We’ll show you how to install a toilet correctly.
There are several reasons for replacing a toilet - whether it has broken seats or unfixable water leaks, or perhaps it uses too much water per flush. Whatever reason you have, you'll be glad to know that installing a new toilet is one of the most straightforward DIY home projects you can undertake. However, it will require some physical strength and the right tools.
As long as the right materials and tools are on hand, it will only take a few simples steps and a couple of hours to install a new toilet. In this simple DIY guide, we won’t just show you how to install a toilet, but also how to remove the old unit if you want to know how to replace your old toilet with the new one.
Prepping the toilet is relatively easy. However, a good rule of thumb when installing a toilet is to do some measurement. If you purchase your toilet from your local store or online, the measurement from your toilet bolt to the back of the toilet wall is crucial. The toilet bolt is the one that goes up through the porcelain which is at the base of the toilet.
The toilet bolt helps create a firm cover between the toilet flange and toilet bowl while securing the toilet to the floor. Ordinarily, here are three types of measurement distances you can get from the toilet bolt to the wall – 14 inches, 12 inches, and 10 inches. The most common measurement distance is the 12 inches (also known as 12 inches rough).
Also, measure the length of your existing supply tube so that you can know the approximate length needed for your latest supply tube. By the way, you must never recycle your old supply tube. Usually, the distance between the water inlet of the old tank to the outlet of the shutoff/stop will be close to the new toilet supply tube measurement.
Above all, we’d recommend you buy more supply tube than you need as you can always return the excess later. As a result, this will prevent you from taking an unnecessary trip to your local store. For instance, if after measurement, the length of the supply tube is approximately inches, then purchase 9 inches, 12 inches, and 16 inches supply tube, then you can return the ones you don’t use. The tube lengths of the steel mesh toilet supply are as follows 6 inches, 9 inches, 12 inches, 16 inches, and 20 inches.
Tools and Materials Required For The Job
You require little tools to install the toilet, and with the modern designs, you will find it a lot easier to do. We have listed the tools you will need to fit your toilet below, as well as a few extra tools that may come in handy during the installation. They include:
- Adjustable wrenches
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Adjustable pliers
Materials Required for the Project
Toilet. There are several types and designs of a toilet. However, we would recommend a toilet with nothing less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
Flexible hose. It connects to your tank and supplies it with water. You will need a flexible tube to install a new toilet from scratch. Although, you may not need it if you are replacing an old toilet. But we would recommend replacing the hose as it may have worn out. Ordinarily, it pays to have a new flexible hose in place. If your toilet flange sits slightly below or even with the floor, get a wax ring with extended height.
Toilet connector. A braided steel toilet connector abolishes using tubing benders to hold the supply line between the tank fitting and stop-valve.
If there isn’t any old toilet, and you only want to know how to fix the toilet, then you can go straight to the “How To Install A Toilet” section.
Check also : how to fix a running toilet.
Remove the Old Toilet
Removing an old toilet is quite easy with a little guidance. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do this with no hassle. Now let’s get started.
Step 1. Turn Off the Water
Before you remove the toilet, make sure there is no water in the cistern. Therefore, switch off the water supply through the shut-off valve. Then flush the toilet until there is no more water in the cistern. You will know water has stopped entering the tank upon flushing.
In the instance you still find a small amount of water left in the cistern, you can get rid of the water by using an old towel or pushing the water down the base of the cistern. Get a bucket and squeeze out the towel while repeating the process until there is no more water left in the tank.
Step 2. Detach the Water Supply Pipe
Your cistern has a pipe that supplies water to it when you use the one inside and needs filling up. Take a wrench and use it to loosen the hose and detach it from the cistern. Usually, a small amount of water will spill out, so it may be an excellent idea to put a paper towel beneath the pipe to hook any water spillage.
Step 3. Remove Nuts from the Toilet Fixing Bolts
Usually, there used to be two caps covering the bolts at the bottom of the toilet, and you need to remove this first. Generally, the caps are plastic, but few older toilets caps are the product of porcelain. In this case, you don’t need to worry about breaking them as your new toilet comes with new caps unless you intend to use them again.
