Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing a Toilet

It’s hard to find a more important but unglamorous piece of furniture than your toilet. It’s the last thing you look at when you get up in the morning and the first thing you see when you come home at night. It’s where we go to contemplate life or just to have a quick nap.

But it can also be a source of real anxiety. Do you know that feeling when your toilet starts to clog? Or when a family member gets sick? That’s what this article is all about.

In this post, Salt Lake Bathroom Remodel Professionals will give you tips on how to know when it’s time to buy a new toilet and how to replace an old toilet effectively.

When to Replace Your Toilet?

Toilets are like the Rodney Dangerfield of home appliances: they don’t get any respect.

But while the toilet is a necessary evil we all have to face, it’s also an essential part of your home. A good toilet can run for decades, but a bad one can clog up and make you miserable.

Here are a couple of signs that suggest you may need to replace an old toilet:


If your toilet is older than 10 years, it might be time for an upgrade. Toilets only last so long before they break down and need toilet repair or replacement. Even if you don’t have problems yet, replacing a toilet before it gets too old is much easier than after the issue becomes more serious.

Frequent repairs

If your toilet needs repairs frequently—or if parts of its design seem like they’re about to fail at any moment—it may be worth replacing. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to replace a faulty toilet before its issues become so severe that they require expensive repairs from a professional plumber in Salt Lake City or even more costly replacements of parts like flappers or fill valves.

Constant clogging

If your toilet is constantly clogged or running slow, this could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. A cloggy toilet can cause all sorts of problems in your bathroom—from unpleasant odors to mold growth on the inside of the bowl. If your toilet is struggling to keep up with its job, then it’s probably time to look into getting a new one!

Cracks or damage

If you notice cracks in your toilet bowl or damage to the toilet itself (such as broken parts), then replacing it could help save you trouble down the road.

Low water pressure

If you notice that there isn’t much water pressure coming out of your faucet, then this might be a significant sign that there are problems with your pipes—and, therefore, your toilet.

Water inefficiency

Older toilets often use more water per flush compared to newer, water-efficient models. If you’re concerned about water conservation or experiencing high water bills, upgrading to a low-flow or dual-flush toilet can help save water.

Aesthetic reasons

If you’re remodeling your bathroom or simply want to update the look and style, replacing your toilet can be a part of the overall renovation.

How to measure your existing toilet so you can buy a new one that fits perfectly?

If you have a small bathroom, the last thing you want is a toilet that takes up too much space. But how do you know what size of toilet will fit in your bathroom?

But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this easy step-by-step guide on how to measure your existing toilet so you can buy a new toilet that fits perfectly.

Measure the rough-in.

The rough-in is the distance between the wall behind the toilet and the center of the drainpipe. It determines where the toilet bowl will sit in relation to the wall. To measure the rough-in, start from the wall and measure to the center of the bolts that attach the toilet bowl to the floor. Common rough-in measurements are 10 inches, 12 inches, and 14 inches.

Measure the bowl height.

You’ll want to measure the height of your existing toilet bowl from the floor to the top of the water line. A standard toilet bowl is 14 inches from the floor to the top of the water line, but you may want to check your current toilet to make sure it’s not higher or lower than that. If it’s significantly different, measure it again so you can buy a new one that fits perfectly.

Measure the bowl shape.

The next step is to measure the diameter of your toilet bowl, which is going to help you determine what size replacement toilet will fit best. To do this, you’ll need to measure from one side of your old toilet bowl to the other. If your old toilet has a round bowl and you’re replacing it with another round bowl, this should be easy enough—just use a tape measure or yardstick to get an accurate measurement. If you have an elongated shape or oval-shaped toilet instead, though, things become more complicated because these shapes take up more space than their round counterparts do, so they need more room around them in order for everything else in your bathroom not to fall over (or worse!).

Measure the tank dimensions.

Measure from side-to-side and front-to-back, then use those measurements to find a toilet with similar dimensions.

