How To

Replacing your toilet is easier than you think.  We’ll give you the step-bystep instructions you need to complete your project successfully.

  • Before buying a new toilet, measure the distance between the closet bolts on the base of the old toilet to the wall (not the trim) behind the holding tank. Replacing your toilet is easier than you think.
  • If you’re working in a confined space, measure the clearance left and right of the old toilet, such as the space between the toilet and vanity, toilet and wall, etc.
  • Once you have the new toilet at home, check it for proper color and design.

Remove A Toilet

1. Check for cracks in the old toilet.

  • Pay special attention to areas where the toilet will be lifted. A toilet is ceramic and can cut like glass, so wear heavy work gloves when handling the toilet.

2. Remove the tank top.

  • Set it away from the work area

3. Turn off the water supply.

  • The valve is located near the left side of the toilet.

4. Flush the toilet, and hold down the handle to empty the tank.

  • Wearing rubber gloves, remove any remaining water with a sponge or towel.

5. Remove any excess water from the bowl using a small, disposable container.

  • Use a sponge or towel to remove any remaining water.

6. Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet.

  • Use a bucket to catch any excess water in the line.

7. Leave the tank connected to the bowl. The bolts will probably not be removable.

  • Removing the tank from the bowl can take hours sometimes.

8. Remove the bolt caps and closet bolt nuts at the base of the toilet.

  • The bolts will usually spin, so cut them off with fine toothed hacksaw blade.
  • You might have to buy a single blade handle due to a small work area.

9. If the toilet is sealed to the floor with caulk, cut the sealant with a utility knife.
10. Gently rock the toilet to free it from any sealants.
11. With the help of an assistant, lift the old toilet while keeping your back straight; lift with your legs.

  • Remove the old toilet and place it out of the way on a rag or towel because it will be messy.
  • Or you can place it on an old rug or sheet of plastic, then slide it away.

12. Plug the drain with a rag to control the sewer gases.

13. If the closet bolts are damaged replace them.
14. Scrape the old sealant from the flange and floor with a putty knife.


Install A New Toilet

  1. Once the drain pipe area is clean, insert new closet bolts, if needed.
    • Anchor the bolts to the flange with a washer and nut.
  2. Replace the wax ring.
    • If the new wax ring is cold, let it warm up before placing it in on the new toilet.
      Make sure it’s at room temperature. It’s easier to work with a warm wax ring.

 To help hold and center the closet bolts, align the wax ring on the flange, not on the horn of the toilet.

  1. Most tanks come with the tank pre-assembled. If you do need to assemble the new tank assembly, do it before setting the toilet in place. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. The next steps involve attaching the tank to the bowl. If you don’t have someone to help you lift the assembled toilet into place, you can add the tank when the bowl is in place.
    • Install the rubber gasket on the outlet at bottom of holding tank.
    • With the rubber washers in place, tighten the new nuts and bolts.
  3. Remove the rag from the drain and set the new toilet on the flange and closet bolts.
    • Try to keep the tank parallel to the wall.
  4. Gently push down on the new toilet to seal the ring in place.

Tighten each nut in an alternating pattern.

  • This applies pressure evenly across the base.
  • Don’t tighten too much because the ceramic will break.
  • Stop when the bowl feels tight to the floor.

TIP: To ensure that the toilet sits evenly, use a level on the bowl.

  1. With a tape measure, make sure the bowl and tank are even and perpendicular to the wall. Seal the base with silicone sealant.
  2. Install the toilet seat.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Once every nut has been tightened, reconnect the water supply to the rear of the toilet.
  4. Turn on the water supply.
  5. Give the toilet a test flush.
  6. Read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the height of the water in the bowl.
    • Typically, water comes to half inch above the overflow tube.