Installing a toilet from scratch is not a DIY project that many undertake just for the fun of it. Usually you’ll have a reason for taking on this project, whether you’re looking to save money, you want the sense of accomplishment, or you want to show off your handy person skills. Whatever the reason may be, if you are adventurous (and courageous) enough to try it, we are here to help.
This short guide will instruct you in how to install the perfect toilet. For this project, you’ll need the following: wax seal, closet bolts, adjustable wrench, pennies (to shimmy the toilet), screwdriver, sponge, an old rag or newspapers (to plug the hole while you work), rubber gloves, and, of course, the toilet.
How to Install a Toilet
Step 1 – Out with the Old
The first step is to cut off the water supply to the current toilet. Flush the remaining water and soak up any remaining water with a sponge. Make sure all the water has been removed.
Then, remove the trim caps from the base. The toilet is secured to the floor with closet bolts; loosen the nuts and washer to remove the toilet easily. In case of deterioration due to rusting, the nuts may need to be cut off.
Next, you’ll disconnect the tank from the bowl. Loosen the toilet from the ground with a gentle rocking movement and lift it up when it pries apart. Stuff an old rag or newspaper in the hole so that no sewer gases back up in your bathroom while you work.
Step 2 – Wax Sealing the Joint
First, remove the old wax seal and check out the flange. If the toilet flange is cracked or damaged in any way, you will want to replace it. If the flange is in good shape, you just have to remove the old closet bolts, install the new wax seal, and position the new bolts in their proper slots in the flange.
Step 3 – Assembling the Toilet
Match up the tank and the bowl to start assembling your toilet. There is an opening at the bottom of the tank where you have to install the tank bolts. Once installed, you’ll need to line up these bolts with the corresponding holes in the bowl. When everything is lined up, you can firmly place the tank on top of the bowl. Screw a nut over each tank bolt to secure everything. Make sure that the tank is resting firmly on the bowl and is not loose at any point.
Step 4 – The Final Haul
Now that you have assembled your toilet, you will have to place it carefully over the flange. While doing so, be careful to make sure the closet bolts on the floor line up symmetrically with the holes at the base of the toilet. Don’t force the toilet into place or you’ll risk bending the bolts.
Secure the bolts with nuts and washers. If the toilet is not firm and there is unevenness on the base, you can shove old pennies in the base to make it even. Shimming the toilet base with pennies is quite a handy trick. Once the base is stable, push the pennies out of sight and tighten the bolts. Cover the ends of the bolts with trim caps. Finally, attach the seat and lid to the toilet with mounting bolts and reconnect the supply.
The best toilets are the easiest to install, but regardless of which toilet you choose, we hope this guide will help you install your next toilet with ease!