Toilets are one of the most important fixtures in any home. They’re used every day and they’re often overlooked until something goes wrong.
And if you’re not familiar with what’s involved, it can be a tricky process to install them when you’re remodeling your home.
So how long does it take to install a new toilet?
It will take an average of two to three hours to install a new toilet. This is assuming you have some do-it-yourself experience under your belt. However, if you are inexperienced, you can expect the project to be an hour longer.
The timing of the project itself can be faster if it’s installed by a licensed professional plumber. This option is available if you intend to spend a little bit of extra money. Yet, this guide is more focused on the do-it-yourself people like you.
This guide will show you how to install a toilet step by step. We’ll also answer questions that will apply to installing your toilet (including the type you’re adding to your bathroom). Follow along if you want to add one more notch to your DIY belt.
By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to connect with other homeowners and builders and get more great ideas for your home to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality here.
Is installing a toilet hard?
No. It’s quite simple to install a toilet. However, it will depend on your skill level of installing any kind of plumbing appliances.
It’s always a good idea to have an extra person on hand while installing the toilet. That’s because you will be busy fastening and tightening things in place. Even though it will take a few hours, you will be able to follow the instructions step by step and install almost any type of toilet.
How often should I replace my toilet?
Every 50 years, a toilet will need to be replaced. What you need to keep in mind is that if you keep the toilet well-maintained, it will last a long time. If something is wrong with it, you’ll want to deal with it as soon as possible.
Otherwise, the average toilet may last 10 to 15 years if it’s being used a bit more often than normal. You’ll want to keep an eye out for any signs on when a toilet will need to be replaced. With that said, we’ll discuss that more in the next section.
What are the signs that your toilet needs to be replaced?
If your toilet experiences the following:
- Clogging that is constant
- Wobbly toilet
- Frequent repairs
- Build up of mineral deposits
- Flushing that is inefficient
Then you will need to get the toilet replaced as soon as possible. Think about it: with the frequent repairs made, you will be spending more money on replacement parts. Not to mention, you may be losing more water than normal (which can cost you more than it has to).
It’s important that you keep an eye out for these signs. If these problems persist, it’s time to replace the toilet. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late (such as your water bill gaining in balance within a month or so).
How do I get rid of an old toilet?
There are three ways to dispose of a toilet properly. Let’s take a look at your options:
- Dispose like normal: You can dispose your toilet by taking it to your local landfill or drop it off to where your garbage removal service can pick it up along with the rest of your trash. Simple, straightforward, and the most popular option.
- Recycle it: Yes, you can recycle porcelain toilet. However, the biggest challenge is finding a place that will accept it. That’s where you can ask your local water department or someone within your local city or town government who will point you in the right direction. There’s a chance that while your local recycling center will accept recyclable materials, they may not accept a toilet bowl made of porcelain (since the material itself isn’t really recyclable).
- Donate it: The good news is that there are charities that can allow you to donate a toilet. One such charity is Habitat For Humanity. Since they are always looking for building materials, old toilets may be one of the many things they’ll need. If you have no other disposal options or if you just want to donate materials for the sake of giving back, this will be perfect for you.
How do you install a toilet?
Here’s how to install a toilet from start to finish:
1. Remove the old toilet
First, you’ll want to remove the toilet itself. There are prerequisites to follow before you do this. Make sure the water supply is shut off using the valve located on either the wall or floor close to the toilet.
Next, flush the toilet and plunge any of the remaining water. Wear rubber gloves and remove any water manually using a sponge and bucket (this also includes the toilet tank). Using an adjustable wrench, disconnect the toilet from the supply line.
Make sure to clean up any water that may leak from the water supply line itself. Before removal, double check to see if the valve is completely off.
2. Check the toilet flange
Your next task would be checking on the toilet flange. The purpose of this is determining if it needs to be replaced or not. If it’s in good condition, it won’t need to be replaced.
If you notice any cracks or if it’s broken, then replacing the flange will need to be done before you install the toilet itself.
3. Install your new toilet seal
Next, we’ll need to install the toilet seal. To do this, you’ll want to rest the toilet bowl on its side while on a padded surface. Attach the seal at the bottom of the toilet bowl.
You can install the seal on the toilet flange if you believe it to be the best possible option. One thing to note is that you’ll want to pay attention to the thickness of your bathroom’s tiling. If it’s thick, then you’ll want to consider installing a thicker toilet seal or wax ring.
4. Placing the toilet on the flange
Next, you’ll want to place your new toilet on the flange. Make sure the toilet bowl bolt holes are in alignment with the base. For better grip, place your hands on the inner rim of the toilet instead of the outer rim.
Press down so you can set the seal. It may also help to have an extra set of eyes or even hands to assist you. At this point, you’ll want to make sure the seat isn’t tilted of moved.
5. Bolt it to the floor
Your next task will be to bolt the toilet bowl to the floor. Add a washer and nut to each bolt and tighten them evenly. Be sure to alternate between each nut and do not over-tighten them.
If the bolt itself extends itself well beyond the nut and bolt, you can cut off the excess using a hacksaw. Also, you want to avoid caulking the toilet at the base. What the caulk does is trap water that is seeping out of the base of your toilet.
This can lead to floor damage and can lead to an even greater disaster. Not to mention, you may be dealing with mildew or mold growth.
6. Attach the tank (if installing a two-piece toilet)
Note: this will apply if you are installing a two-piece toilet. If you are installing a one-piece toilet, skip this step. Otherwise, let’s continue.
Install the toilet tank to the bowl by using the ‘tank to bowl’ gasket. Make sure it’s attached to the base of the flush valve. Go inside the tank and install the tank bolts and washers.
Next, you can install the tank by aligning it with the bolt shanks with the bowl holes. Cut off any excess of the bolts with the hacksaw of they extend well past the bolts and washers. Secure it by tightening the bolts (alternating between them to ensure they don’t over-tighten).
Once attached, make sure the toilet is installed on the supply line.
7. Add the toilet seat and lid
Next, install the toilet seat and lid. While there are so many types, you want to find one that will fit perfect. Seats for an elongated bowl will be the best option for most toilets.
However, you also have round toilet seats that will be great for smaller bathrooms. Be sure to follow the instructions to install the toilet bowl.
8. Test it out
Turn on the water valve to fill up the tank. Then, flush the toilet and see that it isn’t leaking at the base. At this point, you should be done installing the toilet itself.
It’s a DIY project that can be easy to do with the right instructions.
If you plan on installing a toilet, it’s important to determine whether your old one needs to be replaced first. Whether it’s a one-piece toilet or a two-piece toilet, it’s easier than you think.
Plus, you don’t need to be a professional plumber to install one. All it takes is a few hours of your time and a bit of skill to get the job done. You may need to install a new one because it’s time or you may have had unexpected issues to where you have no choice but to replace it.
Your toilet replacement cost will be a lot lower if you do it yourself. Otherwise, you may need to get a professional on board to do the job for you.
Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home redesigns & renovations and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home the best it can be?
Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality to connect with other people like you to make your space the best!