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How Do I Replace My Toilet?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Learn How to Replace a Toilet Seat Quick and Easy

Replacing a toilet seat may seem like a daunting task, but it can be a manageable DIY project with the right guidance and a bit of preparation. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your toilet for aesthetic reasons or need to address a persistent issue, you can save time and money by learning how to replace your toilet seat on your own.

With that said, this article offers you step-by-step instructions and essential tips to make it through the process of replacing your toilet. From gathering the necessary tools and materials to ensuring the toilet’s proper sealing and functionality, we’re here to help you navigate through the process. Wondering, “How to replace my toilet?” Let’s find out!

Swap Out Toilet Seat
Most toilet seats have standardized fittings and are simple to replace.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replace Your Toilet

Does your old toilet need replacing? If you’ve had it for years, now may be the perfect time to get a new toilet that looks better and can help you save on water bills. The problem is you’re having a hard time looking for a toilet replacement service. You’ve called your family and friends for recommendations. You’ve even tried searching “toilet replacement near me” online. But there’s still no luck in finding a trusted plumber near you.

Don’t worry though, because we’re here to help. If you want to know how to replace your toilet, below are steps you can take to do it yourself. Replacing a toilet can be a DIY project, but be sure that you’re comfortable doing this and that you have the necessary tools. Otherwise, you can continue looking for the best toilet replacement service.

1. Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin, make sure you have all the required tools and materials handy. Having everything prepared will save you time and ensure a smoother replacement process. You’ll find below a list of the necessary tools and materials you’ll need:

  • New toilet – Choose a toilet that fits your needs and matches the existing rough-in size (usually 10 to 12 inches).
  • Wax ring with sleeve – This creates a watertight seal between the toilet and the floor.
  • Adjustable wrench – This will be used to disconnect water supply lines and tighten nuts.
  • Channel locks or pliers – They will be useful for removing nuts and bolts.
  • Putty knife – It will help remove the old wax ring and clean surfaces.
  • Sponge – It will help absorb any water and clean up spills.
  • Bucket – You will need it to collect water or debris.
  • Towels – They will help with wiping and keeping the work area dry.
  • Closet bolts and nuts (if not included with the new toilet) – These will secure the toilet to the floor.
  • Level – It will ensure that the toilet is properly aligned.
  • Caulk gun and silicone caulk (optional) – They will be used to seal the base of the toilet to the floor.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, guides you through a DIY toilet replacement.

2. Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the water supply valve behind the toilet and turn it off by turning the handle clockwise. Flush the toilet to drain any remaining water from the tank and bowl. With this step, you can prevent water spillage during the process.

3. Disconnect the Water Supply

Using an adjustable wrench, loosen and disconnect the water supply from the bottom of the toilet tank. Place a bucket and towels nearby to catch any water that may spill out. Ensure that you check for any leakage in the water supply line and repair or replace it if necessary.

4. Remove the Old Toilet

Remove the old toilet by first removing the caps covering the closet bolts at the base of the toilet. These bolts secure the toilet to the floor. On the other hand, use a wrench or pliers to loosen and remove the nuts. Once the nuts are off, gently rock the toilet back and forth to break the seal with the wax ring. Lift the toilet straight up and set it aside on a towel or some old newspapers.

DIY Toilet Replacement
Thorough preparation makes for more effective installation.

5. Prepare the New Toilet

Before installing the new toilet, inspect the flange (the pipe fitting on the floor) to ensure it’s clean and in good condition. Remove any old waxy residue or debris. Once you’re sure it’s in good condition, place the wax ring with the sleeve onto the flange, making sure it is centered and properly aligned.

6. Install the New Toilet

Now, let’s go to the actual “replace my toilet” part. Carefully lower the new toilet onto the wax ring, aligning the holes in the base with the closet bolts. Gently press down to compress the wax ring and create a seal. Once the toilet is in position, place washers and nuts onto the closet bolts, tightening them until the toilet feels secure. Avoid over tightening, as it may cause damage to the flange or the toilet.

7. Reconnect the Water Supply

Now that you’re done installing the new toilet, reconnect the water supply line to the fill valve on the bottom of the toilet tank. Hand-tighten the nut and then give an additional quarter turn with pliers to ensure a snug fit. Double-check for any leaks around the connections and the base of the toilet. If you notice any leaks, tighten the connections further or replace any faulty parts.

8. Test and Finish Installation

Turn on the water supply valve and allow the tank to fill. Again, check for any leaks around the connections and the base of the toilet. If everything looks good, flush the toilet a few times to ensure proper operation. Use a level to ensure that the toilet is balanced and adjust as necessary by adding shims (small wedges that help stabilize and level the toilet) under the toilet base.

9. Optional: Apply Caulk (Base of the Toilet)

If you want to, use a caulk gun and silicone caulk to seal the base of the toilet to the floor. This can help prevent any water or debris from getting under the toilet. Apply a thin bead of caulk around the base, making sure it’s a continuous seal. Smooth the caulk with your finger or a caulking tool for a neat finish. Allow the caulk to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before using you use the toilet.

By following the step-by-step instructions above, you can now successfully replace your toilet. The process seems intimidating at first but with the right tools, a little patience, and attention to detail, you can accomplish this DIY project. Remember to take your time, use caution, and consult a professional if you encounter any challenges or have any doubts.

Fit New Toilet
Final touches and testing ensure everything is in good working order.

Toilet Replacement FAQs

Is it necessary to replace my toilet, or can I repair it instead?

In some cases, repairing a toilet can solve the problem. But if your toilet is old, constantly clogs, or has recurring leaks, it may be more cost-effective and efficient to replace it with a brand-new one. Additionally, if you’re looking to upgrade to a more water-efficient model, replacing the toilet is your best option.

How often should I replace my toilet?

The lifespan of a toilet can vary depending on factors such as usage, maintenance, and the quality of the toilet. On average, a well-maintained toilet can last around 25 to 50 years. But if you’re experiencing frequent issues or your toilet is significantly older, it may be time for a replacement.

How do I choose the right toilet for my bathroom?

When selecting a new toilet, consider factors such as the rough-in size (distance between the wall and the center of the drainpipe), bowl shape (round or elongated), water usage, flushing mechanism, and height (standard or comfort height). Additionally, consider the aesthetics and overall design that will best complement your bathroom.

Do I need any special skills to replace my toilet?

Replacing a toilet doesn’t require advanced skills, but some basic DIY knowledge and comfort with using tools will be helpful. Following a detailed guide, like the one in this article, and taking your time to complete each step correctly will ensure a successful toilet installation. But if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s always best to consult a professional plumber.

Hire a Local Plumbing Pro

The methods above are effective DIY instructions to replace your toilet. But if you want some professional help, then don’t hesitate to contact a local plumbing pro using the phone number or form on this page.

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