Removing a Toilet; Home Improvment

Introduction: Removing a Toilet; Home Improvment

When your toilet is out of date or your updating your bathroom, replacing the toilet can be huge barrier for the do-it-yourself home improver. This particular bathroom is in desperate need of an update.

Step 1: You Will Need...

The tools you need...
-crescent wrench/pliers

Optional tools...
-gloves (promoting cleanliness)
-plastic grocery bags
-paint scraper (for scraping wax seal)

Step 2: Empty the Bowl

First, you need to turn off the water supply to the toilet. There should be a knob connected to a hose connected to the toilet tank.

After the water has been turned off, disconnect the hose from the shut-off knob. There will be a nut connecting the two pieces. (After the nut has been removed you may have to pull hard to get the hose out.)

It is easier to see the next step if you remove the top of the toilet.
Now, flush the toilet. The tank should be mostly empty after flushing.

The nasty part is ladling/scooping out the remaining water in the bowl. Any residual water can be absorbed with a sponge.

Step 3: Detach From Floor

In this step you will need a wrench to unscrew bolts.

These bolts will be at the base, on either side of the bowl. Unscrew the nuts.

The bolts themselves will remain upright, connected to the floor.

Step 4: Rock the Bowl

Straddle the bowl and rock side to side until the wax seal under the toilet breaks. When the toilet rocks freely, the seal is broken.

To remove the toilet, lift it straight off the bolts. You will be left with a disgusting wax seal, a metal collar, two bolts, and a big hole.

Step 5: Preparing for the New Toilet

First you need to scrape off the old wax seal. Don't get it on your hands or clothes, because it is really hard  to clean off.

To protect your tools, pets, etc. take a wad of old plastic grocery bags and fill the top of the hole. (This is removed before you insert the new toilet.)

More instructables to come on installing and other bathroom remodeling...

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    9 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Make life much easier. Get some LiquiLock from home depot. It solidifies the water in the bottom of the toilet so you can remove it without the water spilling all over. when done with repairs it flushes down! great product!


    Thanks for this! And thanks to the commenter below who suggested plunging the excess water out.

    We're doing this tomorrow and while I know the other folks helping know more or less how it goes, it's good not to feel totally useless. :) Replacing with a high efficiency American Standard (I can't remember what model)!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Good Luck! High efficiency toilets are good.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    if you use a plunger you can push all the water down the toilet. there is no need to scoop the water out or use a sponge. just place the plunger in trying to create a seal then push it down quickly. repeat untill all the water is gone.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Since you started this topic, I'd like to put in a plug for the new designs in high efficiency toilets. I believe it was Toto who started this with their high efficiency designs. Since then they have been left in the dust by American Standard, Kohler, Gerber, and many others. Check this resource, for details of the hundreds of high efficiency models on the market today.  You can find them at the big box stores if you know what you're looking for. 

    I have had an American Standard Cadet 3 model since 2007 and am very happy with it.  Back then it cost me $150 including the seat.  It flushes in 3 seconds, and the tank refills in 30 seconds. There is no swirling like old designs.  The flush is not the quietest in the world, but it is not bad at all.  In fact the flush is over so fast you don't notice if it was noisy or not. 

    I suggest that if you have a toilet that might require a plumber visit this year, you'll save money if you get a new one (follow this Instructable). 


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the reference! I am definitely going to replace the old toilet with a high efficiency model.