Intro: How to CORRECTLY Install a Toilet
In this video, I’ll be showing you how to correctly install a toilet. There are 3 easy steps to getting one installed. The first step is to remove the old one. As easy as it may sound, removing a toilet the wrong way could be quite aggravating, so I’ll show you how to do it the right way. The second step is to prepare the rough-in for the new toilet. There are a few simple steps to go thru before installing the new one. And finally, installing the new toilet and testing it out.
Step 1: TOOLS/MATERIALS FOR THE JOB
So first of all, I wanna go thru all the tools and materials you’ll be needing to complete the job.
The first tool you’ll be needing is an adjustable wrench. You’ll be using it for most of the fasteners on the toilet whether it’s for removing or reinstalling.
You’ll also be needing a plastic scraper, a small metal saw, and a sponge.
As for the materials, you’ll be needing a new wax seal. I prefer getting a wax seal with a plastic flange in it like this one. They are a little bit more expensive but are worth every extra penny.
You’ll also be needing some clear silicone. I prefer getting a “squeeze-type” tube seeing were going to be doing a joint on the perimeter of the toilet once it’s installed and it could sometimes be a bit cumbersome to have a caulking gun when doing this.
And lastly, it’s recommended to replace your toilet’s speedway every time you change your toilet, it’s a cheap insurance, so make sure you get the proper one beforehand.
And that’s all you’ll be needing to get the job done.
Step 2: REMOVING THE TOILET
So the first thing to do is to shut off the water to the toilet and flush all the remaining water that’s in the reservoir. Then, grab your sponge and empty out all the water that’s in the bowl, it’ll facilitate transport and it won’t leak all over the place once you remove it.
Once that’s done, go ahead and disconnect the water supply. You might have a little bit of water remaining in the tank, so keep a rag handy to wipe the floor dry.
Next, unscrew the nuts that are holding down the toilet, there’s 1 on each side. You’ll wanna keep these as you’ll most likely be reusing them on the new toilet.
Your old toilet is now ready to come off. If for some reason it seems stuck and doesn’t wanna come off, it might be because some silicone was used during the installation to keep it from wobbling with time. But if that’s the case, grab a hacksaw blade, pass it between the floor and the toilet to try to cut thru the silicone, eventually, it’ll give up and you’ll be able to remove the toilet without a problem.
Step 3: NEW TOILET PREPARATIONS
Once the toilet is removed, you should have something that looks like this. This is called a “toilet flange” and it’s where the toilet and drain pipe meet. You’ll also notice 2 long bolts on each side of the flange, these are the bolts that secure the toilet to the ground and the pipe to the toilet. The yellowish material you see on the flange is your wax seal. The wax seal is what keeps the waste from leaking out under the toilet, so let’s remove the old and replace it with a new one, but before, place an old rag in the pipe to make sure the sewer gases don’t come out into the house.
Now, use your plastic scraper to get all the residual wax off till it becomes clean like this. You wanna make sure your installation is perfect so take the time to remove everything just to make sure.
A lot of DIY’ers will place their new wax seal on the flange but I prefer placing it under the toilet as you’re 100% sure it’s aligned with the toilet’s waste outlet.
I also always like to replace my speedway at this point of the installation seeing it’s easily accessible. Get a good quality braided stainless steel hose as these are your system’s weakest link and you wouldn’t want them to burst.
With the seal and speedway installed, now’s a good time to apply a bit of silicone under the toilet. I do this to make sure my installations don’t wobble and it also feels more professional when sitting. So apply a small bead on the perimeter of the underside and on the flat spots.
Step 4: INSTALLING THE NEW TOILET
Great! Now you’re ready to install your new toilet. Make sure you remove the rag from the pipe, lift your toilet up and place it over the flange just like this. The goal here is to align the bolts with the holes as best as you can and then lower the toilet into place.
You’ll feel a slight resistance once it’s in place, this is caused by the wax seal. So what you wanna do, is use your weight to squish the seal in its final position. You’ll feel when there’s no more give and that’s when your toilet is correctly sealed & seated.
Now, go ahead and place your plastic spacers, then you brass washers and lastly the nuts. Use your adjustable wrench to tighten these just enough so the toilet doesn’t wobble. If you over tighten these, the porcelain will crack, and you’ll need to get a new toilet. When tightening these, it’s important for them not to turn so here’s a cool tip. Use a pair of adjustable pliers or vise grips and pinch the bolt to keep it from turning when tightening.
Reconnect your supply line and slowly turn the water back on.
Wait till the tank is completely filled up and give it a flush. If you don’t see a leak it’s a good sign. Repeat this process at least 5 times to make sure you have a leak-free joint and you’re done, now all you need to do is cut your bolts and reinstall your caps.
This part is personal preference but I like to give the toilet a nice silicone joint on the bottom which I find makes for easier cleaning but you could leave yours uncaulked if that’s what you choose, but if you do, wait a day or so before using it to let the silicone harden.
And that’s how to correctly install a toilet!