How to Install a Toilet

Here's our DIY guide to installing your own toilet without the help of professionals. Upgrade your bathroom in just a couple hours!
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HomeClick.com DIY Plumbing Series: How to Install a Toilet

Welcome to our latest DIY plumbing guide, showing you how to install your own toilet.

As part of our DIY plumbing series, we’re excited to help our readers understand how they can easily solve most problems in their own homes.

With a little bit of instruction, some patience, and the right tools, you can keep your home running smoothly every day.

Toilets may not be sexy, cool, or really anything to brag about at all. But we all know how absolutely essential they are to any dwelling.

It might surprise you to learn that installing a toilet yourself is one of the easier plumbing projects that can be done at home without the help of professionals.

For this project, you’ll most definitely want to take a close look at the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the toilet you purchased. Every brand and model will have unique and specific design flourishes that must be taken into account.

The materials needed are somewhat minimal: only a wax seal and your new toilet itself. The tool list is more extensive, but every piece of equipment is relatively universal, something to keep around the house for any future project.

Once you’ve purchased or borrowed everything needed, you can begin. Make sure to clear out a full afternoon or weekend day for this project. While it’s listed at around 2 or 3 hours, your experience may vary.

Based on an article on Homeclick.com.

See our full collection of DIY plumbing guides here.

Materials needed:

  • Wax seal
  • A new toilet

Tools needed:

  • Silicone caulk
  • Small hacksaw
  • Putty knife
  • Flat head screw driver
  • Adjustable wrench or socket set
  • Protective gloves
  • Large rag
  • Large sponge
  • Bucket

1. Remove the new wax seal

You'll want to remove the wax seal first so that you can let it sit at room temperature to soften up. Set it out of the way while you work on the next few steps.

You’ll want to remove the wax seal first so that you can let it sit at room temperature to soften up. Set it out of the way while you work on the next few steps.

2. Shut off the water

Find the knob to close off the cold water supply. This is obviously very important so you don't flood the room.

Find the knob to close off the cold water supply. This is obviously very important so you don’t flood the room.

3. Remove the old toilet

Unscrew those mounting screws down below, then simply lift and pull the old toilet away. It will be heavy, so ask for help with this step if you need another set of hands.

Unscrew those mounting screws down below, then simply lift and pull the old toilet away. It will be heavy, so ask for help with this step if you need another set of hands.

4. Remove the old wax seal

Using your putty knife, now is when you can scrape the old wax seal right off. It will look gross, but don't worry; it's perfectly safe.

Using your putty knife, now is when you can scrape the old wax seal right off. It will look gross, but don’t worry; it’s perfectly safe.

5. Block the drain

Don't forget to block the drain using your rag, because this prevents sewer gas from wafting up into the room. That's a problem nobody needs to have.

Don’t forget to block the drain using your rag, because this prevents sewer gas from wafting up into the room. That’s a problem nobody needs to have.

6. Connect the new tank and bowl together

At this point you can install the rubber gasket on the tank, and then mount the tank right on the bowl component. It's starting to look like a new toilet!

At this point you can install the rubber gasket on the tank, and then mount the tank right on the bowl component. It’s starting to look like a new toilet!

7. Secure the tank to the bowl

Your new toilet will have come with hardware for securing the tank to the bowl. Use it here, and be sure not to tighten too much.


Your new toilet will have come with hardware for securing the tank to the bowl. Use it here, and be sure not to tighten too much.

8. Position the new wax seal

Remove the rag from the drain and get that new wax seal out. Now you can apply it to the drain. You're almost done!

Remove the rag from the drain and get that new wax seal out. Now you can apply it to the drain. You’re almost done!

9. Position the new toilet into place

As you lower the toilet into place, use the bolts as a guide. Once it's positioned, be sure to press down firmly, creating a seal with the wax ring on the drain.

As you lower the toilet into place, use the bolts as a guide. Once it’s positioned, be sure to press down firmly, creating a seal with the wax ring on the drain.

10. Secure the new toilet into place

Now you can tighten those bolts, but be sure to alternate sides to keep the pressure even as you go. If the bolts appear too long, just cut them off with a hacksaw and cover with the included caps.

Now you can tighten those bolts, but be sure to alternate sides to keep the pressure even as you go. If the bolts appear too long, just cut them off with a hacksaw and cover with the included caps.

11. Install the toilet seat

The seat that came with your toilet can be installed now. The manufacturer included instructions, in case there are any specific tricks. In most cases, this should be as simple as screwing it down.

The seat that came with your toilet can be installed now. The manufacturer included instructions, in case there are any specific tricks. In most cases, this should be as simple as screwing it down.

12. Reconnect the water

Now you can reconnect the water supply line and then turn the valve on. Now your new toilet has running water!

Now you can reconnect the water supply line and then turn the valve on. Now your new toilet has running water!

13. Seal the base

Get out your silicone caulk and seal the base down. After this little step, your toilet will be perfectly working and ready to go!

Get out your silicone caulk and seal the base down. After this little step, your toilet will be perfectly working and ready to go!

If you’re like me, you may learn best by observing someone else going through the steps of a project. We’ve got a great video below that shows you everything you’ll need to know.

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DIY Plumbing Series: How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing | DIY Plumbing: How To Unclog a Garbage Disposal | DIY Plumbing Series: How to Fix a Leaky Faucet | DIY Plumbing Series: How to Fix a Slow Drain








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