Today, I am having my first guest post on Homemade Everyday! Ian is going to go over how to install a new toilet in your home. When you do things yourself, you can end up saving hundreds by avoiding installation fees! I would have done this post, but when our toilet needed to be installed I had to be at a class. So, Ian took charge, and he asked me if he could do a post for you all. Ian loves being handy and fixing things, and I think he is excited to show you what he knows. Here is Ian’s post!
Howdy! My name is Ian McCord, and, today, I will be sharing with you the basics of replacing a whole toilet. For those of you who do not know, I am Megan’s handy man (also, her husband). Also, pardon the lower quality pics (I am not quite the photographer my wife is). These photos were brought to you by an Apple iPhone 6 versus Megan’s Nikon D5300. A little back story on why we needed to replacing our toilet:
Back in June, Megan’s parents came into town for about a week as they were passing through headed to Florida. The Hodge family seems to have some very unfortunate luck. I have learned all about this dating Megan (and having to overcome this unlucky stream myself lol).
They came in on a Sunday, and I had to work that week. As normal, I headed to work. Around 10:00am or so, I got a text from Megan. She told me the toilet had stopped flushing. I was perplexed, as there had been no signs of the toilet struggling. As she explained to me what was happening, her dad told her he was certain it was the valve to shut off water to the toilet (picture below)
I can’t say I really felt that is what I thought the problem was, but ok, I will play. During lunch that day, I went to snag a valve. To my discovery, there are a plethora of types of valves, sizes, etc. I decided to wait until I got home that evening to buy one, so I could look at the valve and determine a ballpark guess. Long story short there, ended up buying three of them, replaced the valve, and the toilet kinda improved. Megan and I decided to give it a day or two and see how it would do. Well, as expected, the toilet was the issue… our toilet “crapped” out (lol I am terrible about puns, I find them “punny”). So, I bought a brand new toilet Tuesday during lunch… Lunch is when I run all my errands instead of eating lol. I brought the toilet home and began to install it, so, now to the meat and potatoes of the post!
First things first, you need to buy the toilet. We went with a Kohler Cavata (elongated mouth, a light and heavy flush, and just looks good for the price!). Next, make sure you have all the necessary tools for the job:
For this job, I had six tools on hand:
– All Purpose Putty Knife
– 200mm Crescent Wrench
o I would go no bigger than that, but you should be able to get away with a smaller wrench
– Phillips Head Screw Driver
o A drill driver can be used as well
– Flat Head Screw Driver
– A steel saw
o I ended up not using it, but you may use it depending on your set up
Now that we have all our supplies, let’s double check what usually comes with the toilet:
1. The toilet bottom
3. The toilet seat and water storage tank
4. Nuts, bolts, and other hardware
Now, before you go and rip out the existing toilet, make sure you have all the tools and all the parts. The Kohler Cavata (and all the other Kohler models I believe) include all of this. But, some toilets may not have a seat or the toilet wax. So double check that everything is included, and go purchase anything that is not.
Time to uninstall the existing toilet. First you will want to turn off the water to the toilet, which is done by shutting off all the water to the house or just the valve by the toilet (the one I replaced before replacing the toilet). You will want to flush the toilet several times to drain the storage tank of all the water.
Disconnect the hose that connects the water supply to the toilet. You may need the plyers to remove it depending on how tight it is (I had to use mine).
I placed a pot underneath the hose to catch any water left in the storage tank and hose. Next, make sure you remove all the water you can from the toilet bowl and storage tank. I used towels to absorb all the water I could from the toilet. Once you do that, you can unbolt the toilet using the crescent wrench.
Once the nuts are removed (usually only two) you simply lift the toilet off the screws. Now, the toilet does weigh a descent bit, so be careful and get help if you need it (no need to have to explain that you sprained your back removing a toilet lol). Once removed, you will see the previous toilet wax seal and the flange connecting the plumbing to the toilet.
Now, before going any further, inspect the flange. If you see any cracks or issues in the flange, definitely call a plumber to repair it. While you can repair it yourself, that is generally above most individual’s skill levels. But, if it looks good (which it most likely will), we will remove the wax seal using the putty knife.
Once the wax seal is removed, unscrew the top part of the flange to remove the anchor bolts (your new toilet should come with new anchor bolts) using either a Philips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, or drill driver with the appropriate bit.
This part will very between houses, but they should just be a variation of this type flange. At this point, we are finished removing the existing toilet and associated hardware. Now, install the new anchor bolts and reinstall the flange. I would also recommend taking a moment and cleaning the floor around the flange. It can get quite dirty under the toilet, and now is the best time to clean it up.
Next, place the was seal onto the bottom of the toilet bowl.
Make sure to not press down too hard on this seal, you want to keep it “fluffy” for now. Once you have the seal in place, it is time to set the toilet in place. Once again, the toilet bowl will be heavy, so make sure to snag some help if you need it (or want to be extra careful/cautious).
As you set the toilet, you want to do your best to set the toilet where you want it the first time. Moving the toilet around after setting it (especially lifting the toilet back up) may result in a poor seal… which will lead to a very “crappy” situation (there I go again with my puns lol). You can now bolt the toilet to the floor. Your hardware with the toilet should include the anchor bolts, nuts, washers, and plastic caps to cover the bolt.
Now, if the anchor bolts provided are too long, you should use your steel saw to cut the appropriate length off the bolt to allow the plastic cap to be installed. Once the bowl is tightened down, we can install the water storage tank. For our toilet, there are three bolts pre-installed in the storage tank. You will tighten the tank down and adjust the torque on each nut to level out the tank.
Once the tank is where you want it, reattach the water supply hose to the tank and slowly crack open the valve. As you open the valve, look for any leaks associated with the toilet.
Last step is to install the seat. The toilet should include a picture or instructions on how to install their specific seat. Once your seat is installed… you will have a brand new toilet! We love our new one and have had no issues so far!
What other DYI installations have you done? What installations do you need to do or need help with? Let us know in the comments!!!!
Thanks for reading my first guest post! Hopefully there will be more to come in the future!