Mark Galante's Blog
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
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.