The Basics of DIY Toilet Installation

September 9, 2021


For the handy DIY-er, replacing your toilet and bathroom plumbing can be easy and affordable. While the average installation cost by a plumber ranges from $150 to $180, a DIY toilet installation can slice your total project costs in half.

To find out how to install a toilet yourself, take a look at our helpful guide! Keep reading for the best toilet seat.

1. Measure Your New Toilet

The last thing you want to do is find out your new toilet is too big after you've started installation.

To avoid this issue, measure from the back wall (not the baseboard) to the closet bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. If you're tight on space, buying a round bowl instead of an elongated one can save you from banging your knees against the wall every time you have to go.

2. Install the Bolts

Now that you've gotten the prep work out of the way, you're ready to start installing your toilet bowl!

Start by blocking stuffing a rag into your soil pipe to stop sewer gas from filtering into your bathroom. After that, slide your bolts into the slots on the flange and tightening them. Use washers or nuts to make aligning your toilet easier.

3. Securing the Wax Ring

A wax ring helps secure your toilet to the floor and prevents it from rocking or leaking.

The best way to install a wax ring is to run it under warm water to soften it. You can then press the ring onto the toilet outlet or the bottom of the new bowl.

Pro Tip: it's a good idea to buy a backup wax ring if you mess up on your first attempt.

4. Set the Toilet Bowl

To set the toilet, carefully lower the new bowl over the closet bolts. The bowl should sit straight on the wax ring.

Once it feels like the toilet bowl is in place, press down firmly.

5. Secure the Toilet

After the bowl is set, add the cap bases and nuts to the closet bolt. Make sure to alternate tightening the bolts on each side. This step will keep the pressure even and prevent cracking the porcelain.

Once the bolts are secure, use a hacksaw to cut off the excess bolts.

This is also the point at which your DIY plumbing skills will be used as you reattach the supply line to the exposed part of the fill valve on the bottom of the tank.

6. Prep and Place the Tank

Set the tank on top of the bowl and secure it the same way you did the bowl, alternating tightening screws on each side. It is essential to make sure the tank is level to avoid overflowing.

7. Watch for Leaks

To test your toilet, slowly turn on the water. Leaking around the supply line or the gasket base can be fixed by tightening the bolts.

But, if the toilet is leaking around the base, you may have to replace the wax ring. This means starting the whole installation process over.

Don't despair, though! Our plumbing guide will be here for you as long as you need.

How to Install a Toilet When Nothing's Going Right

If you're struggling to install a toilet on your own (and beginning to doubt your prowess as a DIY master), don't fret. Your helpful friends at are always open to act as your guide to toilet installation!

DIY Done Right

Now that you know how to install a toilet stick around to read more about home improvement and shop our beautiful decor.


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