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DIY Guide: How to Install a Toilet

At one point or another, you may need to replace your toilet. It could be part of a DIY home renovation project or you may need to do it due to some type of malfunction. Not everyone knows how to replace a toilet. 

However, if you are skilled at DIY and have the right tools, you can easily install one on your own. Toilet installation is not that difficult if you follow the guide we have provided below.

How to Install a Toilet: Step by Step DIY Guide

Tools

Here is a list of the tools needed to replace a toilet:

  • Adjustment wrench
  • Closet bolts
  • Replacement toilet
  • Screwdriver
  • Stainless steel washers
  • Torpedo level
  • Wax ring

Step 1: Remove the Old Toilet and Assemble the New One

Remove the old toilet and any debris. Properly clean and prepare the area before the next steps.

It is best to assemble the toilet after removing the old one, as the tank will help add more weight, making it easier to support while installing. Most toilet kits are fully equipped with the necessary parts and tools.

Step 2: Prepare the Flange

Inspect the flange for any damage or cracks. If there is any damage, you can fix it easily with a flange repair kit, which is sold at local home improvement or DIY stores. 

Step 3: Position closet bolts

Experts advise using self-adjusting closet bolts. In this way, you will not need to cut or snap excessive bolt length. One of the advantages of these bolts is that they have a white thread locker. This drives the stud deeper into the anchor nut once it has been reached by hex nut.

Making sure they are snug against the flange, move the lock washers after slipping the closet bolts on either side. 

Step 4: Install a Wax Ring

The wax ring can be installed on the underside of the toilet or directly on the flange. There is less chance of it becoming loose or falling off on the flange. You can substitute an extended height wax ring if the flange sits too low.

Step 5: Set the Toilet in Place

Next, position the new toilet over the flange, making sure to line it up properly with the closet bolt holes. Once it has been properly positioned, press the toilet firmly on the floor.

Step 6: Install Washer & Nuts

By hand and on both sides, tighten the nuts after inserting the regular and nylon washers, placing them over the bolts. 

Step 7: Level the Toilet

Carefully, inspect the toilet from side to side and front to back to make sure that it is level.

If it is not level or sturdy, shim it using pennies or stainless-steel washers. Once you are certain that it is level, make sure that the pennies are out of sight but still underneath the edge. Next, tighten the closet bolt nuts, making sure they are not too tight. Finally, conceal the closet bolts by attaching the bolt caps.

Step 8: Attach Supply Line

As most toilets require a 3/8” connector, it will eliminate the use of Teflon tape to wrap the threads.

Step 9: Verify the Fill Level

After all the connections are in place, open the supply valve and wait for the tank to fill up. Carefully inspect for leaks and properly adjust the fill valve until the water reaches the fill line.

Step 10: Caulk the Base 

If so desired, caulk the base of the toilet to give it a clean and polished look, making sure to leave a “weep hole” (gap) to make it easier to detect leaks.

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