How to replace a toilet

Replacing a toilet is not a job for the weak of stomach. Removing the old toilet can be a gruesome task but doing it yourself can definitely save you money. You should plan on leaving the day open for this task, but it can take a little as a half day to replace your toilet. The diagram to the left shows the parts of a toilet.

The most important thing before purchasing your new toilet is to measure the distance from the rearmost bowl hold-down bolts to the finished wall behind the toilet. This is called the “toilet’s rough-in”. If you forgot to do this you could end up with a toilet that doesn’t fit correctly. Rest assured that most toilets are designed with a 12″ rough-in, but ask your retailer for help if your rough-in varies.

The first step is to turn off the toilet’s water supply. Next flush the toilet to empty the tank and then soak up all the water in the bowl or tank with a sponge or cloth. You are going to need an adjustable wrench to loosen the nut between the toilet and the water supply. Remove the tank held on by two long bolts that are beneath the toilet bowl. Now lift the tank out.

Next you are going to take out the toilet bowl. The bowl is fastened to the floor with two bolts and nuts beneath trim caps. Take off the trim caps and unscrew the nuts. Loosen the bowl by rocking it back and forth to break its seal with the floor and toilet flange. Once this is loosened, lift the bowl and remove it.

To avoid sewer gases coming into the house you want to cover the toilet flange.

We recommend you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing your replacement toilet.