Installing a New Toilet: Step-by-Step Guide

Is your old toilet letting you down with constant clogs and leaks? Replacing it with a new one could save water and headaches. Our step-by-step guide will make installing a new toilet a breeze, even for DIY novices.

Let’s get started on this essential home upgrade!

Tools & Supplies Needed to Install a Toilet

Gather all the necessary tools before starting to install a toilet to make sure the process goes smoothly. You’ll need an adjustable wrench for tightening nuts and bolts and a screwdriver for various components of the toilet assembly.

A hacksaw helps you trim closet bolts that are too long while locking pliers can grip parts that need holding. Ensure you have a level to keep everything even and prevent wobbles later.

In addition to basic tools, specific supplies are crucial for a successful installation. An extra-thick wax ring is essential if your bathroom floor has thick tile; it will create a watertight seal between the bottom of the toilet bowl and the flange on the soil pipe.

Silicone caulk is used to secure the base of the toilet after installation, helping to prevent leaks and water damage over time. Include a putty knife for cleanup or adjustments and new tank bolts if your old ones show corrosion or wear.

Overview of Toilet Parts

Understanding the various components of a toilet is essential before diving into installation. The main parts include the bowl, which forms the base and where waste is deposited; the tank that houses water for flushing; and the seat, which provides comfort during use.

Each element works together to ensure efficient operation – from the flush handle that triggers water release to the flapper valve inside the tank responsible for maintaining water levels.

Getting familiar with these parts lays a solid foundation for successful installation. You’ll also encounter terms like ‘closet flange’, which anchors your toilet to the floor while connecting it to the drainpipe, and ‘wax seal’, an imperative part ensuring a watertight seal between toilet and soil pipe, preventing leaks and odours.

Accessories such as bolts help secure your throne in place, whilst supply lines connect it to households’ lifeblood—the water supply valve—ensuring each flush replenishes with fresh H2O efficiently.

Preparing the Floor and Soil Pipe

Before fitting your new toilet, ensure the floor is spotless and even. Sweep away any dirt and pull up residues of flooring or old caulk with a utility knife. This step prevents potential wobbling and ensures a sturdy base for the toilet.

Check for subfloor damage, too; repairing any weak areas is essential before proceeding.

Turn your attention next to the soil pipe. You must clear out any obstructions that might block waste from exiting smoothly. Old wax should be scraped off thoroughly until you see the bare surface around the opening where the flange will fit.

A pristine soil pipe guarantees a snug connection, preventing leaks and odours from seeping through once your new toilet is installed.

Installing the Soil Pipe and Closet Flange

Ensure your soil pipe fits snugly into the closet bend. You must align it carefully before positioning the closet flange over the top. Mark any excess length on the soil pipe that needs trimming to ensure a flush fit with your bathroom floor.

Once you’ve adjusted for a perfect fit, attach the flange to your subfloor using rust-proof screws – this will help prevent future corrosion.

Use primer and PVC cement to secure these elements if you’re working with PVC pipes; this step is crucial for preventing leaks. After applying both substances, insert and twist the flange onto the drain pipe, ensuring a tight seal.

Fasten it firmly with the provided nuts, bolts, and washers from your new toilet installation kit. The properly installed flange should be level with or slightly above the finished floor surface to accommodate subsequent steps in setting up your new toilet.

Soldering the Stop Valve

Soldering the stop valve requires a steady hand and attention to detail. First, cut your copper pipe to length, ensuring it fits snugly where the shutoff valve will be installed. Use a sanding cloth to clean both ends of the pipe until they shine.

This prep work is crucial for a secure soldered joint.

Apply flux evenly around the outside of the pipe and on the inside of the valve fitting. Assemble these parts together with a propane torch before you begin heating. Ensure that you heat the fitting more than the pipe, as this draws in molten solder by capillary action.

Touch your lead-free solder wire to each joint; if hot enough, it should melt quickly and fill gaps without dripping.

After completing all joints, inspect them closely for gaps or excess solder that could indicate an issue with your bond. Wait for everything to cool before turning on the water pressure, which tests your work against leaks – only then can you proceed confidently with installing your new toilet tank and water supply line as part of your bathroom renovation efforts.

Installing the Toilet Wax Ring and Setting the Bowl

Place the new wax ring over the closet flange, aligning it with the bolt holes. Press down evenly on the wax to form a tight seal to prevent leaks. Once in position, carefully lower the toilet bowl onto the flange, guiding it so that the bolts come through their respective holes in the base of the bowl.

Securely fasten each bolt by screwing on a washer followed by a nut. Alternate tightening between bolts to ensure an even pressure distribution and avoid cracking your toilet’s base.

