(800) 853-3908
Gardens Home Management Services
Home Care Tips
Replace Your Toilet
Gardens Home Management has the information and expertise to help you manage your home and keep you informed.
Home Care Tips and FAQ for Managing Your Home
» Back to Tips

How to Replace Your Toilet

How to Replace Your Toilet

A cracked toilet bowl means one thing: you will need to replace your toilet in its entirety. The toilet cannot be repaired, but it can be replaced and just maybe youíll want to tackle this job yourself.

While many people may feel comfortable with handling a toilet repair job, replacing the entire toilet is more involved and requires such tools as an adjustable wrench, a tape measure, a screwdriver, a putty knife, silicone caulk, toilet bolts, a sponge, a level, a wax ring and, of course, the replacement toilet. Expect to spend about two or three hours on this job, but you stand to save significantly on a plumberís bill and come away with a new unit that saves water, looks great and functions as designed.

1. Take a measurement. With your tape measure at the ready, measure the distance from the wall to the toiletís floor bolts. If it measures 12 inches, then you have a standard toilet. Otherwise, you will have to shop for a nonstandard toilet.

2. Turn the water connection off. Reach behind the left side of the toilet and turn the water supply valve off. Turn the valve to the right to shut off the water. Next, flush the toilet to empty the tank.

3. Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Lift the lid off the toilet tank and place it to the side or in another room. With sponge in hand sop up the residual water in the tank and then do the same for the inside of the bowl.

4. Remove and disconnect. Underneath the tank you will find the tank bolts, generally located toward the center of the tank. Remove the bolts and then disconnect the water supply line. Keep a sponge handy to sop up residual water.

5. Remove the now separated tank from the bowl. Place the tank to the side; work with a partner if the tank is too heavy for you to remove by yourself.

6. Remove the floor bolts. Covering the floor bolts are decorative caps that must be removed before accessing the floor bolts. Remove the floor bolts with an adjustable wrench and set these to the side.

7. Lift the toilet bowl from the floor. Now fully disconnected, you can remove the toilet bowl from the floor. First, rock the bowl back and forth to break the wax seal. Second, lift the bowl from its position and place it to the side. Third, scrape away the residual wax with a putty knife and cover over the drain with a rag to prevent sewer fumes from entering the bathroom.

8. Prepare the new toilet. Carefully place the new toilet upside down. Fit a new wax ring around the hole in the new toilet. Remove the rag covering the hole.

9. Turn the toilet bowl right side up and place it over the anchor bolts. Use new bolts if needed. The wax ring should seal the bowl to the floor. Tighten the nuts by hand. Use a level to ensure that the new toilet is level; make use of shins to balance the same if needed. Finish tightening the bolts with your adjustable wrench, taking care not to over tighten and risk cracking the bowl. Place decorative caps on top of the bolts.

10. Put the bowl tank it place. Pick up the new bowl tank and put it in place on the back of the toilet. Tighten the bolts by hand, install the toilet tank assembly, reconnect the water supply line and use Kwik Seal or other silicone caulk around the perimeter of the toilet base. You are now done. Flush the toilet to ensure that it is working properly ó tighten or adjust as needed.