How to Install a Toilet: A Beginner’s Complete Guide


Are you looking to renovate your bathroom and want to add a new toilet to your space? Or, maybe you just want to upgrade your existing toilet to give your bathroom a fresher look. Whatever the reason, installing a toilet should not be a complicated task if you follow a few key steps. This article is targeted towards beginners looking to undertake a plumbing project and install a toilet on their own. We’ll cover everything from tools required to common mistakes, to give you the confidence you need to tackle this DIY project.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing a Toilet: A Beginner’s Manual

Installing a toilet can be a breeze if you follow the correct steps. Let’s dive into the materials and steps required to complete your task.

Preparing the Area for Installation

Before installing a new toilet, always ensure that the area is clean and free of any debris. Some steps you should follow while preparing the area include:

– Turn off the water supply valve
– Remove the old toilet and place it on its side on old rugs to avoid any damage
– Utilize a scraper to clean off any old wax residue from the flange and scrape the floor to remove any extra debris

Assembling Necessary Parts and Tools

Tools and materials required to install a toilet include:

– A new toilet
– A toilet wax ring
– Adjustable wrenches
– Screwdriver
– Scraper
– Measuring tape
– Closet bolts and caps
– Water supply tubing

Ensure you have assembled all the tools and materials required before beginning the installation process.

Placing the Wax Ring and Bolt Caps

Now it’s time to place the wax ring onto the flange and attach the closet bolts. Ensure the wax ring is appropriately placed by carefully aligning it. Installing bolt caps onto closet bolts is important as it secures everything in place and prevents water leakage.

Setting the Toilet in Place and Securing to the Floor

After placement of the wax ring and bolt caps, it’s time to carefully set the toilet in place. Ensure that the toilet is level and in the correct position. Use shims as required to ensure it’s level. Secure the toilet with nuts and washers, tightening them alternately, and avoid overtightening.

Connecting the Water Supply Line and Flushing for a Leak Test

Finally, connect the water supply line with the shutoff valve and tighten the nuts with pliers. Test for any leaks by flushing the toilet several times, and if required, make necessary adjustments.

Troubleshooting Tips for any Issues

Common issues that might occur include toilet wobbling or leaking. A wobbly toilet is often a result of unlevel floors or an uneven toilet base. A leaking toilet is often caused by a faulty wax ring or bolts not appropriately fixed. Address these problems to ensure proper functionality.

Tools You Need to Install A Toilet: A Checklist

To help, we have listed below tools that you may need while doing your toilet installation.

List of Necessary Tools for Toilet Installation

– A new toilet
– Wax ring and closet bolts
– Screwdriver
– Measuring tape
– Adjustable wrenches
– Level
– Plumber’s putty
– A scraper
– Nut driver
– Safety glasses

Explanation and Images of Each Tool

– Wax Ring and Closet Bolts: The wax ring creates a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange. Closet bolts help attach the toilet to the floor.
– Screwdriver: Used for loosening or tightening the nuts.
– Measuring Tape: Help you double-check measurements before cutting parts or measuring for installation.
– Adjustable Wrenches: Used to tighten nuts and bolts at specific foot-pounds of torque.
– Level: Used to ensure that the toilet is level and in the correct position.
– Scraper: Used to clean the old wax ring and any debris from the flange.
– Plumber’s Putty: Often used to seal the base of the toilet to the floor.
– Nut Driver: Used to loosen and tighten nuts.
– Safety glasses: Protect your eyes from flying debris while working.

Tips for Obtaining Tools if Not Already Owned

If you don’t have the required tools to install a toilet, these can be rented or bought at your local hardware store. Alternatively, you can opt for a toolkit that comes with everything you need to do the installation.

Common Toilet Installation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Even with the proper tools and instructions, mishaps are not unusual along the way. Let’s discuss some of the common toilet installation mistakes and how you can avoid them.