Snug them firmly; over-tightening can damage both the toilet and the floor. With this step done, your toilet is well on its way to being secure and functional!

Installing the Tank

Carefully set the tank onto the back of the bowl, aligning it with the holes where you will secure it. Make sure to have a tank-to-bowl gasket firmly in place to prevent leaks between these two parts.

Start by threading bolts through the tank and into the bowl; hand-tighten them initially to avoid cracking any porcelain. Grab your wrench and carefully tighten each bolt a little at a time, alternating sides to ensure even pressure is applied.

Check for stability once all bolts are snug, but do not over-tighten, as this can damage the tank and bowl. Once secured, open up your stop valve and allow water to fill the new toilet’s tank.

Watch for smooth filling without evidence of leaks around any connections or at a base level where your toilet meets flooring. Flush several times after filling is complete – this confirms that everything functions correctly and allows you to spot potential issues before wrapping up installation.

Connecting the Supply Line and Seat Assembly

After installing the tank, you must focus on joining the supply line securely. This ensures water flows into your toilet without any leaks. Grab a wrench and tighten the coupling nut where the supply line meets the fill valve under the tank.

Don’t overtighten it – that can damage both parts.

Next, it’s time to attach the seat assembly, which is essential for comfort and functionality. Lay out all pieces of the seat assembly according to manufacturer instructions. Align them with bolt holes in your new toilet bowl and secure them with nuts from underneath, making sure they’re tight enough so your seat won’t wobble but not so tight that they crack or break through porcelain.

Finishing Touches

Check every connection to ensure there are no leaks. Gently turn on the water supply and observe as the tank fills, looking for signs of water trickling down the sides or at fittings—everything must stay dry outside the toilet.

Next, apply a bead of silicone sealant around the base where the floor meets the toilet; this keeps moisture out and secures your new fixture in place.

Snap-on the plastic caps over bolts to hide them away for a sleek look. Ensure you gently lower the lid onto the seat assembly to avoid damage. Give it all one final wipe with a damp cloth so your new bathroom addition shines.

Now’s also a good time to adjust the flush mechanism inside if required, ensuring each press delivers an efficient swirl of water through your brand-new toilet bowl.

Removing the Old Toilet

11. Removing the Old Toilet: Before you can usher in the era of your sleek new toilet, it’s imperative to dislodge and clear out the old fixture carefully. This crucial step involves shutting off water flow, detaching connections, and ensuring a clean base for your new installation.

Disconnecting the water supply

Before you start to remove the old toilet, make sure you turn off the water valve. This stops any more water from flowing into the tank and bowl. Flush your toilet to drain most of the water; it’s a must-do step for a mess-free removal.

Any remaining water in the tank can be soaked with a sponge or towel, ensuring everything is dry before continuing.

Next, remove the cistern’s lid and disconnect the supply line leading to it. Loosen up mounting nuts that hold components in place using an adjustable wrench. These parts might include anything from piping to fixtures attached around your cabinet or toilet seat area, so keep track of each piece as it comes off to avoid confusion during reassembly later on.

Removing the old bolts

You may find the old bolts challenging to remove if they’re rusty or have been tightly tightened. A wrench or pliers will come in handy here, helping you loosen them enough to unscrew the nuts.

Once loose, pull out the bolts straight up from the toilet flange. Be patient and apply steady pressure to avoid breaking anything.

New toilets often include a fresh set of closet bolts, making it essential to clear away any old fittings before installation. Unscrew the old nuts using a wrench and carefully lift each bolt from its slots around the flange.

This prepares your toilet base for a secure and stable new setup with all-new hardware, ensuring maximum water efficiency for your home improvement project.

Lifting the toilet and cleaning the flange

Grip the toilet base firmly and lift it steadily to remove it from its old spot. Be sure you have someone to help if it’s too heavy. Once lifted, place the toilet out of the way so you can easily access the flange.

Check the closet flange for any signs of wear or damage after removing the previous wax ring residue using a putty knife. Use a rag or sponge dampened in water to scrub around the flange, making sure all debris and dirt are removed.

If primer was used previously, ensure no remnants are present as they need cleaning before installing your new toilet. Inspecting closely is vital; a stable and clean flange means a secure foundation for your new fixture.

Installing the New Toilet

12. Installing the New Toilet: With your old toilet removed, it’s time to usher in a new era of comfort and style as you fit your gleaming new fixture into place, ensuring it’s well-secured and leak-free for a pristine bathroom upgrade.

Installing new bolts

As you prepare to install your new toilet, begin by inserting the fresh bolts that came with it. You’ll find holes at the toilet’s base; slide each bolt head through one from inside the bowl.

