How to Install a Toilet

Step by Step Instructions on How to Install a Toilet Yourself

By Mark J. Donovan

Installing a toilet on your own is not as difficult of a task as you might think. In fact, it’s pretty easy to do, other than the fact that it is a little heavy and awkward to lift and position into place. Nonetheless, you can install a toilet in less than an hour with just a few simple tools. A wrench or two, along with a common screwdriver is all that is necessary. For materials, besides the toilet, a few wooden shims and a toilet wax ring are all that are required.

Purchasing a Toilet

The first step in installing a toilet is to purchase one. You can find toilets at any home improvement center or plumbing supply store.

The standard toilet ranges in cost from anywhere between $175 to $500 depending upon quality and features. That said, you can spend even more on toilets if you desire a pressure flush toilet.

Keep in mind when shopping for a new toilet that government mandates require toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less, whereas prior to the mandates toilets typically used up to 5 gallons per flush. So if you are concerned about flushing problems with these newer toilets, which many people are, you may want to look around for an old used toilet. I will say, however, that toilet manufacturers have finally got their “stuff” straight with these newer low water consuming toilets. So your fears of toilet clogs today with these newer toilets are less warranted.

Setting the New Toilet

Toilets come in two parts, the toilet bowl and the toilet tank. So the first step in installing a toilet is to attach the toilet bowl to the toilet flange. The toilet flange is the opening in the bathroom floor where the toilet sits on.

First make sure to remove any plug or rag that may be in the closet flange prior to seating the toilet bowl.

Next, turn the toilet bowl over and afix a toilet wax ring to the bottom outlet of it.

How to install a toilet like a professional plumber.

Now install the toilet closet bolts (approximately 2 inches in length) into the slots on the closet flange.

Then place the toilet bowl over the closet flange. Make sure you position the toilet so that the closet bolts slide through the two bolt openings in the toilet bowl base. As you position the toilet bowl into place rock it back and forth down onto the flange to ensure that the wax ring seats well and creates an air tight seal.

Next place a level on the toilet to make sure it is level. If it is not, use your wooden shims to make the toilet level.

Then, attach nuts and washers to the closet bolts and gently tighten with a wrench. Make sure to not over-tighten the nuts or else you may crack the toilet bowl.

Attach Tank to Bowl

With the toilet bowl installed, now install the tank onto it. Make sure to install the rubber gasket between the tank and the bowl prior to seating the tank on the bowl. Use the tank bolts, nuts and washers, along with a wrench and screwdriver to secure the tank to the bowl.

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Install the Toilet Tank Fill Valve and Float Supply

Place the toilet tank fill valve and float assembly into the toilet tank inlet hole in the bottom of the tank. Secure it in place by attaching the plastic fastening nut to the bottom end of it which protrudes out the underside of the toilet tank.

Next attach the toilet handle to the toilet tank.

Then attach the toilet water supply line to the bottom end (extending out of the base of the tank) using a wrench.

Next, turn the valve on to the toilet water supply line.

Finally, apply a bead of silicone caulk around the entire base of the bowl to complete the toilet installation!

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