List of Common Mistakes Made During Toilet Installation

– Uneven Floor
– Wrong Wax Ring Size
– Incorrect Toilet Flange
– Insufficient Water Supply
– Over Tightening Bolts
– Neglecting the Shutoff Valve

Explanation of Why Each Mistake is Problematic

– Uneven Floor: If the floor is uneven, the toilet bowl will be unstable, making it a prime source of leakage.
– Wrong Wax Ring Size: Ensure you use the right size wax ring to prevent future leakage or toilet instability.
– Incorrect Toilet Flange: The flange is an important part of the installation as it stabilizes the toilet, and any errors may lead to leakage.
– Insufficient Water Supply: Always ensure you have sufficient water pressure for proper flushing and operation of the toilet.
– Over Tightening Bolts: Over-tightening bolts can lead to cracks in the base of the toilet or even breakage of the base of the toilet, so it’s important to follow correct tightening instructions.
– Neglecting the Shutoff Valve: Before you begin the installation process, always turn off the water supply valve. Neglecting to do so may lead to flooding.

Tips for Avoiding Each Mistake

To avoid these mistakes, plan the project ahead, review the instructions, choose the right parts, and always ensure all components are correctly installed.

DIY vs. Professional Toilet Installation: What You Need to Know

Deciding between hiring a professional or doing the installation yourself can seem daunting. However, there are pros and cons of each option that you should consider.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional

– Greater Efficiency: Professionals know precisely how to install a toilet, which may reduce installation time.
– Warranty: Professionals typically provide warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind in case of issues.
– Safety: Professionals are equipped with the necessary safety gear, so it’s safer than DIY.
– Experience: Professionals specialize in their field, bringing in their expertise to the installation.

– Cost: Hiring a professional is typically more expensive than doing it yourself.
– Scheduling: Hiring a professional may be good for your peace of mind, but your schedule may not work with their busy timing.
– Less control: You may not have control over each aspect of the installation.

Explanation of the Cost Difference Between the Two Options

The cost of hiring a professional plumber to install a toilet ranges between $200 to $500. This varies depending on the location, complexity of the installation, and other factors such as installation of any new plumbing systems.

On the other hand, DIY installation can cost any amount from $75 to $175 for buying the necessary tools and equipment.

Tips for Making an Informed Decision

To make an informed decision, consider the level of expertise required, the necessary tools, and your budget. If the toilet is in a complex area or the installation needs more knowledge than you have, then hiring a professional is the best option.

Top Tips for Installing a Toilet in a Small Bathroom

Installing a toilet in a small bathroom can be a challenge. Here are some tips that can help you create an efficient and stylish space.

Measures to take when limited space is available

– Choose a Compact Toilet: Short or round toilets can help save extra space, making them perfect for smaller bathrooms.
– Choose a Wall mount toilet: This style of toilet provides additional floor space, making them ideal for small bathrooms.
– Use Space-saving Accessories: Use storage accessories such as floating shelves, wall hung cabinets, or baskets to save extra floor space.

Tips for Choosing a Toilet for a Small Bathroom

Choose a toilet that has a compact design but does not have a smaller tank size. This ensures a good flushing system. Additionally, choose toilet colors that match the bathroom and create a visual impression of more space.

Layout Ideas to Maximize Space

Avoid placing any obstacles or placing the toilet in the middle of the bathroom. A toilet located in a corner or a wall-mounted toilet can provide more floor space. Choosing specific colors can also provide a visual impression of more space.

Troubleshooting Common Toilet Installation Problems

Even after careful installation, things can go wrong. Let’s discuss common issues that may arise and how to tackle them.

Common Issues That Might Occur During Installation

– Leaks
– Clogs
– Toilet Wobbling
– Uneven Toilet
– Water Running Continuously
– Inadequate Flushing

Tips for Fixing Each Problem

– Leaks: First, ensure all connections are tight and secure. Make sure the wax rings are appropriately placed.
– Clogs: Use a plunger or drain-cleaning product to unclog the toilet.
– Toilet Wobbling: Ensure the toilet is level and stable. Use shims to level the toilet.
– Uneven Toilet: Reinstall the toilet, ensuring all connections are secure and level.
– Water Running Continuously: Check if the refill tube is correctly placed and adjust the water level.
– Inadequate Flushing: Clean the flush valve or replace it depending on the cause.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you attempt to troubleshoot a problem but still cannot solve the problem, consider hiring a professional plumber to fix your toilet.


Installing a toilet may seem daunting, but with the right tools, patience, and knowledge, it’s a job that even a beginner can do. By following our guide, you will be able to install a toilet in no time. Remember to be careful, take your time and consider hiring a professional if needed. Installing your toilet will help totally revamp your bathroom while adding value to your home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Courier Blog by Crimson Themes.