How to Install a New Toilet

White toilet in a bathroom with a brick wall
  • 2--3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Wax seal
Toilet bolts
Toilet quick-connect supply line
Adjustable wrench
Flat-head screw driver
Mop and bucket (optional)

Installing a toilet can seem like a daunting task for the average handyman with minimal plumbing experience. Before you race to call a high priced plumber, you can follow these simple steps to install your own toilet like a pro.

TIP: Chances are when you remove a toilet, wastewater will leak onto the floor at same point or get onto your hands. Wear rubber gloves, old clothing and have a mop and bucket handy while performing this DIY task. For the bet hygiene, mop the floor after you're finished even if nothing leaked.

Step 1 - Remove the Old Toilet

Shut off the water supply by closing the valve at the bottom of the toilet. Then flush the toilet to remove the water that is left behind. If the old toilet is a 2-piece unit, remove the tank first by removing the bolts which connect the tank to the bowl. Remove the toilet bolts and gently rock the toilet back and forth to break the wax seal.

Step 2- Set the Bowl

Set the wax seal over the flange. Ensure that the wax seal is installed correctly so that the foul fumes don’t escape. Slide the toilet bolts onto the proper slots in the toilet flange. Simply lift the bowl and place it over the wax seal, pressing down firmly and evenly.

Step 3 - Install the Tank

Once you have set the bowl, install the tank by fastening it to the bowl. Use washers with the bolts to ensure a water-tight seal. Use a flat-head screw driver to hold the bolt in place while you tighten the nut.

Step 4 - Install the Seat

Secure the seat to the top of the bowl using the predrilled holes. The toilet seat will come with plastic bolts and wing nuts to secure it to the bowl. Again, use a screwdriver in conjunction with an adjustable wrench to properly secure the toilet seat.

For basement toilets, the steps are the same with just a few minor differences. You will be dealing with a concrete subfloor and a sump pump. There is no need to work directly with the sump pump, and the concrete floor won’t pose a problem as long as the flange is in good shape.

Successfully installing a new toilet in your home is a great way to develop plumbing experience for the handyman homeowner. It's a job that does not require any complex connections, but than can familiarize a beginner with the basics of plumbing.