How to Replace a Toilet in Your Home
Throughout your lifetime, you’ll spend about 416 days sitting on the toilet.
That’s over a year total! Because of this, your toilet should be comfortable and work properly. If it doesn’t, it’s time to get a new one.
We’ve put together this guide to show you how to replace a toilet on your own. So let’s get started.
Figure out What Size Toilet You Need
The first step to buying a new toilet is measuring your bathroom. This is especially important if your bathroom is on the small side. If you don’t measure your space, you might buy a new toilet that’s a tad bit big for the room.
You’ll still need to pull out the measuring tape even if your bathroom has plenty of wiggle room.
The waste pipe is usually about 12 inches from the wall. Because of this, you’ll need to measure from the wall to the hold-down bolts on the toilet (including the baseboard). If this measurement is about 12 inches, you’re good to start shopping!
Newer homes, however, might have the waste pipe 10 or 14 inches away from the wall. This means you’ll have to shop for a specific type of toilet, and you won’t have as many options to choose from.
So make sure you know the measurements in your bathroom before you go to the store.
What to Look for When Shopping for a New Toilet
The most important thing to look for when shopping for a new toilet is the correct size. But that’s not the only factor you should think about when figuring out how to replace a toilet.
You should also take this opportunity to upgrade to a water-saving toilet. Since these types of toilets don’t use as much water as normal toilets, they’ll save you a lot of money in the long run.
How to Remove Your Old Toilet
Now that you have your new toilet, you need to get rid of the old one. This process isn’t complicated, but it does require a bit of work and the right tools.
If you don’t have the means to do this yourself, you can always hire a professional plumber to take care of the job for you.
Turn off and Empty the Water
Make sure you turn off the water to your toilet before you do anything else. Otherwise, removing it can turn into a very messy job!
Once the water is off, flush the toilet and hold down the handle so all the extra water drains out. If there is any water left in the tank or the bowl, you can use a sponge to absorb the water and dump it down the sink or into a bucket.
Cut the Nuts
Use a wrench to unscrew the nuts on the hold-down bolts. In some cases, these nuts can be so corroded that they’ve welded into place. You may have to use a saw to cut them off instead.
Unscrew the Water Supply Pipe
Disconnect the water supply pipe from the wall. You should be able to unscrew it without a problem.
Move the Toilet
Now that everything is disconnected, you can pick up the toilet and move it out of the way. If the toilet is too heavy, you might want to remove the tank first and then move the bowl on its own.
Cover the Sewer Pipe
Put an old rag over the open sewer pipe. This will keep the smell to a minimum, and it will also lower the risk of dropping anything down the hole as you’re working.
Get Rid of the Old Wax Ring
You can’t reuse the same wax ring for your new toilet, so spend some time whipping away all the remaining wax from the flange.
Remove the Hold-Down Bolts
Now you can also remove the hold-down bolts from the flange. Since you’ve already taken off the nuts, you should be able to pull them out without much effort.
Replace the Flange (If Needed)
Take some time to examine your flange. If it is damaged in any way, you should replace it before installing your new toilet. You also may need to adjust the height if you’re adding a new layer of flooring in your bathroom.
How to Install a New Toilet
Once the old toilet is out of the way, you’re ready to install your new toilet. Take your time during the installation. Skipping a step or rushing through things may cause your toilet to leak.
Put the New Hold-Down Bolts into the Flange
Start by putting your new hold-down bolts into the flange and securing them into place. If your flange is still covered in wax or dirt, you should clean it off first.
Apply the Wax Ring
Turn your new toilet upside down (carefully!) and apply the wax ring to the bottom. While you’ll need to push the ring into place, do it gently. If the wax ring gets damaged (even a little), it can spring a leak later.
Set Your New Toilet in the Right Place
Slide the new toilet into place and secure it with new nuts. Don’t forget to remove the rag you put over the sewer pipe first!
Reconnect the Water Pipe and Turn It Back On
Screw the water supply pipe back into the wall. Then go ahead and turn the water back on again.
Caulk the Base
The last step is to caulk the base of the toilet. This will create a beautiful seal between the toilet and your bathroom floor.
Learning How to Replace a Toilet the Right Way
Figuring out how to replace a toilet isn’t difficult, but if you don’t have the right tools or enough experience, it can be a challenge. If you aren’t confident in your toilet-replacing abilities, you should not DIY but rather go ahead and call a professional.
They will be able to install the new toilet quickly and ensure there aren’t any leaks later.
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