This is essential for anchoring your toilet firmly to the floor and ensuring a stable connection to your home’s plumbing.

Once in place, tighten them down with nuts using a wrench, but do not over-tighten, as this could crack the porcelain. Make sure they stand vertically straight so that when you lower the bowl onto the flange, everything aligns perfectly without any hitches.

Properly installed bolts are critical for preventing leaks and wobbles, giving you peace of mind once your new fixture is in use.

Placing the new wax ring

Before placing the new wax ring, ensure the flange is clean and dry; any moisture or debris could prevent a proper seal. Position the wax ring directly onto the closet flange, not the toilet itself.

Press it evenly to keep its shape intact and ready for the bowl.

Now, align your toilet over the bolts which stick out from the flange. Carefully lower it, ensuring you don’t disrupt or misalign the wax ring beneath. Hold it level as you gently set it in place—the bowl’s weight pushes onto the wax, creating a watertight seal between your toilet and soil pipe.

On your first try, avoid rocking or twisting motions to ensure a solid, leak-free connection. If you notice an uneven floor surface underfoot, use shims to stabilise before fully setting down your fixture.

Always confirm that a new toilet comes with its own wax ring in case replacements are necessary during installation.

Setting the toilet bowl

Carefully lift the toilet bowl and align it over the new seal you prepared on the drain hole. Hold it steady to ensure a proper fit without rocking or movement; this seals off potential leaks and odours.

Press down firmly, but do not twist or rock the bowl, as this may damage the new wax ring, which ensures a tight seal with the floor flange.

Once in place, use your tape measure to check that the toilet is positioned squarely so that it is even on all sides for appearance and function. Then, fasten it securely with bolts, taking care not to over-tighten it as this could crack the porcelain.

After securing, cover caps usually snap into place over these bolts for a neat finish.

Securing the toilet

To secure the toilet properly, place it onto the new wax ring and press firmly to create a tight seal. Ensure that the bowl is perfectly aligned with the closet flange bolts. Once in position, add washers to the bolts and hand-tighten the nuts.

Grab your wrench, but avoid over-tightening, as this could crack the porcelain.

Next, grab a level tool and check that your toilet isn’t tilting in any direction. If adjustments are needed, shim under the base until it’s stable before tightening everything up again.

This step is crucial for comfort and function since an unsteady toilet can lead to leaks or discomfort when used. After ensuring everything is snug and level, cap off those closet flange bolts for a neat finish; you’ve now secured your commode!

Prepping for the tank installation

Before attaching the tank to the bowl, ensure the main supply line is turned on. Open the stop valve carefully and allow water to fill the tank; this step is vital for testing.

Check that all fittings are secure and in place before mounting the tank onto its base.

Flush your toilet several times after connecting it to ensure everything functions correctly. Keep an eye out for leaks around seals or bolts, as catching them early helps avoid future problems.

During installation, a steady hand and attention to detail will save time and prevent issues with your new fixture’s operation.


Take pride in completing your toilet installation with confidence and precision. You’ve mastered each stage, from prepping the floor to securing the tank. Enjoy the satisfaction of a well-done job, knowing your bathroom is now updated with a newly fitted throne.

The comfort and functionality of your home just took a step up. Remember, every flush from here on out is a testament to your handiwork!

Before installing your new toilet, ensure the water supply is off to avoid any leaks during the process. The first step is removing the old toilet carefully to make room for the new one.

This involves disconnecting its water supply and removing old bolts that secure it to the floor. Lift away the old toilet, clean around the flange meticulously, and get ready to install shiny new hardware.

Fitting a fresh seal requires attention as you place it securely around the drain hole in your bathroom floor. Inspect every inch of the flange and clear it of any debris or damage; this helps prevent future leaks.

With a sturdy wax ring at hand and new bolts threaded into position, you can mount your modern commode confidently, ensuring a solid foundation for years of use.

Once you’ve installed your new toilet, why not consider updating your taps too? Explore our guide on choosing the right faucet for your kitchen or bathroom to complement your renovations.


1. What are the first steps to installing a new toilet?

Before you begin, turn off the water supply and empty the old toilet bowl and tank. After that, remove the old toilet carefully to prepare for the new installation.

2. Do I need special tools to install a toilet?

You will need basic tools like a wrench, screwdriver, pliers and possibly a sealant or wax ring as part of your supplies.

3. Can I install a new toilet by myself?

While it’s possible to install a new toilet on your own if you’re handy and familiar with DIY projects, getting professional help is recommended for most people.

4. How do I ensure my new toilet is properly fixed?

Ensure you securely attach the base of your new toilet to the floor and connect it correctly to both water supply and waste pipes, ensuring no leaks.

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