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How to Replace Your Toilet in 3 Simple Steps

by MLB Real Estate Group 06/28/2020

Photo by Edgardo Lagmay on Unsplash

Nothing dates a bathroom like an old toilet. Not only have toilets advanced significantly in the past 10-15 years. Older toilets often develop hard water stains and porcelain scratches that show their age.

Fortunately, replacing a toilet is one of the most straightforward home improvement projects you can do. And it's relatively inexpensive for a DIY toilet replacement. Here's how it's done.

What You'll Need

  • A new toilet. *Pro tip* Read reviews and find one with the feature you like. Toilets are similar sizes, but you should measure from the wall to the bolt to ensure the bolts are in the right place for your new toilet.
  • Rubber work gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge
  • Hacksaw 
  • Wrenches
  • Towel
  • Nuts/Bolts
  • Closet flange
  • Washers
  • Wax ring
  • Garbage bag
  • Some of these items will come with a toilet. So see what's in the box before you buy separately.

    Remove the Old Toilet

    Before you do, turn off the water supply on the wall behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to empty the remaining water. Then while wearing gloves, use your sponge and towel to sop up any liquid left behind in the bowl and the tank behind the bowl.

    If the toilet's tank can separate from the bowl, remove it first for a lighter lift. You only need the hack saw if the bolts are rusted solid. Otherwise, you just need a wrench. 

    Put the dirty toilet in a big plastic bag and take it outside for now.

    Remove Old Wax

    Stick an old hand towel gently into the mouth of the hole left behind to block sewer gasses floating into your house. *Pro tip* Don't use a washcloth. You may lose it. If it falls down your drain, you may need a plumber to get it out.

    Next, use your putty knife to carve out the old wax around the hole in the floor. It's soft, so this is easy on the hands, but it may take a little while to dig it all out.

    Remove the old closet bolts and the flange if needed. They're cheap to replace.

    Install the New Flange, Bolts & Wax Ring

    Lay down your new flange and place your bolts pointing up. These will secure the base of your toilet. Tightening down washers over the bolts holds the bolts in place, so it will be easier to slide your toilet over the top.

    Next, soften the wax ring with warm water. And then fit it around the drain on the underside of the toilet. Don't forget to remove the towel from the pipe before going further.

    Lower Your Toilet into Place

    Carefully lower the bowl of the toilet over the bolts. Press down firmly to strengthen the wax seal. Then fasten the bolts on the bowl and tank. Hook up the water, tighten, and watch as the tank fills ready to shut it off the hose leaks. Tighten it.

    And you've just replaced your toilet. Don't forget to follow our blog for more helpful home tips.

    About the Author
    Author

    MLB Real Estate Group

    Mary Lou Buckley

    A full-time Realtor © for 25 years, MaryLou has transacted business from raw land sales to luxury homes in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She prides herself in having a diversified background, and great local knowledge of the southern New Hampshire and northeast Massachusetts markets. A prior product manager in the electronics industry, MaryLou takes pride in her marketing knowledge and skills.  

    Her hard work and dedication to each client has resulted in quality relationships with buyers and sellers as well as consistent leadership awards. Her commitment to the industry in general has been demonstrated by her service on the Granite State South Board of Realtors Board of directors, the Granite State South Board of Realtors Ethics Committee, as well as membership in the New Hampshire Association of Realtors, Massachusetts Association of Realtors, Northern New England Real Estate Network (NH Multiple Listing) and Massachusetts Property Information Network (MA Multiple Listing).

    She is a consistent multi-million dollar producer who credits her success with the repeat referral business from her past and present clients. They have helped her become a highly respected and recognized Realtor © within the community.

    A resident of southern New Hampshire for 27 years, MaryLou lives in Atkinson with her husband, Michael.

    Amy Wholley

    New to the industry and eager to help you with your needs, Amy Wholley is a licensed Realtor © in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. With a passion for service in the southern NH area, Amy is ready to help with your home buying and selling needs. As a proud member of the Coco, Early & Associates family and an active member of the Realtor © association, Amy carries the values of hard work, integrity, and outstanding client service into everything she does.

    When Amy is not making home ownership dreams come true for her clients, she enjoys spending time with her young family and going to the beach to soak up the sunshine. Originally from southern Maine, Amy now lives in Pelham, NH with husband, Mark and two sons, Liam and Finn.