How To Install A Toilet in 7 Easy Steps

by Dan | Last Updated: January 19, 2021

Installing a new toilet seems a huge task to most homeowners who have never done it before. However, anyone could breeze through the entire process armed with only a few tips and the necessary handy tools.

Installing the toilet yourself could also save you a couple of hundred bucks that you could use on other bathroom projects.

Understand The Minimum Space Rule

Regardless of how small your bathroom is, you need to ensure that you abide by the law. In this case, you might want to ask your plumber about the minimum space required by the law or get this info from your local building code site.

Most States including California have a code of 30 inches (minimum) for the toilet. It should also be at least 15 inches from its center line to either side.

Again, the toilet should allow the door to swing to its width flawlessly without hitting the fixture. With space and the entrance to keep in mind, you’ll obviously want to consider a short toilet.

Have The Right Measurements

I have already said this before, and I’ll still repeat it here. Measuring the size of your toilet is a sink or swim affair. Getting the dimensions wrong could subject you to using your old toilet for a few more days or weeks until you get the right size (you might incur some shipping costs besides the inconveniences).

The ROUGH IN measurement is the most crucial. The rough in of the previous toilet dictates the size of the new fixture not unless the fixture is intended for a new bathroom under construction.

Collect Your Tools And Materials

The best part about installing a new toilet is that it does not involve any power tools.

Here are a few things that you’ll need to accomplish the task:

Now that you know what you need, let’s get to work.

How To Install A Toilet In 7 Steps:

  1. Step 1: Remove The Old Toilet To remove the beaten out commode, you’ll need to pop off the trip caps to expose the nuts and washers that bolt the fixture to the floor. In case the old nuts have welded to the nuts due to years of corrosion, use the hacksaw to cut them off.After cutting and removing the nuts and washers, rock the fixture gently to make sure that it’s free and can be lifted up.
      • Tip: If you are doing it all alone, disconnecting the 2 pieces will make lifting easy.After getting rid of the old toilet, use a rag to close the open line that leads to the sewer line. This prevents bad odors from hitting your face as you work.
  2. Step 2: Install A New Wax Seal Using a putty knife, remove the old wax seal. Before installing the new seal, inspect the condition of the flange to ensure that it’s not cracked. You may want to involve a plumber if it’s broken.If the flange is in good condition, remove the rag and take out the closet bolts carefully without damaging the flange. Next, hook the new set of bolts and apply a new wax seal.
  3. Step 3: Assemble The Toilet By Bolting The Tank To The Bowl You may also want to ensure that tiny pieces such as the flushing handle are in place at this point.
  4. Step 4: Set The Toilet Over The Flange Ensure that the holes are aligned with the closet bolts. Once the bolts are in position, press the fixture lightly to ensure that it forms a good seal.
  5. Step 5 : Place The Washers And Nuts Place the washers and nuts on the bolts with your hands but don’t over tighten them.
  6. Step 6: Leveling The Toilet Ensure that the throne is level and does not rock back and forth. If it does, shim it with stainless steel washers or pennies. Plastic toilet shims also do the job, but most of them crack when cutting them to size.Once you are content that the throne is level, tuck the pennies gently underneath the edge. Next, tighten the nuts with a wrench and pop the trip caps in place.
  7. Step 7: Finishing Up Attach the water supply line and test the toilet.
Dan is the editor in chief and founder of this site, after running into troubles with his own old toilet a while ago. Discussing toilets is not your everyday topic, so let’s talk toilets today.