How to Replace a Bathroom Toilet

Replacing your old bathroom toilet is a lot easier than it may seem. However, if you have never undertaken such a task before, there are a few things, that you should be aware of, before starting the job. Read on for some tips on how to replace a bathroom toilet, which only requires some muscle and a little care.


First, make sure that all water supplies to the toilet are turned off. In many homes, this can be as straightforward as closing the valve that controls the supply to the toilet. However, some houses will require that you turn off the water main for the whole house. There is rarely a valve for the bathroom as a whole.

Bathroom Toilet Removal

DIY Bathroom Toilet InstallationYou should empty as much water out of the existing toilet as possible. Some of that may be as easy as flushing well while ensuring that no new water feeds into the toilet. Nevertheless, some baling will likely be required.

Water weighs about eight pounds per gallon and storing a few gallons means that the toilet will be about twenty-five pounds heavier with water than without. In addition, it is very easy to splash water out as you lift and carry the old one away. Bearing in mind that the water typically contains contaminants such as mold, that is not something you want to spill onto the carpet on your way out. Any cracks that prompted the replacement can easily expand and leak water out, as well.

Bathroom Toilet Hose Removal

The next step is to remove the hose that is attached to the toilet followed by the caps covering the restraining nuts at the base on each side of the toilet. Remove the nuts and put them safely to one side. If necessary, scrape off any sealant or caulking that may have been applied around the perimeter at the floor.

You may find the old toilet a little difficult to remove. This is because they are usually installed onto a sealant that stiffens with age and provides resistance. Lift the toilet straight up with a quick pull to break the seal and offset any small vacuum effect.

New Bathroom Toilet Installation

Once the old toilet is out of the way, clean out the pipe of any accumulated mold or grime. Clean off any old wax paper and/or sealant from around the floor where the toilet stood. When you replace a bathroom toilet, it is important to start with clean, flat, smooth surfaces for a good seal and a level pan.

A lot of new toilet installations are done with a type of thick wax paper that lies on top of the floor around the hole the toilet will fit over. Some folks still use a specially made grease sealant. Either works well. Rubber mats are generally not a good option, because they will often distort over time from pressure and temperature changes.

Now place the new toilet carefully onto the floor, lowering it over the bolts that thread through the holes in the base. It is important to come straight down and avoid any need to move the toilet horizontally after it is on the floor. Doing so can tear the wax paper or move sealant aside, opening a hole.

Once that step is complete, you simply need to reconnect the hose, turn the water valve back on and test the functioning of the new bathroom toilet before securing the nuts onto the bolts and replacing the caps.