Toilets can last up to 50 years. I don’t think that means you have to wait that long to replace yours. Besides, you might feel like changing toilets when upgrading your home interior if you do.
Related: What are Toilets Made of?
How to tell when a toilet should be replaced?
The short answer is, change it when it’s stressing you out more than the time you spend trying to save it is worth. Sometimes, it’s hard to make this determination, but I say “give up the ghost” if you’re at wit’s end.
Repairing It Has Become a Huge Burden
If the time and hassle of repairing your toilet has cost you your sanity, buy a new one. Besides, continuing to pay for small repairs can cost you more than a new one would anyway.
You Can’t Keep it Unclogged Long
I’ve had people tell me they had a professional plumber come check the waterlines. That didn’t seem to help the way a toilet works in some instances. If you find yourself plunging it every other day, it’s time to buy a new one.
You See Cracks In It
Cracks in your porcelain might only get worse. Eventually, that water will leak anywhere. At the very least, it just might look unsightly to you.
Your visitors might not want to use your bathroom after awhile either. If you don’t want to live with the way your toilet looks anymore, change it. Changing your toilet because of a crack could also save you a world of hurt later – no flooded mess to clean up.
Hard to Clean When Worn (And is Stained)
A toilet that has worn surfaces, especially in the bowl area, may not clean right. That’s because the glossiness of the top porcelain layer is scratched off and a porous inner layer is exposed. When this happens, it increases chances of contamination because you can’t clean it as well as you’d like.
The thought of even looking at a toilet with a worn toilet bowl is just gross to me, by the way. Sometimes, the waste just stains and it doesn’t seem like anything you can do will remove it. If you see rust on your toilet, it probably contains metal material.
If you can’t remove the sight of it, replace it.
It Uses Too Much Water
The water bill alone for a faulty toilet can add up to more than what you’d pay for a new one. How long do you want to keep fooling yourself, thinking you’re saving money by fixing it? I get it though.
I’ve had times when I felt stubborn about having to replace household items I don’t want to pay for. A broken toilet is just one more thing to spend money on. But unfortunately, replacing it is sometimes a fact of life that you can’t avoid forever.
It Leaks At The Base
I’ve had this happen to me. If the water is clean, it’s not that bad, but dirty water oozing out through the toilet base smells disgusting. It sends a stench throughout the bathroom and can even infiltrate your kitchen, bedroom etc.
If the situation doesn’t improve after trying to repair your toilet, get rid of it and get a new one.
It’s Not Secure To The Floor
In this case, you might have a chance to reseal around the base. You also could add different brass bolts to hold it in place. If that doesn’t make it more secure, it’s probably time for a new one.
By the way, there’s nothing more annoying than trying to do business on a toilet that slides all over the place. If you feel singled out right now, I’m sorry. I don’t even know you.
If I did, I probably wouldn’t use your bathroom though.
It Looks Old and/Or Outdated (And You Verified That)
Maybe it looks dingy or discolored. Otherwise, perhaps you noticed the date it was made. If it’s more than the prescribed 50 years for a toilet, it’s time to change it.
Besides, some less expensive toilets may not even last that long. Depending on its quality, you might even have to change it once every 20-30 years instead of 50 years.
You Just Feel Like Changing It
Maybe you’re repainting your bathroom and installing a different countertop or tub. This might call for a new toilet color and style. Otherwise, you perhaps want a commode that has a lager bowl or a cushier seat.
Whatever your reason is for changing it, that’s your prerogative. Enjoy the new one when you get it!
How do I install a toilet?
- Measure The Space for It – Not all toilets are the same size measure the space you have now to make sure it one you plan to install in your bathroom will fit.
- Prepare to Paint Behind It – It’s the nature of toilet installation. You can almost bet the new one won’t line up with the unpainted section of wall you have behind it when installing the new one. This won’t matter much, however, if you plan to repaint your whole bathroom wall anyway. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a matching color to use for that bare spot.
- Prepare For The Lift – Toilets aren’t light. If you don’t have to lift it yourself, don’t. There’s no shame in asking for help to life this object that ways 100 pounds or more.
Are all toilets the same?
No, they’re not. It’s good to realize this now. Otherwise, installing a new one will end up being a total pain. According to Seng, an active blogger of a publication called Sengerson, there’s three primary types of toilet bowls:
The round, elongated and medium type. Seng also says that the elongated ones are the most comfortable to sit on of the three types. The round ones typically go in compact bathrooms and are apparently the standard size even though they’re not considered as comfortable.
The medium bowl incorporates features of both the round and the elongated ones.
How bad of a crack requires toilet replacement?
Just a little nick won’t hurt. Make sure it’s just a surface scratch though. If you have water on your floor and haven’t used the sink or the shower, that means there’s a leak in your bowl.
In that case, think about having it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Will a low-flush toilet save me money?
A low-flush toilet can reduce your water bill. It uses only about two gallons of water per flush. That’s less than some 50-year-old ones that may use three to five gallons of water per flush.
Of course, the toilet needs to work for it to be of any use to you, so there’s that to keep in mind. Even low-flush, efficient commodes have a shelf life. They can last at least up to 30 years though.
What tools do I need to uninstall and reinstall a toilet?
If you plan to uninstall and reinstall your toilet yourself, more power to you. I wish you all the best. I’m probably not that brave. I found a list of recommended tools and tips for the toilet uninstallation and reinstallation process provided by The Family Handyman DIY Experts:
Required Tools for this how to install toilet Project
“Have the necessary tools for this DIY how to install a toilet project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.” – The Family Handyman
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
- Caulk gun
- Cordless drill
- Locking pliers
- Shop vacuum
- Slip joint pliers
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
How do you extend the life of your toilet?
I just read some tips on how to properly care for a toilet, and I feel personally attacked right now. LOL Here’s what Unglog.It of the Pure Mechanical Group professional plumbing resources says: “The first thing to remember, when it comes to proper toilet maintenance, is that your toilet has one specific purpose—and it is not to be used as a trashcan.”
Unclog.It also says that you should only flush toilet paper and bodily waste. In addition, they urge you not to put cotton swabs, tampons, paper towels, garbage or baby wipes down the bowl. I’m sure my toilet won’t make the maximum life span.
However, you at least now know what to do to make yours last as long as possible.