November 13


How To Install A Toilet From Scratch

By Robin Hatch

November 13, 2023

Replacing that old water-guzzling throne? We’ve got you covered. Just remove the old one, prep the flange, pop on a new seal, set the bowl, bolt it down, attach the tank, slap on the seat, and test for leaks. Then flush away on your water-efficient new model!

Upgrading to a new toilet can save water, and money, and give your bathroom a fresh modern look. With some basic tools and these easy steps, you can do it yourself in a few hours – no plumbing expert needed!

Let’s dive in and tackle this toilet installation step-by-step. It’s really not as tough as it sounds.

Remove That Old Toilet First

Plumber installing a toilet

Gotta clear away the old toilet before you can bring in the new hotness. So let’s start by:

  • Turning off the water supply valve behind the toilet. Flush it to empty anything leftover out.
  • Disconnect and remove the water supply line from the wall to the toilet.
  • Unscrew the nuts holding the toilet to the floor and carefully lift that sucker up and out.
  • Plug up the floor drain opening so you don’t get any unwanted odors rising up. Gross!
  • Wipe up any extra wax, water, and grime from the flange area.

The space is now prepped and ready for your shiny new toilet!

Check Out the Toilet Flange

The flange is the opening on your bathroom floor that your toilet gets attached to. Give it a good look:

  • Make sure it’s level and flush with the floor with no big gaps. Gotta have a nice seal.
  • Check for cracks or damage that need to be fixed before moving on.
  • Verify the flange size matches up with the new toilet’s base.
  • If it looks sketchy, replace that flange before you continue!

Slap a New Seal On There

A toilet seal helps prevent any leaks between the toilet and the flange. To add one:

  • Flip that toilet on its side and put a new wax ring evenly around the bottom waste outlet hole.
  • Or use a rubber gasket seal if you prefer, pressing it on nicely and snugly.
  • Apply steady pressure when setting the toilet to smooth the seal into place.

Lower the Toilet Over the Flange

Now comes the fun part – putting this puppy in place!

  • Carefully lower the toilet straight down over the flange hole. Take it slow and steady.
  • Firmly press down to smooth the wax ring or rubber seal into place. Get a tight fit!
  • Make sure the toilet doesn’t rock or wobble. It should sit flat and stable.
  • Confirm it’s lined up nicely over the flange and centered on the floor.

Bolt It Down

Get your wrench ready and bolt the toilet down tightly:

  • Stick new stainless steel bolts through the slots on the flange.
  • Add washers and nuts to both ends of the bolts.
  • Tighten everything down firmly but not Hulk tight. Don’t wanna crack the porcelain!
  • Consider adding bolt caps if you want a sleek finished look.

Attach The Separate Tank

If you have a two-piece toilet, the tank connects to the bowl:

  • Set the tank onto the bowl, lining up the bolt holes.
  • Drop in rubber washers and metal bolts through the holes.
  • Hand-tighten the nuts onto the bolts until everything is snug.
  • Don’t overtighten or you could end up with leaks.

Put on the Toilet Seat and Lid

Snap-on the toilet seat and lid onto the freshly installed bowl:

  • Line up the molded hinges with the slots on the bowl.
  • Push down hard until the seat and lid snap into place.
  • Test them out to make sure they open and close smoothly.

Take It for a Test Drive

The final step is making sure everything seals up and works right:

  • Turn the water supply back on and let the tank fill up.
  • Flush it a few times and check all around for leaks.
  • Tighten any leaky spots with a wrench.
  • Clean up any leftover gunk or water on the floor.

And that’s it – you’ve successfully conquered a DIY toilet install! Sit back and enjoy your updated water-efficient throne. You did it yourself and saved some cash. Go you!

Let us know if any issues pop up – we’ve always got more tips up our sleeve for toilet repairs or installation troubleshooting!

Learn more from our other toilet articles here:

Toilet Won’t Stop Running? Here’s How To Fix It

How To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger

Should Toilets Be Level?

Should Toilets Be Bolted To The Floor?

Robin Hatch

About the author

For over a decade, Robin has been a real estate agent, interior design specialist, and mother. Through her trials and tribulations, she wanted to create the perfect website to help you save money and make your home look beautiful.

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