good connection.

Secure the base of the toilet to the ground with nuts and prepare to assemble and install the toilet (if not already attached).

Step three: install the tank

The toilet bowl holds water and sits on the back of the toilet seat. It is held in place by two bolts that connect it to the base. Make sure all supplied gaskets are installed as this connection must be waterproof. Lower the tank to the base and secure with two screws.

Finally, attach the seat to the toilet and reconnect the plumbing to the cistern. When you are ready for the moment of truth, turn on the water again. You should see the tank is full and when this is done, you can perform a test flush. Make sure there are no leaks between the floor and the toilet, and between the base and the tank.

If you’re not sure how to take on this project, do it on a weekday so that if you really need to call Calvary (the plumber) you can find it during business hours. Most take the weekend. But if you follow the instructions to the letter, you’ll be surprised how much you can do it yourself. Good luck!


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