10 Easy Steps to Replace a Toilet

There are a few tasks around your home that certainly require professional work done but replacing your toilet does not have to be one of them. Keep your money to enjoy in better things in life than simple tasks you can do yourself around your home with the help of these easy guidelines. Whether you are remodelling your bathroom and you need to reattach your toilet, or whether you have decided your old toilet needs an upgrade, these are the steps you will have to follow in order to successfully get it back running.

If you have an old toilet that keeps causing problems, or it simply uses up too much water, it might be a great time to consider investing in a more efficient model that will end up paying for itself in the long run as you notice lower water bills. In any case, we have rounded up the key elements to consider when choosing your new model, and how to quickly install it for immediate use.

How to Choose a Toilet

Before you go to the store and purchase your new toilet, measure the rough-in, which is the distance from the wall to the hold-down bolts of your toilet, otherwise known as flange bolts. The standard measurement, and therefore the easiest models to find and with the most variety of prices, is the 12-inch rough-in model. There are also 10-inch and 14-inch models, however, they are harder to find and will most likely cost more than standard models.

Other than size, your choice should mainly revolve around 3 basic principles: water consumption, flushing performance, and style. High-efficiency toilets will dramatically reduce your water consumption, lowering your bills and reducing your impact on the environment. Higher quality models can be expensive, but you will find more affordable options will still pay for themselves in the long run. As far as flushing, you will want to make sure your model uses the least amount of water to get a fully clean bowl. Gravity flushing models will be more silent and easier to repair, however, pressure-assist models have better flushing results, but could be pricier. Finally, the style of your toilet should complement the rest of your bathroom, and you will be able to choose between a one-piece toilet, a two-piece toilet, or go for a wall-mounted model to facilitate cleaning. Whichever you choose, compare your options, and ask questions to make sure you pick exactly what is right for your home.

Replace Your Toilet in 10 Steps

Now that you have your new model ready, it is time to get the old one out and continue with the installation. Make sure you clear the area you will be working in, and place newspapers or plastic sheets around the old toilet and on the rest of the bathroom floor to protect the tiles. Grab some old towels and place them on a safe area on the floor where you will place the old toilet when you remove it. This will be important to have ready to avoid cracking the toilet when setting it down. Once you are ready to go, follow these few simple steps to quickly replace your toilet.

  • Drain the tank

Start off by shutting off the water supply to your toilet. You should find the small knob under the bowl. Once it is shut off, remove the lid, and place it somewhere safe. Flush the toilet until you get most of the water out, and finish the job using a small bucket or sponge until it is all dry.

  • Detach the toilet

Now that the toilet is drained, disconnect the water supply line by unscrewing the nuts. Then, go ahead and unscrew the bolts that hold down the toilet. You may need to cut them off with a hacksaw blade if they cannot be loosened or if they are too rusty. Using a utility knife, loosen the seal around the edges of the toilet, and rock it from side to side to detach it from the floor. Find help to lift the toilet and set it on the old towels you prepared on the side. Finish this step by placing a rag in the drain opening to prevent sewer gases from escaping

  • Install new wax seal

Before you can continue, take some time to check the condition of the flange. It should not be cracked or damaged, if it is, you will first have to replace it. If it looks okay, go ahead, and place the new bolts in the flange pointing up, and then the wax seal on the flange squeezing enough to hold up the bolts.

  • Set the base

Hold up the toilet base in place and lower it on top of the flange. Press down or sit backwards on top of the bowl to set the base. Screw the bolts firmly to attach the toilet to the floor, but careful not to screw too tightly so as not to crack the porcelain. If your toilet wobbles, use plastic toilet shims to level it out and prevent leakage issues.

  • Set the tank

Align the tank bolts to the holes in the toilet base and carefully lower it down. Screw the nuts to secure it in place, again carefully enough not to break the porcelain. If the tank is level, you can go ahead and place the lid on it.

  • Connect the toilet

Attach the supply line from the shut-off valve to the fill-valve. Tighten the compression nut firmly, and you are ready to reopen the water supply. Finish off by applying caulk all around the base of the toilet to seal it properly to the floor.


And just as easy as that, you will have given your bathroom a whole new look and just wait to see how your bills start getting lower. There is no need to call someone to do the job for you and charge you costly bills. Take some time to review your bathroom’s needs and find a good choice that fits your requirements, and simply follow these guidelines to get the job done yourself.

Edinburgh Central Heating Services offer free estimates and range of skills. A 24-hour emergency plumbing service is also offered. For more information visit www.edinburghcentralheatingservice.com or telephone 0131 5102418