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How to Install a New Toilet

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Bought a new place and wanted to replace the old toilet they have? Or maybe you’re remodelling your own bathroom and wanted to upgrade to a better flushing toilet? You probably had major toilet issues that no toilet repair can remedy, so you end up replacing it. Regardless of the reason, it’s good to pack some knowledge on how to install a new toilet if you are planning on tackling the task personally.

Toilet replacement is not for the faint of heart, so think twice about doing it yourself. Remember, there is no room for error. Otherwise, you’ll end up having major plumbing issues and would have to pay for more.

What You Need

Before starting any project, you’ll want to make sure your tools are complete. For toilet repair or toilet replacement, you’ll always want to wear some heavy-duty rubber gloves and have some rags ready nearby. You’ll also need the following, according to HGTV:

  • New toilet
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Bucket
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Wax rings
  • Silicone caulk
  • Utility knife
  • Large sponge
  • Putty knife

You may also get a flange height adjustment kit and a flange reinforcement kit, but those are only optional.

When it comes to buying a new toilet, you’ll want to first measure the distance of the floor bolts from the wall. Typically, the bolts are 12 inches away from the wall, and if yours has the same measurement, you can buy any standard toilet and install it without much hassle.

Nevertheless, some models only have 10 inches to 14 inches, so measure first before buying a new toilet so you know it fits well.

Toilet Removal

Once you have everything ready, you’ll want to remove the toilet. You can start by turning off the water valve so there won’t be any water rushing to the basin when you’re removing it. Then, flush the remaining water to empty the bowl. If there’s remaining water, you should remove it with a small cup and a sponge.

Make sure that you dump the excess water somewhere safe to avoid the spread of viruses, germs, and bacteria, as well as insect and rodent infestation.

Once empty, unscrew the tank bolts that attach the bowl to the basin, then the water supply line to remove the basin. Then, remove the floor bolt caps and unscrew them with the adjustable wrench. A sealant will keep the bowl from breaking free, but you can break it by rocking the basin back and forth slowly until the bowl is free.

Make sure the seal on the drain opening is scraped away to make way for the new sealant. You can then use an old rag to plug and cover the drain to avoid the smell as you install a new toilet.

Installing the New Bowl

The first thing you’ll want to do is replace the flange around the drain opening with a new one. Then, fit a new wax ring around the drainage and check if the flange is tightly closed. If not, you need to remove the wax ring and try again.

Take your new bowl and make sure it’s aligned with the protruding bolts on the floor. Once you’ve done that, rock the bowl side to side. This helps seal the drainage hole. Next, insert the bolts through the base and the tank by hand. Remember not to fit it too tightly or the tank can crack. Add the shims underneath the toilet to level it.

You can now tighten the floor bolts slowly with the wrench. As much as possible, tighten both bolts simultaneously. Then again, don’t over tighten it or the bowl could crack.

Put the basin and secure it to the bowl. Make sure you also reconnect the water supply. Lastly, caulk the base of the toilet to seal it in place.

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