Toilet Installation – Learn to DIY or Hire a Pro

Toilet installation in an above ground bathroom is a simple and straightforward job. It requires very few tools, a new flange and bolts, and of course, the toilet.


It’s hard to argue against its utility, but like all household fixtures, toilets get old, break down and may even crack and leak. Whether you’re adding a low-flow alternative to save water as part of a bathroom renovation or you’re taking out a broken unit that has just seen too many flushes, installing a toilet is not as tough as it may seem. In fact, an intermediate DIYer with a little plumbing know-how can get the job done (with a little bit of help) in a couple of hours.

Of course, any time you deal with plumbing and sewage there can be backups and backlogs, creating huge messes that will definitely require some professional assistance. In this case, knowing what to ask and what to expect when hiring a pro to install a toilet for you is equally important. Read on to learn what you need to know about toilet installation, from removal to that first flush, and make sure you’re prepared to get the job done, or at least prepared to hire the right person to get it done for you.

Tools & Materials You’ll Need

The tools needed to replace an old toilet and install a new one are pretty basic. However, it’s important to note that these tools and the following instructions relate only to the process used when removing an old unit and putting a new one in its place. Installing a new toilet where there wasn’t one before is a much more complex process that involves advanced plumbing knowledge. In other words, it’s not a recommended DIY project, and it’s often something that requires permitting and inspection. Here’s a list of the basic tools for the replacement task at hand:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Pliers
  • Set of screwdrivers
  • Bucket
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge and old rags (use a large car-washing sponge; these hold the most water)
  • Work gloves

You will also need several materials to complete the work. These include:

  • New toilet — either one-piece or separate tank and bowl
  • Wax ring
  • New bolts
  • New toilet seat and lid (if they’re not included with the toilet you purchased)


Measuring & Planning

Before you pick up any other tool, take out your tape measure and make sure that the dimensions of your new toilet are such that they will fit in the space of the old one. This is particularly important in older homes with …


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