Installing a new toilet can be time-consuming and a little complex. The key to a successful toilet installation is being prepared ahead of time, having the right tools, and keeping some basic tips in mind.
What will I need to buy?
Measure the old toilet before purchasing the new one
To make certain your new toilet will fit the area where the old one fit, you will need to measure the old toilet. Most have a waste pipe that is centered about 12 inches from the wall; however, you will want to check to make sure. To take this measurement, measure from the wall to the bolts that hold the toilet down. If this measurement isn’t 12 inches, it may be more difficult than taking a trip to the nearest home improvement store for equipment. You will likely need to special order a toilet if the measurement is either 10 inches or 14 inches. Also, if there is a door near where the toilet is positioned, measure how far out the toilet bowl extends to make certain that the model you are choosing doesn’t block the door from closing. Some new toilets come with the tank internals already installed and adjusted. If not, follow the instructions to build the fill valve, float and overflow.
Make sure the new toilet has brass bolts and stainless-steel screws
These are the most durable and they will not rust; they are also the easiest to cut. Plan on cutting the bolts to size as one of the last steps to install the toilet.
Buy a second set of nuts and washers to lock the bolts in place
This will make positioning and setting the toilet much easier.
Buy a flexible water line that is covered with a stainless-steel mesh
These are easier to install than the plastic or metal lines.
Assemble the Right Tools
When you are ready to install the new toilet you have purchased, assemble all of the tools necessary for the task:
- Caulk gun
- Cordless drill
- Locking pliers
- Shop vacuum
- Slip joint pliers
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
Steps for installing the new toilet
Cut the bolts holding the old toilet in place and remove them
This is where a hacksaw is handy to cut the old hold-down bolts out of place. Use the locking pliers stop them from spinning as you are cutting. When you have removed them, insert the new bolts in their place and use your second set of nuts and washers to secure them.
Setting the toilet
Once you have removed the old toilet, prepare to put the new one in place onto the new bolts. The extra set of nuts and washers will help keep them from slipping as you try to align the bolts with the holes they fit into in the new toilet. To keep from damaging the toilet’s wax ring or moving it out of place, first remove the wax ring, then set the toilet in place to check its height and position and lift it off. Put the wax ring in place and set the toilet in position over the wax ring. Check that the toilet flange is sitting at the proper level. If it isn’t, this is a good time to replace or repair it.
Securing the wax ring
Sit on the toilet backward, centering your weight on the wax ring, then move around on it as it begins to settle into the floor. When you feel the toilet reach the floor, tighten the bolts.
Attaching the water line
To make sure it is sealed properly, aim the hose into the center of the shutoff/fill valve and tighten carefully with pliers. Test the system for leaks.
Pro-tip: If the tank is not already installed on the bowl, make sure to properly seat the tank to bowl gasket and alternate tightening the tank bolts for a snug, leak free fit. Porcelain is fragile, so don’t overtighten hardware!
Don’t want to install your new toilet yourself? FloHawks can help
FloHawks has trusted and certified plumbing professionals who know the right way to remove your old toilet and install your new toilet quickly and professionally. We are available to install your new toilets and to handle any other residential plumbing needs you may have.
To have your new toilet installed by the experienced plumbers at FloHawks, give us a call anytime at 1-800-356-4295 or use our online Schedule Your Service tool, which allows you to set an appointment that fits your schedule.