How to Replace a Toilet

When cost is an issue, save by replacing your own toilet instead of hiring a plumber.


Up next in Bathroom Repair (13 videos)

Learn how to fix many bathroom plumbing problems yourself with the step-by-step instructions in this Howcast video series about bathroom repair.

You Will Need

  • Sponge
  • Rubber tube
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Putty knife
  • New wax ring
  • New toilet
  • Caulk
  • Utility knife (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Get rid of water

    Turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to remove most of the water. Use a sponge to soak up any water remaining in the tank and the bowl, or siphon the remaining water out with a rubber tube.

  2. Step 2

    Disconnect supply line

    Disconnect the brass compression nut connecting the supply line to the toilet tank with the adjustable wrench.

  3. Step 3

    Remove closet nuts

    Remove the caps from the closet bolts located on either side of the base and protruding from the flange. Then remove the nuts from the closet bolts with your wrench.

  4. You can separate the toilet's bowl from its tank if it makes removal easier.

  5. Step 4

    Remove old wax

    Lift off the old toilet and get it out of the way. Then scrape away any residue on the flange from the old wax ring with a putty knife.

  6. Use a utility knife to cut through any caulk around the base of the toilet, making it easier to remove.

  7. Step 5

    Apply a new wax ring

    Apply a new wax ring to the flange or the bottom of the toilet -- ensuring a tight seal -- and place the new toilet over the closet bolts protruding from the flange.

  8. Step 6

    Replace fill valve and flapper

    Replace the fill valve and flapper if the old ones are damaged.

  9. Step 7

    Reconnect water

    Reconnect the water supply line. Then turn on the water and flush the toilet several times to check for leaks.

  10. Step 8

    Re-caulk around the toilet

    Re-caulk the base of the bowl to create a waterproof seal to protect your floor and to provide additional stability. Your bathroom is officially good as new!

  11. Before 20 months, toddlers' bladders empty too often for them to control when they go.