Take Measurements & Buy Your New Toilet
Start by measuring the distance from the centre of the closet bolts (which can be found at the base of the toilet) straight to the back of the wall. If your toilet has four bolts, measure from the ones in the back. Make sure you also have enough clearance on either side of the toilet.
Once you have these measurements, visit your local Lowe’s and choose a toilet that fits both the size and style of your bathroom. If you need a little inspiration choosing the most important seat in your house, check out our Toilet Buying Guide.
Once you bring your new toilet home, it’s time to remove the existing one.
Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think!
Remove Your Old Toilet
Prepping Your Toilet
Put on your work gloves (ceramic can cut like glass, so make sure you protect your hands) and check around the toilet for visible cracks. Then, carefully remove the tank’s top lid.
Turn off the main water supply line to the toilet and flush until the water drains completely. To remove excess water from the tank, use a sponge and bucket. Remove the remaining water from the bowl by using a small disposable plastic cup, an old towel or rag. Then, disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and drain any excess water into a bucket. Leave the tank connected to the bowl.
Removing the Closet Bolts
Removing Your Toilet
If your toilet is sealed to the floor, use a utility knife to cut away the sealant. Gently rock the toilet to free it from the floor and then place it aside on an old rag. Next, plug the drain with a towel to block any sewer gases.
Finally, scrape the old wax ring from the flange and the floor with a putty knife and dispose.
Pre-Installation StepNow it’s time to install your new toilet. Most tanks come pre-assembled but if you do need to install the fill valve and flapper, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You should complete this step to simplify installation.
How To Install Your Toilet
If You Have a Two-Piece Toilet
Install the rubber gasket on the outlet of the holding tank. Place the tank anchor bolts in the holes of the tank to help guide it onto the bowl. Lift the tank and place it over the bowl. Guide the tank bolts into the corresponding holes on the toilet bowl.
Hold an adjustable or lockable wrench on the tank bolt nut while you tighten the bolt with a screwdriver.
Note: Do not over tighten! You can crack either the tank or the toilet bowl. Read the manufacturer's instructions, but a good rule of thumb is to hand tighten as much as you can, then, using a wrench, add just a quarter turn.
Closet Bolt Installation
Tip: Wax rings are easier to work with when they are warm. If yours is cold, let it warm up to room temperature first — or, better yet, immerse it in a bowl of warm, not hot, water.
Setting the Toilet
Note: DO NOT force the toilet down by tightening the nuts on the toilet bolts. You could crack the porcelain base of your toilet. Instead, sit on the toilet but face the wall, (yes, really), and try to centre your weight over the wax ring. Drive the toilet straight down with minimal twisting or shifting from side to side. The goal here is to keep the wax ring intact to prevent any leaking.
Securing Your Toilet
Note: There are several options for the supply line, however, the main two are brass supply lines with compression fittings and braided stainless steel supply lines. Since the brass lines need to be cut to length, most DIYers go with the flexible stainless steel mesh option instead. Hand-tighten the line, then add a quarter turn with pliers. Check for leaks and tighten a bit more if needed.
- Install the toilet seat by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Give the toilet a test flush and check for leaks.
- Seal the base with silicone sealant or caulking and that’s it.
Congratulations. You just did that!
How To Terms
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