How To Replace and Install a Toilet

Boy I sure wish it only took a few minutes to install a toilet like in this video. This video, Lowe’s goes through the steps on removing an old toilet and installing a new one. Another very helpful tool for the do it yourselfer. It is very thorough and makes it look and sound very easy. There is a lot involved so make sure you follow the steps and take any precautionary measures like turning off the water supple. Otherwise, you’ll have a huge mess on your hands.


So, it’s time to replace your toilet. I know, it’s probably not your favorite job, but it’s easier than you think.
To start, most new toilets come in standard sizes that are easily swapped out. But if you’re in an older home it’s a good idea to check first. Just measure the distance between the closet bolts and the wall, not the trim, the wall to make sure it will fit. For tight spaces, measure it at the side wall. Take these measurements to Lowe’s to get a toilet that fits your bathroom.

Once you have your new toilet you can pull the old one. We’ve been remodeling this bathroom. We took out our old toilet before we removed the old tile. Here’s what to do. Turn off the water supply. Then flush and hold the handle to drain the water from the tank. The little bit of water left in the bowl can be removed with a plastic cup or a sponge. Next, disconnect the water supply from the tank, and remove the nuts from the closet bolts. Now the old toilet is ready to come out. You can set it in a garbage bag before you take it away.

With the toilet gone, place a rag in the drain to block sewer gases. Then use a putty knife to clean off the old wax ring. If the closet flange is rusted, replace it.

Okay, now it’s time to install the new toilet. Insert new closet bolts in the flange if you haven’t already. To prep the bowl, gently set it upside down on a cloth and lightly press a new wax ring over the outlet. Ready for installation. Now you can remove the rag. Line up the toilet with the bolts and lower it. Press down around the toilet to seal it against the drain. Make sure it’s square to the wall. Place the cap base, washers, and nuts on the closet bolts. Tighten them, but not too tight. You might crack the toilet. Alternate between each side as you go. If the closet bolts are too long for the caps, carefully cut them with a hack saw then put on the caps.

Bowl’s in. Now with 2 piece toilets, the tank goes on in almost no time at all. Most new toilets have the flush assembly and handle installed, but if yours doesn’t, now’s the time to do it. Then install the bolts and the rubber gasket, set the tank in place, and secure it with the nuts. Just hand tighten them for now. Check that it’s level, then tighten the nuts just enough to make a water-tight seal.

We’re in the home stretch. Connect the water supply and slowly turn on the water. Check for leaks around the supply lines and gasket. Make adjustments if you need to, then attach the seat. Flush the toilet a few times and look for leaks around the base. Seal around the base with latex caulk. Set the top on the tank and you’re done. That wasn’t so bad.

We’ve still got some work to do in this bathroom so be sure to check out the rest of our remodeling videos at

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