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How to install a new toilet

Sep 13

We tell you the best way to install a new toilet

There are plenty of reasons why you might need to or want to want to install a new toilet in your home. Maybe your toilet has gotten old and starting leak or crack. You might be redecorating your home to make your bathroom more stylish. 

whatever the reason, you might want to do the job yourself. If you plan on installing your new toilet yourself, there are some tools and equipment you’ll need. If you’re a noob, you will need a guide on how to do this. 


Here we’ll explain everything you need to know about installing a new toilet, what you need and what you can do with your old toilet. 

Tools and materials you’ll need 

To install a new toilet in your home, you don’t need a lot of tools. Also, modern pans have made the process of installing a toilet even easier. Below we’ve listed the tools you need to install a toilet and some extra tools you’ll need. These include:

  • Adjustable pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Silicone 
  • Wrenches


In most cases, you’ll be able to use the tools mentioned above to remove an old toilet. 


However, you might need some extra plumbing tools if you’re installing a completely new toilet or a toilet that has cisterns (tanks) that aren’t connected directly to the pan. You’ll need these extra tools if you’re installing a wall hung toilet or a traditional high-level toilet. These tools will include: 

  • Box Spanner
  • Bucket
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Pipe Cutter or Hacksaw
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Spirit Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Towel 


Tip: You might also need a flexible hose to connect your tank or cistern and ensure that it’s supplied with cold water. 

How to remove an old toilet 

If you’re looking to remove an old toilet or want to change the flooring in your bathroom, in this article, we’ll explain how to remove a toilet as conveniently as possible. Below we’ve outlined a step-by-step guide on how to do it and a few things that you need to remember. 


Tip: Before you even touch your toilet, it’s best to wipe it clean with an antibacterial wipe or cleaner. Wiping your toilet clean will make this process less disgusting. It’s also recommended that you wear safety gloves to keep your hands clean while you work. 

Step 1: Switch off the water

The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your tank or cistern doesn’t have any water left inside. You can do this by using the isolation valve on the water to switch off your water supply. 

Once you’ve done this, you should flush the toilet until there is no water left in the tank. You can tell that the water supply is switched off when the tank isn’t filled up with water. 


In most cases, you will still find a small amount of water will still be in the tank. To get rid of this last bit of this water, you can use an old towel to soak up the water at the bottom of the tank. 

You can wring out this towel over a bucket. You can repeat these steps until there’s not a drop left in the cistern.


Step 2: Disconnect the water pipe 

After you’ve done ensuring that your cistern is bone dry, you will need to use your wrench to loosen the pipe that feeds the water to your cistern and disconnect the pipe. 

Just be aware that a few drops of water might spill out of the pipe. To prevent any messes, you will need to place a towel or bucket under the pipe to catch any drops of water. 

Step 3: Remove the fixing bolts

Typically, your toilet will be fixed to the floor with a few bolts. Here, you’ll need to methodically unscrew the washers and nuts to free the toilet from the floor. If the nuts are covered with plastic caps, you can use a screwdriver to remove them. 

In some cases, the base of your toilet will have silicone around it to ensure that it’s more stable. If this is the case with your toilet, you just remove the silicone to free your toilet. 

Step 4: Detach the toilet from the soil pipe

The last thing you need to remove is the soil or waste pipe. This pipe will be located at the back or at the bottom of your toilet. 

The soil pipe will be connected to your toilet via an outlet at the back of the toilet. You’ll need to work the toilet loose from the pipe carefully. You should be able to remove your toilet easily. 

Step 5. Cover the soil pipe 

Lastly, you’ll need to use a bag or cloth to cover and seal the waster or soil pipe. This step is important because it will prevent smelly and potentially hazardous gasses from coming into your bathroom from the sewers. 

Once the toilet has been removed, you will be able to check for any bits that might need to be replaced. You will also be able to check your bolts and nuts for any wear or rust. You’ll need to replace the bolts when you install your new toilet if you need to. 

Your toilet will have a wax seal if your soil or waste pipe is under the toilet. Scrape away the wax with a scraper tool. 

What to do with an old toilet 

Just because you’ve removed your toilet, it doesn’t mean that it’s been flushed into thin air. Sadly, you will need to get rid of it yourself. But before you take your toilet anywhere, you’ll need to ensure that your toilet is clean and dry. 

One way to get rid of your old toilet would be to take it to a local household waste recycling centre (HWRC). Many of us will know this play as the tip, and when you get there, you can ask the assistant about the best way to get rid of your toilet. 

It’s recommended that you speak to the assistants at the tip before disposing of your toilet. You will need to ensure that they will accept your old toilet.

How to install a new toilet 

Now that you know how to remove your old toilet, it’s time to learn how to install your new toilet. Don’t let the thought intimidate you. The process is fairly simple, and below we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on installing a new toilet. 

Step 1: Install the New Mounting Bolts and Wax Ring 

Your water supply should be shut off at this point in the process. You need to keep your water supply shut off to avoid having water dripping and leaking and leaving a mess in your bathroom. 

You can start installing your new toilet when you’re sure that your water supply is switched off. Your new toilet should come with its own new mounting bolts. 

You will need to ensure that you secure these new bolts where the old bolts were. You will also need to remember to install the new wax ring on the sewer pipe to avoid water leaks in the future. 

Step 2: Fit the Toilet and Tighten the Nuts 

Now you should move the body of your new toilet slowly and carefully over your newly placed bolts. You need to make sure that the bolts align with the holes. 

Once you have the bolts poking through the holes, you can start to tighten the bolts with the nuts. Your newly installed toilet should now be securely connected to the floor and your sewer pipe. 

Step 3: Install Your New Cistern 

Now you can install the new cistern and tank. It’s important to remember that you need to do this step if you’re installing a one-piece toilet with a tank or cistern attached to the toilet itself. Here you just need to pick up the cistern and attach it to the toilet body with your tools and equipment. 

Step 4: Connect The Water Supply 

Now that you’ve fastened your toilet in place, you can turn your water supply. When you do this, you should keep an eye out for leaks. 

Step 5: Turn On the Water and Check for Leaks 

Now you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste. You should check for leaks and drips when you switch on your water supply to avoid this. You can flush the toilet a few times to ensure that there is no water dripping onto your bathroom floor. 

Installing a toilet FAQ 

How long does it take to install a toilet? 

Typically, installing a new toilet can take between one and four hours. How long it will take will depend on your experience and the kind of toilet you’re planning to install in your bathroom. 

There’s also the time needed to fit a toilet seat after installing your new toilet. You might also want to fit a bidet when you’re busy installing your new toilet, which could take more time. 

Is it easy to fit a new toilet? 

It shouldn’t be difficult to install a new toilet to an existing pipe in your bathroom. But if you’re installing a new toilet from scratch, it will be best to call in a qualified plumber to install a new toilet. 

Before you even start the process, it’s best that you check your new toilet for any damage and that you have all the parts and fittings you need to install your new toilet. 

Final thoughts 

Installing a new toilet doesn’t have to be a complicated process. You need to ensure you have the tools and materials you need within reach. Preparation is key. The next step is to follow the steps. 

But if you’re nervous about installing a new toilet, we recommend that you consult an expert or a plumber. It’s essential to keep in mind that you’ve switched off your water supply before you start installing the new toilet. This will make the whole process easier and more pleasant. 


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