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How to Replace a Toilet

My last posts have been about the powder room.
A very small bath that was in need of attention.  I showed you how it has evolved.  The color palette that once was bold and heavy it is now light and airy.  The plain ceiling was given a nice texture treatment.  You can check those changes right HERE.

One of the main issues was in this bathroom was storage space, or the lack of it.  But then, I built three floating shelves and solved that problem, you can check how to build them right HERE.

Today my post is about the main problem I had in this bath... The Toilet.

The thing is, it got damaged. So, I needed to replace it.

I know, I know. Who wants to see that, right?!  Specially when you're having such a great time... It's Summer!

But, oh well, I promise I'll give you only the main points, what I think is really important, beginning with this: 

You CAN do it!  There is no need to call a plumber!

One of the most important things I learned is that replacing a toilet is not a big deal!

Almost all the things you need to change it come in the box with the toilet when you buy it.

First you need to turn off the water, flush the toilet a couple times, disconnect the whole thing, and remove it.

Once the toilet is disconnected from the drain line you can prepare the closet flange for the new toilet, scraping the wax residue from the old ring.

Remove the old closet bolts, and replace them for the new ones.

Now it's time to install the toilet bowl.  Before you install anything, I recommend you to place the bowl in place to align the closet bolts to the openings for them on the toilet. Do a pre-fit, because once you put the wax ring is better not to do adjustments.

Our toilet came with a wax ring but I bought a taller one.   When we installed hard wood floors the gap between the floor and where the toilet sits went up, so a taller wax bowl fits that space better. The wax ring or gasket keeps sewer gases out of the room, or prevent seepage from the toilet.

This was the ring I installed.

With the wax ring and bolts in place, the toilet is set.  No need to push on, or sit on.
Place a washer over each closet bolt, and then tighten the nut about six times on one side, and then six times on the other side, alternating until the bowl doesn't wiggle. Do not overthighten! That can damage the foot of the bowl.

Now it is time to place the water tank.  Using this wrenches,

make sure to tighten the water supply and the flush valve nuts.

Some pipe tape around this valve, to be on the safe side. When there is water involved is good to take some extra precautions. ;)

Now, to connect the water tank to the bowl you are given three screws.  Plumber's putty was wrap around them as well as the holes in the bottom of the tank that flank the flush valve.

Pipe-joint compound was applied around the bowl's inlet.

The tools used to tighten the bolts that hold the tank and toilet bowl together were a long screwdriver and a socket wrench.

With the two pieces together it is time to hook up the water to the toilet.  Our old toilet was already installed with a flexible supply line, we re-attached it to the new toilet.

A bead of sealant around the base of the toilet is recommended.

This was a small  upgrade from the previous builder's grade toilet that we had.  I'm looking forward to replace the other two we still have.  No big deal!


  1. Thanks for this post! LOL! I am getting two new toilets and this helps! A LOT!!! Your bathroom looks GREAT! Good job!


  2. Now...Tell the truth---did you EVER in your LIFE figure you would be writing about how to change out a toilet? lol We have replaced our own over the years, too. It is amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it, isn't it? xo Diana

  3. I wondered where you were.. but I have the same trouble. I want to work on all my projects, but the kids being out of school makes me feel bad about not spending more time with them. It is all about balance!

    I love getting new toilets. It is hard to believe how much they have changed in the past 20 years.. but the new low flow options make them a good thing to update! Great tute!

  4. i want the hatbox toilets so badly!! hubby keeps talking about replacing our toilets, one is damaged like yours and well i want the others to match ( i know crazy right?!) but he keeps going to the builder ones i keep pushing him to the hatbox ones, but i dont think i'm going to win this one with the price difference, lol! as far as blogging - girl i cant balance it when my little is IN school much less summer - i think u r doing fabulous!!

  5. Awesome job! I always make my husband do that one! Inspiring to see you do it. I guess I could do it too (although it's one of the only projects my husband will help on, so I'll probably keep tagging him with it lol).

    Enjoy the summer!

  6. Our toilet rocks a little...should I just thighten the screws on the bottom? when it comes to dealing with water, I am really freaked out! yes, I am afraid of plumbing!

  7. Came over from Overflowing. Talk about overflowing - several years ago our upstairs toilet's waterline burst and water poured through the house for hours until I woke up to the sound of rain, but it was raining inside the downstairs. Make sure to put reinforced stainless steel braid hoses on everything - it is worth the cost!

    Distressed Donn Down Home
    P.S. To Daniela above - don't tighten the bolts, you probably need a new wax ring.

  8. Cristina,

    Bathroom looks great - kudos on the toilet replacement. If you figure out that balancing act - let me in on the secret. Thank you for sharing.


  9. Your floating shelves are super cute!!

  10. Oh no! That won't do! You make it look super easy to change out. I know we've done it here a few times when tiling floors (we, meaning "he"). Great tips, great job!

    Love this little bathroom. ;)

  11. You are amazing! I think you do an amazing job!!
    My husband hates installing toilets.

  12. Christina,
    You did an excellent job on the installation of the toilet! Love those shelves too. We haven't had much luck on installing those shelves for some reason. Yours looks great.

  13. Wow, you do plumbing too! Between you and Ginger at Savannah Granny fixing her old washing machine, you girls rock! Thanks for sharing at Potpourri Friday!

  14. This bathroom turned out fabulous. I love the new color and the new toilet is wonderful too. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  15. My husband just had to replace a toilet in our house. I was really pleased that we didn't need a plumber. (Of course, we wouldn't have needed a new toilet either if he hadn't broken it while fixing it in the first place, but you can't have everything). :)

  16. I am super impressed! We need to replace a toilet. I will bookmark this post. You are so brave and talented. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  17. Wow. that's impressive. Who would have known it was that simple. I would like to invite you to show off your great bathroom project at Fine Craft Guild, at Time for a party:
    Thank you in advance for joining in!

  18. A toilet update can make a big difference! Great tutorial!

  19. The bathroom shelves look so great! It looks easy if i ever have to do it. But I still might keep the plumbers number close by. lol

  20. Good job! And a nice blog too as you included photos and the instructions are easy to follow. I like the decor you’ve chosen too for the toilet walls and ceiling, and am thinking now to transform my own bathroom at home in some bright colours. You can buy new toilets in large DIY stores and they aren’t that expensive either. If you’re not confident to do the work yourself then a reliable plumber should be able to give you a quote for doing it.

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