How to Install a Toilet
Featured Image: VTC1991
A new toilet can move a bathroom ahead by decades in both style and function. If the bathroom already has the plumbing flange in place from a previous installation or new construction, most homeowners can handle the installation on their own. Get a friend to help lift the toilet in place to make sure it’s easy to get a tight seal on the wax ring.
Put on the Wax Ring
Check the plumbing flange where the base of the toilet will bolt onto the sewer connection. If it’s in good shape and the right size for the new toilet, all that’s needed is a new wax ring. Remove any old wax and caulk from around the flange with a putty knife, then press a new wax ring down onto the flange. It’s also possible to carefully tilt the toilet and attach the wax ring to its base instead, but this is best done with helpers.
Lower the Toilet Base
Once the wax ring is in place on either the flange or the bottom of the toilet base, it’s time to put the base and bowl in place. Most toilets are quite heavy, so use proper lifting techniques and recruit a friend to make it easier. Having a helper also allows someone to lean over and check for alignment while lowering the base onto the wax ring. Before pressing the toilet base down and compressing the ring, check for alignment with the bolts coming up through the flange. When everything is aligned, press the base down evenly until it contacts the floor, and bolt it down. Tighten the bolts sequentially in small amounts around the base to avoid putting pressure on any one point and tilting the bowl.
Attach the Tank and Water Supply
If the gasket is not already in place at the top of the toilet base, install the one the manufacturer included. The tank should fit on the back of the bowl, just like the base fit over the bolts on the floor. Gently lower the tank while feeling for alignment with all the bolts, then tighten them a few turns each until the tank is making good contact with the gasket and bowl. All that’s left then is a reconnection to the water line and a test flush. A bottle of leak detection dye is recommended for spotting leaks at the floor or tank base immediately rather than later.