How to Install a Toilet

In the United States, all bathroom remodeling and new construction projects are required to have low-flow, water-conserving toilets. These toilets only use 1.6 gallons (6.1 liters) of water each time they are flushed, and come in two types: pressure-assisted toilets and gravity-flush toilets. When preparing to install a toilet, it does not actually matter which type of toilet you choose.

To install a toilet, you will need a toilet, a ratchet or basin wrench, an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver, a tubing cutter, plumber's putty, tank bolts, rubber washers, supply tube, coupling nuts, mounting nuts, seat bolts, and a wax ring and sleeve. You will also need to remove your old toilet and clean the floor before you are ready to install the new one.

It is easiest to install a toilet when it comes in two pieces. First, turn the toilet bowl upside down and put an unused wax ring and sleeve onto the toilet horn. Apply plumber's putty all the way around the bottom edge of the toilet base and position it over the toilet flange in the floor, with the bolts in the floor positioned to fit through the holes in the base of the toilet. The bolts should be clean and point straight up, and the toilet flange should be clean.

Place the toilet bowl on the floor, exactly where you want it, and press down firmly, so that the wax ring is compressed and the plumber's putty adheres to the floor. Next, attach washers and nuts to the bolts in the floor and tighten them until they are secure. Attach the trim caps that match the toilet unit.

The toilet tank is the next section to be installed. Before you can install a toilet tank, you must set it upside-down so that you can put the spud washer onto the flush valve's tailpiece. When this is done, turn the tank right-side up and set it into its position on the bowl. The spud washer should be centered over the opening for water to enter near the back end of the toilet bowl.

service man The toilet tank will need to be shifted slightly until the bolt holes in the bowl flange are directly under the bolt holes in the toilet tank. Put the rubber washers onto the bolts, then insert each bolt down through the lined up holes.

Underneath the bowl flange, the ends of the bolts can be seen. Attach a washer and a nut to each bold and tighten them with a basin wrench or a ratchet wrench until they are secure, being careful not to overtighten the bolts.

A piece of supply tube needs to be cut to just fit between the toilet tank and the shutoff valve. Attach the supply tube to the shutoff valve first, and then to the fill valve tailpiece. Tighten the nuts, using an adjustable wrench, until they are snug.

Finally, the toilet seat is ready to be mounted. This is possibly the easiest part of installing a toilet. Simply place the seat on the toilet, and tighten the mounting nuts from below until the seat is secure.

Being able to install a toilet ensures that homeowners can choose what toilet best suits their needs, as there is a wide variety in style, price, and quality of toilets. Homeowners can also replace their old toilets with newer, water-saving models.

Written by Bronwyn Harris

Related Home Institute Articles

  • Introduction to Toilets
  • Toilet Buying Guide