15 Steps to Installing a Toilet

I apologize for the small hiatus.  It’s been a crazy month.  Mini Dodge has been keeping me on my toes as she has decided to learn to walk at four months.  Needless to say, I am busy.  On top of that comes apple season, I’ve been stockpiling apple crisp for the year, and it seems like we have been running all over the place showing off the Mini all summer. Busy Busy!

I’m fortunate enough to own a house, it’s great! I can paint any color I want, I can tear a wall down, or I can install new toilets in my house.  This week we were lucky enough to acquire 2 new toilets for 2 of our bathrooms so I thought – what better time to learn how to install a toilet?!  Here is the step by step guide on how to install a toilet.


What you need:

This instruction guide

A new Toilet

Wax Ring


Wedge or crowbar

Old Clothes (remove any jewelry)

Cleaning product and paper towel


Step 1:

Turn off the water by the tap on the wall behind the toilet

Step 2:

Flush the toilet to empty the reservoir tank

Step 3:

Emptying the bowl of the toilet can be done in two ways, the gross way and the easy way.  The gross way is to siphon the water out into a bucket.  The benefit of this is you are likely to get all the water out.  The downside of this is that it’s gross, you siphon something by placing the tube in the toilet bowl and sucking on the other end until you get all the air out (potentially having toilet water touch your lips). Ew.  The easy way is to get a bucket of water and pour it into the bowl, this will force the water to drain to a minimal amount.  I would take a little bit of water on the floor to not have to run the risk of having toilet water anywhere close to my mouth.

Step 4:

Lay a towel down around the tap you turned off and disconnect the water line from the back of the toilet. You want to disconnect the water above the tap you turned off.  This might seem silly to say but if you have 2 options to disconnect, one below the tap and one above, you want to go with the one between the tap and toilet.

Step 5:

Remove the little caps on either side of the toilet.  You know the ones that always fall off whenever you clean and you really don’t have any idea what they are for anyway.

Step 6:

Unbolt the toilet from the floor, make sure to set aside the nuts and washers from the old toilet in case the new one doesn’t have them.

Step 7:

Lay down more towels all the way around the toilet to catch any water, using a crowbar or wedge you want to break the seal of the wax ring.  This may happen very easily or it may take some jigging.  Have faith, it will come undone.

Step 8:

Before you pick up the toilet, plan your exit.  Open any doors, move any tools or furniture.  The last thing you want to do is move your toilet and have to put it down to get a door open.  Once you have your exit, pull the toilet straight up and remove it.

Step 9:

Remove the wax ring that should be on the floor.  If it isn’t, it’ll be on the old toilet – that’s fine.  There will be a black plastic ring attached to the wax ring, you will want to keep that unless you bought a wax ring that has a new black plastic ring.


Step 10:

Clean the floor and the area where the wax ring used to be.  The black stuff on the floor is not poop I promise.

Step 11:

Flip the toilet over and place the wax ring in the proper position (look at the back of the wax ring box if you are unsure).

Step 12:

Line up the toilet bolt holes with the bolts on the floor and push the toilet down.  Sit on it, take a breather, you are almost done.

Step 13:

Bolt the toilet back down to the floor, tightening each side a little bit at a time.  Screw the waterline back

Step 14:

Grab a bucket of water and pour it into the bowl of the toilet to ensure the seal has taken.  If there is any water on the floor around the toilet the seal isn’t good and you need to go back to step 10.  If there isn’t any water on the floor you did a good job!

Step 15:

Turn the water back on and let your toilet fill up. Celebrate what a strong independent grown up you are!!

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