How to Change a Toilet


Most of us dread the idea of changing a toilet. It’s heavy and dirty. But sometimes there comes a situation where we just need to change our toilets. Some situations that might occur are cracks in our toilets or to simply upgrade our bathroom. Whatever the situation, you have two options. Learn how to change it yourself or call a plumber. Thankfully we will teach you how to change your toilet in 5 simple steps!

Change your toilet in 3 steps

Before you begin, it’s important to have the necessary tools. Here’s a list of our preferred tools for this job:

  • Adjustable wrench/ Socket wrench
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Mini hacksaw
  • Putty knife
  • Cloth
  • Utility knife
  • Bucket
  • wax ring
  • gloves
Step 1: Disconnecting

Start by shutting off the water supply connected to your toilet. To do this, find the steel hose running from the wall or floor to your toilet. Connected to the steel hose is a valve. Turn the valve clockwise. Congratulations! You’ve just shut off the water supply. Once that’s done you want to give the toilet a flush to remove excess water in the reservoir. Then disconnect the hose from the toilet. Be careful as excess water can run from the hose. Use the bucket to catch the excess water.

Step 2: Removing

Remove the toilet from the floor. Use the utility knife to cut around the silicone that seals the toilet to the floor. Then use your wrench to unscrew the bolts (closet bolts) that screw the toilet into the floor. Once nothing is connecting the toilet to the floor, it’s time to remove the toilet. Having someone to assist you with this step is highly preferred as toilets are very heavy.

After removing the toilet, use your putty knife to remove the excess wax (from the previous wax ring) on the toilet flange and bottom of the toilet. This will help better prepare you when you’re installing your new wax ring.

Keep an eye out for the level of the flange in comparison to the finished floor. You want to flange to be leveled but no more than 1/4 inch above the finished floor. If the flange is lower, then consider installing an extender.

Step 3: Preparing

Start your preparation for your new installation by Installing a new wax ring. You can do this two different ways. Either by placing it on the bottom of the toilet or on laying it on top of the flange. Follow the instructions on your wax ring manual for best results. Now you’re ready to install your new toilet. For this part of the step, it’s recommended that you have a helping hand. Toilets are very heavy and having assistance ensures that you get it right the first time.

When installing your toilet, it’s important to line up the bolt hole to the screws on the floor. Most screws are about 12″ inches from the nearest wall. In any case, you can just use blue masking tape to help measure the distance. Once you lined everything up and installed correctly, screw in the new bolts and use the hacksaw to saw away the excess length. Install the bolt caps and reconnect your toilet to the water supply.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed a toilet!

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive guide on changing a toilet, rather a guide. These steps just highlight the major steps when it comes to changing a toilet. Seek with your local plumber if you’re not sure what you’re doing.