Installing a new toilet can be a rewarding DIY home project that can improve the functionality of your bathroom and the comfort of your physiological needs. There are many well known companies you can choose from at your local hardware store. Kohler and American Standard are two well known brands for quality toilets, and in this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing such a toilet in your bathroom. Remember to read and follow all detailed manufacturer instructions, safety precautions and manufacturer tips before starting.

You’ll Need:

  • Old Toilet removed with safe disposal
  • Check for intact, unbroken toilet flange
  • Toilet (with wax ring or rubber ring and all bolts included)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Hacksaw
  • Extra Toilet flange bolts (if not included)
  • Water supply line, check it is not hot water but cold water

To prepare and before you begin, make sure to turn off the water supply to your existing toilet. This is typically located as a valve behind or beneath the toilet tank. Flush the toilet to empty the tank and bowl. Place a bucket under the water supply valve to catch any residual water. 

Next remove the old toilet. Use an adjustable wrench to disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the toilet tank. Remove the nuts and washers securing the toilet to the floor. Gently rock the toilet back and forth to break the seal of the wax ring. Lift the old toilet and carefully set it aside. Be prepared for any remaining water in the bowl or on the wax ring. You may need assistance with this step. Dispose of safely and sanitarily.

Now clean and prepare the area for your new toilet install. Remove the old wax ring from the toilet flange. If it’s stubborn, use a putty knife or scraper to gently scrape it off. Clean the flange and surrounding area thoroughly. Inspect the flange to ensure it’s in good condition. If it’s damaged, you may need to replace it. Install the wax ring. Place the new wax ring on the toilet flange, making sure the tapered side is facing up.

Now install your brand new throne! Carefully lower the new toilet bowl onto the wax ring, aligning the mounting bolts with the holes in the toilet base. Secure the toilet. Install nuts and washers onto the toilet bolts and hand tighten them. Use a wrench to snugly secure the nuts, alternating between each side to ensure even pressure. Do not overtighten, as it could crack the toilet bowl. 

Check that the toilet is level in all directions using a level. If necessary, place shims underneath to level it. Trim the excess bolt length with a hacksaw if it protrudes too far above the nuts. Next attach the tank. Place the rubber gasket onto the mounting hole on the bottom of the tank. Lower the tank onto the bowl, aligning the mounting bolts with the holes in the bowl. Install nuts and washers onto the tank bolts and hand tighten them. Use a wrench to secure the nuts, being careful not to overtighten and risk damaging the tank and your entire new toilet.

Finally, connect the water supply. Reconnect the water supply line to the fill valve on the bottom of the tank. Turn on the water supply slowly to fill the tank. Check for any leaks around the base of the toilet and the water supply connection. If you notice any, tighten the nuts or connections as needed.

Test and finish! Flush the toilet several times to ensure it functions correctly and does NOT leak. Inspect the base of the toilet for any rocking or instability. If necessary, shim or adjust the leveling. Apply plumber’s tape to the water supply line threads if there are any leaks. Finally, clean up any excess wax or water using a sponge and bucket.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your new toilet. Enjoy the improved functionality and aesthetics of your upgraded bathroom. If you encounter any issues or are uncomfortable with any step of the installation, it’s always a good idea to consult your local, professional plumber for assistance.