List Of Tools You’ll Need For Toilet Installation And Replacement

When it comes to installing or replacing a toilet, you’ll need several tools to ensure a smooth and successful process. Here’s a list of tools commonly required:

  • Adjustable wrench: This tool is essential for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts, such as securing the water supply line and the toilet tank to the bowl.
  • Screwdriver: A medium-sized flathead or Phillips screwdriver is often necessary for removing or installing screws, particularly those holding the toilet seat or the tank to the bowl.
  • Plunger: While not a tool specific to installation or replacement, having a plunger on hand is useful in case of any blockages during or after the process.
  • Hacksaw: In some cases, you may need to cut bolts or other materials during the installation or removal. A hacksaw can help with these cutting tasks.
  • Putty knife: A putty knife is handy for scraping away old wax rings or caulk from the toilet’s base during removal or installation.
  • Adjustable pliers: These come in handy for various tasks, such as tightening or loosening nuts and bolts that may be hard to reach with a wrench.
  • Wax ring: When learning how to install a toilet, a new wax ring is needed to create a watertight seal between the toilet base and the waste pipe.
  • Level: A level helps ensure the toilet is installed evenly and does not wobble. This is important for proper functioning and preventing leaks.
  • Bucket and towels: Having a bucket and towels nearby can be useful for catching water and preventing any spills or messes during the installation or removal process.
  • Safety gloves and goggles: While not necessarily tools, it’s important to prioritize safety during any DIY project. Wearing gloves and goggles can protect your hands and eyes.

How To Install A New Toilet?

If you’re ready to take on your next DIY project, installing a new toilet is one of the easiest ways to get started. It can be as simple as calling a plumber, but if you’re looking for a way to save money and impact your home, this project is worth doing yourself. Here are 10 steps on how to install a new toilet:

Prepare the area:

  • Turn off the water supply to the existing toilet by closing the shut-off valve near the floor.
  • Flush the toilet to drain as much water as possible. Use a sponge or towel to remove any remaining water from the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the tank.

Remove the old toilet:

  • Remove the nuts securing the toilet bowl to the floor bolts using an adjustable wrench.
  • Gently rock the toilet back and forth to break the seal created by the wax ring.
  • Lift the toilet straight up and set it aside on a towel or old newspapers.
  • Remove the old wax ring from the flange using a putty knife. Inspect the flange for any damage or corrosion.

Install the new wax ring:

  • Place the new wax ring or wax-free gasket onto the flange, ensuring it aligns with the waste pipe opening.

Position the new toilet:

  • Carefully lower the new toilet bowl onto the wax ring, aligning the bolt holes on the base with the floor bolts.
  • Gently press down on the toilet bowl to compress the wax ring and create a seal.

Secure the toilet bowl:

  • Place the washers and nuts onto the floor bolts and tighten them using an adjustable wrench. Take care not to overtighten and crack the toilet.
  • Use a level to ensure the toilet is level and adjust as necessary by adding shims under the base.

Install the tank:

  • Place the rubber gasket or foam ring onto the flush valve opening at the tank’s bottom.
  • Carefully lower the tank towards the bowl in a way that it aligns well with the mounting holes and the bowl’s bolts.
  • Insert the bolts and tighten all the nuts by hand until snug. Do not overtighten to avoid damaging the tank.

Connect the water supply:

  • Attach the water supply line to the fill valve on the bottom of the tank and tighten all the nut utilizing an adjustable wrench. Make sure it is securely connected.

Test and adjust:

  • Turn on the water supply and inspect for any leaks around the toilet connections. Tighten as needed.
  • Flush the toilet and observe its operation. Ensure proper flushing and refilling of the tank.

Install a new toilet seat:

  • Make sure to follow the toilet manufacturer’s instructional guide to install the toilet seat onto the bowl using the provided hardware.

Clean up and dispose of the old toilet:

  • Clean any additional wax or debris around the new toilet.
  • Properly dispose of the old toilet according to local regulations.

DIY Vs. Professional Toilet Installation

Installation of a toilet can be done by both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. If you are confused about which option is better, we are here to help you decide.

Here’s a comparison table outlining the differences between DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and professional toilet installation:


Aspect DIY Toilet Installation Professional Toilet Installation
Cost Lower cost, as you save on labor fees. Higher cost, as you pay for professional services.
Skill and Experience Requires basic plumbing knowledge and skills. Professionals have expertise and experience.
Time May take longer, especially for inexperienced DIYers. Usually quicker due to professional efficiency.
Tools and Equipment Requires obtaining necessary tools and equipment. Professionals bring their own tools and equipment.
Guarantee and Warranty Limited or no warranty on the installation. Often comes with a warranty or guarantee of service.
Potential Errors Higher risk of making mistakes or errors. Professionals minimize the chances of errors.
Code Compliance DIYers need to ensure compliance with local codes. Professionals are knowledgeable about code compliance.
Additional Services DIYers are responsible for any additional tasks (e.g., flange repair). Professionals can provide additional services if needed.
Convenience and Support Relies on self-guidance and online resources. Professional installers offer guidance and support.


