Plumber repairing a toilet pipe with a wrench

How To Install A Toilet

1-2 hours

Before You Start:

  • Turn off the water via the shutoff valve located behind the toilet.
  • Flush to drain all water from the toilet bowl and tank. Make sure it does not refill.
  • Use a plunger and force any remaining water down the drain pipe.


  • Flange repair ring
  • Sponge/rag
  • Supply line (if needed)
  • Toilet
  • Toilet seat
  • Wax ring


  • Adjustable wrench
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Pliers
  • Plunger
  • Putty knife
  • Screwdriver

Step 1: Disconnect Supply Line

Using an adjustable wrench, disconnect the supply line behind your toilet. Make sure that the water pipe remains secure.

Step 2: Separate Water Tank

Splitting the toilet into two pieces will make removal of the old toilet easier for one person. If it is in one piece or if you have a helper, you may skip this step.

Using the adjustable wrench, remove the bolts on the bottom of the tank. Remove the tank by lifting straight up. If there is resistance, wiggle from side to side while lifting until the tank comes free.

Step 3: Unbolt From Floor

Pop the bolt caps. Using pliers or an adjustable wrench, remove the nuts and bolts that hold the toilet’s base to the floor. You do not need to keep these – you should have new ones in the box.

Step 4: Break Caulking

Check to see if there is caulking around the toilet’s base. If it has caulking, you will need to cut through the caulk seam using a knife. You should not put caulking – this may prevent you from noticing any water leaks, which can cause serious floor damage.

After cutting the seam, rock the toilet back and forth until you can lift it. Move it to the side and expose the old wax ring.

Step 5: Remove Wax Ring

Remove the old wax ring using a putty knife. Wipe away excess with a rag, then stuff a rag into the open floor line. This will prevent any sewer gases from getting into your home.

Step 6: Inspect/Repair Flange

Inspect the flange – if it is damaged, use the flange repair ring. A flange connects the hardware found at the toilet’s base to your floor.

Step 7: Place New Wax Ring

Place your new wax ring. The thickness of the wax ring depends on the thickness of your floor. If new, thick tile was put down after the old toilet was installed, you may need a thicker wax ring to make up the difference.

You can either put the ring in its position on the flange prior to lowering the bowl, or attach the ring to the base of the bowl directly, prior to placing it on the flange.

Step 8: Secure To Flange

Be sure that the toilet bolt holes align with the bolts in the flange before placing. Press down to seal, and be careful not to tilt or move the toilet once the seal is in place, to prevent future leaks. Place a washer and a nut onto each bolt and tighten. Do not over tighten or the porcelain will crack.

Place the tank, aligning the bolts with the holes. Secure the tank. If not already attached, install the “tank to bowl” gasket on the base of the flush valve.

Step 9: Reattach Supply Line & Place Seat

Reattach the supply line. If your supply line is old, we suggest replacing it with a new one. Slowly turn on the water shutoff valve and allow the tank to fill. Check for leaks.

Many two-piece toilets do not come with seats. Select a seat that will fit the model you have chosen.  Follow the manufacturer instructions to attach the seat.

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