To remove the caps, use a screwdriver to pick them off. Then, remove the washers and nuts, so only the toilet bolts are left.
Step 4. Remove the Toilet
A well-installed toilet always has a sealant around the foot of the outer toilet edge – this is where the porcelain connects with the floor. So as not to damage the floor, use a box knife to cut through carefully. Also, the porcelain should be your guide as you cut.
Since a toilet is heavy, try not to lift it with your back. Using your legs is a better option unless you are heavily-built; in this case, you can raise it as you want. To remove the toilet, position your body over the part of the toilet where the toilet bowl is attached to the seat. Next, place your hands on the same spot and lift the toilet. Hold the toilet, then let it go through your knees, then straighten your back and raise with your legs. In the case the toilet stays firm to the ground, rock it sideways to loosen it.
How To Install A Toilet
Installing a toilet may sound more challenging than it really is because you need to ensure all the connections are firmly secure. But as long as you get the installation right, there isn’t a big deal to it. Follow the steps below to install your new toilet easily.
Step 1. Prepare the Flange
After removing your old toilet, use a small taping knife to remove the messy old wax ring. However, be careful where you put the wax ring as it could be very sticky. Then inspect the flange to know if it’s damaged or cracked. You can get a repair kit at your local store. If you are up to the task, you should be able to replace the flange without much difficulty.
The flange secures the toilet to the floor. If the flange is damaged or loose, the toilet would wobble, and a wobbling toilet will twist the wax ring and later lead to leaks. An unwavering flange is crucial to a leak-free toilet.
Step 2. Place the Bolts and Wax Ring
To eliminate the need to cut or snap excess bolt length, use self-adjusting bolts. The bolts have white thread locker which pushes the screw further into the anchor nut when the hex nut reaches it. Position the bolts on either side and place the lock washers down against the flange.
Next, put the wax ring on the flange directly or on the toilet underside. We would recommend you put it on the flange because with this; there is no way it will fall off when moving the toilet around. In case your flange is sitting a bit low, an extended-height wax ring would be preferable.
Step 3. Secure the Toilet to the Floor
Place the toilet on the flange and once you connect it to the soil pipe, fastened it to the floor by locking the bolts. Screw each of the bolts half way and then carefully tighten each of them. By the way, try not to over-tighten the bolts as they can crack the toilet pan.
If you got a one-piece toilet, then you are done with this part. However, if you chose the two-piece toilet (the tank-to-bowl closets bolts pass through the holes at the base of the cistern) follow the manufacturer instruction.
Step 4. Install the Tank
When you unpack your tank, you will find all the bolts, screws, bits, and connections required for installation. Most of the cistern has a way of being mounted on the wall. Mount and tighten the tank as per the manufacturer instructions. Accordingly, make sure the cistern tank is perpendicular to the toilet bowl.
Also, make sure the bowl and tank are levels with each other horizontally. Now, use a wrench to connect the water pipe to the cistern tank. Then tighten up until it is nicely secured.
Check also our guide about how to clean a toilet tank.
Step 5. Turn on the Water and Check for Leaks
After everything is secure and fixed in place, turn the water back on and wait for the tank to fill. Then make sure there is no leak from the tank, and after which you flush the toilet several times. Inspect the seals for leakage and when you are sure everything looks perfect, use silicone to create a seal around the bottom of the toilet pan. Finally, to add an extra level of waterproofing, add a small amount of sealant at the places where the bolts sit against the tank.
Even though installing toilet may look challenging when it comes to getting it right the first time, this guide will have given you an insight into the best way to remove your old toilet and install the new one. We have mentioned all the steps you need to fix your toilet like a professional plumber.
Now, while carrying out this project on your own will help you save money, it will also turn you into a professional plumber in no time. We hope we are successful in widening your knowledge about toilet installation and you can carry out the project whenever you are ready.