What kind of toilet should I choose?

There are many different types of toilets available on the market today. You can choose from traditional toilets with tanks underneath them or more modern models with no tank (called “composting” toilets). You can also get ones made out of ceramic or stainless steel, both durable materials but tend not to hold up over time as plastic ones do when exposed to sunlight over long periods (more than 15 years). 

Can I install a toilet myself?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you try to install a toilet yourself, and if something does go wrong, you will be the one who will deal with it. You might accidentally cut the water supply line or the sewer line, which can cause flooding in your house or even sewage backups in your yard. You might not get the toilet installed properly, or you may not have toilet replacement parts, and it will leak or clog quickly. It just makes sense to hire a bathroom remodels professional who knows what they’re doing to do this job for you!

How long does it take to install a toilet?

It depends on the size of your bathroom and how many contractors are working on it at once. But generally, it’ll take about 30 minutes to install the toilet and another 30 minutes to clean up the mess afterward.

How long after installation can a toilet be used?

It’s best to let the installation process settle in for 24 hours before using a toilet. We recommend that you do not use your toilet for at least 24 hours after installation, as this will allow any water that may have been trapped in the plumbing to evaporate and any debris from the installation process to be flushed out of the system. If you have any questions about this process or anything else related to your new toilet, please don’t hesitate to contact our plumbers in Salt Lake City!

How do I make sure my toilet doesn’t clog?

If you have an older toilet that’s prone to clogging, go for a toilet flapper replacement with one that has a larger opening. This will allow more water through, so less sediment can get caught in the tramway. It may be worth it to upgrade your whole toilet if this is an ongoing problem!

How do I replace my toilet seat?

The first step is to remove the old toilet seat. You can do this by taking a screwdriver and prying up the top of the seat. Then, use a wrench to loosen the nuts connecting the bolts that hold the seat in place under the toilet. Once they are loosened, you should be able to lift out the old seat. (Be careful not to drop anything into the toilet!). For toilet seat replacement with a new one, simply line it up with your bolts and drop it down into place over them. Tighten your nuts back onto them using your wrench so that it stays secure.

How do I replace the toilet handle?

Toilet handle replacement is simple! All you need to do is turn off the water supply to your toilet and remove the old handle. Then all you have to do is screw in your new one.

Need Help? Call The Best Bathroom Remodel Professionals in Salt Lake City!

If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable, and trustworthy team of bathroom remodeling professionals to help you with your toilet installation needs, look no further than Mr. Expert Plumbing

Our company has been around for over 20 years now, and we’ve grown into one of the most prominent names in bathroom remodeling services in Utah. We’ve helped thousands of clients throughout the state find that perfect look for their bathrooms so we can help you too!

We offer a wide range of plumbing services, including:

– Bathroom Plumbing

– Faucet repair/installation

– Toilet installation/repair/replacement

– Water heater repair/installation

– Clogged drain cleaning

– Leak detection and repair

– Sewer line repair

– 24*7 emergency plumbing service

– Resident and commercial plumbing service

– And many more…

Our team of licensed, skilled, and insured plumbers is dedicated to providing our customers with unparalleled services so that they can know that your toilet installation will be handled properly. 

We know that sometimes hiring the right professional can seem overwhelming, especially when it comes to installing something as important as a toilet in your home. That’s why we’ve taken all the guesswork out of hiring a bathroom remodeler by developing a set of rigorous standards that all of our team members must adhere to. These standards include:

– Professionalism at all times

– A commitment to safety above all else

– Honesty in billing practices and financial dealings with clients

– A willingness to go above and beyond expectations when working on projects

Whether you’re looking to install a new toilet in your bathroom or your home, our professionals will get the job done right the first time. We know that quality workmanship is important when it comes to your home and family—that’s why we only use the superior quality products on the market today.

We also offer free estimates, and our rates are competitive with other local businesses—but unlike some competitors, we don’t use scare tactics or upsell products customers don’t need. When it comes down to it, we just want to ensure that you get what you want at a fair price.

So if you want the best bathroom remodeling services or Toilet Replacement Services in Salt Lake City, call our plumbers at  (801) 560-8207.

Schedule Service Now!

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