Installing a Toilet; Home Improvement




Introduction: Installing a Toilet; Home Improvement

I am completely remodeling my bathroom and the old toilet was ugly and wasted a lot of water, so I decided to replace it with a new water efficient model. Water efficient models maybe a little more expensive on up front costs, but the long term saving for the planet and your water bill are worth it.

Step 1: What You Need...

  • A toilet with any nuts, bolts, etc. that come with it
  • A wax toilet seal (It's round, made of wax, and is usually easy to find in the plumbing section of any store that also sells toilets)
  • A crescent wrench
  • A toilet seat/lid (if your toilet doesn't come with one. Toilets usually have very standard sizes, just remember to check what type of bowl your new toilet has)

Step 2: Setting in the Bowl

Carefully turn the toilet upside down. Squish the wax ring around the hole, being careful to make sure it seals all the way around. This is important if you don't want the contents of the toilet flowing over the floor.

Around the drain hole there will be a metal ring attached directly to the floor with two bolt sticking up. If you are replacing the toilet, it is usually fine to reuse those bolts.

Being careful not to drop the toilet, turn it back over setting on the bolts (there will be holes in the base of the toilet for them)

Now, put the nut and washer on the bolt. Do not over tighten or the toilet will break. Tighten nuts until snug. Repeat on the other side.

Step 3: The Tank

On many modern toilets the inner workings of the tanks are pre-installed, so all you have to do is set the tank on the bowl and attach the hose for water. The water hose is attached to a a valve that will be off. It should be fairly obvious where to attach the hose on the back of the toilet (it will just screw on). Turn the valve on.

Congratulations, your toilet should work now.

Step 4: The Lid

Installing a toilet lid is quite simple. Set the lid on the bowl of the toilet. The holes in the hing of the seat/lid should line up with the holes in the toilet. With the lid should be to bolts that fit in the holes previously mentioned. Screw on the nuts snugly but not too tight. Snap the miniature lid over the head of the bolt.

If you've done everything right now your toilet is fully functional!



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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Anyone else reading this, DO shim your toilet to stop it from rocking or moving. Once you've shimmed it, tighten it sufficiently then use a gloved hand to work as much sanded grout around the base and underneath the bowl as you can. The rocking motion can eventually lead to a wax ring failure.

    Wax on the flange is sooo much easier. Set your tank to the toilet before you set it and then use the tank as a squaring guide to the back wall. If the tank is on the toilet square all you have to do is match the gap from wall to tank. Also before you buy a new toliet, make sure your back wall to center of flange is 12". I got burnt once with a 9" rough and had to shell out an extra $300 for it.

    I worked for a general contractor for years and we used rubber self adhesive gaskets instead of wax rings. They cost more but are far less mess, much easier to use, and are usually sold right next to the wax rings. Check one out some time.

    1 reply

    I'd also spend the extra and get a wax seal with horn, i has a little plastic piece in the seal that guides the water down through the flange. I'm a plumber and must have installed hundreds of toilets (lucky me), everything else looks good.

    couple things to watch out for

    1. the toilet flange must be level or slightly above the finished floor, if you install tiles in your bathroom you may need an extention ring to raise the flange up to the required level.

    2. If you scared of overtightning the toilet bolts you can buy plastic one, that way the plastic will snap before the toilet.

    3. never use those plastic supplies, the one shown looks ok but the best is a braided supply line.

    1 reply

    I always put the toilet togther before I set it,that way you dont have to fumble trying to get your tankbolts in while its up agaist the wall.It wouldnt hurt to even hook up the supply to the ballcock before setting it,if youre using a flex supply which is what I use.

    1 reply

    I lower the toilet onto the flange by myself. I stand with my feet spread wide on both sides of the toilet, hunched over and holding the sides of the toilet with my hands, and waddle forward until the bolt holes in the base of the toilet are over the bolts. Then I lower it down onto the bolts and flange. To get a good seal I sit on the toilet and gently rock side-to-side and front-to-back. I am always concerned that I will not hit the wax ring with the toilet, but if the bolts align with their holes it just about has to be properly aligned. So far it has worked well. I suppose I am concerned that I will need to set the toilet down for some reason (an itch or a sneeze, or tripping) and would make a mess of the waxed ring before it can mate with the floor flange, if I were to put the ring onto the toilet rather than onto the flange. Thank you for your answer. I just wondered if there is something I should know that I was missing.

    I have had to reset a toilet after removing it three times (three different toilets). I know the instructions say to put the wax ring on the toilet and then put the toilet onto the flange. I do not know why, but I have always put the wax ring onto the flange and then carefully guided the toilet onto the flange using the bolts and their holes as an alignment guide. This procedure has always worked just fine. Is there a distinct advantage to putting the wax ring onto the toilet first? Is there a danger in the way I have been doing it?

    Thank you for your very practical Instructable.

    1 reply

    I think that putting the wax ring on the flange first is just as good, so long as a good seal is created between toilet and wax and floor and wax. Next time I install a toilet (hopefully not soon) I will try putting the wax on the floor first and see if it seems easier.

    Thanks for commenting!